Helleborus viridis, illustration

Helleborus viridis, illustration

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Credit: BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Green hellebore. 16th century Italian illustration of green hellebore (Helleborus viridis), by Gherardo Cibo, 1568. Two men collecting plants notice a bird flying above them. Green hellebore has purgative properties and was traditionally used to treat worms, and topically to treat lice. This plate is taken from Discorsi on Dioscorides' De Materia Medica by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, a work of herbal medicine first published in Italy in 1554. Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577) was an Italian doctor and naturalist who wrote commentaries on De Materia Medica , an encyclopaedia of herbal medicine by the first century Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides.

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