Setwall (Valerian)

The dry root as Dioscorides teacheth, provoketh urine, bringeth down the desired sickness, helpeth the pain in the sides; and is put into counterpoisons and medicines preservative against the pestilence, as are treacles, mithridates, and such like: whereupon it hath been such veneration amongst them, that no broths, pottage or physical meats are worth any thing, if Setwall were not at an end: whereupon some woman Poët or other hath made these verses.

They that will have their heal,

Must put Setwall in their keal.

It is used generally in slight cuts, wounds, and small hurts.

The extraction of the roots given, is a most singular medicine against the difficulty of making water, and the yellow jaundice.

Wild Valerian is thought of the later Herbarists to be good for them that are bursten, for such as be troubled with the cramp and other convulsions, and also for all those that are bruised with falls.

The leaves of these and also those of the garden, are good against ulcers and soreness of the mouth and gums, if the decoction thereof be gargarized or held in the mouth.

Some hold opinion that the roots of wild Valerian dried and powdered, and a dram weight thereof taken with wine, do purge upward and downward.

Gerard, p. 1078.

Treacle: Old Pharm. A medicinal compound, orig. a kind of salve, composed of many ingredients, formerly in repute as an alexipharmic against and antidote to venomous bites, poisons generally, and malignant diseases. Oxford English Dictionary

Kale, kail,...keal(e): Broth in which Scotch kale or cabbage forms a principal ingredient; hence Sc. Broth or soup made with various kinds of vegetables. Oxford English Dictionary

Köhler, 47. Courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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