Remedies for healing
(lat. Polygonum persicaria L.)
Persicaria, also called peach-leaved knotweed or flea-knotweed, blooms from June to September and is collected from May onwards. The plant prefers moist meadows, swampy areas, forest lightings as well as the shores of brooks and ponds. The generic name comes from the Greek polys = much, and gonis = nodes, which points to the many-knotted stalks. Persicaria hints at the active substance persicarin, which has a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Paracelsus saw in the rusty or black spots a reference to the blood-stilling effect and a relating to the liver. Persicaria is used in rheumatic complaints, in internal and external bleedings, ulcers, hemorrhoids, injuries, internal heat of stomach and liver, renal colics, and inflammations of the mouth and throat mucosa.
“The fresh leaves when little crushed are a good and healing first-aid bandage for bloody injuries. The powder from the dried leaves is spread on badly healing wounds and abscesses. In addition, the dried herb was used to clean the flea-infested dwellings. The leaves bear small dots reminiscent of flea stings. Until recent times, disinfection of room and stables with the dried herb was common. The plant powder was generously sprinkled, and then swept with the vermin. “(Hirsch & Grünberger, p. 41)
Paracelsus writes: “So you should know that Persicaria is a herb for open damages on humans and cattle … What is open or close to breaking up, that is driven away by Persicaria. In the case of horses pressed from the saddle, it heals the wounds … So it is with humans, if such swellings arise, or something breaks in the hands or feet through work, or in places where a craft can cause damage, or with people who are sick and damaged by continuously lying in bed, and in such other open damages on the legs and arms, this herb is their medicine.” (Paracelsus III, 502f)
Persicaria is also a special narcotic. It cures all the great heats that burn to death and makes you healthy. Thus, it is with all cases of headache, mania (Greek mania = frenzy), phrenesis (old name for mental disorder), or the like, or when the body is so strongly inflammated from a disease that nothing helps anymore, Persicaria is the last and best deletion when taken internally. The custom of the ancients was to take away the biting sharpness from her. (Paracelsus III, 505)