Culpepper's Complete Herbal on Mistletoe
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
CULPEPER'S COMPLETE HERBAL
Description. This rises up from the branch or arm of the tree whereon it grows, with a woody stem, putting itself into sundry branches, and they again divided into many other smaller twigs, interlacing themselves one within another, very much covered with a greyish green bark, having two leaves set at every joint, and at the end likewise, which are somewhat long and narrow, small at the bottom, but broader towards the end. At the knots or joints of the boughs and branches grow small yellow flowers, which run into small, round, white, transparent berries, three or four together, full of a glutinous moisture, with a blackish seed in each of them, which was never yet known to spring, being put into the ground, or any where else to grow.
Place. It grows very rarely on oaks with us; but upon sundry others as well timber as fruit trees, plentifully in woody groves, and the like, through all this land.
Time. It flowers in the spring-time, but the berries are not ripe until October, and abides on the branches all the winter, unless the blackbirds, and other birds, do devour them.
Government and virtues. This is under the dominion of the Sun, I do not question; and can also take for granted, that which grows upon oaks, participates something of the nature of Jupiter, because an oak is one of his trees; as also that which grows upon pear trees, and apple trees, participates something of his nature, because he rules the tree it grows upon, having no root of its own. But why that should have most virtues that grows upon oaks I know not, unless because it is rarest and hardest to come by; and our college's opinion is in this contrary to scripture, which saith, God's tender mercies are over all his works ; and so it is, let the college of physicians walk as contrary to him as they please, and that is as contrary as the east to the west.
Clusius affirms that which grows upon pear trees to be as prevalent, and gives order, that it should not touch the ground after it is gathered; and also saith, that, being hung about the neck, it remedies witchcraft. Both the leaves and berries of Misselto do heat and dry, and are of subtle parts; the birdlime doth molify hard knots, tumours, and imposthumes; ripens and discusses them, and draws forth thick as well as thin humours from the remote parts of the body, digesting and separating them.
And being mixed with equal parts of rozin and wax, doth molify the hardness of the spleen, and helps old ulcers and sores. Being mixed with Sandaric and Orpiment, it helps to draw off foul nails; and if quick-lime and wine lees be added thereunto, it works the stronger. The Misselto itself of the oak (as the best) made into powder, and given in drink to those that have the falling sickness, does assuredly heal them, as Matthiolus saith: but it is fit to use it for forty days together. Some have so highly esteemed it for the virtues thereof, that they have called it Lignum Sanctæ Crucis , Wood of the Holy Cross, believing it helps the falling sickness, apoplexy and palsy very speedily, not only to be inwardly taken, but to be hung at their neck.
Tragus saith, that the fresh wood of any misselto bruised, and the juice drawn forth and dropped in the ears that have imposthumes in them, doth help and ease them within a few days.