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Of Great Saint John’s Wort 

William Turner
Steven Mierdman
Early Modern English
History of Medicine Collection Eskind Biomedical Library

The centrality of the illustration in Turner’s entry on Saint John’s Wort attests to the herb’s potency and wide usage; situating the image so prominently would allow the reader to more easily identify the plant when one came upon it. It would seem that Turner indeed hoped that the plant would be easily identified, as he describes the herb in great detail. Found throughout Europe and discussed by Galen, Paul of Aegina, and Dioscorides, Turner wrote that Saint John’s Wort could purge one of choleric humors (a nod to Hippocrates’s humorism) if taken continually with water and honey and was “also good against burnyinge.”