Woundwort





The Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) is a common Labiate

plant in our hedges and woods, branched and hairy, with whorls of

small dull purple flowers on a spike two feet high or more. There

are other varieties of the herb, such as the Marsh (March)

Woundwort, the Corn Woundwort, and the Downy Woundwort.



The Hedge Woundwort was named by Gerard, Clown's all heal, or

the Husbandman's Woundwort, because a countryman who had cut

his hand to the bone with a scythe, healed the wound in seven days

with this plant.



It is called by some the Hedge Dead Nettle, from its nettle-like

leaves, and the place of its growth.



The leaves, says Gerard, stampt (pounded) with hog's grease, and

applied unto green wounds in the manner of a poultice, heal them in

such short time and such absolute manner, that it is hard for anyone

that hath not had the experience thereof to believe. For instance, a

deep and grievous wound in the breast with a dagger, and two others

in the abdomen (or nether belly), so that the fat commonly named

the caul, issued forth, the which mortal wounds, by God's

permission, and the virtues of this herb, I perfectly cured within

twenty days--for the which the name of God be praised.



The name Stachys given to this herb, is from the Greek stakos,

a bunch, because of the arrangement of the flowers. It contains a

volatile oil, and a bitter principle undetermined.



The Stachys Germanica (Downy Woundwort) is so called from

its soft, downy leaves having been employed instead of lint as a

surgical dressing to wounds. The plant grows on a chalky soil in

Bedfordshire, [616] Berkshire, and Oxfordshire: being named also

Lamb's Ear.



This Stachys lanata (Woolly Woundwort) is known as Saviour's

blanket, in Sussex; also in Devonshire and Somersetshire, as

Mouse's ear, Donkey's ear, and Lamb's tongue.



The Knights' Water Woundwort (Statiotes aloides) was supposed

from its blade-like leaves, acting on the doctrine of signatures,

to heal sword wounds.





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