Healing peony - between science and superstition
Do peonies help with diseases caused by the moon? And why are their roots only dug up at night? We provide answers and much more.
Peony has been associated with healing properties long ago. This led to much superstition. For example, the ancient Greeks believed that peonies could cure diseases caused by the influence of the moon. But also, much later, in the 16th century, strange things started to spread. According to the botanist and physician Otto von Brunfels, there were certain rules for peony roots.
Anyone who wanted to dig it up had to do so at night, because during the day there was the danger of a woodpecker poking out your eyes. But there were also other superstitious customs. For example, when you had dental problems, you wore chains made of peony seeds around your neck. Also, the smoke from the seeds was used to heal «possessed persons». After all, peonies are still grown in China today to obtain Mu Dan Pi, an important substance in Chinese medicine.
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