Blackwell's Herbal - Garden Cucumber and White Lily, Plates 4 and 11
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was used for 'the stone, strangury [painful urination], heat
of urine, burning fevers, and plurisies'. Dioscorides, who wrote
the first herbal in the first century AD, claims that 'the fruit
clears decayed spirits'. He also recommends the leaves, 'boiled
with wine and mixed with honey as a cure for the bite of a dog'.
Blackwell lists among the uses of the white lily: dissolving hard tumours
and swellings; and breaking abscesses. The medicinal substance is an
oil made from the flowers and roots. Blackwell notes that one herbalist,
Matthiolus, recommends 'the oil, made of the flowers, as good for all
pains of the joints and contracted nerves'.