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

Encinilla (Teucrium chamaedrys), ff. 158v-159r

Wall Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), ff. 158v-159r

"The Greeks say chamaedrys and in Latin it is trissago; there are some who, because of similarities, call it germander. It grows in rough, rocky places; it is a plant a span long, whose leaves are small and bitter, similar to oak-leaves in their shape and the toothed edges; it has a little flower, almost purple. It is harvested when full of seed. Boiled in water when it is still green, it helps convulsions, coughs, hardness of the spleen, urine retention and dropsy in its early stages; it induces the menstrual flow and parturition. Drunk with vinegar, it softens the spleen, and drunk with wine is very effective against poisonous snake-bites. It is good in the same way applied as a poultice. If pounded and made into pills, it is useful for all these purposes mentioned. Together with honey, it dis-infects long-term ulcers; applied as an ointment with oil, it clears blurred vision. It has a warming property." (f. 158v)
This plant grows in rocky limestone areas and holm oak forests almost everywhere in Italy, France, Spain, Great Britain, central Europe and the Mediterranean region. It contains traces of essential oil, tannins and bitters. It was a folk remedy for malarial fevers also used in medicine. It has aperitive, invigorating and stimulating properties. In Cibo’s time it was an experimental remedy for the gout suffered by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Mattioli says in his comments that “this plant is greatly appreciated in Tuscany, because eaten raw in the morning it was a remedy guaranteed to protect one from the plague.”

Ramón Morales Valverde
Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
(Extract from the commentary volume of Mattioli's Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo)

Cookie preferences

We use cookies and third-party cookies to improve our services by analyzing your browsing habits. For more information you can read our cookie policy. You can accept all cookies by clicking the Accept button or configure or reject their use by clicking HERE.