Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Here's a last peek at the Sassafras trees before the leaves start dropping. Below are a few snippets from Pharmacographia, A History of the Principal Drugs of Vegetable Origin.

"Monardes relates that the French during their expedition to Florida, about the year 1562, cured their sick with the wood and root of a tree called Sassafras, the use of which they had learnt from the Indians. Laudonnière, who diligently set forth the wonders of Florida, observes that among forest trees, the most remarkable for its timber and especially for its fragrant bark, is that called by the savages Pavame, and by the French Sassafras."

"In 1610, a paper of instructions from the Government of England to that of the new colony of Virginia, mentions among commodities to be sent home, " Small Sassafras Rootes," which are " to be drawen in the winter and dryed and none to be medled with in the somer;—and yet is worthe £50 and better per tonne." The shipments were afterwards much overdone, for in 1622, complaint is made that other things than tobacco and sassafras were neglected to be shipped."

"The sassafras tree had been introduced into England in the time of Gerarde (circa 1597), who speaks of a specimen growing at Bow. At that period, the wood and bark of the root were used chiefly in the treatment of ague."

Fluckiger, Freidrich H. ;Hanbury, Daniel. Pharmacographia. London, 1873. 483. Web. Google Book Search. 27 Oct 2009.

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