Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo)

Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo) Eryngo (Eryngium), ff. 46v-47

Eryngo (Eryngium), ff. 46v-47

Eryngo is a thorny plant. Its young leaves when salted can be used for cooking. They are broad, with spiny edges and a pleasant fragrance. / Its mature branches develop red stripes. At the top of the stem, it has round blossoms with hard sharp spines protruding in a star shape all around. The blooms can be pale green, white and sometimes light blue. Its fragrant roots are long, an inch thick, black on the outside, white on the inside. / It grows in the countryside, in rough terrains, and has warming properties. If drunk alone, it induces menstruation and urination as well as cure flatulence and intestinal pain. If drunk with wine, it alleviates liver dysfunction and bites from poisonous animals. It is also an antidote for ingested poisons. Usually, an amount of one drachma is drunk together with parsnip seed. / It is said that eryngo root cures tumors if drunk or carried as a talisman. Moreover, if drunk with honeydew water, it alleviates epilepsy and the spasms called opisthotonus.

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