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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CULPEPER, NICHOLAS (1616-1654) AND THE CHERRY TREE



On my Desk. . .Culpepper’s Herbal 4
Photo from: Konnykards
the most renown English herbalist of all times. He was the author of Culpepper’s Complete Herbal, an historical treatise on medical and botanical science of his era. Culpepper studied at Cambridge and became a physician, apothecary and astrologer. [Culpeper. 1995:ix-x]

Culpeper gave detailed descriptions about individual plants such as this one [1]:”

THE CHERRY TREE

“I suppose there are few but know this tree, for its fruit’s sake; and therefore I shall spare writing a description thereof.
           
Cherry Tree II
Photo from: Joakim Brrndes 
Place.] For the place of its growth, it is afforded room in every orchard.
            Government and virtues.] It is a tree of Venus. Cherries, as they are of different tastes, so they are of different qualities. The sweet pass through the stomach and the belly more speedily, but are of little nourishment; the tart or sour are more pleasing to an hot stomach, procure appetite to meat, to help and cut tough phlegm, and gross humours; but when these are dried, they are more binding to the belly than when they are fresh, bring cooling in hot diseases, and welcome to the stomach, and provokes urine. The gum of the Cherry-tree, dissolved in wine is good for a cold, cough, and hoarseness of the throat; mends the colour in the face, sharpens the eyesight, provokes appetite, and helps to break and expel the stone, and dissolved, the water thereof is much used to break the stone and to expel gravel and wind. “[Culpeper. 1995:63-64]



[1] See blog titled cereza, published 11/12/12.

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