(Geranium molle) Gerard advised the use of the powdered herb and roots to treat hernia, "as my selfe have often proved, whereby I have gotten crownes and credit". He also mentioned its use for "greene and bleeding wounds". Interestingly, the Maori used this same plant for wounds, too, by making a lotion from it, by steeping it in hot water, and using that as an application to open wounds, or it was rubbed on as an embrocation "in case of contusion" (Goldie).
Dracunculus vulgaris > DRAGON ARUM DRAGON ARUM
(Dracunculus vulgaris) Described by Gerard as " .with spots of divers colours, like those of the adder or snake ...". So this is where the dragon and snake attributions come from. It comes as no surprise, with that kind of signature, to find it being used long ago against snakebite. The Anglo Saxon version of Apuleius, in the translation by Cockayne, has "for wound of all snakes, take root of this wort, ., with wine and warm it; give to drink". It was still being recommended in the 14th cebtury (Dawson). The fable continued for another two centuries or so, for Gerard repeated the claims: ". it is reported that they who have rubbed the leaves or root upon their hands, are not bitten of the viper", for it is easy to combine prevention and cure, and what will cure snakebite will also prevent it. In fact, as he goes on, "Pliny saith that serpents wil not come neere unto him that beareth dragons about him".
Apuleius Herbarium had other uses for Dragon Arum, one of them requiring you to make a poultice of the roots, with lard, and use it for broken bones - "it draweth from ther body the broken bones"! (Cockayne). Another leechdom recommended a similar poultice for chapped hands. Later on, the roots were used for chilblains - "take the water that dragance rootsd have been seethed in, and bathe well thy kibe [chilblain] therein, and it will heal it (Dawson). Even the plague itself would be held at bay with this plant; "the distilled water hath vertue against the pestilence ... being drunke bloud warme with the best treacle or mithridate" (Gerard).
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