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Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure   By: (1830-)

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Transcribed by Ruth Hart

Transcriber's notes:

While most of the book titles and non English words are italicized, not all of them are, and I have left the non italicized terms as is.

Page numbers have been placed in sqare brackets to facilitate the use of the table of contents and the index.



W. T. FERNIE, M.D. Author of "Botanical Outlines," etc

Second Edition.

"Medicine is mine; what herbs and Simples grow In fields and forests, all their powers I know." DRYDEN.

Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel. 1897.

"Jamque aderat Phoebo ante alios dilectus lapis Iasides: acri quondam cui captus amore Ipse suas artes, sua munera, laetus Apollo Augurium, citharamque dabat, celeresque sagittas Ille ut depositi proferret fata clientis, Scire potestates herbarum, usumque medendi Maluit, et mutas agitare inglorius artes." VIRGIL, AEnid : Libr. xii. v. 391 8.

"And now lapis had appeared, Blest leech! to Phoebus' self endeared Beyond all men below; On whom the fond, indulgent God His augury had fain bestowed, His lyre his sounding bow! But he, the further to prolong A fellow creature's span, The humbler art of Medicine chose, The knowledge of each plant that grows, Plying a craft not known to song, An unambitious man!"



It may happen that one or another enquirer taking up this book will ask, to begin with, "What is a Herbal Simple?" The English word "Simple," composed of two Latin words, Singula plica (a single fold), means "Singleness," whether of material or purpose.

From primitive times the term "Herbal Simple" has been applied to any homely curative remedy consisting of one ingredient only, and that of a vegetable nature. Many such a native medicine found favour and success with our single minded forefathers, this being the "reverent simplicity of ancienter times."

In our own nursery days, as we now fondly remember, it was: "Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair; said Simple Simon to the pieman, 'Let me taste your ware.'" That ingenuous youth had but one idea, connected simply with his stomach; and his sole thought was how to devour the contents of the pieman's tin. We venture to hope our readers may be equally eager to stock their minds with the sound knowledge of Herbal Simples which this modest Manual seeks to provide for their use.

Healing by herbs has always been popular both [xviii] with the classic nations of old, and with the British islanders of more recent times. Two hundred and sixty years before the date of Hippocrates (460 B.C.) the prophet Isaiah bade King Hezekiah, when sick unto death, "take a lump of Figs, and lay it on the boil; and straightway the King recovered."

Iapis, the favourite pupil of Apollo, was offered endowments of skill in augury, music, or archery. But he preferred to acquire a knowledge of herbs for service of cure in sickness; and, armed with this knowledge, he saved the life of AEneas when grievously wounded by an arrow. He averted the hero's death by applying the plant "Dittany," smooth of leaf, and purple of blossom, as plucked on the mountain Ida.

It is told in Malvern Chase that Mary of Eldersfield (1454), "whom some called a witch," famous for her knowledge of herbs and medicaments, "descending the hill from her hut, with a small phial of oil, and a bunch of the 'Danewort,' speedily enabled Lord Edward of March, who had just then heavily sprained his knee, to avoid danger by mounting 'Roan Roland' freed from pain, as it were by magic, through the plant rubbing which Mary administered."

In Shakespeare's time there was a London street, named Bucklersbury (near the present Mansion House), noted for its number of druggists who sold Simples and sweet smelling herbs... Continue reading book >>

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