Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Remove those moral blemishes

In our gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, we inherited a mystery plant growing out of the wall next to the French Doors. On investigation it turns out to be quite magical...

Corydalis lutea is otherwise known as Yellow Fumitory. No-one is quite certain of the origin of its common name, but according to ancient exorcists, "when the plant is burned its smoke has the power of expelling evil spirits, it having been used for this purpose in the famous geometrical gardens of St. Gall". There is a legend that the plant was produced, not from seed, but from vapours arising out of the earth.

Sometimes the dried leaves are smoked in the manner of tobacco, for disorders of the head: "It is a most singular thing against hypochondriack melancholy in any person whatsoever."

"Taken with good Venice Treacle, it is good against Plague, driving forth the Malignity by sweat. The Spirituous Tincture is good against Plague, Fevers, Colic, and Griping of the Guts, whether in Young or Old."

Dr. Cullen, among its good effects in cutaneous disorders, mentions the following:
"There is a disorder of the skin, which, though not attended with any alarming symptoms of danger to the life of the patient, is thought to place the empire of beauty in great jeopardy; the complaint is frequently brought on by neglecting to use a parasol, and may be known by sandy spots, vulgarly known as freckles, scattered over the face.

"Now, be it known to all whom it may concern, that the infusion of the leaves of the above described plant is said to be an excellent specific for removing these freckles and clearing the skin; and ought, we think, to be chiefly employed by those who have previously removed those moral blemishes which deform the mind, or degrade the dignity of a reasonable and an immortal being."
I'll keep the freckles, thanks...


  1. How interesting - we get lots of that round here. There's no chance of vapours with this rain. Getting the vapours with boredom perhaps...

  2. I'm rather enjoying the moral blemishes myself... Jx


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