On the herb that the Indians from the province and language of Cueva, on the Mainland, call perorica, or wormroot, and on its properties and effects; the province is in the jurisdiction of Castilla del Oro.

Translated by Frederick Anderson ‘19

The herb perorica,[1] found on the Mainland, in the governance of Castilla de Oro, in the Province and language of Cueva, is a very excellent herb used by many. It is quite green, and its main stem is so tall as to exceed the stature of a fully-grown man, and from there downwards there may be a smaller stem. Its leaves are very wide and long, like the length of a palm, and exceedingly pointed and its offspring robust. It is a medicinal herb. Its smell is almost like that of lemon balm, and its leaves are thinner than those of ivy. The Indians of the Mainland use this herb frequently. When they have sores on their legs they take perorica leaves and heat them in order to cleanse and dry them, and they put it on the sore, and every so often, two or three times a day, they remove and replace the leaves and the sores heal quickly.[2] Item: if the legs or the arms hurt they put these leaves on whatever spot aches and heal themselves with them. Item: it provides an incredibly healthy bath, boiling these leaves and washing the legs with them, the water drives a person’s tiredness and distress away. Stemming alongside the leaves are white and green shoots, whitish and rounded, with a ribbed texture, and they shoot out about the length of a finger and are thinner than the stalks of the leaves that sprout near them. The Indians treasure and rely on this herb for the treatment of their ailments, and the Christians do not esteem it any less, although it is abundant and found everywhere. In other places it is sought by those familiar with it, because apart from being such a beneficial medication for the treatment of sores in men and other illnesses, it also kills the worms that infect pigs when they have a wound or injury. Wherever they find a pig with worms they take this herb and mash it, and thus mashed with its juices they place it on whatever spot the worms have infested, and in short order it kills them and they fall out or come out of the infected wound on their own.

This I have seen myself in the manner I have described it in the city of Nombre de Dios, which is where I first saw that herb; but it grows in many parts of the Mainland. Some call it the worm herb because it has that lethal effect on them and cleans wounds infested with them. And because it cannot be found everywhere, they make a powder of the leaves or the roots, and use them in the same way, although the fresh herb is more effective.

[1] Lamiaceae. [EE]

[2] See Appendix 2 for illustration listed as Illus. 4, figure 7 in AR edition. [EE]