St. Peter's Wort

If Superstition had not been the father of Tradition, as well as Ignorance the Mother of Devotion, this herb, (as well as St. John's Wort) hath found some other name to be known by; but we may say of our forefathers, as St. Paul of the Athenians, I perceive in many things you are too superstitious. Yet seeing it is come to pass, that custom having got in possession, pleads prescription for the name, I shall let it pass, and come to the description of the herb, which take as follows.

Descript : It rises up with square upright stalks for the most part, some greater and higher than St. John's Wort (and good reason too, St. Peter being the greater apostle, (ask the Pope else;) for though God would have the saints equal, the Pope is of another opinion,) but brown in the same manner, having two leaves at every joint, somewhat like, but larger, than St. John's Wort, and a little rounder pointed, with few or no holes to be seen thereon, and having sometimes some smaller leaves rising from the bosom of the greater, and sometimes a little hairy also. At the tops of two stalks stand many star-like flowers, with yellow threads in the middle, very like those of St. John's Wort, insomuch that this is hardly discerned from it, but only by the largeness and height, the seed being alike also in both. The root abides long, sending forth new shoots every year.

Place : It grows in many groves, and small low woods, in divers places of this land, as in Kent, Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Northamptonshire; as also near watercourses in other places.

Time : It flowers in June and July, and the seed is ripe in August.

Government and virtues : There is not a straw to choose between this and St. John's Wort, only St. Peter must have it lest he should want pot herbs. It is of the same property as St. John's Wort, but somewhat weaker, and therefore more seldom used. Two drams of the seed taken at a time in honied water, purges choleric humours, (as saith Dioscorides, Pliny, and Galen,) and thereby helps those that are troubled with the sciatica. The leaves are used as St. John's Wort, to help those places of the body that have been burnt with fire.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.