1597 Gerard's Herbal Moss on Human Skulls

1597 Gerard's Herbal Moss on Human Skulls

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 1597 The Moss that Grows on Human Skulls, from Gerard's famous Herbal. ( John Gerard "The Herball or General Historie of Plantes" published in London in 1597). Gerard notes, sic "this kinde of mosse is found upon the skulls or bare scalps of men and women, lying long in charnell houses or other places where the bones of men and women are kept together" "it is thought to be a singular remedie against the falling Evill and the Chin-cough in children". Quite what is this moss he refers remains a mystery.

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Keywords: 1500s, 16th century, alchemy, color, colour, cure, drug, gerard, herb, herbal, herball, illustration, john, magic, medicine, middle ages, plants, potions, remedies, skull, superstition, witchcraft

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