[Sca-cooks] pellitory

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sun Jul 19 19:58:59 PDT 2009

As promised.

A search through EEBO-TCP finds 679 plus mentions for pellitory under
that spelling
in English texts dated before 1700 in just that database alone. A number
of associated other spellings too.

Doing a search on just pellitory and limited to texts published before
1610, EEBO-TCP includes mentions in works like the following:

Bibliotheca Eliotæ Eliotis librarie. by
Elyot, Thomas, Sir, 1490?-1546.
"Astericum, an herbe callyd Pellitory"

It is also included in The treasury of healthe 1553.


The secretes of the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount. 1558 includes it
in this marvelous remedie
A notable secrete to heale a madde man, be it that the madnes came vnto
hym by a whyrlynge, or giddynesse of the heade or brayne, or otherwyse.
"pellitory of the wal"


Partridge calls for it in the 1573 The treasurie of commodious conceits
It's in a recipe for "How to make a soueraigne Water, that M. Doctor
Steeuyns[?] Phisicion
The Receipt.

_TAke a Gallon of good Gascoyne Wyne: then take Gynger, Gallyngale,
Camamyll, Cyna|mon. Nutmegs, Grains Cloues, Mace, Annys seedes, Fenel
seedes, Carawayes seedes: of euery of them a dram. Then take Sage,
Myntes, Redroses, Cime Pellitory
of the wall, wylde Margerst, Rosemarie. Peny mou?tayne: otherwise called
wilde Time, Camamyll, Lauender and Auens, of eueri of them one handful:
Then beate ye Spices small, and bruse the Herbs, & put al into the Wine:
and let it stand. xii. howres: styrringe it diuers times: Then stil it
in a Limbeck, and keep the fyrst pint of the water, for it is the best:
then wil come a second water, which is not so good as ye ^ fyrst.

It shows up in the 1576 The newe iewell of health by Gesner, Konrad and
in Thomas Hill's 1577 The gardeners labyrinth.

It also appears in Bulleins bulwarke of defence against all
sicknesse..by William Bullein, Doctor of Phisicke which was printed in 1579.

Ok this is written in the form of a conversation back and forth about
the virtues and attributes of various plants.
 From page 50--

" Marcellus. What is Pellitory  of Spayne good for?

Hilarius. THe flower thereof, put into the nose, wil prouoke much
nesyng: and therfore it is called Ptermica, it hath Flowers lyke
Chamomel, braunches much like Sothernwood, It wil grow in hard stony
places, the roote must be digged in the ende of Haruest: it is hote and
drye in the thyrde degre and in the beginning of the fourth, specially
if it be dryed. The leaues with the flowers stamped togeather, wil make
a good oyntmente to take awaye Markes made with strypes, causynge blewe
or blacke spottes in the face or any part of the body. The rootes haue
vertue to draw fylth and cold humour from the corrupt payned teeth,
sayth Galen lib vij. simplicium medic. But if the sayd rootes be fyrst
steeped in strong Uineger and beaten in a morter, and small round pilles
made of them, putting them into the mouth, they wil draw much fylth from
the paller of the mouth and gummes, and fynally ease the tooth ache. Or
the sayd rootes or iuice of the? sodden in Oyle, wil put away a cold
Feuer, if the body be well annoynted therwith agaynst a Feuer before the
fyt do come, eyther in tertian or quarten. And it is a good oyle for a
cold stomacke, that is swelled: and thus I do ende of Pellitory."

Approoved medicines and cordiall receiptes with the natures, qualities,
and operations of sundry samples. Very commodious and expedient for all
that are studious of such knowledge.
by Newton, Thomas. 580

on from pages 50-51? says:

Pirethrum,Pellitory of Spayne.

THe roote of this hearbe is hoat, dry, a?
? burning: chawed &
masticated, it draweth fleagme largely from the heade: decoted or boyled
in vineger it healpeth ye toothache that commeth of colde humors: made
into an Oyntment with Oyle, it prouoketh sweate, and easeth the
coldenesse that cometh with longe Feauers: healpeth also all colde
dyseases, as Palsies, and such like.

It turns up at least 11 times in The methode of phisicke conteyning the
causes, signes, and cures of invvard diseases in mans body from the head
to the foote by By Philip Barrough. 1583.

And in A rich store-house or treasury for the diseased by A.T. 1596, it
plus mercury shows up in this medicinal concoction:

An excellent good Medicine to heale the French Pox.

TAke Goacum Capium halfe a pound, Salsa perilla two ounces, Barke of
Goacum two ounces, Licquorice one ounce, Annise seedes one ounce,
Fennell seede one ounce, Seeny one ounce, and of Betany, Scabions,
Smallege, Pellitory of the wall, Penyroyall, Harts-toong, Maydenhere,
wild Mints, or red Mints, red Sage, Oculus Christi, Liuerwort, and of
the hearbe Mercury, of euery one of them a good handfull, cleane picked
and washed, and then put all these together to sleepe for the space of
one whole night, in three gallons of faire running Water, or else in two
gallons of pure white Wine, and one gallon of strong Ale, then take
them, and boyle them all together, vntill it be consumed to three
quarts, then straine it through a fine linnen cloth, and put it into a
close vessell.

Note this, that if you boyle it in water, it will continue but sixe or
seuen dayes, but being boyled in Wine, and Ale, twenty dayes, which is
too short a space for the party which is sicke and diseased, to vse it.

This must be drunken by the sicke person both morning and euening, and
at meate, and you must put into euery three quartes of the water, one
quarter of an ounce of Coloquintida, and let the party which is sicke
vse it, vntill such time as it hath scowred the body very well, and if
it do not purge well, then take this Medicine following.

It's also good for relieving "collicke and stone" and it helps clense or
purge the head.

And finally it also appears in the 1608  A closet for ladies and
gentlevvomen as in this recipe for

"For the Rhewme.

TAke a little quantitie of Masticke, and as much of Pellitorie of spaine
cut in small peeces, sew them in a litle bag of linnen cloth, keepe the
bag in your mouth till the Pellitory and the Mastick be consumed, and
spit in the meane time as much as you can.

Hope this helps


emilio szabo asked yesterday--
> Do we have any insight on pellitory from early modern sources?

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