Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Amulet, a charm - usually an inscribed stone or piece of metal - worn on the person as a protection against witchcraft or disease. Amulets are probably of Oriental origin, and are common in the East to the present day. In England in the seventeenth century the name was given to any object worn or carried for the prevention or cure of sickness. Burton says that "they are not altogether to be rejected. Peony doth cure epilepsy; precious stones, most diseases; a wolf's dung borne with one helps the colic; a spider, an ague," though he is of opinion that "medicines which consist of words, characters, spells, and charms, can do no good at all, but out of a strong conceit, or devil's policy, who is the first founder and teacher of them." The carrying a cramp-bone in the pocket is a familiar example of the use of the amulet.