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

Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo) St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), f. 83r

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St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), f. 83r

Some call it Hypericum perforatum, others perforate St. John’s-wort, still others common St. John’s wort. Its aromatic seed smells like pine resin. Its leaves are similar to those of the rue. It’s a reddish, branching plant, growing one handspan high. Its flowers are yellow, similar to those of the white violet, and when rubbed with the fingers, it releases a blood-like liquid; leading to its nickname, sweet-amber. It has long, round, fuzzy siliquae, about as big as a grain of barley. Its black, resin-smelling seed is inside. It grows on cultivated and uncultivated terrain. It has diuretic properties; applied below, it triggers menstruation; drunk with wine it cures tertian and quartan fevers. The seed, when drunk continuously for forty days, cures sciatica. The leaves, when applied in a poultice with the seed, cure fire burns (f. 82v).

 
 

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