Medicinal Trees: Prunus (Plumb, Cherry, Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, Almond, Damson Sloe, etc.)
This one is HUGE! I am going to have to run this article in two parts.
One hundred and twenty-four varieties of Prunus have been found useful in Herbal Medicine!!!! Prunus alabamensis - Alabama Cherry, Prunus alleghaniensis - Allegheny Plum, Prunus americana - American Plum, Prunus americana lanata, Prunus andersonii - Desert Peach, Prunus angustifolia - Chickasaw Plum, Prunus angustifolia watsonii - Sand Plum, Prunus apetala - Clove Cherry, Prunus arabica, Prunus armeniaca – Apricot, Prunus avium - Wild Cherry, Prunus besseriana - Dwarf Almond, Prunus besseyi - Western Sand Cherry, Prunus bifrons, Prunus bokharensis - Bokhara Plum, Prunus brigantina - Briançon Apricot, Prunus buergeriana, Prunus campanulata - Taiwan Cherry, Prunus canescens - Greyleaf Cherry, Prunus capsica, Prunus caroliniana - American Cherry Laurel, Prunus cerasifera - Cherry Plum, Prunus cerasifera divaricate, Prunus cerasoides - Wild Himalayan Cherry, Prunus cerasus - Sour Cherry, Prunus cerasus austera - Morello Cherry, Prunus cerasus caproniana - Kentish Red Cherry, Prunus cerasus frutescens - Bush Sour Cherry, Prunus cerasus marasca - Maraschino Cherry, Prunus cocomilia, Prunus consociiflora - Chinese Wild Peach, Prunus cornuta - Himalayan Bird Cherry, Prunus cortapico, Prunus davidiana - Chinese Wild Peach, Prunus dawyckensis - Dawyck Cherry, Prunus dielsiana, Prunus domestica - Plum, Prunus dulcis – Almond, Prunus emarginata - Bitter Cherry, Prunus fasciculata - Desert Almond, Prunus fenzliana, Prunus fruticosa - Mongolian Cherry, Prunus glandulosa - Korean Cherry, Prunus gracilis - Sour Plum, Prunus grayana - Japanese Bird Cherry, Prunus gymnodonta, Prunus hortulana - Hog Plum, Prunus humilis - Bush Cherry, Prunus ilicifolia - Holly-Leaved Cherry, Prunus incana, Prunus incisa - Fuji Cherry, Prunus insititia – Damson, Prunus iranica, Prunus jamasakura – Yamazakura, Prunus japonica - Korean Cherry, Prunus japonica nakai - Japanese Plum, Prunus jenkinsii, Prunus kansuensis, Prunus korshinskyi, Prunus lannesiana - Oshima Cherry, Prunus laurocerasus - Cherry Laurel, Prunus lusitanica - Portugal Laurel, Prunus lyonii - Catalina Island Cherry, Prunus mahaleb - Mahaleb Cherry, Prunus mandschurica - Manchurian Apricot, Prunus maritima - Beach Plum, Prunus maximowiczii - Miyama Cherry, Prunus media, Prunus mexicana - Mexican Plum, Prunus macrocarpa, Prunus mira - Smoothpit Peach, Prunus mume - Japanese Apricot, Prunus munsoniana - Wild Goose Plum, Prunus napaulensis, Prunus nigra - Canadian Plum, Prunus nipponica - Japanese Alpine Cherry, Prunus orthosepala, Prunus padus - Bird Cherry, Prunus pedunculata, Prunus pensylvanica - Pin Cherry, Prunus persica – Peach, Prunus persica nucipersica – Nectarine, Prunus pilosiuscula, Prunus prostrata - Mountain Cherry, Prunus pseudocerasus - Cambridge Cherry, Prunus pumila - Dwarf American Cherry, Prunus pumila susquehanae - Dwarf American Cherry, Prunus rivularis - Creek Plum, Prunus rufa - Himalayan Cherry, Prunus salicifolia - Capulin Cherry, Prunus salicina - Japanese Plum, Prunus sargentii, Prunus serotina - Rum Cherry, Prunus serrula - Birch Bark Cherry, Prunus serrulata – Yamazakura, Prunus sibirica - Siberian Apricot, Prunus simonii - Apricot Plum, Prunus Sogdiana, Prunus spinosa – Sloe, Prunus ssiori - Japanese Bird Cherry, Prunus subcordata - Pacific Plum, Prunus subhirtella - Rosebud Cherry, Prunus takesimensis, Prunus tangutica, Prunus tenella - Dwarf Russian Almond, Prunus tomentosa - Nanking Cherry, Prunus triloba - Flowering Almond Synonym:, Prunus triloba simplex - Flowering Almond, Prunus umbellata - Black Sloe, Prunus undulata, Prunus ursina, Prunus ussuriensis, Prunus virens - Wild Cherry, Prunus virginiana – Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana demissa - Western Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana melanocarpa - Rocky Mountain Chokecherry, Prunus x cistena - Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry, Prunus x dasycarpa - Black Apricot, Prunus x eminens, Prunus x fontanesiana, Prunus x gondouinii - Duke Cherry, Prunus x sultana, Prunus x utahensis, Prunus x yedoensis - Tokyo Cherry
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Although it would be wonderful to all that tasty fruit, I can honestly say that it is somewhat of a relief that we only have eight varieties of Prunus native to my region… I can’t imagine having to learn to identify them all! Native are: Prunus alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis (Allegheny Plum), Prunus americana (American Plum), Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw Plum), Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Laurelcherry), Prunus pensylvanica (Pin Cherry), Prunus serotina var. serotina (Black Cherry), Prunus umbellata (Hog Plum, Flatwoods Plum), Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (Chokecherry). Naturalized are: Prunus avium (Sweet Cherry), Prunus cerasus (Sour Cherry), Prunus glandulosa (Flowering Almond), Prunus mahaleb (Mahaleb Cherry), Prunus munsoniana (Wild Goose Plum), Prunus persica (Peach)
Among the Appalachian folks, wild Cherry bark is the most used of the Prunuses, as a medicinal herb. It is used for coughs, congestion and asthma. But, that is barely scratching the surface of these useful trees. I feel safe in saying that if you have access to any member of this family of trees, you will find an herbal use for it. So, let’s dig into the history of the Prunus, as best we can.
Dioscorides wrote of Almond Oil:
Amagdalinum oil or metopium is made as follows. Having picked and dried four quarts of bitter almonds beat them gently with a wooden pestle in a mortar until they are pulped. Pour on them one pint of hot water and let them absorb it for half an hour, from which time beat it strongly again. Then press it on a board, squeeze it out, and take that which sticks to your fingers into a spoon. Afterwards pour a half-pint of water into that which was squeezed out, and allow it to be absorbed, and repeat as before. Four quarts of seeds make one half-pint of oil. It is effective against womb pains,constriction, the womb turning around, and things that darken the same places, as well as headaches, ear problems, resonance, and tinnitus. It helps inflammation of the kidneys, illness meientes [urination], stones [urinary, kidney], asthma and splenitis. Furthermore it removes spots from the face, sunburn, and wrinkles on the skin mixed with honey, the root of lily and Cyprian rosewax. With wine it mends moisture of the pupils of the eye, and removes penetrative ulcers and dandruff.
The root of the bitter almond tree bruised and boiled takes away spots on the face caused by sunburn, as well as the almonds themselves, applied as a poultice. Applied to the forehead or temples with vinegar and rosaceum they drive out the menstrual flow and help headaches. They are good with wine for epinyctides [pustules which appear at night], rotten ulcers, and shingles [herpes], and with honey for dog bites. Almonds if eaten take away pains and soften the bowels, cause sleep and are diuretic. They are good for bloody vomit taken with amyl [starch] and mint. They are good for inflamed kidneys and pneumonia taken as a drink with water or as a linctus [syrup] with resina terminthos. Taken with passum [raisin wine] they help those troubled with painful urination and urinary stones. They help diseased livers, coughs, and inflation of the colon, the amount of a nut of the avellana [hazel] taken in a linctus [syrup] with milk and honey. They keep away drunkenness if five to seven of them are taken before indulging. It kills foxes when they eat it with something else. The gum of the tree is astringent and heats, and is taken in drink as a remedy for bloody vomit. Rubbed on with vinegar it takes away impetigo [skin infection] on the surface of the skin. Taken in a drink with diluted wine it cures old coughs, and it is good taken in a drink with passum [raisin wine] for those troubled with urinary stones. The sweet edible almond has a great deal less strength than the bitter, yet that also reduces symptoms and is diuretic. Green almonds eaten with their shells heal moistness of the stomach.
Of the Cherry or Sour Cherry, he wrote:
Cerasia that are eaten when fresh are good for the intestines, and dried they stop discharges of the bowels. The gum from cerasia heals an old cough taken with diluted wine. It causes a good colour, sharpness of sight and appetite. Taken in a drink with wine it is good for those troubled with kidney stones.
The fruit of persica are good for the stomach and for the intestines too if ripe, but the unripe are astringent in the intestines. Dried they are more astringent, and a decoction of them dried and taken stops a stomach and intestines troubled with excessive discharges.
Plum or Prune:
Coccymelia is a known tree whose fruit is edible and bad for the stomach, softening the bowels, especially fruit of those from Syria and those growing in Damascus. Dried, it is good for the stomach and therapeutic for the bowels. A decoction of the leaves (used or prepared in wine and gargled) stops the excessive discharge that falls on the uva [uvula], gingiva [gums] and tonsils. The fruit of wild plums dried when it is ripe does the same. Boiled with sapa [syruped new wine] it becomes better for the stomach and more astringent to the bowels. The gum of the plum tree closes open cuts and sores, and taken as a drink with wine breaks kidney stones. Rubbed on with vinegar it heals lichen [papular skin disease] on children
Chamaedaphne sends out single-branched rods a foot long — straight, thin and smooth; the leaves of this are similar to the [other] bay but much smoother, thinner and greener. The fruit is round and red, growing near to the leaves. The leaves of this (pounded into small pieces and smeared on) helps headaches and burning of the stomach. They cease griping, taken as a drink with wine. The juice (given to drink with wine) expels the menstrual flow and urine, and applied in a pessary it does the same. Some have called this alexandrina, daphnitis, or hydragogon, the Romans, laureola, some lactago, and the Gauls, ousubim.
Saint Hildegard von Bingen wrote of Almond:
The Almond Tree is very hot and has a bit of moisture in it. Its bark, leaves and sap are not much used in medicine, because all of its power is in the fruit. One whose brain is empty, and whose face has a bad color from a pain in the head, should frequently eat the inmost kernels of this fruit. They fill his brain and give him the correct color. Also, one who ails in his lungs, or whose liver is weak, should often eat of these kernels, either raw or cooked. They give strength to the lungs, since they in no way burden a person. Neither do they make a person dry, but render him strong.
Take the inmost kernels of this fruit, when raw, and pound them well. Dissolve bear fat in a small dish, and mix this with it, making an ungent. Use it often to anoint one whose body has bad ulcers, which are very like leprosy, but are not, and he will be cured.
One who has wretching pains in his belly, although not from worms, should often eat the kernels raw, and he will eb better. One who has worms in his belly should place the kernels in vinegar and often eat them on an empty stomach, and the worms will die.
One who has pains in his eyes, so that they are red from the pain and ulcerous, should take warm crumbs of rye bread and put the gum of a cherry tree ont hem. He should tie them with a band, so the gum is placed on the skin of the eyes. If he does this often, it will draw the drips from his eyes and he will be cured.
If some disease or bad humors fall upon one’s ears, so that he becomes deaf and his ears ring, he should take the forenamed gum and dissolve it in a small dish over the fire. He should pour it, thus warmed over crumbs of rye bread and place this in the openings of his ears at night. He should also cover his ears and temples with these crumbs smeared with the gum and tie a linen cloth over them. If he does this often, bad humors and ringing will be chased away, and he will be cured.
The medlar is very hot. It signifies sweetness. Its bark and leaves are not much good as medicine, because all of its strength is in its fruit. Nevertheless, a person who suffers from ague should, at the onset of this infirmity, pulverize its root and drink this powder in warm wine, before breakfast, with meals and at night. He should do this frequently and he will eb cured. The fruit of this tree is good and useful for healthy and sick people, however much they eat. It increases their flesh and cleanses their blood.
One who is in various illnesses, has any kind of spots on his body should take the inner bark of this tree before it fruit matures. He should pound the bark, express its sap, and add a little vinegar to it, and as much cooked honey as there is of the other two things. He should place this in a new clay jar, and frequently anoint his body where the bad spots are, until they are diminished.
When one’s breath stinks badly, he should take the fruits of the peach tree that are ripe. He should pound them, then take a handful of licorice, a bit of pepper and some honey, and cook these things in pure win, and so prepare a spiced wine. He should drink this often, with a meal and at night. It will make his breath fragrant and take rottenness away from his body and chest.
For one with worms in his stomach or belly, the root and leaves of betony should be pulverized. Add to this twice as much pulverized leaves of the peach tree, taken when it has just sent out flowers. Cook this in a new pot with good, pure wine. Drink it often, before breakfast and at night, and the worms will die.
Take also the raw, inmost kernels of the fruit and, having thrown away the shell, pound them to a milk and squeeze five spoonfuls through a cloth. Then pulverize three pennyweight of galingale, two of licorice, and half a pennyweight of spurge, and add this to the peach-kernel milk. Prepare a small cake of whole wheat flour and garden spurge, and dry it gently in the sun or a warm oven. Then mix this cake with a half pennyweight of the forenamed milk. Before sunrise, take spoonfuls of this – equal to the weight of two and a half pennies – after heating it on a fire. Then put yourself to bed for a short while. This checks the gicht and carries congestion away from your chest, and mucus away from your stomach. As a pleasant potion, it gently purges you. If you need to, take it twice a month, and on the day you take it, refrain from strong food, rye bread, peas and lentils. Eat soft foods and drink wine.
One who has pains in his chest, so that his throat is a bit constricted, either because some bad thing is growing on it or there is some bad vapor in it, with no ulcer or tumor, should take a paste of wheat flour and dissolve it in the gum of the peach tree. He should often place this, warm, over his throat for a little while, and he will eb better. If, however, there is pain in his throat from an ulcer or tumor, he should not place this on it, because it would be painful. If a person has glands on his neck that are contracted or more distinct than usual, and if there is no ulcer or tumor, he should place the same prepared paste on them. If the neck were ulcerated or tumescent, this paste would make it worse.
One who has pain in his head should take the wheat paste, dissolve it in the gum of the peach tree, and place it, warm, on the top of his head for some time, and he will be better.
For one whose eyes water, press gum from the peach tree, or from the shell of a walnut, and warm it a bit on a hot tile. Then place it around the eyes, until they grow warm. Do this once a day, every four days, lest in doing it too often the eyes are harmed. The gum of the peach tree has in it the first strength of the wood and draws to itself natural moisture.
If some worms are eating the flesh of a person, take the upper bark of that tree, down to the sap, and its leaves and pulverize them. Dry them in the sun or in a pot by the fire. Put this powder in the place where the worms are eating the person. When the worms begin to move from there, so that the person feels it, take vinegar mixed with a bit of honeyand pour it where the worms are, and they will die. When they have fallen from the wound, d ead, dip a linen cloth in wine and place it over the wounds. It will draw out the rotten matter, and the person will become well.
Also, make ashes from the bark of the leaves of this tree. From these ashes make lye, and if your head is either pockmarked or withered, wash it often with this lye. Your head will be cured and it will be beautiful, will produce much beautiful hair.
If someone through magic or by evil words is rendered insane, take the earth which is around the roots of this tree and warm it vigorously in the fire, until it burns a little bit. When it has burned a bit by the fire, place rue and a little less pennyroyal on it. Let it absorb their sap and odor. If you do nor have pennyroyal, place fresh fenugreek on it. If it is winter, place on it the seeds of these herbs, moderately warmed. After the person has eaten, place this, with the herbs, on his head, naked stomach, and naked sides, and tie it with a cloth. Put him in bed and cover him with clothing so that he might sweat a bit with that earth. Do this for three or five days, and he will be better. For when the ancient serpent hears magic and evil words, he takes them up and sets traps for the one for whom they were said, unless God stops him
Take the gum of this tree and, if someone’s lips swell up, or if he reports gicht springing up in them, heat this gum moderately and at night when he goes to bed tie it, with a cloth, on his lips where it hurts. Do this often and the pain will cease. One whose fingers and hands are always moving from the tremor of the gicht should tie this same gum, warmed, over his whole hand and the tremor will cease.
Whoever has a dry cough should take the inmost kernels of this fruit and, throwing away their covering, place them in wine. They should soak in the wine until they have swelled a bit. Then, he should eat them often and prepare a drink with good wine. He should consume this by sipping, and he will quickly be cured. Every id of plum tree has these powers in their bark and leaves, and the same nature in their fruit, except the trees which are larger and bring forth larger fruits with greater strength.
Gerard wrote of Almond:
A. Sweet almonds when they be dry be moderately hot; but the bitter ones are hot and dry in the second degree. There is in both of them a certain fat and oily substance, which is drawn out by pressing.
B. Sweet almonds being new gathered are pleasant to the taste, they yield some kind of nourishment, but the same gross and earthy, and grosser than those that be dry, and not as yet withered. These do likewise slowly descend, especially being eaten without their skins; for even as the husks or branny parts of corn do serve to drive down the gross excrements of the belly, so do likewise the skins or husks of the almonds: therefore those that be blanched do so slowly descend, as that they do withal bind the belly; whereupon they are given with good success to those that have the lask or the bloody flux.
C. There is drawn out of sweet almonds, with liquor added, a white juice like milk, which over and besides that it nourisheth, and is good for those that are troubled with the lask and bloody flux, it is profitable for those that have the pleurisy and spit up filthy matter, as Alexander Trallianus witnesseth: for there is likewise in the almonds an opening and concocting quality, with a certain cleansing faculty, by which they are medicinable to the chest and lungs, or lights, and serve for the raising up of phlegm and rotten humours.
D. Almonds taken before meat do stop the belly, and nourish but little; notwithstanding many excellent meats and medicines are therewith made for sundry griefs, yea very delicate and wholesome meats, as almond butter, cream of almonds, marchpane, and such like, which dry and stay the belly more than the extracted juice or milk; and they are also as good for the chest and lungs.
E. They do serve also to make the physical barley water, and barley cream, which are given in hot fevers, as also for other sick and feeble persons, for their further refreshing and nourishments.
F. The oil which is newly pressed out of the sweet almonds is a mitigator of pain and all manner of aches. It is given to those that have the pleurisy, being first let blood; but especially to those that are troubled with the stone of the kidneys; it slackens the passages of the urine, and maketh them glib or slippery, and more ready to suffer the stone to have free passage: it maketh the belly soluble, and therefore it is likewise used for the colic.
G. It is good for women that are newly delivered; for it quickly removeth the throes which remain after their delivery.
H. The oil of almonds makes smooth the hands and face of delicate persons, and cleanseth the skin from all spots, pimples, and lentils.
I. Bitter Almonds do make thin and open, they remove stoppings out of the liver and spleen, therefore they be good against pain in the sides: they make the body soluble, provoke urine, bring down the menses, help the strangury, and cleanse forth of the chest and lungs clammy humours: if they be mixed with some kind of lohoch or medicine to lick on: with starch they stay the spitting of blood.
L. And it is reported that five or six being taken fasting do keep a man from being drunk.
M. These also cleanse and take away spots and blemishes in the face, and in other parts of the body; they mundify and make clean foul eating ulcers.
N. With honey they are laid upon the biting of mad dogs; being applied to the temples with vinegar or oil of roses, they take away the headache, as Dioscorides writeth.
O. They are also good against the cough and shortness of wind.
P. They are likewise good for those that spit blood, if they be taken with the fine flour of Amylum.
Q. There is also pressed out of these an oil which provoketh urine, but especially if a few scorpions be drowned, and steeped therein.
R. With oil it it singular good for those that have the stone, and cannot easily make water: but with extremity of pain, if the share and place between the cods and fundament be anointed therewith.
S. Dioscorides saith, that the gum doth heat and bind, which qualities notwithstanding are not perceived in it.
T. It helpeth them that spit blood, not by a binding faculty, but through the clamminess of his substance, and that is by closing up of the passages and pores, and so may it also cure old coughs, and mitigate extreme pains that proceed of the stone, and especially take away the sharpness of urine, if it be drunk with bastard, or with any other sweet potion, as with the decoction of Liquorice, or of raisins of the sun. The same doth likewise kill tetters in the outward parts of the body (as Dioscorides addeth) if it be dissolved in vinegar.
A. The best and principal cherries be those that are somewhat sour: those little sweet ones which be wild and soonest ripe be the worst: they contain bad juice, they very soon putrefy, and do engender ill blood, by reason whereof they do not only breed worms in the belly, but troublesome agues, and often pestilent fevers: and therefore in well governed commonwealths it is carefully provided, that they should not be sold in the markets in the plague time.
B. Spanish cherries are like to these in faculties, but they do not so soon putrefy: they be likewise cold, and the juice they make is not good.
C. The Flanders or Kentish cherries that are thorough ripe, have a better juice, but watery, cold and moist: they quench thirst, they are good for an hot stomach, and profitable for those that have the ague: they easily descend and make the body soluble: they nourish nothing at all.
D. The late ripe cherries which the Frenchmen keep dried against winter, and are by them called Morelle, and we after the same name call them Morell cherries, are dry, and do somewhat bind; these being dried are pleasant to the taste, and wholesome for the stomach, like as prunes be, and do stop the belly.
E. Generally all the kinds of cherries are cold and moist of temperature, although some more cold and moist than others: the which being eaten before meat do soften the belly very gently, they are unwholesome either unto moist and rheumatic bodies, or for unhealthy and cold stomachs.
F. The common black cherries do strengthen the stomach, and are wholesomer than the red cherries, the which being dried do stop the lask.
G. The distilled water of cherries is good for those that are troubled with heat and inflammations in their stomachs, and prevaileth against the falling sickness given mixed with wine.
H. Many excellent Tarts and other pleasant meats are made with cherries, sugar, and other delicate spices, whereof to write were to small purpose.
I. The gum of the Cherry tree taken with wine and water, is reported to help the stone; it may do good by making the passages slippery, and by tempering & allaying the sharpness of the humours; and in this manner it is a remedy also for an old cough. Dioscorides addeth, that it maketh one well coloured, cleareth the sight, and causeth a good appetite to meat.
A. Peaches be cold and moist, and that in the second degree, they have a juice and also a substance, that doth easily putrefy, which yieldeth no nourishment, but bringeth hurt, especially if they be eaten after other meats; for then they cause the other meats to putrefy. But they are less hurtful if they be taken first; for by reason that they are moist and slippery, they easily and quickly descend; and by making the belly slippery, they cause other meats to slip down the sooner.
B. The kernels of the peaches be hot and dry, they open and cleanse; they are good for the stopB pings of the liver and spleen.
C. Peaches before they be ripe do stop the lask, but being ripe they loose the belly, and engender naughty humour, for they are soon corrupted in the stomach.
D. The leaves of the Peach tree do open the stopping of the liver, and do gently loosen the belly: and being applied plasterwise unto the navel of young children, they kill the worms, and drive them forth.
E. The same leaves boiled in milk, do kill the worms in children very speedily.
F. The same being dried, and cast upon green wounds, cure them.
G. The flowers of the Peach tree infused in warm water for the space of ten or twelve hours, and strained, and more flowers put to the said liquor to infuse after the same manner, and so iterated six or eight times, and strained again, then as much sugar as it will require added to the same liquor and boiled unto the consistence or thickness of a syrup, and two spoonfuls hereof taken, doth so singularly well purge the belly, that there is neither Rhubarb, Agaric, nor any other purger comparable unto it; for this purgeth down waterish humours mightily, and yet without grief or trouble, either to the stomach, or lower parts of the body.
H. The kernel within the peach stone stamped small, and boiled with vinegar until it be brought to the form of an ointment, is good to restore and bring again the hair of such as be troubled with the alopecia.
I. There is drawn forth of the kernels of peaches with Pennyroyal water, a juice like unto milk; which is good for those that have the apoplexy: if the same be oftentimes held in the mouth it draweth forth water and recovereth the speech.
K. The gum is of a mean temperature, but the substance thereof is tough and clammy, by reason whereof it dulleth the sharpness of thin humours: it serveth in a lohoch or licking medicine for those that be troubled with the cough, and have rotten lungs, and stoppeth the spitting and raising up of blood, and also stayeth other fluxes.
A. Plums that be ripe and new gathered from the tree, what sort soever they are of; do moisten and cool, and yield unto the body very little nourishment, and the same nothing good at all: for as Plums do very quickly rot, so is also the juice of them apt to putrefy in the body, and likewise to cause the meat to putrefy which is taken with them: only they are good for those that would keep their bodies soluble and cool; for by their moisture and slipperiness they do mollify the belly.
B. Dried plums, commonly called prunes, are wholesomer, and more pleasant to the stomach, they yield more nourishment, and better, and such as cannot easily putrefy. It is reported, saith Galen in his book Of the Faculties of Nourishments, that the best do grow in Damascus a city of Syria; and next to those, they that grow in Spain: but these do nothing at all bind, yet divers of the damask damson prunes very much; for damask damson prunes are more astringent, but they of Spain be sweeter. Dioscorides saith, that damask prunes dried do stay the belly; but Galen affirmth, in his books of the faculties of simple medicines, that they do manifestly loose the belly yet lesser than they that be brought out of Spain; being boiled with mead or honeyed water, which hath a good quantity of honey in it, they loose the belly very much (as the same author saith) although a man take them alone by themselves, and much more if the mead be supped after them. We most commend those of Hungary being long and sweet; yet more those of Moravia the chief and principal city in times past of the Province of the Marcomans: for these after they be dried, that the watery humour may be consumed away, be most pleasant to the taste, and do easily without any trouble so mollify the belly, as that in that respect they go beyond Cassia and Manna, as Thomas Iordanus affirmeth.
C. The leaves of the Plum tree are good against the swelling of the uvula, the throat, gums, & kernels under the throat and jaws; they stop the rheum and falling down of humours, if the decoction thereof be made in wine, and gargled in the mouth and throat.
D. The gum which cometh out of the Plum tree doth glue and fasten together, as Dioscorides saith.
E. Being drunk in wine it wasteth away the stone, and healeth lichens in infants and young children; if it be laid on with vinegar, it worketh the same effects that the gum of the Peach and Cherry tree doth.
F. The wild plums do stay and bind the belly, and so do the unripe plums of what sort soever, whiles they are sharp and sour, for then are they astringent.
G. The juice of sloes doth stop the belly, the lask and bloody flux, the inordinate course of women's terms, and all other issues of blood in man or woman, and may very well be used instead of Acatia, which is a thorny tree growing in Egypt, very hard to be gotten, and of a dear price, and therefore the better for wantons; albeit our plums of this country are equal unto it in virtues.
This article is an excerpt from The Medicinal Trees of the American South, An Herbalist's Guide: by Judson Carroll
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His other works include:
Medicinal Shrubs and Woody Vines of The American Southeast An Herbalist's Guide
Read about Medicinal Shrubs and Woody Vines of The American Southeast An Herbalist's Guide: https://southernappalachianherbs.blogspot.com/2022/06/medicinal-shrubs-and-woody-vines-of.html
Available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2T4Y5L6
Growing Your Survival Herb Garden for Preppers, Homesteaders and Everyone Else
Read About Growing Your Survival Herb Garden for Preppers, Homesteaders and Everyone Else: http://southernappalachianherbs.blogspot.com/2022/04/growing-your-survival-herb-garden-for.html
Available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09X4LYV9R
The Encyclopedia of Bitter Medicinal Herbs:
Available for purchase on Amazon:
Christian Medicine, History and Practice:
Available for purchase on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B09P7RNCTB
Herbal Medicine for Preppers, Homesteaders and Permaculture People
Also available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HMWXL25
Look Up: The Medicinal Trees of the American South, An Herbalist's Guide
The Herbs and Weeds of Fr. Johannes Künzle:
Author: Judson Carroll. Judson Carroll is an Herbalist from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
His weekly articles may be read at judsoncarroll.com
His weekly podcast may be heard at: www.spreaker.com/show/southern-appalachian-herbs
He offers free, weekly herb classes: https://rumble.com/c/c-618325
The information on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. Nothing on this site has been evaluated or approved by the FDA. I am not a doctor. The US government does not recognize the practice of herbal medicine and their is no governing body regulating herbalists. Therefore, I'm just a guy who studies herbs. I am not offering any advice. I won't even claim that anything I write is accurate or true! I can tell you what herbs have "traditionally been used for." I can tell you my own experience and if I believe an herb helped me. I cannot, nor would I tell you to do the same. If you use any herb I, or anyone else, mentions you are treating yourself. You take full responsibility for your health. Humans are individuals and no two are identical. What works for me may not work for you. You may have an allergy, sensitivity or underlying condition that no one else shares and you don't even know about. Be careful with your health. By continuing to read my blog you agree to be responsible for yourself, do your own research, make your own choices and not to blame me for anything, ever.
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