Agnus castus plant, 18th century

Agnus castus plant, 18th century

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Agnus castus plant (Vitex agnus-castus), 18th-century illustration. This medicinal herb was once believed to preserve chastity. Artwork from 'A Curious Herbal' (1737) by Scottish herbalist Elizabeth Blackwell (c.1700-1758). This work contained 500 illustrations of medicinal plants, and was created by Blackwell to raise money to pay her husband's debts and release him from debtor's prison. She drew, engraved, and coloured the illustrations, mostly using plant specimens from the Chelsea Physic Garden in London. It was an artistic, scientific and commercial enterprise unprecedented for a woman of her time.

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Keywords: 1700s, 1737, 18th century, a curious herbal, agnus castus, artwork, biological, biology, book, botanical, botany, chastity, elizabeth blackwell, flora, flower, herb, herbal medicine, historical, history, illustration, medical, medicinal herbs, medicine, menstrual, menstruation, nature, no-one, nobody, page, plant, plate 139, publication, treatment, vitex agnus-castus

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