Dittany
Origanum dictamnus

Aeneas was the son of the goddess Aphrodite and a distant ancestor of Romylus and Romus, he fought in the Trojan war on the side of the Trojans. When he was wounded in battle by Achilles, Aphrodite transported him to Pergamon where the god-healer Apollo healed his wounds with the dittany of the Aegean.

 

Dicttany was the herb of Eilithia, goddess of childbirth,.

Thus, Hippocrates in his book "Surgical Gynecology - Obstetrics" calls the plant "oxytocin" that facilitates childbirth.

 

Over time, the goddess Artemis took the place of Eileithia and is often presented wearing a wreath of dittany.

Thus, in antiquity we come across the dittany as "artemision”, giving the plant the name of the hunting goddess with the poisoned arrows.

 

Dioscuridis also used it to facilitate childbirth, but also for causing abortion, in case of problematic bail, to expel the dead fetus, and to heal traumas from war weapons. He mentions a kind of wine flavored with dittany as a wound healer.

 

Other writers of antiquity refer to the plant's ability to heal wounds, and Aristotle writes in "About Animal Stories": "when Cretan wild goats, injured by a hunter, chew on dittany and thus expel the arrow from their bodies.

 

Galenus writes that the Crateus, a physician of the Persian King Mithridates and author of the first botanical, prepared the "Mithridate fungus" or “the beast" as an antidote to poison, from 54 simple herbs, one of which was dittany. The formula was developed by Andromachos, the eldest, in the 1st century, at the behest of Nero and named "serenity" because of its healing properties and was in circulation and widespread use until the 18th century, with continuous modifications. Since the 16th century, it has been formally manufactured annually by the European Society of Pharmacists.

 

The Byzantines were importing large quantities of dittany from the Aegean islands and Crete for the preparation of therapeutic ointments.

The Cretans used it as a haemostatic and healing pestilence, so it is known by the name "stamato grass" and they still use dittany in decoction, along with raki and honey, as a panacea for almost all diseases.

In the 1918 influenza epidemic in Heraklion, according to folklore Evangelia Frangakis, there was a laboratory that produced the anti-influenza "oil", that is, essential oil of dittany, oregano, sage, and laurel.

 

It is one of the constituents of a tonic and anti-diarrhea preparation called Diascordium which the famous botanist Nicholas Culpeper wrote in 1654 that it is an authentic recipe of Diascourides. Diascordium was one of the most popular formulations in Europe for three centuries.

 

In the Middle Ages, Benedictine monks used dittany in the recipe of the famous Benedictine liqueur that is still popular today as an appetizer and digestive.

The historic Italian distillery Martini & Rossi uses dicatum to make its famous vermouth.

It was one of the components of the "Flying Ointment" used by witches in their ceremonies.

 

J.K Rowling, Harry Potter’s author, tells that the witch-therapist Phyllida Spore writes: ”Dittany is a powerful healing and restorative herb and may be eaten raw to cure shallow wounds."

 

The Cretans, call it “erondas”, that means love.

His beneficial properties are mentioned by Dioscurides, Galen, Plutarch, Euripides, Aristotle, Theophrastus and others.

It is believed to be effective in kidney, intestinal and poisoning diseases, which has been confirmed by modern researchers and has recently been confirmed to have an action against stomach ulcers.

 

Because of its antioxidant activity, its extract is used by the food industry as a preservative.

 

The bibliography reports it as digestive, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiemorrhagic, healing, menstrual and effective against intestinal parasites, spasmolytic, soothing stomach aches and nerve stimulation, and antiepileptic.

 

Dictamus has antiseptic, tonic and anticonvulsant action, fights amoebas, heals wounds, soothes digestive, and has beneficial effects against influenza and colds.

 

Helps prevent and treat cardiological and circulatory problems, is anti-diabetic, menstrual and aphrodisiac. relieves headaches, and stomach disorders, toothaches and abscesses.

 

It fights against bad breath and helps in the treatment of gingivitis, digestion and soothes stomach aches.

Its decoction is diuretic

As a menstrual aid it helps in cases of amenorrhea, which comes from depletion of the body.

 

It is recommended for nervous disorders, nervous headaches and other diseases of the nervous system due to its soothing properties.

Its leaves act as haemostatic and healing agents.

The hot bath with dicotyledon leaves is said to be calming, stimulating, and to enhance erotic mood.

 

It is advised not to use it daily as it may cause toxic side effects. While facilitates childbirth, it has also been used as an abortionist since it is believed to cause abortion when consumed by pregnant women.

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