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Of Wormwood

Entry "Of Wormwode," from William Turner's A New Herball
William Turner
Steven Mierdman
Early Modern English
History of Medicine Collection Eskind Biomedical Library

“Of wormwode” illustrates the sort of information William Turner typically included in his entries. He begins by giving the names for wormwood in Greek, English, Dutch, and French and provides etymologies for the Greek and English words. Of the three types of wormwood he names: “ponticum, marinum, and santonicum,” this page only discusses “ponticum absinthinumor “Roman Wormwood,” which, Turner asserts, is not native to England. However, he notes that wormwood grows in “[his] Lordes’” (Turner’s patron, the Duke of Somerset’s) garden at Syon in London, but only because Turner brought the plant with him from Germany. Turner also cites Galen’s (the great Greek physician and medical author) “Methodus Medendi” to substantiate this claim, illustrating the influence that ancient sources maintained into the early modern period.