In France, S. nodosa is known as herbe du siege since the tubers were eaten by starving troops of during the siege of La Rochelle(1627-8). Scrophularia was an early remedy for scrofula,(tuberculosis of the neck). It was believed the disease could be cured by the touch of the king, and was called "Kings Evil". 3
Some Latin authors call it Cervicaria, because it is appropriated to the neck; and we Throat-wort, because it is appropriated to the throat. Venus owns the herb, and the Celestial Bull will not deny it; therefore a better remedy cannot be for the king's evil, because the Moon that rules the disease, is exalted there. The decoction of the herb taken inwardly, and the bruised herb applied outwardly, dissolves clotted and congealed blood within the body, coming by any wounds, bruise or fall; and is no less effectual for the king's evil, or any other knobs, kernel, bunches, or wens growing in the flesh wheresoever; and for the hæmorrhoids, or piles. An ointment made hereof may be used at all times when the fresh herb is not to be had. The distilled water of the whole plant, roots and all, is used for the same purposes, and dries up the superfluous, virulent moisture of hollow and corroding ulcers; it takes away all redness, spots, and freckles in the face, as also the scurf, and any foul deformity therein, and the leprosy likewise.
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653