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Most Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)


Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)



Tansy








The Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare--buttons,--bed of Tansy), a
Composite plant very familiar in our hedgerows and waste places,
being conspicuous by its heads of brilliant yellow flowers, is often
naturalized in our gardens for ornamental cultivation. Its leaves
smell like camphor, and possess a bitter aromatic taste; whilst young
they were commonly used in times past, and are still employed,
when shredded, for flavouring cakes, puddings, and omelets. The
roots when preserved with honey, or sugar, are reputed to be of
special service against the gout, if a reasonable quantity thereof be
eaten fasting every day for a certain space. The fruit is destructive
to round worms.

The seed also of the Tansy is a singular and appropriate medicine
against worms: for in whatsoever sort taken it killeth and driveth
them forth. In Sussex a peasant will put Tansy leaves in his shoes
to cure ague; and the plant has a rural celebrity for correcting female
irregularities of the functional health. The name Tansy is
probably derived from the Greek word athanasia which signifies
immortality, either, as, says Dodoeus, quia non cito flos
inflorescit, because it lasts so long in flower, or, quia ejus
succus, vel oleum extractum cadavera a putredine conservat (as
Ambrosius writes), because it is so capital [558] for preserving
dead bodies from corruption. It was said to have been given to
Ganymede to make him immortal. The whole herb contains resin,
mucilage, sugar, a fixed oil, tannin, a colouring matter, malic or
tanacetic acid, and water. When the camphoraceous bitter oil is
taken in any excess it induces venous congestion of the abdominal
organs, and increases the flow of urine.

If given in moderate doses the plant and its essential oil are
stomachic and cordial, whether the leaves, flowers, or seeds be
administered, serving to allay spasm, and helping to promote the
monthly flow of women; the seeds being also of particular use
against worms, and relieving the flatulent colic of hysteria. This
herb will drive away bugs from a bed in which it is placed. Meat
rubbed with the bitter Tansy will be protected from the visits of
carrion flies.

Ten drops of the essential oil will produce much flushing of the
head and face, with giddiness, and with beat of stomach; whilst half
a drachm of the oil has been followed by a serious result. But from
one to four drops may be safely given for a dose according to the
symptoms it is desired to relieve. Cases of epilepsy (not inherited)
have been successfully treated with the liquid extract of Tansy in
doses of a drop with water four times in the day. The essential oil
will toxically produce epileptic seizures.

The plant has been used externally with benefit for some eruptive
diseases of the skin; and a hot infusion of it to sprained, or
rheumatic parts will give relief from pain by way of a fomentation.
In Scotland the dried flowers are given for gout, from half to one
teaspoonful for a dose two or three times in the day; or an infusion
is drank prepared from the flowers and seeds. This has kept
inveterate gout at bay for years.

[554] A medicinal tincture is made (H.) from the fresh plant with
spirit of wine. From eight to ten drops of the same may be given
with a tablespoonful of cold water to an adult twice or three times in
the day.

Formerly this was one of the native plants dedicated to the Virgin
Mary; and the good wives used to take a syrup of Tansy for
preventing miscarriage. The Laplanders, says Linnoeus, use
Tansy in their baths to facilitate parturition.

At Easter also it was the custom, even, by the Archbishops, the
Bishops, and the clergy of some churches, to play at handball (so
say the old chroniclers), with men of their congregations, whilst a
Tansy cake was the reward of the victors, this being a confection
with which the bitter herb Tansy was mixed. Some such a corrective
was supposed to be of benefit after having eaten much fish during
Lent.

The Tansy cake was made from the young leaves of the plant mixed
with eggs, and was thought to purify the humours of the body. This
Balsamic plant said Boerhaave, will supply the place of nutmegs
and cinnamon. In Lyte's time the Tansy was sold in the shops
under the name of Athanasia.





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Previous: Tamarind



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