Meadow Saxifrage

(Saxifraga granulata) The name Saxifrage is derived from the Latin, rock, and frangere, to break - "breakstone" in other words, for these plants often grow in clefts of rocks. Inaccurate observation led to the conclusion that the roots had actually broken the rock, and that became the signature of the plant - that which breaks stones must also have the power to break stones in the body. See, for instance, the Anglo-Saxon version of Apuleius: "in case that stones wax in the bladder, pound it in wine; give . to drink . It is said by those that have tried it that it breaketh to pieces the calculi the same day, and tuggeth them out, and leadeth the man to his health" (Cockayne). Gerard, a long time later, repeated the prescription, and Hill, in the mid-18th century, was saying exactly the same a long time after Gerard.

Dyer. 1889 suggested that the granulated roots of this species provided another signature. Presumably he had in mind the similar roots of plants like Lesser Celandine, though in the latter case it was haemorrhoids it was supposed to cure, and there seems to be no record that Meadow Saxifrage was used in a similar way.

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