From Nap to Nip
wormwood doesn't necessarily agree with her. Gatti is quite taken with the catnip though. (Gatti: "OMG! My whiskers have fallen down a plot hole!")
Nicholas Culpeper insisted that wormwood was the key to understanding his 1651 book The English Physitian. Richard Mabey describes Culpeper's entry on this bitter-tasting plant as "stream-of-consciousness" and "unlike anything else in the herbal", and states that it reads "like the ramblings of a drunk". Culpeper biographer Benjamin Woolley suggests the piece may be an allegory about bitterness, as Culpeper had spent his life fighting the Establishment, and had been imprisoned and seriously wounded in battle as a result.William Shakespeare referred to Wormwood in his famous play Romeo and Juliet: Act 1, Scene 3. Juliet's childhood nurse said, "For I had then laid wormwood to my dug" meaning that the nurse had weaned Juliet, then aged three, by using the bitter taste of Wormwood on her nipple.
John Locke, in his 1689 book titled An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, used wormwood as an example of bitterness, writing that "For a child knows as certainly before it can speak the difference between the ideas of sweet and bitter (i.e. that sweet is not bitter), as it knows afterwards (when it comes to speak) that wormwood and sugarplums are not the same thing."Artemisia absinthium is traditionally used medicinally in Europe, and is believed to stimulate the appetite and relieve indigestion.The Bible, in the Revelation, also states of Wormwood being a star that plummets to Earth and carries with it bitterness that poisons a third of all of the earth's waters on The Day of the Lord.
|Wormwood, PD via flickr|
By Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm) - Fig. from book Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen at http://www.biolib.de, Public Domain, Link
And here's a little book with some catnip in it: