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Torture of a Witch (Anne Hendricks) Amsterdam in 1571
Print by jan Luyken (seventeenth century)

Known by numerous names, "The Women's Holocaust", "The Burning Times", "The Great Witch Hunt", this sad chapter in Western History is only now beginning to get the full attention it deserves.

No one really knows how many women healers (a.k.a. witches) were tortured and executed during the 14th and 17th centuries. However, what is known is that a great deal of herbal knowledge was executed with them. This perhaps explains why much of our medical knowledge (especially about medical marihuana) was lost during the dark ages.

Maybe this in part helps to explain why the West fell so far behind so many other civilizations (Hindus, Mohammedans, the Chinese etc.) in medical knowledge.

The following is taken direction from the book "Culperer's Complete Herbal" (1824) serves to show, just how far behind the West had fallen.

THIS is so well known to every good housewife in the country, that I shall not need to write any description of it.
Time.] It is sown in the very end of March, or beginning of April, and is ripe in August or September.
Government and virtues.] It is a plant of Saturn, and good for something else, you see, than to make halters only. The seed of Hemp consumes wind, and by too much use therof disperses it so much that it dries up the natural seed for procreation; yet, being boiled in milk and taken, helps such as have a hot dry cough. The Dutch make an emulsion out of the seed, and give it with good success to those that have the jaundice, especially in the beginning of the disease, if there be no ague accomplanying it, for it opens obstructions of the gall, and causes digestion of choler. The emulsion or decoction of the seed stays lasks and continual fluxes, eases the cholic, and allays the troublesome humours in the bowels, and stays bleeding at the mouth, nose, or other places, some of the leaves being fried with the blood of them that bleed, and so given them to eat. It is held very good to kill the worms in men or beasts; and the juice dropped into the ears kills worms in them; and draws forth earwigs, or other living creatures gotten into them. The decoction of the root allays inflammations of the head, or any other parts; the herb itself, or the distilled water thereof doth the like. The decoction of the root eases the pains of the gout, the hard humours of knots in the joints, the pains and shrinking of the sinews, and the pains of the hips. The fresh juice mixed with a little oil and butter, is good for any place that hath been burnt with fire, being thereto applied.--Pg. 91

It is a wonder to many how such an useful medical plant could have been so neglected for such a long time. Where are its uses as a pain killer, as an anti-spasmodic and all so many other of its useful uses. It would not be until Dr. O'Shaughnessy published his findings (which he obtained mostly from the Mohammedans and Hindus) in 1938 (just 15 years after the above publication) that the West would rediscovered Medical Cannabis.

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