Skip to main content

Full text of "The family herbal. Or, An account of all those English plants, which are remarkable for their virtues, and of the drugs which are produced by vegetables of other countries; with their descriptions and their uses, as proved by experience"

See other formats



t 







■ 


* , 







Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2017 with funding from 
Wellcome Library 




https://archive.org/details/b2930796x 


'EL if 



i< /. '// m tj/j/. 

y 


z 


/ /errs/ f/// 


/ /// / r /.J (s 




y 


THE 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


OB AN ACCOUNT OF ALL THOSE 

ENGLISH PLANTS, 

WHICH ARE 

REMARKABLE FOR THEIR VIRTUES, 

AND OF THE DRUGS 

WHICH ARE PRODUCED BY 

Vegetables of other Countries : 

O _ ^ * 

WITH THEIR 

DESCRIPTIONS AND THEIR USES, 


AS PRGYED BY EXPERIENCE. 


ALSO 


Directions for the'gathering and 
preserving roots, herbs, flowers, and 
seeds ; the various methods of pre- 
serving these simples for present 


use ; receipts for making distilled 
waters, conserves, syrups, electua- 
ries, juleps, draughts, &c. &c. with 
necessary cautions in giving them. 


ZNTENDED FOE THE USE OF FAMILIES . 




BY SIR JOHN HILL, M. D. 


F. m A. OF SCIENCES AT BOURDE.IUX. 



EMBELLISHED WITH 

FIFTY-FOUR COLOURED PLATES. 

BUNGAY : 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY C, BRIGHTLY AND C® 
PUBLISHED ALSO BY T 0 K£XNERS£KY« l ' 

1812 a 


/ 




\ 


\ 



/ 







I 


V 


:• 




f 



J, 





• j 


I 



< 


PREFACE. 



M ANY books have been written upon the ^sarae 
subject with this, but if one of them had treated 
it in the same manner, this would have been rendered 
unnecessary, and would never have employed the at- 
tention of its author. 

It is his opinion, that the true end of science is 
use ; and in this view, the present work has been 
undertaken. It appears to him a matter of more 
consequence, and a subjection of more satisfaction, 
to have discovered the virtues of one herb unknown 
before, than to have disposed into their proper 
classes sixteen thousand ; nay, so far will a sense 
of utility get the better of the pride of mere 
curiosity, that he should suppose this a thing 
preferable tOv be said of him, to the having dis- 
covered some unknown species ; to having picked 
from the bottom of some pond an undescribed con- 
ferva ; or to having fetched, from the most remote 
parts of the world, a kind of tree moss, with heads 
larger than those at home. 

-It grieves a man of public spirit and humanity, 
to see those things which are the means alone of 
the advantages of mankind studied, while in the end 
that advantage itself is forgotten. And in this 
view he will regard a Culpepper as a more 
respectable person than a Linnjsus or a Dille- 


xius. 


That Botany is an useful study is plain ; be* 

a 2 


IV. 


PREFACE. 


cause it is in vain that we know betony is good 
for head-achs, or self-heal for wounds, unless we 
can distinguish betony and self-heal from one 
another, and so it rims through the whole study. 
We are taught by it to know what plants belong 
to what names, and to know that very distinctly ; 
and we shall be prevented by that knowledge from 
giving a purge for an astringent, a poison for a 
remedy ; let us therefore esteem the study of 
botany, but let us know, that this use of the dis- 
tinctions it gives is the true end of it ; and let us 
respect those, who employ their lives in establish- 
ing those distinctions upon the most certain foun- 
dation, upon making them the most accurately, 
and carrying them the farthest “possible : these 
are the botanists ; but with all the gratitude we 
owe them for their labours, and all the respect 
we shew them on that consideration, let us under- 
stand them as but the seconds in this science. The 
principal are those who know how to bring their 
discoveries to use, and can say what are the ends 
that will be answered by those plants, which they 
have so accurately distinguished. The boy col- 
lects the specimens of herbs with great care, 
and bestows ten years in pasting them upon pa- 
per, and writing their names to them : he does 
well. When he grows a man, he neglects his 
useful labours ; and perhaps despises himself for 
the misemployment of so much time : but if he 
has, to the knowledge of their forms, added after- 
ward the study of their virtues, he will be far from 
censuring himself for all the pains he took to that 
«nd. 

He who wishes well to science and to man^ 
kind, must wish this matter understood : and this 
is the way to bring a part of knowledge into cre- 
dit, which, as it is commonly practised, is not q 


PREFACE. ▼ 

jot above the studies of a raiser of tulips or a carnation 
fancier. 

When we consider the study of plants, as the 
search of remedies for diseases, we see it in the 
light of one of the most honourable sciences in 
the world : in this view, no pains are too great 
to have been bestowed in its acquirement ; and 
in this intent, the principal regard ought to be 
had to those of our own growth. The foreign 
plants brought into our stoves with so much ex- 
pense, and kept there with so much pains, may 
fill the eye with empty wonder : but it would 
be more to the honour of the possessor of them, 
to have found out the use of one common herb 
at home, than to have enriched our country with 
an hundred of the others. Nay, in the eye of rea- 
son, this ostentatious study is rather a reproach. 
Why should he, who has not yet informed himself 
thoroughly of the nature of the meanest herb 
which grows in the next ditch, ransack the earth 
for foreign wonders ? Does he not fall under the 
same reproach with the generality of those, who 
travel for their improvement, while they are igno- 
rant of all they left at home ; and who are ridiculous 
in their inquiries concerning the laws and govern- 
ment of other countries, while they are not able to 
give a satisfactory answer to any question which re- 
gards their own ? 

I have said thus much to obviate the censures 
of those, to whom an inquiry into the virtues of 
herbs may seem the province of a woman. It is 
an honour to the sex that they have put our 
studies to use ; but it would be well, if we had 
done so ourselves ; or if, considering that they might, 
we had made our writings more intelligible to 
them. 

The intent of words is to express our meaning : 


PREFACE.. 


vi. 

writings arc published that they may be under- 
stood ; and in this branch, I shall always suppose 
he writes best, who is to be understood most uni- 
versally. Now so far are we from having had this 
point in view in botany, that more new and more 
strange words have been introduced into it, than 
into all the sciences together . and so remarkable 
h the Swede before mentioned, Linnaeus, for this, 
that a good scholar, nay the best scholar in the 
world, shall not be able to undei’stand three lines 
together in his best writings, although they are 
written in htin, a language in which he is ever so 
familiar. The author has not been at the pains to 
explain his new words himself, but refers his reader 
to nature ; he bids him seek them in the {lowers, 
where he found them. 

W e see, that the most curious botanists have not 
concerned themselves about the virtues of plants at 
all ; that many of the others who have written 
well on plants, have thought it no part of their 
subject ; let us examine the others ; those who 
are of less repute. If we look into the English 
Herbals in particular, we find them large upon 
that subject ; indeed they are too large by much. 
They say so many things, that we know not which 
of them to credit ; and therefore in the uncertainty, 
we credit none of them. There is not the most 
trifling herb, which they do not make a remedy for 
almost all diseases. We may therefore as well take 
one plant for any case as another ; and the whole of 
their labours amount to this, that the English herbs 

are full of virtues, but that they know not what they 
are. 

\\ hen knowledge is perplexed with unintelligi- 
ble terms, and the memory of the student con- 
iounded with a multiplicity of names i when the 
igtnoiant only, who have written concerning plants. 


PREFACE. viL 

have given themselves any trouble about their 
virtues ; when physic is becoming entirely chy mi- 
cab and a thousand lives are thrown away daily by 
these medicines, which might be saved by a better 
practice ; it appeared a useful undertaking, to sepa- 
rate the necessary from the frivolous knowledge ; and 
to lay before those who are inclined to do good to 
their distressed fellow-creatures, all that it is neces- 
sary for them to know of botany for that purpose, 
and that in the most familiar manner ; and to add 
to this, what experience has confirmed of the many 
things written by others concerning their virtues. 
This is the intent of the following work. 

The plants are arranged according to the English 
alphabet, that the English reader may know where 
to find them : they are called by one name only in 
English, and one in Latin ; and these are their 
most familiar names in those languages ; no matter 
what Caspar, or John Bau chine, or Linnaeus 
call them, they are here set down by those names 
by which everyone speaks of them in English ; and 
the Latin name is added, under which they will be 
found in every dictionary. To this is subjoined a 
general description of the plant, if it be a common 
one, in a line or two ; that those who already know 
it, may turn at once to the uses ; and for such as do 
not, a farther and more particular account is added. 
Last come the virtues, as they are confirmed by prac- 
tice : and all this is delivered in such words as are 
common, and to be understood by all. 

Every thing that is superfluous is omitted, that 
the useful part may remain upon the memory : 
and to all this is prefixed, in a large introduc- 
tion, whatsoever can be necessary to complete the 
good intentions of the charitable in this way. There 
are rules for gathering and preserving herbs, and 
their several parts, directions for making such pre- 


PREFACE. 


o • «r 

VllL 

paraiions from them, as can conveniently be pre- 
pared in families, and general admonitions and 
cautions in their respective uses. 

If I could have thought of any thing farther, that 
could tend to the making the book more useful, I 
should have added it ; as ft is, the candid reader is 
desired to accept it, as written with a real view to be 
of service to mankind. 



'JPXi-'d 



II. 


INTRODUCTION, 


bad for gathering, will answer the same pur- 
pose. 

However, as there are cases, in which more help 
may be had from drugs brought from abroad than 
from any thing we can procure at home, an account 
of those roots, barks, seeds, gums, and other veget- 
able productions, kept by the druggists and apothe- 
caries, is also added ; and of the several trees and 
plants from which they are obtained ; together with 
their virtues 

This worst, therefore, will tend to instruct those 
charitable ladips who may he desirous of giving 
this great relief to the afflicted poor in their neigh- 
bourhood, and to remind apothecaries of what 
they had before studied : hut the first mentioned 
purpose is by much the most useful, and the most 
considerable, and for this reason the greatest regard 
is paid to it. 

The plants are disposed in the alphabet, ac- 
cording to their English names, that they may be 
turned to the more readily ; and an account is 
given, in two or three lines, of their general as- 
pect and place of growth, that those who in part 
know them already, may understand them at once : 
if they are not perfectly known from this, a more 
particular description is added, by observing which, 
they cannot be mistaken or confounded with any 
others ; and after this follow, not only their virtues, 
as others are content to set them down, hut the part 
of each plant which contains them in most perfection 
is named, and the manner in which they may best be 
given. 

With regard to the virtues of plants, it has been 
the custom to attribute too many to most of them : 
so much is said more than the truth on these oc- 
casions, that those who would be informed, know 


V 


INTRODUCTION. 


not what they should believe. This is more cau- 
tiously regulated here. The real virtues alone 
are set down, as they are assured by experience ; 
and the principal of these are always set in the 
most conspicuous light. Perhaps it may be allow- 
ed the author, to speak with more ass urance than 
others of these things, because he has been accus- 
tomed to the practice of physic in that way. Very 
few things are named here that he has not seen tri- 
ed ; and if some are set down, which other wri- 
ters have not named, and some, of which they have 
said most, are slightly mentioned, it is owing to 
the same experience which has added to the cata- 
logue in some things, and has found it too great for 
truth in others. 

Nature has, in this country, and doubtless also 
in ail others, provided, in the herbs of its own 
growth, the remedies for the several diseases to 
which it is most subject ; and although the addi- 
tion of what is brought from abroad, should not 
be supposed superfluous, there is no occasion that 
it should make the other neglected. This has 
been the consequence of the great respect shewn 
to the others ; and besides this, the present use of 
chemical preparations has almost driven the whole of 
galenical medicine out of our minds. 

To restore this more safe, more gentle, and 
often more efficacious part of medicine to its na- 
tural credit, has been one great intent in the wri- 
ting this treatise ; and it is the more necessary for 
the service of those, who are intended most to 
be directed in this matter, since this is mu eh less 
dangerous than the other : nay, it is hard to 
say, that this is dangerous at all, in most in- 
stances. 

The apothecaries are apt, in their unfeeling 



INTRODUCTION. 


iv. 

ladies who give medicines to their sick neigh- 
bours, for a great deal of their business ; for out 
of little disorders they make great ones. This 
may be the case where their shops supply the 
means ; for chemical medicines, and some of the 
drugs brought from abroad, are not to be trusted 
with those who have not great experience ; but 
there will be no danger of this kind, when the 
fields are the supply. This is the medicine of na- 
ture, and as it is more efficacious in most cases ; 
it is more safe in all. If opium may be danger- 
ous in an unexperienced hand, the lady who will 
give in its place a syrup of the wild lettuce, 
(a plant not known in common practice at this 
time, but recommended from experience in this 
treatise,) will find that it will ease pain, and that 
it will cause sleep, in the manner of that foreign drug', 
but she will never find any ill consequences from 
it : and the same might be said in many other in- 
stances. 

As the descriptions in this work, very readily 
distinguish what are the real plants that should be 
used, the great care will remain, in what man- 
ner to gather and preserve, and in what man- 
ner to give them ; it will be useful to add a chap- 
ter or two on those heads. As to the former, I 
would have it perfectly understood, because a great 
deal depends upon it ;; the latter cannot easily be mis- 
taken. 

Having displaced the drugs brought from 
abroad in a great measure from this charitable 
practice, I would have every lady, who has the 
spirit of this true benevolence, keep a kind of 
druggist's shop of her own : this should be sup- 
plied from the neighbouring fields, and from her 
garden. There is no reason the drugs should not 
J)e as well preserved, and as carefully iaid up. 


INTRODUCTION.- 


Y* 

as if the product of a different climate, though 
the use of the fresh plants will in general be best, 
when they can be had. 

As there are some which will not retain their 
virtues in a dried state, and can be met with only 
during a small part of the year ; it will be pro- 
per to add the best methods of preserving these 
in some* way, according to the apothecary's man- 
ner ; and these chapters, with that which shall 
lay down the method of making the preparations 
from them for ready service, will be sufficient to 
lead to the perfect use of the medicines of our 
aw a growth : and it will be found upon experi- 
ence, that those who sufficiently know how to make 
a proper use of these, need seldom have recourse 
to any others. 

4/ 


CHAP. II. 

e 

Concerning the methods of collecting and preserv- 
ing plants and parts of them for use . 

T he virtues of different plants residing princi- 
pally in certain parts of them, and those 
different according to the nature of the herb, 
these several parts are to be selected, and the rest 
left ; and these are in some to be used fresh and 
just gathered ; in others, either necessity, or the 
natural preference, make it proper to dry and pre- 
serve them. 

In some only the leaves are to be used ; in 
others the whole plant cut from the root : in others 
the flowers only ; in others the fruits ; in others 
the seeds ; in some the roots ; and of some trees 



tlfe barks: some the woods ; and only the excresu 

* * *t 

encfes of others : while some vegetables are to be 
used entire, whether it be fresh gathered, or dried 
and preserved. Of all these, instances will be 
given in great number in the following sheets, 
and the matter will be specified under each article, 
as the part of the plant to be used will always be 
named ; and it will be added whether it be best 
fresh, or best or necessarily dried or otherwise 
preserved ; but it will be proper in this place to 
enter into the full examination of this matter, to save 
unnecessary repetitions under the several particular 
articles. 

The whole of most plants native of our coun- 
try, dies off in winter, except the root ; and in 
many that perishes also, leaving the species to be 
renewed from the fallen seeds. When the whole 
plant dies, the root is seldom of any virtue ; but 
when the root remains many years, and sends up 
new shoots in the spring, it commonly has great 
virtue. This may be a general role : for there is 
very little to be expected in the roots of a nnual plants ; 
their seeds, for the most part, contain their greatest 
virtues. 

In others, the root lives through the winter, and 
there arise from it large leaves in the spring, be- 
fore the stalks appear. These are to be distinguish- 
ed from those which afterwards grow on the stalk, 
fbr they are more juicy, and for many purposes 
much better. In the same manner, some plants, 
from their seeds dropped in autumn, produce a 
root and leaves which stand all the winter, and 
the stalk does not rise till the succeeding spring. 
These are of the nature of those leaves, which 
rise from the root of other plants before the stalks 
in spring ; and are in the same manner to be dis- 
tinguished from those which grow upon the stalks : 


INTRODUCTION. 


Vlh 

they have the full nourishment from the root, 
whereas the others are starved by the growth of 
the stalk and its branches, and the preparations 
made by nature for the flowers and seeds ; which 
are the great purpose of nature, as they are to con- 
tinue the plant. 

For this reason, when the leaves of any plant 
are said to be the part fittest for use, they are not 
to be taken from the stalk, but these large ones 
growing from the root are to be chosen ; and these 
where there is no stalk, if that can be ; for then 
only they are fullest of juice, and have their com- 
plete virtue ; the stalk running away with the 
nourishment from them. This is so much done in 
some plants, [that although the leaves growing 
from the root were very vigorous before the 
stalk grew up, they die and wither as it 
rises. 

When the juice of the leaves of any plant is 
required, these are the leaves from which it is 
to be pressed : when they are ordered in decoction, 
notice is always taken in this book, whether they 
be best fresh or dried ; if fresh, they should be 
just gathered for the occasion ; they should be 
cut up close from the root, and only shook clean, 
not washed ; for in many, that carries off a part of 
the virtue : they are to be cut into the pot. If 
they are to be dried, the game caution is to be 
used ; and they are best dried, by spreading them 
upon the floor of the room, with the windows 
open ; often turning them. When thoroughly 
dried, they should be put into a drawer, pressing 
them close down, and covered with paper. When 
the entire plant is to be used except the root, 
care is to be taken that it be gathered at a pro- 
per season. Nature in the whole growth of plants, 
tends to the production of their flowers and seeds. 


INTRODUCTION, 


V 111 . 


but when they are ripe,, the rest begins to decay* 
having done its duty ; so that the time when the cm 
tire plant is in its most full perfection, is when it is in 
the bud ; when the heads are formed for flowering* 
but not a single flower has yet disclosed itself ; this 
is the exact time. 

When herbs are to be used fresh, it is best not 
to take them entire, but only to cut off the tops ; 
three or four inches long, if for infusion, and if 
for other purposes, less : if they are to be beaten 
up with sugar, they should be only an inch, or 
less ; just as far as they are fresh and tender. 
The tops of the plant thus gathered, are al- 
ways preferable to the whole plant for immediate 


use 

When the entire herb is to be dried, the season 
for gathering it is to be as just described, when 
the flowers are budding ; and the time of the day 
must be when the morning dew* is dried away. 
This is a very material circumstance, for if they 
be cut wet with the dew, herbs will not dry well, 
and if they be cut at noon day, when the sun has 
made the leaves flag, they will not have their full 
power. 

Care must also be taken to cut them in a dry day ; 
for the wet of rain will do as much harm, as that of 
dew. 

When the herbs are thus gathered, they are to 
be looked over, the decayed leaves picked off, 
and the dead ends of the stalks cut away : they 
are then to be tied up in small bunches, (the 
less the better,) and hung upon lines drawn across 
a room, where the windows and doors are to be 
kept open in good weather ; the bunches are to 
be half a foot asunder, and they are to hang till 
perfectly dry., They are then to be taken softly 
down, without shaking off the buds of the flow- 


INTRODUCTION 


ix* 


ers, and laid evenly in a drawer, pressing them down* 
and covering them with paper. They are thus ready 
for infusions and decoctions.* and are better for dis- 
tillation than when fresh. 

The flowers of plants are principally used fresh, 
though several particular kinds retain their virtue very 
well dried ; they are on these different occasions to be 
treated differently. 

Lavender flowers* and those of stcecha* keep 
very well ; they are therefore to be preserved dry ; 
the lavender flowers are to be stripped off the 
stalks* husk and all together* and spread upon the 
floor of a room to dry. The stcechas flowers are 
to be preserved in the whole head ; this is to be 
cut off from the top of the stalk* and dried in the 
same manner : when dry* they are to be kept as the 
herbs. 

When rosemary flowers are dried* they are ge- 
nerally taken with some of the leaves about them, 
and this is very right* for the leaves retain more 
virtue than the flowers. Some dry borage* bu- 
gloss* and cowslips* hut they retain very little 
virtue in that condition. Rose buds are to be 
dried, and to this purpose* their white heads are 
to be cut off' ; and the full blown flowers may be 
preserved in the same manner. The red rose 
is always meant, when we speak of the dried 
flowers. 

,For the rest of the flowers used in medicine, 
they are best fresh ; but as they remain only a 
small part of the year in that state* the method 
is to preserve them in the form of syrups and 
conserves. Such as the syrup of cloves and pop- 
pies* the conserves of cowslips, and the like. Of 
these, a short general account shall be subjoined, 
that nothing may be wanting to make this book 
W b 


x. INTRODUCTION. 

, . . ’ . . , x .......... . ' . . ‘ ^ k 

as useful for families, as the nature of such an one 
will admit. 

Among' the fruits of plants, several are to be 
used fresh, as the hip for conserve, and the 
quince, mulberry, and black currant ; from the 
juices of which, syrups are made. As to those 
which are to be dried, as the juniper berries, the 
bay berries, and the like, they are only to be ga- 
thered when just ripening, not when quite mel- 
low, and spread upon a table or floor, often 
turning them til! they are dry. But of these 
we use very few of our own growth ; most of the 
fruits used in medicine are brought from abroad, 
and must he purchased of the druggist or apothe- 
cary. 

With respect to the seeds and plants, it is 
otherwise : man] 7 of them are of our own growth, 
and nothing is so easy as to preserve them. These 
are all to be used dry ; but nature has in a man- 
ner dried them to our hands : for they are not 
to be gathered till perfectly ripe, and then they 
need very little farther care. They are only to 
be spread for three or four days upon a clean floor, 
where the air has free passage, but where the sun 
does not come ; and they are then ready to be 
put up. 

The seeds used in medicine, may be referred 
to three general kinds. They either grow in 
naked heads or umbels, as in fennel, parsley, and 
the like ; or in pods, as in mustard and cresses ; 
or in large fleshy fruits, as in melon and' cu^ 
cumbers. In each case they must be left upon 
the plant till perfectly ripe ; then they are only 
to be shook from the heads upon the floor, or if 
in pods, a smart stroke or two of the plant Upon 
the floor, when they are thoroughly ripe, will 


INTRODUCTION. xi. 

dislodge them. In the other case, the fruit must 
be cut open, and they must he taken out from 
among’ the wet matter, separated from the mem- 
branes th'at are about them, and spread upon a 
table, in a dry place, where they must be of- 
ten turned and rubbed as they grow dry, 
that in the end they may be perfectly dry and 
clean. 

Among the roots a great many are to be used 
fresh, but a greater number are best dried. The 
black and white briony, the arum, and some 
others, lose all their virtues in drying ; and 
many that retain some, yet lose the greater part 
of it : there are others which are excellent both 
fresh and dried, as the marshmallow and some 
more. 

As to the few which lose their virtue entirely 
in drying, it will be best to keep some of them always 
in the garden, that they may he taken up as they are 
wanted. The others are to be managed according 
to their several natures, and they do a great deal 
toward the furnishing this druggist’s shop, which 
should be filled with medicines, the produce of our 
own country. 

The best season for gathering roots for drying is in 
the earlier part of the spring : what nature does for 
plants when they are just going to flower, she does 
for roots when the leaves are just going to bud : the 
juices are rich, fresh, and full, and the virtue is 
strongest in them at this season, therefore they are to 
be then taken up. 

'In the end of February and the beginning of 
March, the ground should be searched for the first 
budding of leaves, and the roots taken up. They are 
to be wiped clean, not washed ; and, according to 
their several natures, prepared for drying. 

Some are full of a mucilaginous juice, as marsh- 


INTRODUCTION. 


aii. 

mallow, and above all other roots the squill, and in 
some degree many others of that kind these must 
be cut into thin slices cross-wise, and they will dry 
best if laid upon a hair doth stretched across a frame. 
They must be frequently turned ; and be very 
thoroughly dry, before they are put up, else they will 
become mouldy ; but, rightly prepared, they keep 
very well. 

Other roots have *juices, that evaporate more 
easily. These have the virtue either throughout 
the whole substance, or only in the outer part, and 
they are to be prepared accordingly. When roots 
are of one uniform substance, they generally 
have the virtue equal, or nearly so, in all parts. 
These should be split open length-wise, first cut- 
ling off the head, and the little end ; or if consider- 
ably thick, they may be quartered ; when this is done, 
they are to be strung upon a line, by drawing a needle 
threaded with a small twine through their thickest 
part, and they are then to be hung up to dry in the 
manner of the herbs ; the line being stretched across 
a room, the doors and windows of which are to be 
kept open in good weather. 

When roots consist of a sort of thick rind, or 
fleshy substance within the rind, and a hard sticky 
part in the middle, this fleshy substance under 
it possesses all the virtues, the hard inner substance 
having none ; in this case, the root is to be split 
long-wise as before, and the hard woody part is 
to be taken out and thrown away ; the rest is to be 
strung as before described, and dried in the same 
manner. 

When roots consist of fibres, these are generally 
connected to a head, if it be ever so small, and the 
best way is to split this in two, and then string up the 
separate parts for drying. 

It is needless to enumerate the examples of the 


INTRODUCTION., 


x in, 

several kinds of roots here ; they follow in their 
places : but if the charitable lady would, on first 
looking over this book to see what are most use- 
ful, order her gardener to take out of his ground, 
and to seek in the fields, the several roots there 
mentioned, and see them dried and preserved ac- 
cording to these directions, she would be possess- 
ed of a set of drugs of a new kind indeed ; but 
they would save the price of many brought from 
other countries, and might be used with less 
danger. 

The barks of the trees make but a small part of 
the English drugs, and most of them are best 
fresh ; but such as will preserve and retain their 
virtues dried, are very easily prepared that way : 
nothing more is required, than to cut them into 
moderate pieces, and string them up in the 
same manner as the roots. When they are 
dry, they are to be put up as the others ; and 
they will keep ever so long ; but in all this 
time they are for the most part losing of their 
virtues. 

It may be prudent to preserve drugs brought 
from abroad a great while because of their 
price ; but as these cost only the trouble of ga- 
thering and preserving them, I would advise, 
that the whole shop be « renewed every year ; 
what is left of the old parcel of every kind, being 
thrown away as the fresh one is collected in its 
season. 

The place for keeping these should be a dry 
room, neither damp nor hot ; and they should now 
and then be looked at, to see that they are in order ; 
that they do not grow mouldy, or smell musty through 
damp, or become lighter, and lose their virtue by too 
much heat. 

It may be proper just to mention, that the 


xiv. 


INTRODUCTION. 


woods which we use are best kept in the block, 
and shaved off as they are wanted ; for being kept in 
shavings, they lose their virtue : and in the same 
manner as to the foreign woods, it is best to keep a 
block of sassafras, and of lignum vitse in the house, 
and cut them as they are wanted. 

As to the excrescences, such as galls of the oak, 
and the bur upon the wild briar, they are naturally 
so dry, that they only require to be exposed a 
few days to the air, upon a table, and then they 
may be put up with safety, and will keep a long 
time. 

Lastly, the funguses, such as Jew’s ears and the 
like, are to be gathered when they are full grown, 
and strung upon a line, that they may dry leisurely, 
for else they spoil : they must be very well dried 
before they are put up, else they will grow mouldy 
in damp weather ; and if once that happen, no art 
can recover their virtues. 

Thus may a druggist’s shop of a new kind be filled, 
and it will consist of as many articles as those which 
receive their furniture from abroad ; and there will 
be this advantage in having every thing ready ; 
that when custom has made the virtues of the several 
things familiar, the lady may do from her judgment 
as the physician in his prescription, mix several 
things of like virtue together, and not depend upon 
the virtues of any one singly, when the case requires 
something of power. These roots and barks pow- 
dered, wall make as handsome and as efficacious 
boluses and mixtures, as any furnished by the apo- 
thecary. 


XV, 


CHAP, III. 


Concerning the various jnethods of preparing 

simples for present use. 

HERE is no form of medicines sent from 



JL the apothecary, which may not be prepared 
from the herbs of our own growth in the same 
manner as from foreign drugs. Electuaries may 
be made with the powders of these barks, roots, 
anil seeds, with conserves of flowers, and of the 
tops of fresh herbs ; and syrups, made from their 
juices and infusions ; the manner of making 
which is very simple, and shah be subjoined to 
this chapter, that all may be understood be- 
fore we enter on the book itself : and in the same 
manner their boluses may be made, which are only 
some of these powders mixed up with syrup : and 
their draughts and juleps, which are made from 
the distilled waters of these herbs, with spirit, or 
without these syrups being added : and the tinc- 
tures of the roots and barks ; the method of 
making which shall be also annexed in a familiar 
manner. 

Rut beside these several forms of giving them, 
there are others much more simple, easy, and 
ready, and these are generally more efficacious. 
I shall arrange these under three kinds, juices, in- 
fusions and decoctions. These are the forms of 
giving the medicines most frequently mentioned 
in the course of the work, and there is less trouble 
in them than in the others. They are not in- 
deed contrived for shew, nor would they answer 
the purpose of the apothecary, for his profits 
would be small upon them ; but when the design 


xvi. INTRODUCTION. 

is only to do good, they are the most to be chosen of 
any. 

Juices are to he expressed from leaves or roots ; 
and in order to this, they are to be first beaten 
in a mortar. There is no form whatever in which 
herbs have so much effect, and yet this is in 
a manner unknown in the common practice of 

These are to be obtained in some plants from 
the entire herb, as in water cresses, brook-lime, 
and others that have juicy stalks ; in others the 
leaves are to be used, as in nettles, and the like, 
where the stalk is dry, and yields nothing ; but 
is troublesome in the preparation. When the 
juice of a root is to be had, it must be fresh 
taken up, and thoroughly beaten. A marble 
mortar and wooden pestle serve best for this pur- 
pose, for any thing of metal is improper : many 
plants would take a tincture from it, and the 
juice would be so impregnated with it, as to 
become a different medicine, and probably very 
improper in the case in which it was about to be 
given. 

As these juices have sometimes an ill taste, and 
as some of them are apt to be cold upon the 
stomach, or otherwise to disagree with it, there 
are methods to be used, to make them sit better up- 
on it ; and in some cases these increase their vir- 
tues. 

When the thick juice, fresh drawn, is too coarse 
for the person’s stomach, it may be suffered to settle 
and grow clear : a little sugar may be added also in 
beating the herb, and in many cases, as in those 
juices given for the scurvy, the juice of a Seville orange 
may be added, which will greatly improve the 
flavour. 



INTRODUCTION. 


xv i i. 

To the roots it is often proper to add a little 
white wine in the bruising, and they will operate 
the better for it. Thus, for instance, the juice 
of the flower-de-luce root will not stay upon 
many stomachs alone ; but with a little white wine 
added in the bruising, all becomes easy, and 
its effects are not the less for the addition. The 
same addition may be made to some of the cold- 
er herbs ; and if a little sugar, and, upon occa- 
sion, a few r grains of powdered ginger be added, 
there will be scarce any fear of the medicine dis- 
agreeing with the stomach, and its effects will 
be the same, as if it had been bruised and pressed 
alone. 

Infusions are naturally to be mentioned after 
the j uices, for they are in many cases used to sup- 
ply their place. Juices can only be obtained from 
fresh plants, and there are times of the year when 
the plants are not to be had in that state. Re- 
course is then to be had to the shop, instead of 
the field ; the plant whose juice cannot be had, 
is there to be found dried and preserved ; and if 
that has been done according to the preceding 
directions, it retains a great part of its virtues ; 
in this case if is to be cut to pieces, and hot wa- 
ter being poured upon it, extracts so much of its 
tjualities, as to stand in the place of the other. 
Often, indeed, the virtues are the same : in some 
plants they are greatest from the infusion ; but 
then some others lose so much in drying, that 
an infusion scarce has any thing. Rut it is not 
only as a help in the place of the other, that 
this preparation is to be used, for infusions are 
very proper from many fresh herbs ; and are 
of great virtue from many dry ones, of which, 
when fresh, the mice would have been worth 
little. 

c 


INTRODUCTION. 


e « e 

XV ills, 

Infusions are the fittest forms for those herbs 
whose qualities are light, and whose virtue is 
easily extracted : in this case, hot water poured 
upon them takes up enough of their virtue, and 
none is lost in the operation : others require to be 
boiled in the water. From these are thus made 
what we call decoctions : and as these last would 
not give their virtues in infusion, so the others 
would lose it all in the boiling. It would go 
off with the vapour. We know very well, that 
the distilled water of any herb is only the vapour 
of the boiled herb caught by proper vessels and 
condensed to water: therefore, whether it be 
caught or let to fly away, all that virtue must be 
lost in boiling. It is from this, that some plants 
are fit for decoctions, and some for infusions. 
There are some which, if distilled, give no virtue 
to the water, and these are fit for decoctions, 
which will retain all their virtue, as bistort, and 
tormentill roots, and the like. On the contra- 
ry, an infusion of mint, or penny-royal, is of a 
strong taste, and excellent virtue ; whereas, a 
decoction of these herbs is disagreeable or good for 
nothing. 

I here are herbs also, which have so little juice, 
that it would be impossible to get it out ; and 
others whose virtue lies in the husks and buds, 
and this would be lost in the operation. An in- 
fusion of these is the right way of giving them. 
Thus the mother of thyme is a dry little herb, from 
whsch it would be hard to get any juice, and when 
gotten, it would possess very lit le of its virtues : 
but an infusion of mother of thyme possess it en 
tirely. 

Infusions are of two kinds. They are either 
prepared in quantity, to be drank cold ; or they 
are drank as they are made, in the manner of tea. 


INTRODUCTION. 


XiX. 


This last method is the best, but people will not 
be prevailed upon to do it, unless the taste oi the 
herb be agreeable ; for the flavour is much stronger 
hot, than it is cold. 

Infusions in the manner of tea, are lobe made just 
as tea, and drank with a little sugar : the others are 
to be made in this manner : 

A stone jar is to be fitted with a close cover ; 
the herb, whether fresh or dried, is to be cut to 
pieces ; and when the jar has been scalded out 
with hot water, it is to be put in : boiling water 
is then to be poured upon it ; and the top is to be 
fixed on : it is thus to stand four, five, or six 
hours, or a whole night, according to the nature 
of the ingredient, and then to be poured off 
clear. 

It is impossible to direct the quantity in general 
for these infusions, because much more of* some 
plants is required than of others : for the most 
part, three quarters of an ounce of a dried plant, 
or two ounces of the fresh gathered. The best 
rule is to suit it to the patient's strength and palate. 
It is intended not to be disagreeable, and to have as 
much virtue of the herb as is necessary : this is 
only to be known in each kind by trial ; and the 
virtue may be heightened, as well as the flavour 
mended, by several additions. Of these sugar 
and a little white wine are the most familiar, hut 
lemon juice is often very serviceable, as we find 
in sage tea ; and a few drops of oil of vitriol 
give colour and strength to tincture of roses. Salt 
of tartar makes many infusions stronger also than 
they w ; ould be, but it gives them a very disagreeable 
taste. It is, therefore, fit only for such as are to be 
taken at one draught, not for such as are to be 
swallowed in large quantities time after time. 

Among the herbs that yield their virtues most 


XX . 


INTRODUCTION. 


com m odiously Tby infusion, may be ' accounted 
many of tho&e which are pectoral, and good in 
coughs, as colts-foot, ground Y ivy, and the like ; 
the light and aromatic, good in nervous disorders, 
as mother of thyme, balm, and the like ; the bitters 
are also excellent in infusion, but very disagreeable 
in decoction : thus boiling water poured upon 
Roman wormwood, gentian root, and orange peel, 
makes a very excellent bitter. It need only stand 
till the liquor is cold, and may be then poured off for 
use. 

It is often proper to add some purging ingre- 
dient to this bitter infusion ; and a little fresh 
polypody root excellently answers that purpose, with- 
out spoiling the taste of the medicine. 

Several of the purging plants also, do very well 
in infusion, as purging flax, and the like ; and the 
fresh root of polypody alone is a very good one: 
a little lernon juice added to the last named infusion 
does no harm ; and it takes off what is disagreeable 
in the taste, in (he same manner as it does from an 
infusion of sen a. 

Thus we see what a great number of purposes 
may be answered by infusions, and they are the most 
familiar of all preparations. Nothing is required, 
but pouring some boiling water upon the plants fresh 
or dried, as already directed, and pouring it off again 
when cold. 

Decoctions are contrived to answer the purpose of 
infusions, upon plants which are of so firm a texture, 
that they will not easily yield forth their useful parts. 
In these the ingredients are to be boiled in the water, 
as in the others, the boiling water was to be poured 
over them. In general, leaves, flowers, and entire 
plants, whether fresh or dried, are used in infusions ; 
the roots and barks in decoctions. 

An earthen pipkin, with a ertose cover, is the 


INTRODUCTION. 


XXL 


best vessel for preparing' these ; for many of those 
medicines which are little suspected of it, will take a 
tincture from the metal ; and it would be as impro- 
per to boil them in a copper pan,, (as it is too com- 
mon a custom,) as to beat the herbs and roots in a 
metal mortar. 

Fresh roots are used in decoction, as well as those 
which are dried ; and the barks and other ingredients 
in like manner. When the fresh are used, the roots 
are to be cut into thin slices, and the barks and woods 
should he shaved down ; as to the leaves and entire 
plants, they need be cut but slightly. When dry in- 
gredients are used, the roots and barks are best 
pounded to pieces, and as to the herbs and dowers, 
little is to be done to them, and in general, they arc 
best added toward the end of the decoction. 

It is always best to let the ingredients of a de- 
coction stand in the water cold for twelve hours, 
before it is set on the fire, and then it should be heat- 
ed gradually, and afterwards kept boiling gently 
as long as is necessary : and this is to be prportion- 
ed to the nature of the ingredients. Generally a 
quarter of an hour is sufficient, sometimes much longer 
is necessary. They are then to he strained off while 
they are hot, pressing them hard, and the liquor set 
by to cool : when they are thoroughly cold, they are 
to he poured off dear from the settlement, for they 
always become clear as they cool, and sweetened 
with a little sugar. Frequently also, it is proper 
to add to them a little white wine, as to the infusion?. 


INTRODUCT 




CHAP. 



Concerning distilled waters , and other prepara- 
tions to be kept in the house . 

g~ SHALL bring* the charitable lady farther in thi& 
JL matter than perhaps she was aware at the 
first setting out ; but it will be with little expence, 
and little trouble. She will find, that I now in- 
tend she should keep a sort of chemist’s or at 
least an apothecary’s shop, as welt as a druggist’s ; 
but it will be founded upon the same materials. 
No drugs brought from abroad, or to be purchased 
at a great price, will have place in it ; they are 
all natives of our own country ; and the prepa- 
ration of these medicines from them will cost only 
a little spirit, a little sugar, and the labour of a 
servant. 

' That spirit is best which is called molosses spi- 
rit ; is to be bought at a small price at the distillers ; 
and as to the sugar, the most ordinary loaf kind will 
do for most purposes ; where other is necessary, it 
will be particularly named. 

Few families are without an alembic or still, 
and that will he of material service. With that 
instrument the simple waters are to be made, 
w ith no expence beside the fire ; and it w ill he 
proper to keep those of the following ingredi- 
ents 

Mint water, pepper-mint water, and penny- 
royal water, are to be made of the dry herbs. 
Three pounds of each is to be put into the still, 
with four gallons of water, and two gallons is 
to be distilled off. Milk water is to he made 
thus ; a pound and half of spear-mint, a pound 
oi rue, half a pound of Roman wormwood, and 


INTRODUCTION. 


XXlii. 


half a pound of angelica leaves are to he put 
into the stiil with live gallons of water, and 
three gallons are to be distilled off. Common 
mint water is good in sicknesses of the stomach, 
pepper-mint water in coiics, and pennyroyal to 
promote the menses. Milk water is good in fe- 
vers, and to make juleps. It used to he made 
with milk, but that answers no purpose. Only 
one simple water more need be kept, and that for 
colics : it is best made of Jamaica pepper : a 
pound of Jamaica pepper is to be pat into the 
stiil over night, with three gallons of water ; and 
tlie next morning two gallons of water distilled 
off. 

It has been customary to keep a great many simple 
waters, but these are all that are necessary or proper. 
The other herbs are better to be given in infusion 
and decoction. 

As for cordial waters, they are made as the 
others, only with the addition of spirit. It may be 
proper to keep the following ; and no more are ne- 
cessary. 

1. Cinnamon water ; which is made by putting 
into the still a pound of cinnamon, a gallon of spirit, 
and a gallon of water, and the next day distilling oft* 
a gallon. This is good in sickness at the stomach* 
and is a fine cordial. 

2. Spirituous milk water ; made from a pound 
of spear-mint, half a pound of angelica, and a 
quarter of a pound of Roman wormwood, all green. 
To these is to be put a gallon of spirit, and a gallon of 
water, and a gallon to be distilled off ; to which is 
to be added a pint of vinegar : this is good to pro- 
mote sweat, and is used instead of treacle water* being 
better. 

3. Strong pennyroyal water, which is nsec! 
instead of hysteric water, in all hysteric cases* 


XXIV. 


INTRODUCTION 


and to promote the menses, is made of a pound 
and half of dry pennyroyal, a gallon oi spi- 
rit, and six quarts of water, drawing off a 
gal loti. 

4. Aniseed water, which is good in the colic, 
and is made with a pound of aniseed, a pound 
of angelica seed, and two gallons of spirit, with 
one gallon of water, distilling off two gallons. No 
more of these are necessary : but before I dose this 
article of distilling, I shall add the making of lavender 
water, spirit of lavender, and Hungary water, 
which are preparations of the same kind, and very 
easy. 

Lavender water, is made from a pound of 
fresh lavender dowers, and a gallon of molosses 
spirit, with two quarts of water ; five pints are to be 
distilled off. Hungary water is made of a pound 
and half of rosemary tops with the flowers, a 
gallon of spirit, and a gallon of water, distilling 
off five pints : and to make the spirit of laven- 
der, or palsy drops, mix three pints of lavender 
water, and one pint of Hungary water, and add to 
this half an ounce of cinnamon, the .same quan- 
tity of nutmegs, and three drams of red saunders 
wood ; these are to stand together till the spirit is well 
coloured. 

This is all the family practitioner will need with 
distilling : a short account, but sufficient. 

As for tinctures, which are a great article 
with the apothecary and chemist, making a 
great shew, and really very useful ; I would 
have several of them kept, and they are as 
easily made as the waters, nay, more easily. 
Molosses spirit 'is all that is necessary for this 
purpose. 

It would be well to keep tinctures of all 
roots and baiks, which are said to be good dried 




Xtfi 


m the course of this work, for a tincture will 
contain more or less of the virtue of every one of 
these, and he often convenient, where the powder 
or decoction could not be giveh. It is needless to 
enumerate these, and one rule of making serves for 
them all : two ounces of the ingredient is to be 
cut to thin slices, or bruised in a mortar, and 
put into a quart of spirit ; it is to stand a fort- 
night in a place a little warm, and be often shook ; 
at the end of this time, it is to he taken out, strain- 
ed off, and made to pass through a funnel, lined with 
whitish brown paper, and put up with the name of 
the ingredient. 

To these tinctures of the English roots, barks, and 
seeds, it would be well to add a few made of foreign 
ingredients. As, 

1. The hitter tincture for the stomach, is made of 
two ounces of gentian, an ounce of dried orange peel, 
and half an ounce of cardamon seeds, and a quart of 
spirit : or it may be made in white wine, allowing 
two quarts. 

2. 'Tincture of castor, good in hysteric complaints, 
and made with two ounces of castor and a quart of 
spirit. 

3. Tincture of bark, which will cure those who will 
not take the powder, made of four ounces of bark, 
and a quart of spirit. 

4. Tincture of soot for fits, made with two ounces 
of wood-soot, one ounce of assafoetida, and a quart of 
spirit. 

5. Tincture of steel, for the stoppage of the menses, 
made of flowers of iron four ounces, and spirit a 
quart. 

6. Tincture of myrrh, made of three ounces of 
myrrh, and a quart of spirit, good for curing the 
scurvy in the gums. 

7. Tincture of rhubard,, made of two ounces 

d ' 


' 


ml INTRODUCTION. 

of rhubarb, half an ounce of cardamon seeds, and a 
quarter of an ounce of saffron, with a quart of 
spirit. 

8. Elixir salutis, made of a pound of stoned 
raisins, a pound ofsena, an ounce and half of carraway 
seeds, and half an ounce of cardamons, in a gallon of 
spirifr 

9. Elixir of vitriol, made of six drams of cin- 
namon, three drams of cardamons, two drams 
of long pepper, and the same of ginger ; and 
a quart of spirit : to a pint of this tincture strain- 
ed clear off, is to be added four ounces of oil of 
vitriol : this is an excellent stomachic. Lastly, 
to these it may be well to add the famous frier’s 
balsam, which is made of three ounces of ben- 
jamin, two ounces of strained storax, one ounce 
of balsam of Tolu, half an ounce of aloes, and 
a quart of spirit of wine, such as is burnt under 
lamps. This spirit may be made by putting 
a gallon of molosses spirit into the still, and draw- 
ing off two quarts, and this will be useful for 
spirit of wine and cam phi re, which is made 
by dissolving an ounce of camphire in a quart of 
the spirit. Lastly, we are to add what is called 
(he asthmatic elixir, made with flower of benja- 
min and opium of each a dram,*, camphire two 
scruples, oil of aniseed forty drops, liquorice 
root half an ounce, honey one ounce, and a* 
quart of spirit. This is a gentle opiate, and is 
much better in families than the strong lauda- 
num. 

As to the tinctures made with white wine 
instead of spirit, a few are sufficient. Steel 
wine is made of a quarter of a pound of filings 
of iron, and half an ounce of mace, and the 
same quantity of cinnamon, put into two quarts 
$f Rhenish, Hiera picra is made of half a pound 


i 


INTRODUCTION. xxvi i 

of aloes, two ounces of winter’s bark, and five 
quarts of white wine. The first is a restorative 
cordial and strengthener ; the latter is sufficiently 
known as a purge. Laudanum is made ol two 
ounces of opium, a dram of cloves, and a dram 
of cinnamon, and a pint of wine. Viper* wine 
is made of two ounces of dried vipers, and two 
quarts of white wine ; and the tincture of ipeca- 
cuanha for a vomit, of two ounces of that root, 
half an ounce of dry orange peel, and a quart 
of sack. Lastly, what is called elixir proprieta- 
tis is made of aloes, myrrh, and saffron, of 
each an ounce, sal armoniac six drams, and salt 
of tartar eight ounces, in a quart of mountain 
wine. 

These are all the tinctures and wines that 
need be kept in a family, whose charity is design- 
ed to be very extensive ; the expense of the whole 
is a trifle, not worth naming, and the trouble 
scarce any thing. Books are full of directions 
in particular for every tincture, as if every one 
were to be made a different way ; but the best 
method is to give a good deal of time, and fre- 
quent shaking, and that will stand in the place 
of heat in most things of this kind : nevertheless, 
I advise that they should stand in a room 
where a fire is kept while they are making ; and 
those which require heat, that is, those that 
take a colour most slowly, are to be placed nearest 
to it. 

Easy as these are, they are by far the most dif- 
ficult part of the task, the rest is as it were 
nothing. Conserves, syrups, and ointments will 
be wanting ; but in the same manner one direc- 
tion will serve for the making the whole assort- 
ment of each, and the ingredients will be at 
hand. As to planters in general, they do more 


INTRODUCTION.' 


KxviiL 

harm than good. Surgeons at this time make 

u o 

very little use of them : and in the course of this 
work, many herbs will be named, the bruised leaves 
of which are better than all the plaisters in the 
world. 

Conserves should be made of rue, mint, scurvy- 
grass, wood-sorrel, and Roman wormwood. As 
to the four first, the leaves are to be picked 
off from the stalks, and beaten up with three 
times the weight of sugar. The tops of the 
young shoots of the latter are to be cut off, and 
they are to be beat up in the same manner. In 
the course of this work, many plants will be 
named, the green tops of which contain their 
virtue, these may all be made into conserves in 
the same manner, or as many of them added 
to those here named, as shall be thought pro- 

iw- 

Conserves of the flowers of rosemary, mal- 
lows, archangel, and lavender, are to be made 
also in the same manner, and red rose buds. 
These last are to be picked from the husk, and 
the white heels are to be cut off. They are all 
to be beat up with three times their weight of 
sugar ; and in the same manner may be made 
conserves of cowslip flowers, and of those of 
many other plants mentioned in the following 
pages. 

The outer rinds of Seville oranges and lemons, 
are also to be made into conserves in the same 
manner, beating them first to a pulp, and then 
adding the sugar ; and to these must be added the 
conserve of hips and sloes, which are to be made 
in a particular maimer. The hips are to be 
• gathered when fully ripe, afterwards s.et by m 
a cellar, till they grow very soft ; then they are 
t-0 bo laid upon the back of a large hair sieve. 


INTRODUCTION. xxi*. 

a dish being put underneath' ; they are to be 
broke with the hand or a wooden pestle, and rub- 
bed about till all the soft matter is forced through 
the hair-cloth, the seeds and skins only remaining. 
This soft matter is to be weighed, and to be beat up 
in a mortar with twice its weight of loaf sugar, first 
powdered. 

Sloes are to be gathered when they are mode- 
rately ripe, and they are to be set over the fire 
in water, till they swell and are softened, but 
not till the skin bursts ; they are then to be 
laid upon a sieve, and the soft matter driven 
through as in the other case, and three times 
the quantity of sugar is to be mixed with this, 
that it may make a conserve by beating toge^ 
ther. 

Syrups are to be made of many ingredients : 
they may be made indeed of any infusion, with 
sugar added to it in a due quantity ; and the 
way to add this so that the syrups shall keep 
and not candy, is to proportion the sugar to the 
liquor very exactly. One rule will serve for all 
this matter, and save a great deal of repetition. 

The liquor of which a syrup is to be made 

may he the juice of some herb or fruit, or a 
decoction, or an infusion ; which ever it be, let 
it stand till quite clear ; then to every wine pint 
of it, add a pound and three quarters of loaf sugar, 
first beat to powder : put the sugar and the liquor 
together into an earthen pan that will go 
into a large saucepan ; put water in the sauce- 
pan, and set it over the fire. Let the pan stand 

in it till the sugar is perfectly melted, scumming it all 
the time ; then as soon as it is cold, it may be put up 
for use, and will keep the year round without 
danger. 

This being set down as the general method of 


XXX 


INTRODUCTION. 


making (lie iicfuor into a syrup, the rest of the 
descriptions of them will be easy. They are to 
be made in this manner. For syrup of cloves, 
weigh three pounds of clove July flowers picked 
from the husks, and with the white heels cut off : 
pour upon them five pints of boiling water. Let 
them stand all night, and in the morning pour 
off the clear liquor, and make it into a syrup 
as directed above : in the same manner are to 
be made the syrups of violets and red poppies : 
but less of the violet flowers will do,' and more 
of the poppies may be added : thus, also, are to 
be made the syrups of damask roses, peach blos- 
soms, cowslip flowers, and many others which 
will be recommended for that purpose in this 
book. 

Syrup of buckthorn, is to he made by boiling 
the juice down to half its quantity, with a little 
cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and then adding the 
sugar. 

The syrups of lemon juice, mulberries* and 
the like, are to be made with a pound and half 
of sugar to every pint of the clear juice, 
which is to be melted as in the former man- 
ner. 

Syrup of garlic, leeks, orange-peel, lemon- 
peel, mint, and many other things are to be made 
of strong infusions of those ingredients, made 
as before directed, with the first mentioned quan- 
tity of sugar added to them, 'when they have stood to 
settle. 

Syrnp of marshmallows, and of poppy heads, 
and some others, are to be made in the same 
manner with the strongest decoctions that can 
possibly be made from those ingredients, with 
the same quantity of sugar as is first men- 
tioned. 


INTRODUCTION. 


XXXI. 


Syrup of balsam is made by boiling a quarter 
of a pound of balsam of Tolu,, in a pint and a half 
of water in a close vessel, and then making the 
water into a syrup, with the usual quantity of 
sugar : and thus may be made syrups of any of the 
balsams. 

Syrup of saffron is made of a tincture of 
saffron in wine. An ounce of saffron being 
put to a pint of mountain, and this, when strain- 
ed off, is to be made into a syrup, with the usual 
quantity of sugar. 

At one time it was a custom to keep a quantity 
of syrups of a particular kind under the name of 
honeys. They were made with honey instead ^of 
sugar, and some of them, which had vinegar in the 
composition, were called oxymels. A few of the 
first kind, and very few, are worth keeping, and 
two or three of the latter, for they have very 
particular virtues. The way of- making them is 
much the same with that of making syrups ; but to 
be exact, it may be proper just to give some instance 
of it. 

Honey of roses is the most useful, and it is 
to be made of an infusion of the flowers and 
honey in this manner. Cut the white heels from 
some red rose buds, and lay them to dry in a 
place where there is a draught of air ; when 
they are dried, put half a pound of them into 
a stone jar, and pour on them three pints of 
boiling water ; stir them well, and let them 
stand twelve hours ; then press off the liquor, 
and when it has settled, add to it five pounds 
of honey ; -boil it well, and when it is of the 
consistence of a thick syrup, put it by for use- 
ft is good against sore mouths, ami on many 
other ■ occasions. In the same manner may be 
made the honey of any flower ; or with the 


I 


XXX n. 


INTRODUCTION. 


juice of any plant thus mixed with honey and boiled 
down, may be made what is called the honey of 
that plant. As to the oxymels, they are also made 
in a very uniform manner. The following 1 are so 
useful, that it will be proper always to keep them in 
readiness. 

For oxymel of garlic, put half a pint of vi- 
negar into an earthen pipkin, boil in it a quarter 
of an ounce of caraway seeds, and the same quan- 
tity of sweet fennel seeds, at last add an ounce 
and half of fresh garlic root sliced thin ; let it 
boil a minute or two longer, then cover it up to 
stand till cold, then press out the liquor, and 
add ten ounces of honey, and boil it to a con- 
sistence. 

For vinegar of squills, put into a pint of vinegar 
three ounces of dried squills ; let it stand two days 
in a gentle heat, then press out the vinegar, and 
when it has stood to settle, add a pound and a half of 
honey, and boil it to a consistence. Both these are 
excellent in asthmas. 

To these also should be added, the common simple 
oxymel, which is made of a pint of vinegar, and 
two pounds of honey boiled together to the consis- 
tence of a syrup. 

Finally, as to ointments, nothing can be so easy 
as the making them of the common herbs, and 
the expense is only so much hog’s-lard. The lard 
is to be incited, and the fresh gethered leaves of 
the herb are to be chopped to pieces, and throw n 
into it : they are to be boiled till the leaves begin 
to feel crisp, and then the lard is to be strained 
elf. It will be green, and will have the virtues of 
the herb, and must be called ointment of such an 
herb. To these I shall take the opportunity of 
adding the way of making two or three more, 
which, though not the produce of English herhs^ 


I 


INTRODUCTION. 


’ xxxi it. 


are very useful, and our charitable shop should not 
fee without them. 

}. The white ointment, called unguentum ; this 
is made by melting together four ounces of white 
wax, and three ounces of spermaceti, in a pint of 
sallad oil, and adding, if it be desired, three 
ounces of ceness, and a dram and half of camphire : 
But it is belter for all common purposes without 
these. 

2. Yellow basiiicon, which is made by melting to- 
gether yellow wax, resin, and Burgundy pitch, of each 
half a pound, in a pint of oil of olives, and adding 
three ounces of turpentine. 

3. Black basiiicon, which is made by melting to- 
gether in a pint of olive oil, yellow wax, resin, and 
pitch, of each nine ounces. 

4. The mercurial ointment, which is thus made : 

r. J 

rub together in an iron mortar, a pound of quick- 
silver, and an ounce of turpentine ; when they are 
well mixed, add four pounds of hog’s lard melted, 
and mix all thoroughly together. The ointment 
of tut ty is prepared with levigated tutty, and as 
much viper’s fat as will make it into a soft ointment ; 
these are only to be mixed together upon a marble, 
by working them with a thin knife. This is for 
disorders of the eyes, the foregoing for the itch, and 
many other complaints, but it must be used cautiously. 
And those which were before named for old 
sores, 

Of the same nature with the ointments, are, in 
some degree, the oils made by infusion of herbs 
and llowers in common oil. These are also very 
easily prepared, and an instance or two will serve 
to explain the making of them all. The most 
regarded among these is the oil of St. John’s- 
wort, and that is -thus made ; pick clean a quarter 
of a pound of the flowers of common St. John’s- 

e r 


XXX IV, 


INTRODUCTION, 


wort, pour upon them a quart of olive oil, and let 
them stand together till the oil is of a reddish colour*. 
Oil of elder is made of a pound of eider flowers, 
which are to be put into a quart of olive oil, and 
boiled till they are crisp, and the oil is to be then 
strained olf. 

3 ; What is called the green oil, is thus made, 
bruise in a marble mortar three ounces of green 
chamomile, with the same quantity of bay leaves*, 
sea-wormwood, rue, and sweet marjoram ; then boil 
them in a quart of oil of olives, till they are a little 
crisp. The oil is then to be poured off, and when 
cold put up for use. 

These oils "are used to rub the limbs when there 
is pain and swellings ; their virtues will be found 
at large, under the several herbs which are the 
principal ingredients : and after one or other of 
these methods, may be made the oil by infusion, or 
by boiling of any plant, or of any number of plants of 
like virtue. 

Lastly, though herbs are now left out of the 
composition of pkiisters, even the melelot b.eing now 
made without the herb from which it was first 
named ; it may be proper to add the way of pre- 
paring a few that are most useful, and ought to be 
kept in families. 

I. The common plaister is thus made ; boil 
together a gallon of oil, five pounds of powdered 
litharge, and a quart and four ounces of water 
When the water is boiled away, the rest will be 
united into a plaister, but it must be s tired all the 
lime : this used to be called diachylon. To make 
diachylon with the gums, add to a pound of the last 
described, two ounces of galbanum, and an ounce of 
common turpentine, and the same quantity of frank- 
incense. Melt them all together the gums first, and 
then add the plaister , 


INTRODUCTION, xxxv 

f • * *.4 

2 . For a strengthening plaister, melt two pounds 
j©f the common plaister, and add to it half a pound 
of frankincense, and three ounces of dragon's 
blood. 

3. For a drawing plaister, melt together yellow 
wax and yellow resin, of each three pounds, and 
a pound of mutton suet. This is used instead of 
the old melilot plaister to dress blisters ; and the 
blister plaister itself is made of it, only by adding 
half a pint of vinegar, and a pound of Spanish 
flies in powder, to two pounds of it, just as it 
begins to cool from melting. The quicksilver 
plaister is thus made ; rub three ounces of quick- 
silver, with a dram of balsam of sulphur, till it 
no longer appear in globules, then pour in a pound 
of the common plaister melted, and mix them well 
together. 

To close this chapter, I shall add a few waters 
made without distillation, which are very cheap and 
very serviceable, and the family shop will then b@ 
quite com pleat. 

1. Lime water. This is made by pouring gra- 
dually six quarts of water upon a pound of quick 
lime ; when it has stood to be clear, it must he poured 
off. If a pound of lignum vitae wood, an ounce of 
liquorice root, and half an ounce of sassafras bark 
be added to three quarts of lime water, it is called 
compound lime water ; and is excellent in foulnesses 
©f the blood. 

2 . The blue eye water. This is made by put- 
tinga dram of sal ammoniac into a pint of lime water,, 
and letting it stand in a brass vessel, till it is of a sky 
blue colour. 

3. Alum water is made by boiling half an ounce 
of white vitriol, and the same quantity of alum in a 
quart of water, till they are dissolved. 

Thus have we described all the drugs and com* 


' sxx? I. INTRODUCTION. 

positions that need be kept in the charitable shop 
of the family, which intends to relieve a neigh- 
bourhood of poor in their greatest of all distresses, 
that of sickness. The diseases for which these 
remedies are to be used will be found enumerated 
at large under the several heads of the principal 
ingredients, as described in the succeeding pages. 
It only remains to say a few words about the 
manner of putting these things most conveniently 
together, and we then shall have prepared all that 
follows. 


CHAP. V. 

Concerning the best methods of putting medicines 
together for present taking . 

lyN the first place, although these several forms 
JL of syrups, conserves, and the like, have been 
named, as what will be sometimes necessary. The 
great practice in the country will lie in the in- 
fusions and decoctions of the fresh plants and 
roots. 

The strength of these infusions and decoctions 
is to be proportioned to the taste : for as they are 
made to be swallowed in quantities, if they be 
made so strong as to be very disagreeable, that 
end will be defeated : they may be rendered more 
pleasant by sweetening them with sugar, about an 
ounce of which is to be allowed to a quart ; and 
occasionally a little white wine, or a small quan- 
tity of some of the cordial waters may be added 
to them. The dose of either decoction or infu- 
sion, will be in general about half a pint, except 


INTRODUCTION, 


XXXVIK 


where they are intended to purge or vomit ; there 
they must be more carefully and exactly proportioned 
lo the strength, than can be told in this general 

manner. 

X)f the simple waters, about a quarter of a pint is 
a uose, and of the cordial waters, less than half that 
quantity. These may be occasionally given alone ; 
but they are mostly intended for mixing with other 
ingredients. 

The tinctures are to be given in drops, from 
ten to an hundred, according to their strength 
and nature : but to name a general dose, it is 
about live and twenty drops. These, however, will 
be also more serviceable in mixtures, than sing- 
ly. Of the purging tinctures in wine, and the 
elixir salutis, three, four, or more spoonfuls is the 
dose. 

It would be well to keep tinctures of many of 
the roots recommended in nervous cases, as cor- 
dials, astringents, and of many other kinds ; and 
also to keep powders of these roots in readiness : 
and thus the common forms of medicines, as sent from 
apothecaries, will be very easy. 

For a julep, six ounces of one of the simple 
waters, two ounces of one of the compound wa- 
ters, or those made with spirit, two drams of a 
syrup, and fifty drops of a tincture, make a very 
agreeable one. Thus for an hysteric julep, let 
the simple water be pennyroyal, the strong water 
the strong pennyroyal, the syrup that of saffron, 
and the tincture of castor, and it is a very pleasant 
julep ; and so of all the rest. If a pearl cordial 
be desired, it is only mixing the simple and strong 
waters without syrup or tincture, and adding two 
drams of augar, and half a dram of levigated 
oyster-sheU The apothecaries will not be plea- 
sed with this'- disclosing the mysteries of their pro- 


INTRODUCTION. 


xxtfviiL 

fession, but the public good is of more consequence 
than their pleasure. 

Draughts are only little juleps, with more pow- 
erful ingredients added to them. An ounce and 
half of a simple water, three drams of a strong 
water, one dram of a syrup, and forty drops of 
a tincture, make a draught ; but to these may be 
added a simple of some power to increase the 
virtue. What waters, tinctures, syrups, or pow- 
ders shall be used will be determined from the case 
itself. 

Boluses are made with these powders in a cer- 
tain dose. A scruple or half a dram, is made 
into a sort off paste with syrup. The custom is 
to cover it with a little leaf-gold, but this is 
better let alone : some use leaf-brass, which is 
abominable. 

Electuaries are to be made of powders, con- 
serves, and syrups, they differ from boluses in this, 
as well as in the size, that the dose is smaller, al- 
though the piece taken be as large ; which is own- 
ing to the conserve, that having in genera! little 
virtue in comparison of the other ingredients. 
This is the form most convenient for medicines 
that are to be taken for a continuance of time, and 
the dose of which needs not be so very punctually 
regarded. 

Thus for an electuary against an habitual loose- 
ness, when it exceeds the proper bounds ; mix 
together an ounce of conserve of red roses, and 
six drams of syrup of cloves, add to these two 
drams of powdered bistort root, one dram of 
powdered tormentill, and half a dram of toasted 
rhubarb. This makes an electuary, a piece of 
which, of the bigness of a nutmeg, taken once in 
two days, will check the abundance of stools, with- 
out stopping the customary looseness entirely : it 


INTRODUCTION. xxxi.*, 

will also be a pleasant medicine. If a draught of 
tincture of roses, which will be described in the 
following’ part of this work, under the article 
red rose, be taken after this, it will increase the 
power. 

In this manner the charitable lady may supply 
the place of the apothecary, to those who couli 
not afford such assistanse : and experience is so 
good a guide, that she will be able in most cases 
to save the expense of the doctor also : and there 
will be this satisfaction in her own mind, that 
while she deals principally with those innocent 
sort of medicines which the fields afford her, she 
will be in very little danger of doing harm. The 
galenical physic perhaps will be found effectual 
in many more cases, bv those who stick to it sole- 
ly, than they are aware who do not use it ; as to 
the mischief of medicine, that is almost entirely 
chemical. It would be idle to say that chemical 
medicines do great good ; but they require 
to be in skilful hands : when the ignorant employ 
them, death is more likely to be the consequence, 
than the relief from the disorder any other 
way. 

One useful observation may serve well to close 
this introduction. Opiates, and medicines of that 
kind, to compose persons to rest, and to take off 
pain, will be often necessary ; but as they are the 
most powerful medicines, the charitable practitioner 
will have to do withal, they are the most capable of 
doing harm : the great care will therefore lie in the 
v ght use of these. 

As there are three different preparations de- 
scribed in this book for answering this purpose, 
beside the opium, and that solution of it in wine, 
which is called laudanum, 1 would advise that 
these two latter be used very seldom. A syrup 


xl INTRODUCTION, 

made of the juice of the wild lettuce, is an excellent 
medicine ; the syrup of diacodium, which is made of 
a strong decoction of poppy heads, is a little stronger 
than this ; and if something more powerful than these 
is required, there is the ashmatic elixir. One or other 
of these may almost on every occasion serve the pur- 
pose ; and it is almost impossible that the use of them 
should be attended with danger. I would therefore 
advise, that opium or laudanum oe very rarely used : 
perhaps it might be well to say, not used at all, for 
the others will be able, in almost all cases, if not 
Universally, to answer the purpose 




FAMILY HERBAL. 


A 


Acacia Tree. Acacia vera sice spina AEgyptiaca . 


HE acacia is a large bat not tall tree, with 



JL prickly brandies : the leaves are winged, or 
composed of several small ones set on each side a 
* middle rib ; and the flowers are yellow. The 
trunk is thick, and the top spreading. 

The leaves are of a bluish green ; and the flowers 
resemble in shape pea blossoms ; many of them 
stand together. These are succeeded by long 
and flatted pods. The seeds contained in each 
are from four to seven ; and the pod between 
them is very small and narrow : the breadth is 
where they lie. 

The tree is frequent in Egypt, and there are 
a great many other kinds of it. No part of the 
acacia tree is kept in the shops ; but we have 
from it two drugs : 

1 . The acacia juice, and 2. The gum arabic. 

The acacia juice, or succus acacise, is like liquor- 
ice juice, hard and black. They bruise the un- 
ripe pods and seeds, and press out the juice which 
they evaporate to this consistence. The gum 
exabic oozes out of the bark of the trunk and 

:* x * ' • • 


B 


S FAMILY HERBAL. 

branches, as the plum-tree and cherry-tree gum 
do with us. 

The acacia juice is an astringent but little 
used. The gum arabic is good in stranguries, 
and in coughs from a thin sharp rheum ; it is 
to be given in solution, an ounce boiled in a 
quart of barley-water, or in powder in electuaries 
or otherwise. 

What is called the German acacia is the juice 
©f unripe sloes evaporated in the same manner. 

Aconite. Anikora sive aconitnm salutiferum. 

There are many poisonous aconites, not used ; 
but there is one medicinal and kept in the shops : 
this is called the wholesome aconite and antithora. 

It is a small plant, a foot high, with pale 
green divided leaves and yellow flowers. It 
grows erect, and the stalk is firm, angular, and 
hairy ; the leaves do not stand in pairs. The 
flowers are large and hooded, and of a pleasant 
smell : the seed-vessels are membranaceous, and the 
seeds black ; the root is tuberous, it sometimes 
consists of one lump or knob, sometimes of more. 
It is a native of Germany, but we have it in gar- 
dens. The root is the only part used ; it is sup- 
posed to be a remedy against poisons, but it is not 
much regarded at this time. 

Adder’s-tqngue. Opkioglossum . 

Adder’s-tongue is a little plant common in our 
meadows. It consists of a single leaf, with 
a little spike of seeds rising from its bottom, 
which is supposed to resemble the tongue of a 
serpent. 

The leaf is of an oval shape, and of a fine 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


3 


bright green colour ; it is thick and fleshy, and has 
no ribs or veins. The stalk on which it stands rises 
from a root composed of small fibres, and is four 
inches or more high. The spike rises to about the 
same height above it ; and the tongue or seed- 
vessel is notched on each side. The whole plant is 
buried among the grass, and must be sought in 
April and May, for it dies off soon after ; and no- 
thing is seen of it till the next season. 

It is a fine cooling herb, and an excellent 
ointment is made from it. The leaves are to be 
chopped to pieces, and four pounds of them are 
to be put into three pounds of suet and one pint 
of oil melted together. The whole is to be boiled 
till the herb is a little crisp, and then the ointment 
is to be strained off : it will be of a beautiful green. 
Some give the juice of the plant, or the powder 
of the dried leaves, inwardly in wounds ; but this 
is trifling. 


Agrimony. Agrimonia. 

A common English plant : it flowers in the midst 
of summer. It grows to a foot or more in height ; 
the leaves are winged, and the flowers are 
yellow. The root is perennial ; the leaves are 
hairy, of a pale green, and notched at the edges ; 
the stalk is single, firm, and round ; the flowers 
stand in a long spike ; they are small and nu- 
merous, and the seed-vessels which succeed them 
are rough like burs. The plant is common about 
hedges. 

The leaves are used fresh or dried ; they have 
been recommended in the jaundice ; but they are 
found by experience to be good in the diabetes and 
incontinence of urine. The plant is also one of the 

b 2 


V 


4 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


famous vulnerary herbs, and an ingredient in the 
right arquebusade water. 

Black alder. A Inns nigra. Frangula . 

The black alder is a little shrub. The shoots are 
brittle, slender, and covered with a brown bark ; 
the leaves are roundish, of a bright green, and 
veined ; they terminate in a point. The berries 
are large and black, they are ripe in autumn ; 
the flowers which precede these are small and 
inconsiderable, they are whitish and stand on short 
stalks. 

The shrub is frequent in moist woods, and the 
berries are sometimes mi>t among those of the buck- 
thorn by such as gather them for sale ; but this should 
be prevented. 

No part of the black alder is used in medicine 
except the inner rind ; this is yellow, and is a 
good purge ; the best way to give it is in a de- 
coction. Boil an ounce of it in a quart of water, 
and throw in at least two drachms of ginger and 
some caraway-seeds ; let the patient proportion the 
quantity to his strength : it is excellent in the jaundice. 
In Yorkshire they bruise the bark with vinegar, and 
use it outwardly for the itch, which it cures very 
safely. 

Alehoof or ground-ivy. Heeler a terreslris. 

A low plant that creeps about hedges, and flowers 
in spring. The stalks are hollow and square, a 
foot or more in length ; the leaves are roundish 
and notched at the edges : in spring they are usually 
of a purplish colour, and the flowers are blue ; 
ihe leaves stand two at each joint, and the roots 


5 


* 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


are Fibrous. The whole plant has a peculiar 
and strong smell, it should be gathered when in 
flower. 

It is an excellent vulnerary, outwardly or inwardly 
used ; a conserve may be made of it in spring : 
and it may be given by way of tea. It is excellent 
in all disorders of the breast and lungs, and in 
those of the kidneys, and against bloody and foul 
urine. 


Allheal, or crown’s allheal. Panax Coloni. 

A common herb in our wet grounds with long 
hairy leaves and little red flowers. It grows to a 
foot and a half high, but the stalk is weak, square, 
and hairy : the leaves stand two at a joint, and are 
of a pale green, notched at the edges, and of a 
strong smell ; the flowers stand in clusters round 
the stalk at the joints. They are like those of the 
dead nettle kind, but smaller ; the root is perennial, 
and creeps. 

It is an excellent wound herb, but must be used 
fresh. The leaves are to be bruised and laid upon 
a new-made wound, without any addition ; they stop 
the bleeding, and cure. 

Almond tree. Amygdalus. 

Ritter and sweet almonds are very different in 
taste, but the tree which produces them is the same ; 
it is distinguishable at least only by the taste of the 

almond. 

’Tis a moderately large tree, with long narrow 
leaves, of a beautiful green, and notched at the 
edges ; the blossoms are large, of a pale red colour, 
and very beautiful. The fruit is composed of 


6 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


three parts,, a tough matter on the outside, a stone 
within that, and in this shell the almond, by way of 
kernel. They cultivate almond trees in France and 
Italy. 

Sweet almonds are excellent in emulsions, for 
stranguries and all disorders of the kidneys and 
bladder ; they ought to be blanched and beat up 
with barley-water into a liquor like milk ; this is also 
good, in smaller quantities, for people in consump- 
tions and hectics. 

Bitter almonds are used for their oil ; this tastes 
sweet, and what is called oil of sweet almonds 
is commonly made of them. But the cakes 
left after pressing afford by distillation a water 
that is poisonous, in the same manner as laurel- 
water. 

Aloe plant. Aloe. 

There are a great many kinds of the aloe pre- 
served in our green-houses and stoves. They are 
all natives of wanner climates ; hut of these there 
are only two that need be mentioned here, as the 
aloe kept by apothecaries, though of three kinds, 
is the produce of only two species. These two 
are the socotrine aloe-olant and the common 
aloe. 

The socotrine ak>e is a very beautiful plant ; the 
leaves are like those of the pine-apple, eighteen or 
twenty inches long, prickly at the sides, and armed 

with a large thorn at the end. The stalk is half 
a yard high or more, naked at the bottom, but orna- 
mented at top with a long spike of flowers ; these 
are of a long shape and hollow, and of a beautiful 
red colour. 

The socotrine or finest aloes are produced from this 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


7 


plant; the leaves are pressed gently, and the juice 
received in earthen vessels : it is set to settle,, and then 
dried in the sun. * 

The common aloe is a very fine plant ; the leaves 
are above two feet long', and an inch thick ; they are 
dented at the edges and prickly, and have a very 
sharp thorn at the point. The stalk, when it 
flowers, is five or six feet high, and divided into 
several branches ; the flowers are yellow streaked 
with green. 

From the juice of the leaves of this plant 
are made the hepatic and the caballine aloes ; 
the hepatic is made from the dearer and finer 
part of the juice, the caballine from the coarse 
sediment. 

The socotrine aloes is the only kind that 
should be given inwardly ; this may be known 
from the others, by not having their offensive 
smell. It is a most excellent purge ; but it must 
not be given to women with child, nor to those 
who spit blood, for it may be fatal. The best 
way of giving it is in the tincture of hicra 
picra. 

Aloes Wood. Lignum aloes . 

It may be necessary to mention this wood, as it 
is sometimes used in medicine, although we are 
not acquainted with the tree which affords it. We 
are told that the leaves are small, the flowers mode- 
rately large, and the fruit as big as a pigeon's egg, 
and woolly ; and we read also that the juice of the 
tree, while fresh, will raise blisters on the skin, and 
even cause blindness : but these accounts are very 
imperfect. 

We see three kinds of the wood in the shops. 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


and they are distinguished by three different names, 
calambac, common lignum aloes, and calambour ; 
of these the caiamhac is the finest and the most 
resinous, the calambour is almost a mere chip, the 
other is of a middle value between them . They are 
all of the same virtue, but in different degrees. They 
are said to be cordial and strengthening to the 
stomach, but we use them very little. 

True Amomum. Amomum verurn racemosum. 

A mo mum is another of those drug's we receive 
from abroad, and do not know the plants which pro- 
duce them. The fruit itself, which is called amo- 
mum, is like the lesser cardamom, but that it is 
round ; it consists of a skinny husk and seeds within, 
and is whitish, and of the bigness of a horse-bean. 
Several of these sometimes are found growing to- 
gether to one stalk in a close body. 

The old physicians used it as a cordial and car- 
minative, but at present it is much neglected. 

Common Amomum. Amomum vulgar e 

Though the amomum before mentioned be not 
used in prescription, it is an ingredient in some old 
compositions ; and, being often not to be met with, 
it has been found necessary to substitute another 
carminative seed in its place ; this grows on an 
English plant, thence called also amomum. 

The common amomum, otherwise called bas- 
tard stone parsley, is frequent about our hedges ; 
it grows to three feet in height, but the stalk 
is slender, and divided into a great many branches. 
The leaves are of a bright green and winged, 

or composed of double rows of* smaller, with an 
* * 




I 


■ 







I 


4 








I 


























/ 


a 
















t 


r* 


6 . 



/I 


/A 


'W#7?/s 



t 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


9 


odd one at the end. There grow some large 
and very beautiful ones from the root ; those on 
the stalks are smaller. The flowers grow in 
little umbels or clusters, at the extremities of 
all the branches. They are small and white. 
Two seeds follow each flower, and these are 
striated, small, and of a spicy taste : the plant 
is distinguished at sight from all the others of its 
kind, of which there are many, by the slender- 
ness of its stalks and branches, and the smallness 
of the umbels ; and more than all by the pecu- 
liar taste of the seeds, which have a flavour of 
mace. 

It is proper to be particular, because the plant 
is worth knowing. Its root is good for all dis- 
eases of the urinary passages, and the seeds are 
good in disorders of the stomach and bowels, 
and also operate by urine. The quantity of 
a scruple given in cholics often proves an im- 
mediate cure, and they are a good ingredient m 
bitters. 

t 

Al&anet. Anchusa. 

Alkanet is a rough plant of no great beauty^ 
cultivated in France and Germany for the sake of 
its root. It grows to a foot and a half high ; the 
leaves are large, and of a rough irregular sur- 
face, and bluish green colour ; the flowers are 
small and purplish ; the root is long, and of a 
deep purple. It is kept dried in the shops. It 
has the credit of an astringent and vulnerary ; 
but it is little used. The best way of giving of 
it, is to add half an ounce to a quart of hartshorn 
drink ; it gives a good colour, and increases tha 


c 


10 


FAMILY HERBAL, 
Angelica. Angelica. 


A large and beautiful plant kept in our gardens* 
&nd found wild in some parts of the kingdom. It 
grows to eight feet in height, and the stalks robust, 
and divided into branches. The leaves are large, 
and composed each of many smaller, set upon a 
divided pedicle ; they are notched at the edges, and 
of a bright green. The flowers are small, but 
they stand in vast clusters, of a globose form : two 
seeds follow each flower. 

Every part of the plant is fragrant when bruised, 
and every part of it is used in medicine. The 
root is long and large : we use that of our ow n 
growth fresh, but the fine fragrant dried roots 
are brought from Spain. The whole plant pos- 
sesses the same virtues, and is cordial and sudo- 
rific ; it has been always famous against pestilen- 
tial and contagious diseases. The root, the stalks 
candied, the seeds bruised, or the water distilled 
from the leaves, may be used, but the seeds are 
the most powerful. It is also an ingredient in many 
compositions. 


Anise. Anisarn. 

The aniseed used in the shops is produced by 
a small plant cultivated in fields for that purpose 
in the island of Malta and elewhere. It grows to 
half a yard high, the stalks are firm, striated, and 
branched ; the leaves which grow near the ground 
are rounded and divided only into three parts ; 
those on the stalks are cut into slender divisions. 
The flowers are small, but they grow in large umbels 
at tlie top of the branches, and two seeds follow 
each ; these are the aniseed. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


11 


As much bruised aniseed as will lie on a 
sixpence is excellent in eholie. 3 Tis also 
good in indigestions, and other complaints of the 
stomach. 

■ i . 

Apples of Love. Poma Amor is, 

\ 

These are large juicy fruits, but they are pro- 
duced not on a tree, but on a small and low plant. 
The stalks are weak, and divided into many 
branches ; the leaves are large, but they are com- 
posed of many small ones set on a divided stalk, 
and they are of a faint yellowish green colour. The 
flowers are small and yellow, the fruit is large, and, 
when ripe, of a red colour ; it contains a soft juicy 
pulp and the seeds. 

The plant is a kind of nightshade, we cultivate 
it in gardens. The Italians eat the fruit as we do 
cucumbers. The juice is cooling, and is good 
externally used in eruptions on the skin, and in 
diseases of the eyes, where a sharp humour is trouble- 
some. 


Archangel. Lamium Album. 

A common wild plant, more vulgarly called 
the dead-nettle. It grows about our hedges, it 
is a foot high, and has leaves shaped like those 
of the nettle, but they do not sting. The stalk 
is square, and the leaves are hairy ; the flowers 
are large and white ; they stand at the joints where 
the leaves are set on, and are very pretty. The 
leaves stand in pairs, and the root creeps under the 
surface. 

The flowers are the only part used ; they are 
to be gathered in May, and made into conserve. 
A pound of them is to be beat up with two pounds 


12 


FAMILY HERBAL 


and a half of sugar. They may also be dried. 
They are excellent in the whites, and all other 
weaknesses. 

There is a little plant with red flowers called 
also the red archangel, or red dead-nettle. It is 
common under the hedges, and in gardens ; the 
stalks are square and weak, the leaves are short and 
notched at the edges, and the flowers small and 
red ; the plant is not above four or five inches high, 
and these flowers grow near the tops among the 
leaves. They are in shape like those of the white 
archangel, but small. 

The herb is used fresh or dried, and the flowers. 
The decoction is good for floodings, bleedings at 
the nose, spitting of blood, or any kind of hemor- 
rhage. It also stops blood, bruised and applied 
outwardly. 

Arrack, or Stinking Arrach. Atriplex olida . 

A small wild plant that grows about farm-yards, 
and in waste grounds. The stalks are a foot long, 
but weak ; they seldom stand upright ; they are 
striated, and of a pale green. The leaves are 
small, short, and rounded, of a bluish green colour, 
and of the breadth of a shilling, or less. The 
flowers are inconsiderable, and the seeds small, but 
they stand in clusters at the tops of the branches, 
and have a greenish white appearance. The whole 
plant is covered with a sort of moist dust in large 
particles, and has a most unpleasant smell. It is 
to be used fresh gathered, for it loses its virtue 
in drying. A syrup may be made of a pint of 
its juice and two pounds of sugar, and will keep all 
the year. The leaves also may be beat into a con- 
serve, with three times their weight of sugar. In 
.any of these forms it is an excellent medicine in 










all hysteric complaints. It cures fits, and promotes 
the menses, and the necessary evacuations after 
delivery. 

There is another kind of arrach also mentioned 
by medical writers, and called garden arrach ; it is 
an annual raised from seed, for the use of the kitchen. 
It grows to a yard high, and the leaves are broad : 
those which grow from the root have a little leaf 
also on each side of the base. They are covered 
with a wet dust like the other kind. These leaves 
are cooling and softening ; they are good in clysters, 
but they are less used, and less valuable than the 
other. 

Aron. Aran . 

A very common plant under our hedges, and 
more vulgarly called cuckowpint, and, by the 
children, lord and lady. The root is of the 
bigness and shape of a walnut, brown on the 
outside and white within, and this, as well as 
the whole plant, is of a sharp and acrid taste. 
This root lies deep. The leaves are large and 
shaped like the bearded head of an arrow, of a 
strong green colour, and sometimes spotted. In 
April and May rise among these thick stalks, sup- 
porting a very singular kind of flower, the pointal 
of which is long, thick, fleshy, and of a red or 
white colour, and the whole surrounded with a 
green membranaceous case. Afterwards this case 
and the pointal fall off, and there remains only 
the stem supporting a quantity of berries, which 
are ripe in autumn, and are then of a fine red 
colour. 

The root is the part used. It is an excellent 
medicine in palsies. Half one of the roots, fresh 


14 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


gathered and bruised, will sometimes restore the 
speech at once ; and a continued use of them goes 
a great way toward a cure. It is also good in 
scorbutic cases, and in all inward obstructions. 
Some dry and powder it, but it then loses almost all 
its virtue. 

Aiis mart or Water-pepper. Per sic aria livens. 

A common wild herb, neglected, but of great 
virtues. It grows every where about ditches, and 
in watery places. It is a foot and a half high ; the 
stalks are weak, green or reddish, and jointed. The 
leaves are long and narrow, like those of the peach 
tree, of a bright green, not spotted, and even at the 
edges. The flowers stand at the tops of the stalks in 
slender spikes, of a greenish white. As there are 
several other kinds of arsmart, and most of them 
different from this in their nature and qualities, great 
care is to be taken to gather the right. It must have 
no spot upon the middle of the leaf. There is 
another common kind of arsmart with such a spot, 
and with thicker stalks, and thick pikes of reddish 
flow ers, which has none of its virtue. 

The right arsmart is an excellent medicine in 
obstructions of urine, in the gravel and stone : and 
in the jaundice and beginning of dropsies it has done 
great cures. The juice of the fresh gathered plant 
is the best way of giving it. Outwardly it is good 
to cleanse old ulcers. 

A rtichoke. Cinara . 

The root of the common artichoke, or harti choke, 
cultivated for our tables, is an excellent medicine. 
The plant itself is of the thistle-kind, and its 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


15 


head., which we see at table,, owes much of its big- 
ness and fleshiness to culture. The leaves are large, 
and divided into many parts, and often they are 
prickly. The stem is robust and striated, and the 
head is formed of large scales ; the flow ers are of the 
thistle-kind, and the seeds are, as in the thistles, 
winged with down: 

The root fresh gathered, sliced, and boiled in wa- 
ter, six ounces to a quart of the water, makes a de- 
coction, which works by urine, and I have known it 
alone cure a jaundice. 

As arab acc a. As arum. 

A very little and low plant found wild in many 
parts of Europe, and common in our gardens. 
The roots creep about the surface of the ground, 
the leaves grow singly from them, and there is no 
stem or stalk. Each leaf has its separate foot- 
stalk three or four inches long, and the leaf itself 
is roundish, of a dark green, and fleshy ; the flowers 
small and of a dusky colour, and they stand near the 
ground. 

O 

The roots are the most valuable part ; the 
juice of them may be given in small doses, or 
they may be dry and given in powder or infusion. 
It works very powerfully by urine, and is good in 
obstructions of the menses, and in jaundices and 
dropsies. 

The Ash. Fraxinus 

A common tree in our hedges and woods. The 
bark of the branches is grey, and the leaves 
are winged ; the small ones of which they are 
composed are oblong and dented. The flowers 
are of a whitish green, and come before the leaves. 


16 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


the seeds are what they cal! ash-keys,, these ripen in 
September. 

The bark of the young branches is good in 
obstructions of the liver and spleen, and there- 
fore is of great sendee in dropsies, jaundice, 
and other complaints of that origin : it works by 
urine. The seeds have the same virtue, but in a less 
degree. 


The Manna Ash. Fraximis minor e folio. 

This is a lower tree than the common ash, and is. 
not a native of our kingdom, but is frequent in 
Italy, where the manna is gathered from its leaves 
and branches. 

The bark of this tree is paler than that of our 
common ash, and the leaves are composed of smaller 
and narrower parts, but the flower and fruit differ 
very little. 

They have also in Calabria another low* ash- 
tree, which has the backs of the leaves small- 
er than ours, and flatter and more rounded, and 
from this also they collect marina for the use of 
the apothecaries. The manna is a sweet or hooey 
juice that naturally sweats out of the bark and 
leaves in hot weather. The finest manna of all 
is that which oozes out of the leaves ; this is in 
small pieces. It flows out of the ribs of the 
leaves in August, in the heat of the day, and soon 
hardens into this form. They get the greatest 
quantities of all, by cutting the hark of the trunk 
and branches, and this is often large and flaky, 
but it is yellowish. That which is flaky, white, 
and hollow, has issued out of itself, and is much 
better. 

Manna is a most excellent purge, very gentle, 
and without any after ^stringency. There is » 




































V 







FAMILY HERBAL, 


17 


kind of manna used in France* called the Brian con 
manna ; this is produced by the larch-tree : and 
there is another kind more rare, called Persian man- 
na ; this is produced by the shrub called alhagi, a 
kind of broom, or nearly allied to it. But these are 
scarce with us. 

Asparagus. Asparagus satimts . 

The asparagus plant is one whose root is 
useful in medicine, although a different part 
of it be eaten at the table. Its virtues are 
not unlike those of the artichoke root, hut 
greater 

The asparagus is a wild plant *in many parts 
of England about the sea-coasts * and its root, in 
this wild state, is better than that of the cultivated 
plants, but its shoots have not that fine fleshy 
fulness. The plant, when full grown, is three 
feet high, and very much branched, and the 
leaves are fine and of a pale green ; the flowers 
are small and greenish, but the berries which succeed 
them are as big as peas, and red. 

The root is a powerful diuretic, and is good in all 
obstructions of the viscera. It has been known 
singly to perform cures in jaundices and dropsies. 
It is best given in decoction. 

Asphodel. Asphodelus verus ramosus alhus . 

An elegant garden flower, a native of Italy, and 
preserved with us more for its beauty than its 
use, though sometimes taken as a medicine. It 
grows to three feet in height, and the stalk di- 
vides into three or four branches towards the 
top. The flowers are white, and they stand in 
spikes on the tops of these divisions. They are 

D 


18 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


streaked with purple on the top, and have yellow 
threads in the middle. The leaves are long and 
narrow, hollowed and sharp-pointed ; the root is 
composed of several oblong lumps. The root is the 
part used in medicine, and it is said to be good 
against all obstructions, particularly against those of 
the menses. 

There is another kind of asphodel with yellow 
flowers, the root of which is said to possess the 
same virtues, but it is more rarely used than the 
other. 

rf ■ i - » . * .■ 

♦ j# " • i 

The Asafcetida Plant. Asafcetida herb a . 

This is a Persian plant, and is a very tall and 
robust one. It grows to nine feet high, and the 
stalks are as thick as a child’s leg ; they are hollow 
and divided toward the tops into several branches. 
The leaves are very large, and composed of many 
smaller set upon a divided rib. They resemble 
in some degree the leaves of the piony. The 
large ones rise immediately from the root, and 
smaller of the same form stand at distances upon 
the stalks, one at each joint. The flowers are 
singly very small, but they stand in vast clusters 
or umbels at the tops of the stalks, and the seeds 
follow two after each flower ; they are large, 
broad, and striated, and have the same smell 
with the gum, but not so strong. The root is very 
long and thick ; it is black on the outside and white 
within, and is full of a thick juice of a strong 
smell, which, when hardened, is asafcetida such as 
we see. 

No part of the plant is used but only this 
gum or hardened juice of the root. They 
cut off the top of the root, and let the juice 
that rises from the wound dry. It becomes 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


19 


xeddish on the outside and white within, and is the 
asafetida of the shops. An excellent medicine in 
all nervous disorders ; it may be given alone rolled 
up into pills,, no way better. 

Avens. Carry ophyllata, 

A common wild plant neglected, but worthy 
of our notice. It grows about hedges, and 
rises to fourteen inches high ; the stalk is firm 
and slender, and is divided into several branches. 
The leaves are large and rough, the stalk also 
is hairy. The leaves that grow from the root are 
winged ; they consist of three pair of small ones, 
and one much larger at the end. Those on the 

*5 O ^ 

stalk are smaller, and consist of fewer parts ; but 
otherwise they are like. The flowers are small and 
yellow ; they are succeeded by rough heads, as big 
as a horse bean, composed of many seeds with hooked 
filaments. The root is longish and large, of 
a firm substance, reddish colour, and very fragrant 
spicy smell ; it is better than many drugs kept in the 
shops. 

It is a cordial and sudorific. It is good in 
nervous complaints, and I have known it alone 
cure intermittent fevers, where the bark has been 
unsuccessful. 

R. 

Balm. Melissa , 

A plant common in our gardens. It grows to 
two feet in height, and the stalks are robust, 
square, and hairy. The leaves are oblong, bcoad, 
pointed at the end, and dentated about the edges, 
and they stand two at a joint ; the flow ers are small 


20 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


and white, but they have large rough tops, which 
remain after they are fallen. They stand in circu- 
lar clusters round the stalk at the upper joints ; 
the whole plant is of a fragrant smell. The root 
creeps and spreads abundantly, the plant is in flower 
in July. 

Fresh balm is much better than dry, for it loses 
its fragraney in drying. The best way of taking 
it is in tea ; it is good for disorders of the head and 
stomach. 

"N *■ 

Balm of Gilead Shrub. Balsamum syri- 

acum mice folio. 

This is an eastern shrub ; it grows to five or 
six feet high, and the branches are very tough, 
and, when broken, have a fragrant smell. The 
leaves are like those of rue, only larger and 
of a deeper green ; the flowers are moderately 
large, and like pea-blossoms ; they are of a pale 
purplish hue mixed with white. The seeds are 
yellow' and very fragrant, they are contained in a 
kind of pods. 

No part of the shrub is used, but only the 
balsam which is obtained from it ; the finest kind 
runs from the tree, of itself : there is a second sort 
obtained by boiling the twigs and young ; shoots ; 
and a third, coarser, which rises to the top of 
the water, after the purer sort has been taken 
off. This last is almost the only kind we see, and 
even this is very frequently adulterated. 

It is a very fine balsamic and detergent ; it is good 
in the whites, and all weaknesses ; and it is cordial 
at the same time that it acts as a balsam ; it is best 
taken alone upon sugar. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


91 


Balsam of Capivi-Tree. Arbor balsamif era 
fructu monospermo , 

This is a large tree. The wood is of a red colour, 
and fine grain ; the bark is brown ; the leaves 
are broad, short, and pointed at the end, and 
are of a dark green on the upper side, and a 
mealy white underneath. The flowers are as 
large as apple blossoms, and of a pale colour ; 
the fruit is a pod containing only one seed, which 
is as big' as a nut, and the kernel is sweet and of a 
good taste. 

The tree is frequent in the Brasils. We use no 
part of it, but only the balsam which runs out at 
wounds they make in the trunk in summer ; it is 
thin like oil. It has the same virtues with tur- 
pentine, but is more powerful ; it is excellent in 
the whites, and it is good in all complaints of 
the urinary passages. It may be taken alone on 
sugar. 

Balsam of Peru-Tree. Arbor balsamif era 

Peruviana , 

This is a shrub of eight feet high, with slender 
and tough branches. The leaves are very long 
and narrow ; the flowers are yellow and large, 
and the fruit is crooked. The whole plant has 
a fragrant smell, especially the young shoots and the 
buds. 

The balsam of Peru is procured from the fra- 
grant tops of this shrub, by boiling them in 
water ; the blackish liquor rises like oil to the 
top, and, when cold, it is the balsam of Peru. 
There is a white balsam of Peru, very fragrant and 
fine, but it is scarce. This is the produce of 


n FAMILY HERBAL. 

the same tree, bat it oozes naturally from the cracks 
in the bark. 

The black balsam of Peru is a cordial as well 
as a balsam ; it is excellent in disorders of the breast, 
and in all obstructions of the viscera ; ten drops at 
n time given on sugar, and continued daily, have 
cured asthmas and beginning consumptions. It 
also promotes the menses, and is excellent in sup* 
pressions of urine. Outwardly applied it heals fresh 
wounds. 

Balsam of Toll -Tree. Arbor balsamifera 

Tolutana. 

This is a kind of pine tree. It does not grow 
to any great height, but spreads into a great quan- 
tity of branches. The leaves are long and very 
slender, and of a deep green ; the bark is of a reddish 
white, and the fruit is a small cone, brown and 
hard. 

No part of the tree is used but the balsam only 
which comes from it. They wound the trunk in 
hot seasons, and this liquid resin flows out, which 
they put up into shells for exportation : it is thick, 
brown, and very fragrant. It is excellent in con- 
sum p lions, and other disorders of the breast, and 
may be given in pills. The balsamic syrup of the 
apothecaries is made from it, and possesses a great 
deal of its virtues. 

S ! 

Barberry-Bush. Bcrberis. 

Tins is a wild bush in some parts of Eng* 
land, but it is common every where in gardens ; 
it grows to eight or ten feet high, in an ir- 
regular manner, and much branched. The bark 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


is whitish, and there are abundance of prickles about 
the branches. The leaves are of an oval figure, and 
strong green colour ; and are indented about the 
edges. The flowers are small, and of a pale yellow- 
ish colour ; the fruit is sufficiently known ; the ber- 
ries are oblong, red, and of a sour taste. The 
branches are brittle, and, under the pale outer rind, 
there is another yellow and thicker. This is the 
part used in medicine ; it is excellent in the jaundice, 
and has often cured it singly. It is also good in all 
obstructions. The best way to give it is infused in 
boiling water. 

Barley, j Hordeum. 

The barley used in medicine is the same with 
that of which bread is made, and which serves 
the brewer and distiller in their several capacities 
It is known at sight from wheat, when growing, 
for it is not so tail, and the leaves are smaller and 
narrower. A long beard grows from each grain 
in the ear, and the ear is composed of two rows of 
them. 

We use this grain in two forms, the one call- 
ed French barley, and the other pearl barley. 
The French barley is skinned, and has the ends 
ground off ; the pearl barley is reduced by a longer 
grinding to a little round white lump. The pearl 
barley makes the finer and more elegant barley- 
water, but the French barley makes the best. It 
is excellent in heat of urine, and in all gravelly 
cases, and is a good drink in most acute diseases, 
where diluting is required : it is also in some degree 
nourishing. 

i 

Barren wort. Epidemiwn . 

A singular and very pretty plant, native of 


24 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


England, but not common. It grows in woods, 
and has beautiful purple and yellow flowers. 
It is a foot high. The leaves are oval and 
heart-fashioned, deeply indented at the edges, 
and of a dusky green. The stalks which pro- 
duce the flowers are w r eak, brittle, and gene* 
rally crooked ; the flowers stand in a kind of very 
loose spike, ten or a dozen upon the top ; they 
are small, but very singular and conspicuous ; 
they are purple on the back with a red edge, and 
yellow in the middle. The root is fibrous and 
creeping. 

It was an opinion with the old writers, that 
this plant produced no flowers ; but the occa- 
sion is easily known. When it stands exposed to the 
sun, it seldom does flower ; we see that in gardens 
where it is planted in such situations, for it will 
stand many years without flowering ; but our 
woods favour it, being dark and damp : the old 
people. , saw it in warmer climates* and under an 
unfavourable exposure. They called it from this 
circumstance, as well as from its virtues, by a 
name, which expressed being barren and fruit- 
less.’ 

The people in the north give milk in which 
the roots have been boiled, to the females of the 
domestic animals when they are running after 
the males, and they say it has the certain effect 
of stopping the natural emotions. Plain sense 
leads these sort of people to many things. They 
have from this been taught to give it to young wo- 
men of robust habits, subject to violent hysteric 
complaints, and I am assured with great success ; 
they give the decoction of the root made strong; 
and sweetened. ’Twas a coarse allusion that led 
them to the practice, but it succeeds in cases that 
foil all the parade of common practice. It is said 
that, if they take it in too large quantity, it ren- 




ft 













dersthem stupid for some hours, but no ill consequence 
has attended this. 

Bay Tree. Laurus . 

The bay is a native of Spain and Italy, where 
it grows to a large tree : we keep it in gardens, 
but it seldom rises to more than the figure and height 
of a shrub with us. The wood is not strong, but 
Spongy and friable ; the leaves remain green all 
winter ; the bark of the large branches is of a 
dusky brown, that of the twigs reddish ; the leaves 
are long and somewhat broad, pointed at the end, 
and very fragrant : the flowers are very small 
and inconsiderable ; their colour is whitish ; they 
appear in May, but are not regarded, the berries 
are ripe in the latter end of autumn, and are large 
and black, consisting of two parts within the same 
skin. 

The berries are dried, and are the part of the 
tree most 1 */ used ; but the leaves also have great 
virtue. The berries are given in powder or in- 
fusion ; they are good in obstructions, and in 
cholics. They promote urine, and the evacu- 
ations after delivery. The leaves are cordial and 
good in all nervous complaints. Paralytic people 
would find great benefit from small doses of 
them often repeated ; and four or five doses have 
sometimes cured agues. They are to be put fresh 
into an oven, and, w hen they are crisp, reduced to 
powder. 

Basil. Gey mum vulgare mqjus, 

Basil is a small herb, native of warmer 
countries, but not uncommon in our gardens ; 
it is bushy and branched ; the stalks are square, 

w 


and the leaves stand two at each joint. They 
are broad and short, and somewhat indented 
at the edges. The dowers are small and white, 
and are of the shape of those of the dead nettle ; 
they stand on the upper parts of the branches in 
loose spikes. The whole plant has a very fragrant 
smell. 


Basil is little used, but it deserves to be much 
more. A tea made of the green plant is excellent 
against all obstructions. No simple is more ef- 
fectual for gently promoting the menses, and for 
removing those complaints which naturally attend 
their stoppage. 

There are two or three other kinds of basil, but 
they have not equal virtue. 


Bdellium Tree. Arbor bdellium ferens . 


We are very well acquainted with the gum, 
or rather gum resin, called bdellium, but we 
know very little of the tree from which it is 
produced ; the best description we have of it, 
amounts to no more than that it is moderate- 
ly large, bushy, and full of branches with prickles 
upon them, and with oblong and broad leaves 
deeply indented at the edges, so that they re- 
semble oak-leaves ; and that, when the young shoots 
are broken, they yield a milky juice. But even this 
does not come upon certainty, that is, we are not 
assured that this tree produces the very gum we 
see. This is of a red brown colour, and bitterish 
taste. 

It is a good medicine in obstructions of the livet 
and spleen, but it is not much used. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


27 


Bean. Fab a . 

The ' common garden * bean is sufficiently 
known ; it grows to a yard high, its stalks 
are angular, and the leaves, which are of the 
winged kind, stand one at each joint ; the flowers 
are white spotted with black, and are finely 
scented. The pods and their seeds need not be 
described. 

It has been customary to distil a water from 
bean -flowers, and use it to soften the skin, but 
common distilled water does as well. It is other- 
wise with the water of the bean-pods. These 
are to be bruised, when the beans are half ripe in 
them, and distilled with water in a common 
alembic. The water is a very gentle carminative, 
without any heat or acridness ; this is excellent for 
children's gripes. 

Malacca Bean-Tree. Anacardium 
legitimum . 

This is a large tree, native of Malabar and 
the Philippine Islands ; it grows to the height 
and bigness of our tallest elms, and has much of 
their manner of growth, as to the branches. The 
leaves are vastly large, of an oblong figure, 
and obtuse ; the flowers are small and white, they 
grow in bunches, and have somewhat of the smeii 
of the syringa flower, but fainter. The fruit is 
of the bigness of a pear, and much of the same 
shape ; it is of a deep red, when ripe, and of a 
pleasant taste ; the kernel is not within this, 
as is commonly the case in fruits, but it hangs 
out loose at the end. This kernel or seed is of 
the shape ©f an heart ; it is as big as an olive. 


2 $ 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


and has a dusky red coat or shell, but it is 
white within. This is the part used in medicine, 
for the whole fruit is not regarded The ana- 
cardium, or kernel, is said to be a cordial, and 
a strengthener of the nerves, but we do not 
much use it. There is a very sharp liquor between 
the outer and inner rinds of the shell, which will 
take away freckles from the skin ; but it is so 
sharp, that the ladies must be cautious how they 
use it. 

WestTnoia-Bean, or Cashew Nut-Tree. . 

Arbor acajou vulgo cajou. 

It appears by the description of the anacar- 
dium how very improperly it is called a nut, 
for it is the kernel of a large fruit, though 
growing in a singular manner. The case is just 
the same with respect to the Cashew nut, for it 
is neither a nut nor a bean, any more than the 
other: but it is necessary to keep to the common 
names, and it is proper they should be mentioned 
together. 

The tree which produces it is large and spread- 
ing ; the bark is of a pale colour, rough and 
cracked, and the wood is brittle. The leaves 
are half a foot long, and two or three inches 
broad, blunt at the end, and of a line green 
colour. The flowers are small, but they grow 
in tufts together. The fruit is of the bigness 
and shape of a pear, and of an orange and pur- 
ple colour mixt together ; the Cashew nut or 
bean, as it is called, hangs naked from the 
bottom of this fruit. It is of the bigness of a 
garden bean, and indented in the manner of a 
kidney ; it is of a greyish colour, and consists of 
a shelly covering, and a flue white fleshy sub- 














1 




















1 




FAMILY HERBAL, 


29 

stance within,, as sweet as an almond. Between 
the two coats of this shell, as between those of 
the anacardium, there is a sharp and caustic oil, 
which serves in the same manner as the other to 
take off freckles, but it must be used with great 
caution. It actually burns the skin, so that it must 
be suffered to lie on only a few moments : and even 

•j * 

when used ever so cautiously, it sometimes causes 
mischief. 

Bengal Bean-Tree. Faba Bengalensis. 

A large tree, native of the East, and not 
unlike our plum-tree. It is thirty or forty feet 
high ; the leaves are roundish, but sharp-pointed, 
and of a deep green ; they are finely indented, and 
of a firm texture. The flowers are large and 
white ; they resemble, in all respects, the blossoms 
of our plum-trees. The fruit is a kind of plum, 
of a long shape, with a small quantity of fleshy 
matter, and a very large stone. ■ It is a kind of 
myrobolan, but is not exactly the same with any that 
we use. 

The Bengal bean, as it is called, is an irregu- 
lar production of this tree : it is very ill-named 
a bean ; it is truly a gall like those of the oak : 
but it does not rise like them from the wood or 
leaves, but from the fruit of this particular plum. 
It is as broad as a walnut, but flatted, and 
hollowed in the centre ; its original is this : 
There is a little black fly frequent in that coun- 
try, which lodges its eggs in the unripe fruit of 
this particular plum, as we have insects in Eng- 
land, which always choose a particular plant, 
and a particular part for that purpose. The fly 
always strikes the fruit while it is green, and has 
but the rudiments of the stone. It grows dm- 


so 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


tempered from the wounds and the stone never ripens 
in it, but it takes this singular form. 

It is an excellent astringent. It is of the nature of 
the galls of the oak, but less violently binding. It is 
good in all purgings and bloody fluxes, and against 
the overflowing of the menses. 

Bear’s-Breech. Acanthus . 

A very beautiful plant, ‘native of Italy, and 
some other warm parts of Europe, and kept in our 
gardens. It grows a yard high ; the stalk is 
thick, round, and fleshy ; the leaves grow from 
the root, and are a foot long, four inches broad, 
very beautifully notched at the edges, and of 
a dark glossy green. The flowers stand in a 
kind of thick short spike at the top of the stalks, 
intermixed with small leaves ; these flowers are 
large, white, and gaping. The whole plant, when 
in flower, makes a very beautiful appearance. The 
root creeps. 

This plant is not so much known in medicine as 
it deserves. Hie root being cut in slices and boiled 
in water makes an excellent diuretic decoction. It 
was a great medicine with an eminent apothecary of 
Peterborough, and he gave more relief with it in the 
gravel and stone, than any other medicine would 
afford. / 


Bear’s-foot. Helleborus niger. 

A low and singular plant, but not without 
ite beauty ; it is a native of many parts of 
Europe, * but we have it only in gardens ; the 
leaves are large ; each rises from the root singly, 
on a foot-stalk of six inches long, and is di- 
vided into nine parts like Angers on a hand : 


I 


FAMILY HERBAL. , Si 

sometimes the divisions are fewer. The flowers are 
very large and beautiful, they are as big as a com- 
in on single rose, or nearly so ; they are white, red* 
dish, or greenish, according to the time of their having 
been open ; and they stand each on a single stalk, 
which rises from the root, and has no leaves on it. 
It flowers in January. 

The root is an excellent purge, it works briskly 
but safely ; it destroys worms, and is good in 
dropsies, jaundice, and many other diseases, and 
even in madness. But it is very necessary to keep 
it in one’s own garden, for, if the root be bought, 
they commonly sell that of the green flowered wild 
or bastard hellebore in its place, which is a rough 
medicine. 

Ladies’ Bedstraw. Gallium luteum. 

A pretty wild plant, frequent about hedges 
in June and the succeeding months. The stalk 
is weak and two feet high ; the leaves are of a 
blackish green, and small ; and the flovrers are 
yellow. The stalk is angular and whitish, very 
brittle, and seldom straight ; the leaves stand a great 
many at each joint, and are small, narrow, and 
disposed about the stalk like the rowels of a 
spur ; the flowers grow in great tufts on the 
tops of the stalks, so that they make a very con- 
spicuous appearance, though singly they are very 
small. 

This herb is little regarded, but it has very great 
virtue ; it should be gathered when the flowers 
are not quite blown, and dried in the shade. 
An infusion of it will cure the most violent bleedings 
at the nose, and almost all other evacuations of 
blood. 


32 FAMILY HERBAL. 

< 

Beet. J 3 eta alba. 

* 

A common garden plant eaten at our ta- 
bles, but these often afford medicines as well as 
food. The white beet, which is the medicinal 
kind, grows three or four feet high. The stalk is 
robust and strong, the leaves are broad and un- 
dulated, the flowers are inconsiderable, they are 
of a greenish white colour ; the root is large and 
long. 

The juice of fresh beet-root is an excellent remedy 
for the head-ach, and tooth -ach when the whole jaw 
is affected ; it is to be snuffed up the nose to promote 
sneezing. 

The red beet-root is good for the same purpose, 
but it is not so strong as the white. 

White Behen. Behai album... 

A common wild plant in our corn fields. It is 
two feet high ; the stalks are weak and often crooked ; 
but they are thick enough, round, and of a whitish 
green colour. The leaves are oblong, broad, and 
of a fine blue green colour, not dented at all at the 
edges, and they grow two at every joint ; the 
joints of the stalks where they grow are swelled 
and large, and the leaves have no stalks. The 
flowers are white, moderately large, and prickly. 
They stand upon a liusk which seems blown up with 
wind. 

This is one of those plants of our own growth, 
that have more virtue than people imagine. The 
foot, which is long, white, and woody, is to be 
gathered before the stalks rise, and dried. An 
infusion is one of the best remedies known for 
nervous complaints : it will not take place against 





FAMILY HERBAL. S3 

a violent present disorder ; but is an excellent pre- 
servative, taken cautiously. 

Red Rehen, Limonium majiis, 

A common wild plant about our sea-coasfe) 
and a very pretty one, It grows to a foot in 
height ; the stalks are naked, and the (lowers 
red ; and, in their disposition, they somewhat re- 
semble lavender, whence the plant is also called by 
some sea lavender. About the bottoms of the 
stalks stand dusters of large and broad leaves, 
rounded at the ends, of a deep green colour, 
and fattish substance ; these rise immediately 
from the root, and the stalks grow up among 
them. The stalks are very tough and strong, and 
branched, and of a paler green ; the root is long and 
reddish. 

The people in Essex cure themselves of purg- 
ings, and of overflowings of the menses, with an 
infusion of this root ; and it is a very great me- 
dicine, though little known. It is to be gathered, 
as soon as the young leaves appear, cleaned and 
dried ; it may be taken in powder, half a drachm 
for a dose. These are not the white and red behen 
roots of the old writers on physic, but they are 
better. 

Ben-nut-tree. Balanus myrepsica* 

This is an Arabian tree, not very large, buf 
exceedingly singular in the nature of its leaves. 
They are composed of a great number of small, 
roundish parts, growing at the extremities of 
strong branched foot-stalks* The leaves MI 
first, and these foot-stalks long after. When- 
fhe leaves are fallen, and the stalks remai% 

$ 


34 FAMILY HERBAL. 

the tree makes a very singular appearance. Tins 
fruit is a pod, long, but slender, and containing two 
seeds : these are what we call the ben-nuts. They 
are of an oblong figure, and irregularly rigid ; the 
shell is hard, but the kernel fat, soft, and oily, and 
of a bitter taste. 

The kernel operates by vomit and stool violently, 
and is seldom used. It affords an oil which has nei- 
ther smell nor taste, and which will keep a long time 
without growing rancid. 

Benjamin Tree. Arbor bmzionifera . 

A beautiful tree frequent in the East, and' 
there affording the fine fragrant resin of its name : 
it is also of the growth of America, and thrive* 
there, but it yields no resin.. It is a moderately 
tall tree ; the bark is smooth and brown ; the 
leaves are broad, oblong, and not unlike those 
of the lemon-tree. The flowers are whitish, 
and very inconsiderable. The fruit is as big as 
a nutmeg, and consists of a fleshy substance on 
the outside, and a kernel inclosed in a thin and 
brittle shell within. The tree is properly of the bay - 
tree kind. 

They cut the branches of the benjamin trees, 
and the juice which flows out hardens by de- 
grees into that reddish and white fragrant resin 
we see. It is an excellent medicine in disorders of 
the breast and lungs : and a tincture of it made 
with spirit of wine makes water milky, and this 
mixture is called virgin's milk ; it is good to cleanse 
the skin. 

Wood Betony. Butonica sylvestris. 

A common wild herb, but of very great vh> 


iue. It is frequent in our woods and among bushes, 
and flowers in June. Uie stalks are almost naked, 
and a foot high, and the flowers are purple. There 
grow many leaves from the root ; they have 
long stalks, and are broad, above an inch long, 
of a blackish green colour, and hairy, blunt at the 
point, and indented about the edges. The stalks 
are square, of a dark colour, hairy, and not very 
strong. The leaves of them are very few, and 
very distant ; but they stand two at a joint, and 
are like the others. The flowers stand at the tops 
in form of a kind of thick short spike ; they are 
small and purple, and of the shape of the flowers of 
mint. 

Betony is to be gathered when just going to 
flower. It is excellent for disorders of the head,, and 
for all nervous complaints. The habitual use of it 
will cure the most inveterate head-aches. It may 
be taken as tea, or dried and powdered. Some mix 
it with tobacco and smoke it, hut this is a more un- 
certain method. 

There is a tall plant with small purple flowers 
growing by waters, thence and from the shape of 
the leaves called water betony, but it has none of the 
virtues of this plant ; it is a kind of fig-wort, and 
possesses the virtues of that plant, but in an inferior 
degree. 

Bind Weed. Convolvulus major. 

A common wild plant which climbs about 
our hedges, and bears very large white flowers. 
The stalks are weak and slender, but very tough, 
six or eight feet long, and twist about any thing 
that can support them. The leaves are large, 
and of the shape of an arrow-head, bearded at 
the base, and sharp at the point : they stand 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


3 § 

singly, not in pairs, and are of a pale green co- 
lour. The flowers are of the breadth of a crown- 
piece at the mouth, and narrower to the base, bell- 
fashioned, and perfectly white. The root is long 
and slender. 

In Northamptonshire the poor people use the root 
of this plant fresh gathered and boiled in ale as a 
purge ; they save the expense of the apothecary, 
and answer the purpose better than any one thing' 
would do for them. It would nauseate a delicate 
stomach, but, for people of their strong constitution, 
there is not a better purge. 

Billberry Bush. Vaccinia nigra . 


A little tough shrubby plant, common in our 
boggy woods, and upon wet heaths. The stalks are 
tough, angular, and green ; the leaves are small ; 
they stand singly, not in pairs, and are broad, short, 
and indented about the edges. The flowers are 
small hut pretty, their colour is a faint red, and 
they are hollow like a cup. The berries are as 
large as the biggest pea, they are of a blackish 
colour, and of a pleasant taste. 

A syrup made of the juice of billberries, when 
not over ripe, is cooling and binding ; it is a plea- 
sant and gentle medicine for women whose menses 
are apt to be too redundant taken for a week before 
the time. 


Birch -Tree. Betid a. 

A tall and handsome tree, common in our woods 
and hedges. The bark is smooth and white. The 
young shoots are reddish, and they are small and 
long. The leaves are beautiful * they are short, 
jioundish, of a fine bright green, and notched 






♦ 














r 



t 





• ./■> 



FAMILY HERBAL. 


a**- 

«> it 


about the edges. The flowers are inconsiderable ; 
the fruit is a little scaly globule, preceding the leaves 
in spring. 

The juice of the birch-tree, procured by boring 
a hole in it in spring, is diuretic, and good against 
the scurvy. The leaves, fresh gathered, and boil- 
ed in water, afford a decoction, which acts m the 
same manner, and is good in dropsies ; and in all 
cutaneous disorders, outwardly used. 

Round-rooted Birthwort. ArislolocJiia ro - 

lu?i da. 

A wild plant in Italy, and the south of France ; 
but with us found only in the gardens of the 
curious. It has no great beauty, or even singularity 
in its appearance, till examined. The stalks are 
a foot and a half long, but weak ; they are 
square, and of a dusky green colour. The leaves 
are short, broad, and roundish, of a dusky green ; 
also the flowers are long, hollow, and of an odd 
form, not resembling the flowers of other plants : 
they are of a dusky greenish colour on the out- 
side, and purple within : the fruit is fleshy, and 
as big as a small walnut The root is large and 
roundish. 

The root is the only part used in medicine, 
and that we have from countries where the plant 
is a native ; it is a rough and disagreeable medicine ; 
it often offends the stomach, but it is an excellent 
drug for promoting the necessary evacuations after 
delivery. 

There are two other kinds of birthwort, the 
root of which are also kept in the shops; the one 
called the long birthwort; the other the climbing 
birthwort. They possess the same virtues with the 


38 FAMILY HERBAL. 

round, but in a less degree, and are therefore less 
regarded, 

Bishopsweed. Ammi . 

A “wild plant in France and Italy, but kept 
©illy in our gardens ; in its external figure, some- 
what resembling parsley when in flower. The 
stalk is round, firm, and striated ; it grows two 
feet high. The leaves are of the compound kind, 
and formed of many smaller, which are broad, 
short, and indented at the edges. The flowers- 
are small and white, hut they stand in such 
large tufts at the tops of the stalks, that' they 
make a considerable appearance. Each flower 
is succee ied by two seeds ; these are small and 
striated, of a warm aromatic taste, and not disa- 
greeable. 

The seeds are the only part of the plant used 
in medicine ; they are good against the colic, 
as all the other carminative seeds are ; but they 
are also diuretic ; so that they are particularly 
proper in those colics which arise from the stone 
in the kidneys and ureters ; they also promote the 
menses. 

There is another sort of bishopsweed called 
Cretick ammi, the seeds of which are used in me- 
dicine ; they are of the same virtues with these, but 
are less used. They have a more spicy smell. 

Bistort. Bistorta. 

A very beautiful wild plant : it grows in our 
meadows, and, when in flower, in May and June, 
is very conspicuous, as well as very elegant in 
its appearance. It is about a foot and a half 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


39 


high ; the leaves are broad and beautiful, and 

the flowers grow in a thick spike or ear, at the 

top of the stalks, and are of a bright red colour. 
There rise immediately from the root a number 
of large and beautiful leaves, long*, broad, and 
of a fine green colour. The stalks on which they 
stand, have also a rim of the leaf running down 

them ; the stalks are round, firm, and erect, of 

a pale green, and have two or three leaves, like 
the others, hut smaller, on them, placed at dis- 
tances. The spike of the flowers is as long 
and as thick as a man's thumb : the root is thick 
and contorted, blackish on the outside, and red 
’within. 

If we minded our own herbs, we should need 
fewer medicines from abroad. The root of bis- 
tort is one of the best astringents in the world : not 
violent, but sure. The time of gathering it is in 
March, when the leaves begin to shoot. String 
several of them on a line, and let them dry in the 
shade. The powder or decoction of them will stop 
all fluxes of the belly, and is one of the safest reme- 
dies known for overflowings of the menses. They 
are also good in a diabetes. The use of this root 
may be obtained without danger, till it effects a 
perfect cure. 

Bitter-Sweet. Solanurh lignasum.. 

A common wild plant, with weak, but woody 
stalks, that runs among our hedges, and bears 
bunches of very pretty blue flow r ers in sum- 
mer, and in autumn red berries. The stalks 
run to ten feet in length, but they cannot sup- 
port themselves upright : they are of a bluish 
colour, and, when broken, have a very disagree- 
able smell like rotten eggs. The leaves are oval. 


40 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


but sharp -pointed, and have each two little onei 
near the base ; they are of a dusky green and 
indented, and they grow singly on the stalks. 
The flowers are small, and of a line purplish blue, 
with yellow threads in the middle. The berries 
are oblong. This is little regarded in medicine, 
but it deserves to be better known ; we account 
the night-shades poisonous, and many of them 
are so ; but this has no harm in it. The wood 
of the larger brandies, and the young shoots of 
the leaves, are a safe and excellent purge. I have 
known a dropsy taken early cured by this single 
medicine. 

Blood-wort. Lapathum sanguincum 4 


A beautiful kind of dock kept in gardens 
and wild in some places. It grows to four feet 
high ; the stalks are firm, stiff, upright, branch- 
ed, and striated. The leaves are very long and 
narrow, broadest at the base, and smaller all the 
way to the end. They are not at all indented 
at the edges, and they stand upon long foot-stalks : 
their colour is a deep green, but they are in 
different degrees stained with a beautiful blood 
red ; sometimes the ribs only are red, sometimes 
there are long veins of red irregularly spread 
over the whole leaf ; sometimes they are very 
broad, and in some plants the whole leaves and 
the stalks also are of a blood colour ; the flowers 
are very numerous and little. They in all respects 
resemble those of the common wild docks. The 
root is long and thick, and of a deep blood red 
colour. 

The roots are used : they are best dry, and they 
may be given in decoction, or in powder. They are 
a powerful astringent ; they stop bloody fluxes* 




FAMILY HERBAL, 41 

spitting of blood, and the overflowings of the menses. 
It is also good against violent purgings and against 
the whites. 

« 

Bramble. Ruhus vulgaris . 

\ 

The most common bush in our hedges. The 
stalks are woody, angulatcd, and of a pur- 
plish colour ; and they are armed with crooked 

spines ; the leaves are rough, indented, and stand 
either five or three on a stalk. The flowers are 

white, with a very faint tinge of purplish, and 

the fruit is composed of a number of small 
grains. 

The most neglected things have their use. The 
buds of the bramble-leaves boiled in spring water, 
and the decoction sweetened with honey, are excel- 
lent for a sore throat. A syrup made of the juice 
of the unripe fruit, with very fine sugar, is cooling 
and astringent. It is good in immoderate fluxes 
of the menses, and even in purgings. The berries 
are to be gathered for tills purpose, when they are 
red. 


Blue Bottle. Cyanus . 

A very common and a very pretty weed 
among our corn ; the leaves are narrow, and of a 
whitish green ; and the flowers of a very beautri 
ful blue, and large. The plant is about a foot 
high, and, when in flower, makes a conspicuous 
and elegant appearance. The root is hard and 
fibrous ; the stalk is very firm and white, angu- 
lated, and branched. The leaves that grow from 
the root have some notches on the edges ; those 
on the stalk have none, and they are narrow 
like blades of grass; the flowers stand only on the 

G 


42 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


tops of the branches, and they grow out of scaly 
heads. The seeds are beautiful, hard, white, and 
shining. 

The leaves which grow on the stalks of the 
blue-bottle, fresh gathered and bruised, will stop 
the bleeding of a fresh wound, even if a large 
vessel be cut. They are not sufficiently known for 
this purpose, but they exceed all other things : and 
may save a life where a surgeon is not to be had in 
time for such an accident. A distilled water of the 
flowers used to be kept in the shops, but it was of 
no value. An infusion of them works gently by 
urine. 

There is a large kind of this plank in gardens, 

which is called a vulnerary or wound herb. But it 

*/ 

is not so good as this. 

Box Tree. JBuxus. 

A common little shrub in our gardens, and a 
native of our own country, though not common 
in its wild state. With us it grows hut to a 
small height ; in some other parts of Europe, it 
is a tolerably large shrub. The hark is whitish, 
the wood yellow ; the leaves small, roundish, smooth, 
of a very dark green colour, and very numerous. 
The flowers are small and greenish yellow ; the 
fruit is little, round, and furnished with three 
points. 

The wood of the box-tree, and particularly 
of the root, is an excellent medicine in all foul* 
nesses of the blood ; it has the same virtues with 
the guiacum, hut in a greater degree. It is to be 
given in decoction not made too strong, and con- 
tinued a long time. There have been instances 
of what were called leprosies cured entirely by 
this medicine. There is an oil made from it by 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


43 


distillation, which is good for the tooth-ache. It 
is to be dropped on cotton, and to be put into the 
tooth. 

Borage. Borago. 

A rough plant common in our gardens, with great 
leaves, and beautiful blue flowers. It grows two 
feet high ; the stalks are thick, round, fleshy, and 
juicy ; and covered with a kind of hairiness so sturdy 
that it almost amounts to the nature of prickles. 
The leaves are oblong, broad, very rough, and 
wrinkled ; and they have the same sort of hairiness, 
but less stiff than that of the stalk ; the largest 
grow from the root, but those on the stalks are nearly 
of the same shape. The flowers are placed toward 
the tops of the branches ; they are divided into five 
parts, of a most beautiful blue, and have a black eye, 
as it were, in the middle. 

Borage has the credit of being a great cordial ; 
but if it possess any such virtues, they are to be ob- 
tained only by a light cold infusion ; so that the 
way of throwing it into cold wine is better than 
all the medicinal preparations, for in them it is 
nauseous. 

White Bryony. Bryonia alba . 

A tall, climbing, wild plant, which covers our 
hedges in many places. The leaves are somewhat 
like those of the vine ; the flowers are incon- 
siderable ; but the berries are red, and make a great 
shew. The root is vastly large, rough, and whitish ; 
the stalks are tough, ten or twelve feet long ; but 
weak and unable to support themselves ; they have 
tendrils at the joints, and by these they affix them- 
selves to bushes. The leaves are broad, and divided 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


deeply at the edge, and they are hairy. The flowers 
are of a greenish white and small, but the berries are 
moderately large and full of seeds. 

The root is the only part used in medicine ; the 
juice of it operates very strongly by vomit and stool, 
and that in a small dose. All constitutions cannot 
bear it, but, for those that can, it is excellent in 
many severe diseases ; dropsies have been cured by 
it. It is also good against hysteric complaints, but 
for this purpose it is to be given in very small doses, 
and frequently repeated. 

Black Bryony. Bryonia nigra . 

i 

There is not any instance which more blames our 
neglect of the medicines of our own growth, than 
this of the black bryony, a medicine scarce known 
or heard of, but equal to any. 

The plant climbs upon bushes and hedges like 
the former, but this by twisting its stalk about 
the branches of trees and shrubs, for it has no 
tendrils. It runs to fifteen feet in height ; the 
stalk is tough and angular : the leaves are broad, 
and of a heart-like shape, and are perfectly smooth 
and shining, and of a glossy and very deep blackish 
green. The flowers are very small, and of a greenish 
white ; the berries are red. The root is black 
without, white within, and full of a slimy juice. 

The root of black bryony is one of the best 
diuretics known in medicine. It is an excel- 
lent remedy in the gravel, and all other obstructions 
of urine, and other disorders of the urinary 
passages. 

Brooklime. Anagallis aquatica , becabunga, 

A common wild herb frequent about shallow 


► 






























I 





4 















U" 




V 






:v 































waters, with a thick stalk, roundish leaves, and 
spikes of little bright blue flowers. Brooklime 
grows to a foot high. The stalk is round, fleshy, 
and large, yet it does not grow very upright : it 
strikes root at the lower joints. The leaves are 
broad, oblong, blunt at the end, and a little indented 
on the edges. The flowers stand singly on short 
foot-stalks one over another, so that they form a 
kind of loose spike ; the roots are fibrous. 

Brooklime has great virtues, but must be used 
fresh gathered, for they are all lost in drying. The 
juice in spring is very good against the scurvy ; but 
it must be taken for some time. If works gently 
by urine, but its great virtue is in sweetening the 
blood. 


Broom. Genista . 

A common naked-looking shrub that grows on 
waste grounds, and bears yellow flowers in May. 
It is two or three feet high. The stalks are very 
tough, angular, and green. The leave! are few, 
and they are also small ; they grow three together, 
and stand at distances on the long and slender stalks. 
The flowers are numerous, they are shaped like a 
pea-blossom, an ^ are of a beautiful bright yellow. 
The pods are flat and hairy. 

The green stalks of broom, infused in ale or beer 
for the common drink, operate by urine, and remove 
obstructions of the liver and other parts ; they are 
famous in the dropsy and jaundice. It is a common 
practice to bum them to ashes, and infuse those ashes 
in white wine ; thus the fixed salt is extracted, and 
the wine becomes a kind of lee. This also works 
by urine more powerfully than the other, but the 
other is preferable for removing obstructions. 


46 FAMILY HERBAL, 

Butchers-Broo m . Ruscus . 

A LfTTLE shrubby plant frequent on our waste 
grounds and heaths, with small prickly leaves and 
bushy tops. The plant grows a foot and a half 
high. The stalks are roundish, striated, thick, and 
very tough. They are naked towards the bottom, 
and divide into some branches towards the top : 
they are there covered with leaves. These leaves 
are short, broad, oval, and pointed, the point running 
out in a prickle ; they are of a bluish green, and 
very thick and fleshy. The flowers are seldom re- 
garded ; they grow in a singular manner upon the 
backs of the leaves ; they are very small and pur- 
plish : these are succeeded each by a single berry, 
which is red, round, and as big as a pea. The roots 
'are white, thick, and numerous. 

The root is the part used, and it is an excellent 
medicine to remove obstructions. It works power- 
fully by urine, and is good in jaundices, and in 
stoppages of the menses, and excellent in the gravel. 

4 Buck beans. Trifolium palustre . 

An herb better known by the common people, 
than among the apothecaries, but of great virtue. 
It grows wild with us in marshy places, and is 
of so very singular appearance, that it must be 
known at sight. It grows a foot high, the leaves 
stand three upon each stalk, and these stalks rise 
immediately from the roots. They are thick, 
round, smooth, and fleshy ; and the leaves them- 
selves are large, oblong, and have some resemblance 
of those of garden beans. The flowers stand 
upon naked stalks, which are also thick, round, 
fleshy, and whitish : they are small, but they grow 


47 


•together in a kind of thick short spike/ so that in 
the cluster they make a conspicuous appearance ; 
they are white with a very faint tinge of purple, 
and are hairy within ; the root is whitish, long, and 
thick. 

The leaves of buck-bean are to be gatnered 
before the stalks appear for dowering, and are 
to be dried ; the powder of them will cure agues, 
but their great use is against the rheumatism : 
for this purpose they are to be given for a con- 
tinuance of time in infusion, or in the manner of 
tea. 

Buckthorn. Spina cervina. 

A prickly shrub, common in our hedges, 
with pale green leaves, and black berries. It 
grows to eight or ten feet high. The bark is 
dark coloured and glossy, and the twigs are tough. 
The leaves are oval, of a very regular and pretty 
figure, and elegantly dented round the edges. 
The dowers are little and inconsiderable ; they 
are of a greenish yellow, and grow 7 in little clus- 
ters. The berries, which are ripe in September, 
are round, glossy, black, as big as the largest 
pepper-corns, and contain each three or four 
seeds. 

The juice of the berries, boiled up with sugar, 
makes a good purge ; but it is apt to gripe, unless 
some spice be added in the making. It is a rough 
purge, but a very good one. 

Buckshorn Plantain. Coro nop us. 

A very pretty little plant, which grows in our 
sandy and barren places, with the leaves spread 
out in manner of a star, all the way round from the 


48 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


root ; and in the heads like other plantains, al- 
though so very unlike them in its leaves. The 
root is long and slender ; the leaves which lie thus 
hat upon the ground are narrow and long, very 
beautifully notched, and divided so as to resemble 
a buck’s horn, whence the name, and of a pale 
whitish green, and a title hairy. The stalks are 
slender, six inches long, but seldom quite erect : 
they are round, hairy, and whitish, and have at the 
top a spike of flowers of an inch or two in length, 
altogether like that of the other plantains, only more 
slender. 

This plant has obtained the name of star of 
the earth, from the way of the leaves spreading 
themselves. These leaves bruised, and applied 
to a fresh wound, stop the bleeding, and effect 
a cure. It is said also to be a remedy against 
the bite of a mad dog ; but this is idle and ground- 
less. 

Bugle. Bugula 

A common wild plant, and a very pretty 
one, with glossy leaves, creeping stalks, and blue 
flowers ; it is frequent in damp woods. The 
stalks, when they rise up to bear the flowers, are 
eight or ten inches high, square, of a pale green 
colour, often a little purplish ; and have two leaves 
at every joint, the joints being somewhat distant. 
These leaves are of the same form with those 
which rise immediately from the root ; oblong* 
broad, blunt at the point, and of a deep green 
colour, sometimes also a little purplish, and are 
slightly indented round the edges. The flowers 
are small, and of a beautiful blue, in shape like 
those of betony ; they grow in a sort of circles 
round the upper part of the stalks, forming a kind 


FAMILY HERBAL. 49 

of loose spikes. The cups remain when the flowers 
are gone, and hold the seeds. 

The juice of this plant is esteemed good for inward 
bruises ; it is a very good diuretic. 

Bugloss. Buglossum hortense . 

A rough and unsightly plant kept, in our 
gardens for the sake of its virtues, but very rare* 
ly used. It grows to a foot and a half high ; 
the leaves are rough like those of borage, but 
they are long and narrow, of a deep green colour, 
and rough surface. The stalks are also covered 
with a rough and almost prickly hairiness. The 
same sort of leaves stand on these as rise imme- 
diately from the root, only smaller. The flow- 
ers stand at the tops of the branches, and are very 
pretty, though not very large ; they are red when 
they first open, but they afterwards become blue. 
The root is long and brown. It flowers in June and 
July. 

Bugloss shares with borage the credit of being 
a cordial ; but perhaps neither of them have any 
great title to the character ; it is used like borage, 
in cool tankards ; for there is no way of making 
any regular preparation of it, that is possessed of any 
virtues. 

There is a wild kind of bugloss upon ditch- 
banks, very like the garden kind, and of the same 
virtues. 

Burdock. Bardana . 

If the last mentioned plant has more credit for 
medicinal virtues than it deserves, this is not so 
much regarded as it ought. Providence has made 
some of the most useful plants the most common ; 

ii 


50 FAMILY HERBAL, 

but, because they are so, we foolishly neglect 
them, . ; 

It is hardly necessary to describe the common bur- 
dock. It may be enough to say, that it grows a yard 
high, and has vast leaves, of a figure approach- 
ing to triangular, and of a whitish green colour. 
The stalks are round, striated, and very tough : 
the dowers are small and red, and they grow 
among the hooked prickles of those heads which 
we call burs, and which stick to our clothes. 
Even this seems a provision of nature in kindness 
to us. In pulling off these we scatter the seeds of 
which they are composed, and give rise to a most 
useful plant in a new place. The root of the 
burdock is long and thick ; brown on the outside, 
and whitish within ; this is the part used in me- 
dicine, and it is of very great virtues. It is to 
be boiled, or infused in water : the virtue is diu- 
retic, and it is very powerfully so. It has cured 
dropsies alone. The seeds have the same virtue, 
but in a less degree. The root is said to be sudorific 
and good in fevers ; but its virtue in operating by 
urine is its great value. 

Burnet. Pimpinella sanguisorba. 

A common wild plant. It grows by way- 
sides, and in dry places, and flowers in July. The 
leaves which rise immediately from the root are 
very beautiful ; they are of the winged kind, being 
composed of a great number of smaller, growing 
on each side a middle rib, with an odd one at the 
end. They are broad, short, roundish, and elegant- 
ly serrated round the edges. The stalks are a 
foot high, round, striated, purplish or green, and 
almost naked ; the few leaves they have are like 
those at th$ bottom. On the tops of these stalks 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


51 


stand the flowers ; they are disposed in little round 
clusters., and are small, and of a pale reddish co- 
lour, and have a number of threads in the middle. 

Burnet is called a cordial, and a sudorific, and is 
recommended in fevers. They put it also into cool 
tankards, like borage. The root is a good astrin- 
gent ; dried and powdered, it stops fluxes, and 
overflowings of the menses. 

Burnet Saxifrage. Phnpinella saxifraga . 

A pretty plant, wild in our dry pastures, 
and under hedges, but not very common in all 
parts of the kingdom ; it grows two feet high, 
and has the flowers in umbels. The stalk is 
firm, striated, and branched ; the leaves rising 
from the foot are pinnated, and the lesser leaves 
of which they are composed, are hard, of a deep 
.green, narrow, and indented. The leaves upon 
the stalks are smaller and narrower ; the flowers 
are little and white, but they stand in so large 
clusters, that they make a figure : the root is 
white, and of a hot burning taste ; the seeds are 
striated. 

The root is the only part used ; it should be 
taken up in spring before the stalks shoot up, and 
dried ; itps very good in colics, and disorders of the 
stomach, and it works by urine. 

Butter- Bur. P.etasites . 

A very singular and very conspicuous plant, 
not unfrequent with us in wet places. The flow- 
ers appear before the leaves, and they would 
hardly be supposed to belong to the same plant. 
The stalks are round, thick, spungy, and of a 
whitish colour, and have a few films by way of 


52 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


leaves upon them. On the top of each stands 
a spike of flowers, of a pale reddish colour ; 
the whole does not rise to more than eight inches 
in height. These appear in March. When they 
are dead, the leaves grow up ; these are roundish, 
green on the upper side, and whitish underneath, 
of a vast bigness, and stand singly upon hollowed 
foot-stalks, of a purplish, whitish, or greenish co« 
lour ; they are often two feet broad. The root 
is white and long, it creeps under the surface of the 
ground. 

The root is the part used ; it is praised very 
highly, as a remedy in pestilential fevers ; but, 
whether it deserves that praise or not, it is a good 
diuretic, and excellent in the gravel. 

Bur-reed . Sparganium , 

A common water plant, with leaves like 
flags, and rough heads of seeds : it is two or three 
feet high. The stalks are round, green, thick, 
and upright. The leaves are very long and nar- 
row, sharp at the edges, and with a sharp ridge 
on the back along the middle ; they are of a pale 
green, and look fresh and beautiful. The flowers 
are inconsiderable and yellowish : they stand in a 
kind of circular tufts about the upper parts of the 
stalk : lower down stand the rough fruits called 
burs, from whence the plant obtained its name ; 
they are of the bigness of a large nutmeg, green and 
rough. The root is composed of a quantity of 
white fibres. 

The unripe fruit is used : they are astringent, 
find good against fluxes of the belly, and bleed- 
ings of all kinds : the best way of giving them 
is infused in a rough red wine, with a little cin- 
namon, They use them in some parts of England 






























6 . 



* 











■V , 





i 


* 










ri 




,1 / 7-Sr.j;, 









! 






\ ’ 



/ 









FAMILY HERBAL. 


53 


externally for wounds. A strong decoction of 
them is made to wash old ulcers., and the juice is 
applied to fresh hurts, and they say with great 

success. 


Chocolate Nut-tree. Cacao . 

This is an American tree, very beautiful, as 
well as very valuable for its fruit. The trunk 
is of the thickness of a man’s leg, and the 
height of fifteen feet ; but in this it differs 
greatly according to the soil ; and the size of the 
fruit also will differ from the same cause, whence 
some have talked of four different kinds of the 
chocolate nut. The tree grows very regularly. 
The surface is uneven, for the bark rises into 
tubercles ; the leaves are half a foot long, three 
inches broad, of a fine strong green, and pointed 
at the ends. The flowers are small and yellowish, 
and they grow in clusters from the branches, and 
even from the trunk of the tree ; but each has its 
separate stalk. The fruit is of the shape of a 
cucumber, half a foot long, and thicker than a man’s 
wrist ; this is rigid, and, when ripe, of a purplish 
colour, with some tinct of yellow. The cacao nuts, 
as they are called, are lodged within this fruit; 
every fruit contains between twenty and thirty of 
them. They are of the bigness of a large olive 
but not so thick : and are composed of a woody 
shell, and a large kernel, which affords the eho* 
colate. 

The common way of taking this in chocolate is 
not the only one in which it may be given ; the nut 
itself may be put into electuaries. It is very nourish- 
ing and restorative. 


B4 FAMILY HERBAL, 

Cala mint. Ca larnin th a . 

A common wild plant of great virtues, but 
too much neglected. It is frequent by our 
hedges, and in dry places, and is a very robust 
herb. It is eight or ten inches high, and has 
roundish dark green leaves, and white flowers. 
The stalks are square, and very much branched : 
the leaves are of the bigness of a man's thumb- 
nail, somewhat hairy, and slightly indented about 
the edges. The (lowers stand in little dusters 
surrounding the stalks, and ace of a whitish co- 
lour, a little tinged with purplish. The root is 
composed of few fibres. Calamint should be ga- 
thered when just coming into flower, and careful- 
ly dried ; it is afterwards to be given in the man- 
ner of tea, and it will do great service in weak- 
nesses of the stomach, and in habitual colics. I 
have known effectual and lasting cures performed by it. 

Penny-royal Calamint. Calamintha oclo?x 

pulegji . 

A little plant of the same kind with the 
other, and found in the same places, but tnore com- 
mon. It is a foot high : the stalks are robust 
and firm ; the leaves are small, and of a whitish 
green colour, and more hairy than in the other : 
the flowers are small and white, with a tinge of 
purple ; the plant grows more erect and is less 
branched than the other ; and it has a very strong 
and not a very agreeable smell ; the other is strong- 
scented and pleasant. 

This is to be preserved dry as the other, and 
taken in the same manner. It is excellent against 
stoppages of the menses, and, if taken constantly, 
will brine; them to a regular course. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 55 

% 

Calves’ Snout, or Snapdragon. Antirrhinum . 

A common wild plant in many parts of 
Europe, and is very frequent in our gardens, and 
upon the walls of gardens : its natural situation 
is on hills among barren rocks, and nothing 
comes so near that, as the top of an old wall 
with us : the seeds are light and are easily car- 
ried thither by the wind, and they never fail to 
strike, and the plant flourishes. It is two feet 
high, the stalks are round, thick, firm, and to- 
lerably upright, but generally a little bent towards 
the bottom ; the leaves are very numerous ; 
they are oblong, narrow, not indented at the edges, 
blunt at the ends, and of a bluish green colour. 
The flowers are large and red, they stand in a kind 
of loose spikes upon the tops of the stalks ; the root 
is white and oblong. 

The fresh tops afe used ; an infusion of them 
works by urine, and has been recommended by 
some in the iaundice, and in other diseases arising 
from obstructions of the viscera ; but we have 
so many English plants that excel in this particu- 
lar, and the taste of the infusion is so far from 
agreeable, that it is not worth while to have recourse 
to if 

Camel’s hay. Schcnanthus . 

A sort of grass of a fragrant smell, frequent 
in many parts of . the East, and brought ove r 
to us dried for the use of medicine. It grows to 
a foot high, and in all respects resembles some of 
our common kinds of grass, particularly the dar- 
nel. The leaves are long and narrow : the 
stalks are round and jointed, and have grassy leaves 
also on them, and f he flowers stand on the tops of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


56 

the stalks in a double series : they are not unlike those 
of our grasses, chaffy and ornamented with a few 
filaments. 

It was at one time in great esteem as a medicine ; 
they called it a cordial, and a promoter of the menses., 
hut it is now very little regarded. 

Chamomile. Chamoemeliim , 

A common low wild plant, of a beautiful 
green, a fragrant smell, and with flowers not un- 
like daisies. It is frequent on damp heaths, and gets 
no good by being brought into gardens. It grows 
larger there, but has less efficacy. In its wild state 
it spreads its branches upon the ground, taking root 
at the joints. The stalks are round, green, and 
thick ; the leaves are very finely divided, and of a 
dark blackish green colour. The flowers grow 
upon long foot-stalks, and are white at the edge 
and yellow in the middle : the flowers are most 
used. Those which are raised for sale are double, 
and they have very little virtue in comparison of 
the single ones. They are to be taken in tea, which 
Is a pleasant bitter ; or in powder they are excellent 
for disorders of the stomach, and have sometimes 
cured agues, as many other bitters will. The tea 
made of them is also good against the colic, and 
works by urine, 

Camphire-Tree. Arbor camphorifera 

This is a kind of bay-tree of the East Indies, 
but it grows to the height of our tallest trees. The 

O O 0 9 

bark is brown and uneven on the trunk, but it is 
smooth and green on the young branches. The 
leaves are like those of the common bay -tree, only 
a little longer ; and they are curled at the edges. 


FAMILY HERBAL* / hi 

The Bowers ere small and white,, and the fruit is 
a berry altogether like our bay-berries, and of the 
bigness of a large pea. The wood of the tree is 
white or a little reddish,, and veined with black., 
and smells of the cam phi re. The leaves also, when 
they are bruised, smell of camp hire ; and the fruit 
most of all. 

The only product of this tree, used in medicine, 
is the resin called camphire ; and this is not a natu- 
ral, but a sort of chemical preparation. They cut 
the wood to pieces and put it into a sort of subli- 
ming vessel w ith an earthen head full of straw 
They make fire underneath, and the camphire rises 
in form of a white meal, and is found among the 
straw. This is refined afterwards, and becomes 
the camphire we use. 

It is sudorific and works by urine ; it also pro- 
motes the menses, and is good in disorders of the 
bladder. 

White Campion. Lychnis jiore dbo. 

A common wild plant in our hedges and dry 
pastures, with hairy leaves and white flowers. It 
grows to a foot and a half high : the stalks are round 
and hairy ; the leaves are of an oval form, and also 
hairy ; and they grow two at every joint : they are 
of a dusky gTeen, and are not indented about the 
edges. The flowers are moderately large, and 
white ; they grow in a kind of small clusters on 
fhe tops of the branches, and each has its separate 
foot-stalk. 

This is a plant not much regarded for its virtues, 
but it deserves notice ; the country people gather 
the flowers in some places, and give them in the 
whites and other weaknesses with success. 

x 


58 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


Canel Bark-Tree, called the Winter’s Bark- 

8 

Tree. Canella alba. 

A very beautiful American tree. It grows fifty 
feet high, and is commonly much branched. The 
bark is of a greyish brown : the leaves are very 
like those of the bay -tree, and the flowers are purple ; 
they are singly very small, but they stand in a kind 
of umbels, and make a very pretty figure : the fruit 
is a berry which stands in the cup of the flower : 
It is of the bigness of a pea, and of a deep blackish 
purple when ripe. It is frequent in Jamaica in wet 
places. 

The inner rind of this tree is the part used in 
medicine ; it is brought to us rolled up in quills, in 
the manner of cinnamon, aird is of a spicy taste, 
and of a whitish colour. Its proper name is canella 
alba, white canel ; but the druggists have accustom- 
ed themselves to call it cortex winteranus, winter T s- 
bark. It has the same virtues with that, but in a 
much less degree ; and they are easily known 
asunder, that being the whole bark of the tree, 
and composed of two coats ; this being only the 
inner bark, and therefore composed only of one. 
It is good in weaknesses of the stomach, and in 
habitual colics. Some recommend it greatly in 
palsies and all nervous complaints, but its virtues 
of this kind are not so well established, 

Canterbury Bells. Trachelium majus . 

A very beautiful wild plant, with leaves like 
the stinging-nettle, and large and very elegant blue 
flowers. It grows by road-sides, and in dry 
pastures, and is two or three feet high. The stalks 
are square, thick, upright, strong, and hairy. 
The leaves grow irregularly, they are of a dusky 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


59 


green, and stand upon long foot-stalks ; they are 
broad at the base, and sharp at the point, and all 
the way indented very sharply at the edges. They 
are hairy and rough to the touch. The flowers 
grow ten or a dozen together at the top of every 
branch ; they are very large and of a beautiful 
blue colour, hollow and divided into several parts 
at the extremity. If the soil be poor the flowers will 
vary in their colour to a pale blue, reddish, or white, 
but the plant is still the same. 

The fresh tops, with the buds of the flowers upon 
them, contain most virtue, but the dried leaves may 
be used. An infusion of them, sharpened with a 
few drops of spirit of vitriol, and sweetened with 
honey, is an excellent medicine for sore throats, 
used by way of a gargle. The plant is so famous 
for this virtue, that one of its common English 
names is throat- wort : if the medicine be swallowed, 
there is no harm in it ; but, in the the use of every 
thing in this way, it is best to spit the liquor out 
together with the foulnesses which it may have 
washed from the affected parts. 

Caper Shrub. Capparis. 

A common shrub in France and Italy, and kept 
in our gardens. The pickles which we know under 
the name of capers, are made of the buds of the 
flowers, but the part to be used in medicine is the 
bark of the roots. 

Tiie shrub grows to no great height ; the 
branches are weak, and ill able to support them- 
selves, they are tough and prickly : the leaves stand 
irregularly, and are of an oval or roundish iigure ; 
the thorns are hooked like those of the bramble ; 
the flowers, when full opened, are purplish and very 
pretty : the fruit is roundish. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


The bark of the root is to be taken in powder, 
or infusion ; it is good against obstructions of the 
liver and spleen, in the jaundice, and hypochondriac 
complaints : it is also commended in indigestions, 

Caranna Tree. Caranna arbor , 

A tall East Indian tree, and a very beautiful one : 
the trunk is thick, and the bark upon it is brown 
and rough ; that on the young branches is smooth 
and yellowish. The leaves are long and narrow, 
like those of some of our willow-trees. The flower 
is «™all and of a pale colour, and the fruit is of the 
bigness of an apple. 

The resin called gum caranna, is a product of 
this tree ; it is procured by cutting the branches ; 
they send it in rolls covered with leaves of rushes ; 
it is blackish on the outside, and brown within. 

It is supposed a good nervous medicine, but it is 
rarely used. 

Lesser Cardamom Plant. Cardamomum 

minus , 


An East Indian plant, in many respects resem- 
bling our reeds. It grows to ten or twelve feet 
high. The stalk is an inch thick, round, smooth, 
green, and hollow, but with a pith within. The 
leaves are half a yard long, and as broad as a man's 
hand : besides these stalks, there arise from the same 
root others which are weak, tender, and about 
eight inches high ; these produce the flowers which 
are small and greenish, and after every flower one 
of the fruits, called the lesser cardamoms, which 
are a light dry hollow fruit, of a whitish colour, 
and somewhat triangular ihape ; of the bigness of 
an horse-bean, and of a dry substance on the out- 

















































* 











FAMILY HERBAL, 61 

side, but with several seeds within, which are red- 
dish and very acrid, but pleasant to the taste. 

These fruits are the lesser cardamoms, or, as 
they are generally called, the cardamom seeds of 
the shops. They are excellent to strengthen the 
stomach, and assist digestion. They are also good 
for disorders of the head, and they are equal to 
any thing against colics ; they are best taken by 
chewing them singly in the mouth, and their taste is 
not at all disagreeable. 

The two other kinds are the middle cardamom, 
a long fruit very rarely met with, and the great 
cardamom, otherwise called the grain of paradise, 
much better than the cardamoms. 

Car Ann a Tree. Caragna. 

A tall and spreading tree of the West Indies ; 
the branches are numerous, and irregular ; the 
trunk is covered with a brown bark, the branches 
with a paler, they are brittle ; the leaves are long 
and narrow, of a pale green, and sharp pointed ; the 
flowers are small, the fruit is roundish and of the 
bigness of an apple. This is the best account we 
have of it, but this is far from perfect or satisfactory 
in every respect. 

Alt that we use of it is a resin which oozes 
out of the bark, in the great heats ; this is brown, 
somewhat soft, and we have it in oblong pieces, 
rolled up in rushes ; we put it only externally ; a 
punster made of it is good for disorders of the head, 
and some say will cure the sciatica without internal 
medicines, but this is not probable. 

Carline Thistle. Carlin a, 

I have observed that many plants arp not 


62 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


so much regarded for their virtues as they ought 
to be ; there are, on the contrary, some which are 
celebrated more than they deserve : the carline 
thistle is of this last number. It is not wholly 
without virtues, but it has not all that are ascribed 
to it. 

This is a plant without any stalk. The leaves 
are long, narrow, of a dark green colour, divided 
and prickly at the edges ; and they lie^ spread upon 
the ground in manner of a star. The bower 
appears in the midst of these without a stalk, rising 
immediately from the root, with several small 
leaves round about it. It is the head of a thistle, 
and the flowery part is white on the edge, and yel- 
low in the middle. The root is long, and of a brown 
colour on the outside, and reddish within ; it is of a 
warm aromatic taste. 

This is the only part of the plant used in medi- 
cine. They say it is a remedy for the plague : but 
however that may be, it is good in nervous com- 
plaints, and in stoppages of the menses. 

Caraway Plant. Car urn, 

A wild plant of the umbelliferous kind, frequent 
in most parts of Europe, but cultivated in Germany 
for the sake of the seed. I have met with it very 
common in Lincolnshire. 

It grows to a yard high ; the stalks are striated 
and firm ; the leaves are finely divided, and the 
flowers are white and small ; they grow in tufts, or 
umbels, on the tops of the branches ; the seeds that 
follow them are very well known. 

The seeds are excellent in the colic, and in disor- 
ders of the stomach, they are best chewed. 


I 


FAMILY HERBAL. 63 

*• 

Wild Carrot. Dane us sj/lvestus. 

A common plant about the hedges, and in 
dry pastures. It grows near a yard high, and 
has small flowers, and after them rough seeds dis- 
posed in umbels, at the tops of the branches, these 
are hollow, and thence called by the children birds' 
nests. 

The stalks are striated and firm, the leaves 
are divided into fine and numerous partitions, and 
are of a pale green, and hairy ; the flowers are 
white. 

The seed is the part used in medicine, and it 
is a very good diuretic ; it is excellent in all dis- 
orders of the gravel and stone, and all obstruc- 
tions of urine ; it is also good in stoppages of the 
menses. 

Candy Carrots. Daucus Cretensis . 

A plant frequent in the east, and cultivated in 
some places for the seed. It grows near a yard 
high ; the stalk is firm, upright, striated, and 
branched : the leaves are like those of fennel, only 
more finely divided, and of a whitish colour ; the 
flowers are white, and the seeds are oblong, thick in 
the middle, and downy. 

These seeds are the only part used : they are 
good in colics, and they work by urine, but 
those of our own wild plant are more strongly di- 
uretic. 

Cascarilla Tree. Cascarilla . 

A tree of South America., of the fruits and 
flowers of which we have but very imperfect 


64 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


accounts-, though we are very well acquainted with 
the bark of its young branches. What we have 
been told of it is, that the brandies are numerous, 
and spread irregularly ; that the leaves are oblong, 
green on the upper side, and whitish underneath ; 
and the flowers small, fragrant, and placed in a 
sort of clusters. 

The bark which our druggists sell, is greyish on 
the outside, brown within, and is of an agree- 
able smell : when burnt they call it Eieutherian 
bark, and bastard jesuit’s bark : it is cordial and 
astringent. It is very properly given in fevers 
attended with purging. And many have a custom 
of smoking it among tobacco, as a remedy for 
head-aches, and disorders of the nerves : it also does 
good in pleurisies and peripneumonies : some have 
recommended it as a sovereign remedy in those cases 
but that goes too far. 

Cassia Fistula Tree, Cassia fistula . 

This is a larg'e tree, native of the East, and 
a very beautiful one when in flower. It grows 
twenty or thirty feet high, and is very much 
branched. The leaves are large, and of a deep 
green, and each is composed of three or four 
pairs of smaller, with an odd one at the end. 
The flowers are of a greenish yellow, but they 
are very bright, and very numerous, so that they 
make a fine appearance, when the tree is full of 
them : the pods follow these ; they are two feet 
long, black, and woody, having within a black, soft, 
pulpy matter, and the seeds. 

This pulpy matter is the only part used hi 
medicine. It is a gentle and excellent purge, the 
lenitive electuary owes its virtues to it. It never 




FAMILY HERBAL., 


65 


t 


binds afterward,, and therefore is an excellent medi- 
cine for those who are of costive habits ; a small 
dose of it being- taken frequently. 

Cassia Bark Tree. Cassia lignea . 

* 

This is a large spreading tree, frequent in the 
East Indies, and very much resembling the cinna- 
mon tree in its appearance. The branches are 
covered with a brownish bark ; the leaves are 
oblong and pointed at the ends, and of a deep 
green colour, and fragrant smell. The flowers are 
small, and the fruit resembles that of the cinnamon 
tree. 

The bark of the branches of this tree is the 
only part used in medicine ; it is of a reddish brown 
colour like cinnamon, and resembles it in smell 

and taste, only it is fainter in the smell, and less 

%/ 

acrid to the taste ; and it leaves a glutinous or 
mucilaginous matter in the mouth. It is often 
mixed among cinnamon, and it possesses the same 
virtues, but in a less degree. However in purgings 
it is better than cinnamon, because of its mucila- 
ginous nature. It is an excellent remedy given in 
powder in these cases, and is not so much used as it 
ought to be. 

Cassia Caryophythata, or Clove Bark Tree 

Cassia caryophyth ata . 

This is a large and beautiful tree, frequent in 
South America. The trunk is covered with a 
dusky bark, the branches with one that is paler 
coloured and more smooth. The leaves are like 
those of our bay-tree, only larger ; and when 
bruised, they have a very fragrant smell : the flowers 

K 


66 FAMILY HERBAL, 

are small and blue, and have a white eye in the 
middle. 

The only part of this tree used in medicine 
is the inner bark of the branches. This is brown, 
thin, and rolled up like cinnamon ; it is hard in 
colour, of a spicy smell, and in taste it has a mixed 
flavour of cinnamon and cloves, and is very hot and 
pungent. 

It is good in disorders of the stomach, and in 
colics, but it is not so much used as it de- 

serves. 

Cassidony, or Arabian St^echas. Stcechas 

Arabic a, 

/ 

A very fragrant and pretty shrub, native of 
Spain, and many other warm parts of Europe. 
It grows much in the manner of lavender, to a yard 
or more in height, and is not uncommon in our 
gardens. The branches are firm and woody : the 
young shoots are pliable and square, and are 

naked to the top. The leaves stand upon the 

branches two at each joint ; they are long, narrow, 

and white. The flowers stand in little clusters or 
heads, like those of lavender ; and there are two or 
three large and beautiful deep blue leaves upon the 
tops of the heads, which give them a very elegant 
appearance. 

The flowers are the only part used : they are 
of the nature of those of lavender, but more 
aromatic in the smell : they are very serviceable 
in all nervous complaints, and help to promote 
the menses. They are best taken dried and pow- 
dered. 


I 


67 


FAMILY HERBAL, 

Cassumunar Plant. Cassumunar. 

A common plant of the East Indies,, but of which 
we do not seem to have yet so perfect a description 
as might be wished. Its leaves are large, long*, and 
like those of our flags, and they involve one another 
in a singular manner about their bases. The 
flowers are small, and they are in shape somewhat 
like those of certain of our orchises. They are mot- 
tled with purple and yellow : the seed is little and 
brown, the root creeps under the surface of the 
ground, and is of a yellow colour and fragrant 
smell, and of a warm taste. 

The root is used : we have it at the druggists. 
It is of the same nature with zedoary, and has 
by some been called the yellow zedoary. It is a 
very good medicine in nervous and hysteric com- 
plaints. It is warm and strengthening to the sto- 
mach : it is remarkably good against the head- 
ach and in fevers. It operates quick by urine and 
by sweat. 

Catmint. Nepeta. 

A common wild plant about our hedges, but 
of very great virtues ; it grows a yard high, and 
has broad whitish leaves, and white flowers like 
mint. The stalks are square, whitish, hairy, and 
erect : the leaves stand two at a joint : they are 
broadest at the base, and terminate in an obtuse 
end ; they are a little indented at the edges, and 
of a whitish green on the upper side, and very 
white underneath. The flowers are small and 
white ; and they grow in a kind of spiked dusters, 
surrounding the stalks at certain distances. The 
whole plant has a very strong and not very agree- 
able smell. 


m 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


Catmint should be gathered just when the flowers 
are opening, and dried. It is an -excellent woman’s 
medicine ; an infusion of it is good against hyteric 
complaints, vapours, and fits, and it moderately 
promotes the menses : it is also good to promote the 
evacuations after delivery. 

Great Celandine. Chelidonium majus. 

A common wild plant with large leaves, and 
yellow flowers : which, when broken in any part, 
stalk or leaves, emits a yellow juice. It grows 
three feet high, but the stalks are not very robust, 
they are round, green, and naked, with thick joints. 
The leaves stand two at each joint ; they are large, 
long, and deeply divided at the edges, and are of 
a yellowish green. The flowers are small, but of a 
beautiful yellow, and they stand on long foot-stalks 
several together. 

Celandine should be used fresh, for it loses the 
greatest part of its virtue in drying. The juice 
is the best way of giving it ; and this is an excel- 
lent medicine in the jaundice : it is also good 
against all obstructions of the viscera, and if con- 
tinued a time, wall do great service against the 
scurvy. The juice is .also used successfully for sore 
eyes. 

Little Celandine. Chelidonium minus . 

The great and the little celandine are plants 
so perfectly different, that it is hard to conceive 
what could induce the old writers to cal! them 
both by the same name. They hardly agree in 
any thing, except it be that they have both yellow 
flowers. The great celandine approaches to the 
nature of the poppy; the small celandine to that 





















FAMILY HERBAL, 


69 


or the crow-foot ; nor are they any more alike in 

virtue than in form. 

Little celandine is a low plant, which is seen 
almost every where in damp places in spring, with 
broad deep green leaves, and glossy yellow flowers. 
It does not grow to any height. The leaves are am 
inch long, and nearly as broad ; they somewhat 
resemble those of the garden hepaticas, and are of 
a dark green and frequently spotted ; they rise 
singly from the root on long, slender, and naked 
stalks. , The flowers rise also singly from the root 
on long, slender, and naked stalks ; they are as broad 
as a shilling, of a fine shining yellow colour, and 
composed of a number of leaves. The root is fibrous, 
and has small white tuberous lumps connected to 
the strings. N 

The roots are commended very much against 
the piles, the juice of them is to be taken inwardly ; 
and some are very fond of an ointment made of the 
leaves, they chop them in pieces, and boil them 
in lard till they are crisp ; then strain off* the lard, 
which is converted into a fine green cooling oint- 
ment. The operation of the roots is by urine, but 
not violently. 

Little Centaury. Centaurium minus. 

A pretty wild plant which flowers in autumn, its 
our dry places. It is eight or ten inches high ; the 
leaves are oblong, broad, and blunt at the point ; 
the stalks are stiff*, firm, and erect ; and the flowers 
are of a fine pale red. There grows a cluster of 
leaves an inch long or more from the root ; 'the 
stalks divided towards the top into several branches, 
and the flowers are long and slender, and stand in a 
duster. 

This is an excellent stomachic ; its taste & a 


70 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


pleasant bitter, and given in infusion ; it strengthens 
the stomach, creates an appetite, and is good also 
against obstructions of the liver and spleen. It is 
on this last account greatly recommended in jaun- 
dices ; and the country people cure agues with it 
dried and powdered. 

As there are a greater and lesser celandine, there 
is also a great as well as this little centaury ; but 
the large kind is not a native of our country, nor 

used by us in medicine. 

U A. #' 

Chaste Tree. Agnus castrus . 

A little shrub, native of Italy, and frequent 
in our gardens. It is five or six feet high ; the 
trunk is rough, the branches are smooth, grey, 
tough, and long ; the leaves are fingered or spread 
like the fingers of one’s hand when opened : five, 
six, or seven, of these divisions stand on each stalk, 
they are of a deep green above, and whitish under- 
neath ; the flowers are small and of a pale reddish 
line ; they stand in long loose spikes ; the fruit is 
as big as a pepper-corn. 

The seeds of this shrub were once supposed to 
allay venery, but nobody regards that now. A de- 
cor h on of the leaves and tops is good against ob- 
structions of the liver. 

Black Cherry Tree. Corosus fructu nigro. 

This is a well known tall tree, and well shaped. 
The leaves are broad, roundish, sharp at the point, 
and indented round the edges. The flowers are 
white, the fruit is well enough known. The medicinal 
part of this is the kernel within the stone. This has 
been supposed good against apoplexies, palsies, 
and all nervous diseases. The w r ater distilled frqan 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


71 

it was, for this reason, in constant use as a remedy 
for children’s fits. But a better practice has now 
obtained : it is highly probable that this water oc- 
casioned the disorders it was given to remove. 
Laurel water, when made of a great strength, we 
know to be a sudden poison : when weak, it tastes 
like black-cherry -water, and is not mortal ; in the 
same manner black-cherry-water, which used to be 
given to children when weak drawn, has been found 
to be poisonous when of great strength. There is 
therefore the greatest reason imaginable to suppose, 
that in any degree of strengths’ it may do mischief* 
Very probably thousands of children have died by 
this unsuspected medicine. 

The gum which hangs upon the branches of 
cherry-trees, is of the same nature with the gum. 
arabic, and may be used for the same purposes, as 
in heat of. urine, dissolved in barley-water 

W inter Cherry. Alkekengi. 

A very singular and pretty plant kept in our 
gardens ; it grows two feet high, not very erect, nor 
much branched ; the stalk is thick, strong, and 
angulated : the leaves are large, broad, and sharp - 
pointed ; the flowers are moderately large and 
white, but with yellow threads in the middle ; the 
fruit is a round red berry, of the bigness of a common 
red cherry, contained in a green hollow husk, round, 
and as big as a walnut. 

The berries are the only part used ; they are to 
be separated from the husks and dried ; and may be 
then given in powder or decoction. They are very 
good in stranguries, heat of urine, or the gravel : 
they are also given in jaundices and dropsies : they 
will do good in these cases, but are not to be de- 
pended upon alone. 


V 


n 


FAMILY HERBAL, 

Chervil. Cheer efolium. 


A sallad herb cultivated in gardens, but not 
without its medicinal virtue. It is like parsley in its 
manner of growth, but the leaves are more divided, 
and of a paler colour. The stalks are round, 
striated, hollow, and of a pale green : they divide 
into several branches, and are about two feet high ; 
the leaves on them are like those from the root, but 
smaller. The flowers are bitter and white, they 
stand in large tufts at the tops of the branches. 
The seeds are large and' smooth. 

The roots of chervil work hv urine, but mode* 
rately ; they should be given in decoction. 

Chesnut Tree. - Castanea. 

A tall, spreading, and beautiful tree. The bark 
is smooth and grey : the leaves long and moderately 
broad, deep, and beautifully indented round the 
edges, and of a fine strong green. The flowers 
are a kind of catkins, like those of willows, long 
and slender, and of a yellowish colour ; the fruits 
are covered with a rough prickly shell, and, under 
that, each particular chesnut has its firm brown 
coat, and a thin skin, of an austere taste, over the 
kernel. 

This thin skin is the part used in medicine ; it is 
to he separated from the chesnut, not too ripe, and 
dried : it is a very fine astringent ; it stops purgings 
and overflowings of the menses. 

Earth-Chestnut, or Earth-Nut. 

Bulhocastanum . 

A common wild plant, which has the name 
from its root. This is of tire bigness of a chesnut, 

i 

/ # 






roundish, brown on (he outside, and white within, 
and of a sweet ' taste. The plant .grows to a foot 
high ; the leaves are divided into fine and nume- 
rous partitions ; the stalk is firm, upright, round, 

* i « f*s. n * v 


striated, and green ; the Flowers are white add 

vV 7 _ 

little, but they grow in great tufts on the tops of the 
branches. 

The root is tire part used ; it is to he roasted in 
the manner of a chosnut and eaten. It is said to 
have great virtues as a provocative to venery, but 
this is not well confirmed. 


Chick-weed. Alsine media . 


The commonest of ail weeds, but not without 
its virtue. The right sort to use in medicine (for 
there are several) is that which grows so common in 
our garden-beds : it is low and branched. The 
stalks are round, green, weak, and divided ; they 
commonly lean on the ground. The leaves ate 
short and broad, of a pleasant green, not dented 
at the edges, and pointed at the end : these grow 
two at every joint. The flowers are white and small. 

The whole plant, cut to pieces and boiled in lard 
till it is crisp, converts the lard into a fine green 
cooling ointment. The juice taken inwardly m 
good against the scurvy, 


China-root Plant. 


Q mil ax cujus radix China 
i riorum. 


A nailing plant frequent in the East Indies, 
It grows to ten or twelve feet in length, but the 
stalks are weak and unable to stand erect ; they are 
ridged, of a brown colour, and set with hooked 
yellow prickles. \The leaves are oblong and broad, 
largest at the stalk, and blunt at the points, of a 

t 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


shining green colour, and glossy surface ; the 
flowers are small and yellowish ; the fruit is a round 
yellowish berry. The root is large, irregular, and 
knotty ; brown on the outside, and reddish within. 
This is the part used ; they send it over to our 
druggists : it is a sweetener of the blood, and is 
used in diet-drinks for the venereal disease and the 
scurvy. It is also said to be very good against the 
gout, taken for a long time together. 

There is another kind of this root brought from 
America, paler on the outside, and much of the 
same colour with the other within ; some have sup- 
posed it of more virtue than the other, but most 
suppose it inferior, perhaps neither has much. 

Chick. Cicer. 

A little plant of the pea kind, sown in some 
places for the fruit as p t eas. The plant is low and 
branched • the stalks are round and weak, and of a 
pale green. The leaves are like those of the pea, 
but each little leaf is narrower, and of a paler green, 
and hairy like the stalk : the flowers are small and 
white, and resemble the pea blossom. The pods 
are short, thick, and hairy, and seldom contain 
more than two, often but one seed or chich in 
each. 

They are eaten in some places, and they are gentle 
diuretics. 

Cinquefoil. Pentapliyllum 

A cheeping wild plant common about way- 
sides, and in pastures. The stalks are round and 
smooth, and usually of a reddish colour ; they lie 
upon the ground, and take root at the joints ; the 
leaves stand on long foot-stalks, five on each stalk ; 

r 


■J 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


they are above an inch long,, narrow, of a deep 
dusky green, and indented at the edges ; the flowers 
also stand on long foot-stalks, they are yellow and 
of the breadth of a shilling, very bright, and beautiful. 
The root is large and long, and is covered with a 
brown rind. 

The root is the part used ; it should be dug up in 
April, and the outer bark taken off and dried ; the 
j est is useless ; this bark is to be given in powder 
for all sorts of fluxes ; it stops purgings, and the 
overflowings of the menses ; few drugs are of equal 
power. 

f 

Cinnamon Tree. Cinnamon . 

A large tree frequent in the East, and not un« 
like the bay -tree in its flowers, fruit, leaves, or 
manner of growth ; only larger. The bark is 
rough on the trunk, and smooth on the branches ; 
it has little taste while fresh, but becomes aromatic 
and sharp, in that degree we perceive, by drying. 
The leaves are of the shape of bay leaves, but twice 
as big ; the flowers are small and whitish ; the 
berries are little, oblong, and of a bluish colour, 
spotted with white. 

The root of the cinnamon tree smells strongly of 
eamphire, and a very fine kind of camphire is made 
from it in the East ; the wood is white and insipid. 
The leaves are fragrant. 

The root is the only part used, and this is an ex- 
cellent astringent in the bowels ; it is cordial and 
good to promote appetite : it also promotes the 
menses, though it acts as an astringent in other 

cases. 

Winter's Bark Tree. Cortex winter amis. 

A bark called by many winter’s bark, has been 


76 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


already described under its true name canella alba ; 
in this place we are to inquire into the true winter's- 
bark, called by many writers cinnamon. The tree 
which affords it is a tree of twenty feet high, very 
spreading, and full of branches, the bark is grey 
on the outside, and brown within. The leaves are 
two inches long, and an inch broad, small at the 
stalk and obtuse at the end, and divided a little. 
The flowers are white and sweet-scented, the fruit is 
a small berry. - 

The bark is the part used ; they send over the two 
rinds together : it is very fragrant, and of a hot 
aromatic taste. It is a sudorific, and a cordial, and 
it is excellent against the scurvy. 

V 

Cistus Shrub, from which labdanum is procured. 

Cistus ladani [era. 

V ' 

A very - pretty shrub, frequent in the Greek 
islands, and in other warm climates. It is two or 
three feet high, very much branched, and has broad 
leaves, and beautiful large flowers. The trunk is 
rough : the twigs are reddish : the leaves are al- 
most of the shape of those of sage ; they stand two 
at every joint, and are of a dark green colour. The 
flowers are of the breadth of half a crown, and of 
a pale red colour. The gum labdanum is pro- 
cured from this shrub, and is its only produce used 
in medicine. Tins is an exudation discharged from 
the leaves in the manner of manna, more than of 
any thing else. They get it off by drawing a parcel 
of leather thongs over the shrubs. It is not much 
used, but it is a good cephalic. 


Citron Tree. Citria sive malm medica. 


A small tree with prickly branches, but very 
beaut. ful in its leaves, flowers, and fruit ; the 




' / 
/ 



< V ^7?/ 




FAMILY HERBAL. 


77 


trunk is grey and rough ; the twigs are green. 
The leaves are six inches long, and of a kind of 
oval figure, and of a most beautiful green colour 
The flowers are white like those of the lemon tree, 
and the fruit resembles a lemon ; but it is larger* 
and often full of protuberances. The outer rind 
is of a pale yellow, and very fragrant ; the inner 
rind is exceedingly thick, and white ; there is very 
little pulp, though the fruit be so large. The juice 
is like .that of the lemon ; but the yellow outer 
rind is the only part used in medicine : this is an 
excellent stomachic, and of a very pleasant flavour. 
The Barhadoes water owes its taste to the peel of 
this fruit ; and there is a. way of making a water 
very nearly equal to it in England, by the addition of 
spice to the fresh peels of good lemons ; the method 
is as follows : 

- Put into a small still a gallon of fine molasses 
spirit, put to six of the peels of very fine lemons, 
and half an ounce of nutmegs, and one drachm of 
cinnamon bruised, let them stand all night, then 
add two quarts of water, and fasten on the head ; 
distil five pints and a half, and add to this a quart 
and half a pint of water, with five ounces of the 
finest sugar dissolved in it. This will be very 
nearly equal to the finest Barhadoes water. 


C mu ll . Cit i 'll Hus. 

A creeping plant of the melon kind, cul- 
tivated in many parts of Europe and the Eas* 
The branches or stalks are ten feet long, thick, 
angular, fleshy, and hairy : they trail upon the 
ground unless supported. The leaves are large, 
and stand singly on long foot-stalks ; they are di- 
vided deeply into five parts, and are hairy also, and 
of a pale green colour ; the flowers are large and 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


yellow ; and very like those of our cucumbers : 
the fruit is also like the melon and cucumber kinds; 
roundish^ often Hatted; and composed of a fleshy 
part under a thick rind; with seeds and juice 
within. 

The. seeds are the only part used; our druggists 
keep them ; they are cooling; and they work by 
urine gently ; they are best given in form of an 
emulsion, beat up with barley-water. 

Clary. Horminum. 

Clary is a common plant in our gardens; not 
very beautiful; but kept for its virtues. It grows 
two feet and a half high : the leaves roueh, and 
the flowers of a whitish blue. The stalks are thick; 
fleshy; and upright ; they are clammy to the touch; 
and a little hairy. The leaves are large; wrinkled; and 
of a dusky green, broad at the base; and smaller to 
the point; which is obtuse ; the flowers stand in 
long loose spikes ; they are disposed in circles round 
the upper parts of the stalks; and are gaping and 
large ; the cups in which they stand are robust; and 
in some degree prickly. 

The whole herb is used fresh or dried. It is 
cordial; and in some degree astringent. It strength- 
ens the stomach; is good against head-acheS; and stops 
the whites, but for this last purpose it is necessary 
to take it a long time ; and there are many remedies 
more powerful. 

There is a kind of wild clary on our ditch-bankS; 
and in dry ground; which is supposed to possess 
the same virtues with the garden kind. The seeds 
of this are put into the eyes to take out any little 
offensive substance fallen into them. As soon as 
they are put in, they gather a coat of mucilage 
about them, and this catches hold of anv little thing 

v s. 

* . ' \ 1 ^ / 

- , • ■ i 

/ 


79 


it meets with in the eye. Dr. Parsons has perfectly 
explained this in his book of seeds. 

Cleavers. Aparine. 

A wild herb common in all our hedges, and 
known by sticking to people’s clothes as they touch 
it. The stalks are square and very rough, two 
feet long, but weak and unable to support them- 
selves ; they climb among bushes. The leaves arc 
long and narrow, and of a pale green ; they grow 
several at every joint, encompassing the ’stalk in the 
manner of the rowel of a spur ; they are rough 
in the same manner with the stalk, and stick to 
every thing* they touch. The flowers are small 
and white ; the seeds grow two together, and are 
roundish and rough like the rest of the plant ; the 
root is fibrous. , 

The juice of the fresh herb is used; it cools the 
body, and operates by urine ; it is good against the 
scurvy, and all other outward disorders. Some 
pretend it will cure the evil, but that is not true. 

Clove Bark-Tree. Cassia car yophy lata. 

A tall and beautiful tree, native of the West 
Indies. The trunk is covered with a thick brown 
hark, that of the branches is paler and thinner. 
The arms spread abroad, and are not very regularly 
disposed ; the leaves are oblong, broad, and sharp- 
pointed ; they are like those of the bay-tree, but 
twice as big and of a deep green colour. The 
flowers are small and blue ; they are pointed with 
streaks of orange colour, and are of a fragrant 
smell ; the fruit is roundish ; we use the bark, 
which is taken trom the larger and smaller branches, 
but that from the smaller is best. It is of a fragrant 


80 


FAMILY HERBAL. 

\ - 

smell, and of a mixed taste of cinnamon and doves ; 
the cinnamon flavour is first perceived, out after 
that the taste of doves is predominant, and is so 
very strong that it seems to burn the mouth. It is 
excellent against the colic ; and it warms and 
strengthens the stomach, and assists digestion : it 
is also a cordial, and in small doses joined with 
other medicines promotes sweat. It is not much 
used fairly in practice, but many tricks are played 
with it by the chemists, to imitate or adulterate 
the several productions of cloves and cinnamon, for 
it is cheaper than either. 

Clove July Flower. Cary op hy Hus ruber . 

A common and very beautiful flower in our 
gardens ; it has its name from the aromatic 
smell, which resembles the dove spice, and from 
the time of its flowering which is in July. It 
is a carnation only of one colour, a deep and 
fine purple. The plant grows two feet high ; 
the leaves are grassy ; the stalks are round and 
jointed ; the flower grows at the tops of the 
brandies, and the whole plant besides is of a bluish 
green. 

The fldwers are used ; they are cordial, and 
good for disorders of the ' head ; they may be 
dried, and taken in powder or in form of tea, 
but the best form is the syrup. This is made 
by pouring five pints of boiling water upon three 
pounds of the flowers picked from the husks, 
and with the while heels cut off : after they 
have stood twelve hours, straining off the dear 
liquor without pressing, and dissolving in it two 
pounds of the finest sugar to every pint This 
makes the most beautiful and pleasant of all- 
syrups. 


4 


FAMILY HERBAL. SI 

Clove Spice Tree. Carijopkyllus 
aromalicus . 

A beautiful tree, native of the warm countries ; 
it grows twenty or thirty feet high, and very 
much branched. The bark is greyish ; the 
leaves are’ like those of the bay-tree, but twice as 
large ; they are of a bright shining green, and stand 
upon long foot-stalks ; the bovvers are not very 
large, but of a beautiful blue colour, and the 
cups that contain them are oblong and firm ; 
these are the cloves of the shops. They gather 
them soon after the bowers are fallen ; when 
they sutler them to remain longer on the tree, they 
grow large, and swell into a fruit as big as an 
olive. 

The cloves are excellent against disorders df the 
head, and of the stomach ; they are warm, cordial, 
and strengthening ; they expel wind, and are a 
good remedy for the colic. The oil of cloves is 
made from these by chemists ; it cures the tooth- 
ache ; a bit of lint being wetted with it, and laid to the 
tooth, 

i . .. 

Cockle. Pseudomelanthium . 

A tall, upright, and beautiful plant, wild in 
our corn-fields, with red flowers, and narrow 

leaves. It is two feet high : the stalk is single, 

slender, round, hairy, very firm, and perfectly 

upright. The leaves stand two at a joint, and 

are not very numerous : they are long, narrow, 
hairy, and of a bright green colour ; the flowers 
stand singly, one at the top of each branch. They 
are very large, and of a beautiful red. They have 
an elegant cup, composed of five narrow hairy 
leaves, which are much longer than the flower, 

M 


I 


82 FAMILY HERBAL. 

The seed-vessel is roundish,, and the seeds are 
black. They are apt to be mixed among grain, 
and give the flour an ill taste. 

The seeds are used ; they work by urine, and 
open all obstructions ; they promote the menses, 
and are good in the dropsy and jaundice ; the 
best way of giving them is powdered, and put- 
in to an electuary to be taken lor a continuance of 
time : for these medicines, whose virtues are against 
chronic diseases, do not take effect at once. Many 
have discontinued them for that reason : and the 
world in general is, from the same cause, become 
fond of ehymical medicines, but these are safer, and 
they are more to be depended upon ; and if the two 
practices were fairly tried, ehymical medicines 
would loose their credit. 

Cocolus Indi Tree. Arbor coculos Indicos 

j ere ns. 

A moderately large tree, native of the warmer 
parts of the world. It is irregular in its growth, 
and fulb of branches ; the leaves are shorty 
broad, and of a heart-like shape ; they are 
thick, fleshy, small, and of a dusky green ; the 
flowers' '.are small, and stand in clusters ; the fruits 
follow these ; they are of the bigness of a large 
pea, roundish, but with a dent on one side, 
wrinkled, friable, and brown in colour, and of an \l\ 
smell. 

The powder of these strewed upon children's 
heads that have vermin destroys them, people also 
intoxicate fish by it. Make a pound of paste, with 
flour and water, and add a little red led to colour 
it, add to it two ounces of the coculus indi pow- 
dered. See where roach and other fish rise, and 
throw in the paste in small pieces, they will take i| 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


83 


greedily, and they will be intoxicated. They will 
swim upon the surface, with their belly upward, and 
may be taken out with the hands. They are not 
the worse for eating. 


Codaga Shrub. Codaga pall. 

i. 

A little shrub frequent in the East Indies, and 
"very beautiful, as well as useful. It grows ten or 
fifteen feet high ; the branches are brittle, and 
the wood is white. The leaves are long and narrow, 
not at all notched at the edges, and of a beautiful 
green on both sides ; the flowers are large and 
white, and somewhat resemble those of the rose- 
bay, or nerium, of which some make it a kind. 
Each flower is succeeded by two large pods, which 
are joined at the ends, and twist one about the 
other ; they are full of a cottony matter about the 
seeds. The whole plant is full of a milky juice, 
which it yields plentifully when broken. 

The bark is the only part used ; it is but newly 
introduced into medicine, but may be had of the 
druggists ; it is an excellent remedy for purgings. 
It is to be given in powder for three or four days, 
and a vomit or bleeding before the use of it, as may 
he found necessary. 

Coffee Tree. Arbor coffee f evens. 

A beautiful shrub of the eastern part of the 
world, which we keep in many of our stoves, and 
which (lowers and bears its fruit with us. It grows 
eight or ten feet high ; the branches are slender 
and weak ; the leaves are large, oblong, and broad, 
somewhat like those of the bay-tree, but bigger, 
and thin. The flowers are white, moderately large, 
and like jasmine ; the fruit is a large berry, black 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


m 

when it is ripe, and in it are two seeds, which are 
what we call coffee ; they are whitish, and of a 
disagreeable taste when raw. 

Coffee helps digestion, and dispels wind : and it 
works gently by urine. The best way of taking it 
is as we commonly drink it, and there are constitu- 
tions for which it is very proper. 

Sea Colewort, or Sea Bindweed. S&ldanella . 

A ; fretta wild plant that we have on the , sea 
toasts in many places ; and that deserves to be much 
more known than it is as a medicine. The stalks 
are a foot long, but weak and unable to support 
themselves upright. They are round and green or 

S mrplish : the leaves are roundish, hut shaped a 
ittle heart-fashioned at the bottom ; they stand upon 
long foot-stalks, and are of a shining green. The 
flowers are large and red, they are of the shape of 
a bell ; the roo tfc are white and small, a milky juice 
flows from the plant when any part of it is broken ; 
especially from the root. 

The whole plant is to be gathered fresh when 
about flowering, and boiled in ale with some nut- 
meg and a clove or two, and taken in quantities 
proportioned to the person's strength ; it is a strong 
purge, and it sometimes operates also by urine, bu( 
there is no harm in that. It is fittest for country 
people of robust constitutions, but it will cure 
dropsies and rheumatism. Nay I have known a 
clap cured on a country fellow, by only two 
doses of it. The juice which oozes from the 
stalk and roots may be saved, it hardens into 
a substance like scammonv, and is an excellent 

tv y 





30 . 




t 


FAMILY HERBAL. m 

Coltsfoot. Tussilago. 

A common wild herb, of excellent virtues, but 
bo different in the spring and summer, as that it 
is scarce to be known for the same. The flowers 
appear in spring without the leaves ; they grow 
on stalks six or eight inches high, round, thicks 
fleshy, and of a reddish colour, on which there 
stand a kind of films instead of leaves. The flowers 
grow one at the top of each stalk ; they are yellow, 
and as large as those of the dandelion, and like 
them. 

The leaves come up ufter these are decayed ; 
they are as broad as one.*? hand, roundish, and sup 
ported each on a thick hollow stalk ; they are green 
on the upper side, and white and downy underneath. 
The flowers are not minded, these leaves only are 
used. 

Columbine. Aquilcgia . 

* 

A common garden flower, but a native also of our 
country. It grows two feet high ; the leaves 
are divided into many parts, generally in a three- 
fold order ; the stalks are round, firm, upright, 
and a little hairy ; the flowers are blue and large ; 
the seeds are contained in a kind of horned cap- 
sules. The leaves and the seeds are used ; a de- 
coction of the leaves is said to be good against sore 
throats. The seeds- open obstructions, and are 
excellent in the jaundice, and other complaints from 
like causes. 

Com frey. Symphytum. 

A common wild plant, of great virtue ; it is 
frequent by ditch sides ; it grows a foot and half 


high : the leaves are large,, long, not very broad, 
rough to the touch, and of a deep disagreeable green : 
the stalks are green, thick, angulated, and up- 
right. The flowers grow along the tops of the 
branches, and are white, sometimes reddish, not 
very large, and hang often downwards. The root 
is thick, black, and irregular ; when broken it is 
found to be white within, and full of a slimy juice. 
This root is the part used, and it is best fresh, but it 
may be beat up into a conserve, with three times 
its weight of sugar. It is a remedy for that terri- 
ble disease the whites. It is also good against 
spitting of blood, bloody fluxes and purgings, and 
for inward bruises. 

Contra y er v a Plant. Contrayerva. 

A very singular plant, native of America, and 
not yet got into our gardens. It consists only of 
leaves rising from the root, upon single foot-stalks, 
and flowers of a singular kind, standing also on 
single and separate foot stalks, with no leaves upon 
them. The leaves are large, oblong, very broad, 
and deeply divided on each side ; their colour is 
a dusky green ; and the foot stalks on which they 
stand are small and whitish, and often bend under 
the weight of the leaf. The stalks which support 
the flowers are shorter and weaker than these ; and 
the flowers are of a very peculiar kind ; they 
~ are disposed together in a kind of flat form, and are 
very small and inconsiderable. The bed on which 
they are situated is of an oval figure, and is called 
the placenta of the plant ; it is of a pale colour and 
thin. 

We are told of another plant of the same kind; 
the leaves of which are less divided, and the pla- 
centa is square, but the roots of both are allowed 


FAMILY HERBAL/ 


97 

t° be exactly alike, and it is therefore more pro- 
bable, that this is not another plant, but the same 
in a different stage of growth. 

We use the roots ; our druggists keep them, and 
they are the principal ingredient in that famous 
powder, called, from its being rolled up into balls, 
lapis contrayerva. It is an excellent cordial and 
sudorific, good in fevers, and in nervous cases ; 
and against indigestions, colics, and weaknesses 
of the stomach. It may be taken in powder or 
in tincture ; but it is better to give it alone, than 
with that mixture 6f crab’s claws and other use- 
less ingredients, which go into the contrayerva 
stone, in fevers and nervous disorders, it is best 
to give it in powder ; in weaknesses of the stomach, 
it is best in tincture. It is also an excellent in- 
gredient in bitter tinctures ; and it is wonderful the 
present practice "has not put it to that use. Ail 
the old prescribers of forms for these things, have 
put some warm root into them ; but none is so 
proper as this ; the most usual has been the galan- 
gul, but that lias a most disagreeable flavour in 
tincture : the contrayerva has all the virtues ex- 
pected to be found in that, and is quite unexcep- 
tionable. 

Copal Tree. Arbor copolifera. 

A large tree of South America. It grows to 
a great height, and is tall, straight, and tolerably 
regular ; the bark of the trunk is of a deep brown. 
The branches are bitter. The leaves are large and 
oblong, and they are blunt at the ends ; they are 
deeply cut in at the edges ; and if it were not that 
they are a great deal longer in proportion to their 
breadth, they would be very like those of the oak ; 
the dowers are moderately large* and full ot 


threads *; the fruit is rounds and of a blood red when 
ripe. x 1 

We use a resin which oozes from the bark of 
large trees of this species in great plenty,, and is 
called copal ; it is of a pale yellow colour, some- 
times brownish, and often colourless, and like gum 
arable ; we have a way of calling it a gum, but 
it is truly a resin ; and the yellow pieces of it are 
so bright and transparent, that they very much re- 
semble the purest amber. 

It is good against the whites, and against weak- 
nesses left after the venereal disease ; but it is not 
so much used on these occasions as it deserves 
It is excellent for making varnishes ; and what is 
commonly called amber varnish among our artists 
is made from it. Amber will make a very hue var- 
nish, better than that of copal, or any other kind ; 
but it is dear. 

We sometimes see heads of canes of the colour- 
less copal, which seem to be of amber, only they 
want its colour ; these are made of the same resin 
in the East Indies where it grows harder. 

Coral. Cor allium. 


A sea plant of the hardness of a stone, and 
with very little of the appearance of an herb. 
The red coral, which is the sort used in medicine, 
grows a foot or more in height ; the trunk is as 
thick as a man’s thumb, and tbc branches are 
numerous. It is fastened to the rocks by a crust 
which spreads over them, and is covered all over 
with a crust also of a coarse substance and striated 
texture. Towards the top there are dowers ancT 
seeds, but very small ; from these rise the young 
plants. The seeds 1 have a mucilaginous matter 
about them, which sticks them to the rocks. Th» 








\ 




FAMILY HERBAL. 89 

whole plant appears like a naked shrub without 
leaves or visible flowers. 

It has been supposed lately that coral is made 
by small insects, but this is an error ; polypes live 
in coral as worms in wood, but these don't make 
the trees, nor the other the plant. Coral is to be 
reduced to fine powder, by grinding it on a mar- 
ble ; and then it is given to stop purgings, to 
destroy acid humours in the stomach, and to 
sweeten the blood. They suppose it also a cordial. 
Probably for all its real uses, chalk is a better 
medicine. 

There are several sorts of white co-ral,' which 
have been sometimes used in medicine ; but all 
allow the red to be better, so that they are not kept 
in the shops. 


Coralline. Corallina . 

A little sea plant frequent about our own 
coasts, and of a somewhat stony texture, but not 
like the red or white coral. It grows to three 
inches high, and is very much branched, anti young 
shoots arise also from different parts of the branches : 
there are no leaves on it, nor visible flowers, but 
the whole plant is composed of short joints. It is 
commonly of a greenish or reddish colour ; but 
when it has been thrown a time upon the shores, it 
bleaches and becomes white ; it naturally grows 
to shells and pebbles. The best is the freshest, not 
that which is bleached. 

It is given to children as a remedy against worms ; 
a scruple or half a drachm for a dose. 

Coriander. Conundrum . 

* * 

A small plant, cultivated in France and Germany* 


90 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


for the sake of its seed. It is two feet high, and 
has clusters of white or reddish flowers upon the 
tops of the branches The stalks are round, up- 
right and hollow, but have a pith in them ; the 
leaves which grow from the root have rounded 
tops, those on the stalks are divided into narrow 
parts ; the seeds follow two after each flower, and 
they are half round. 

The seed is the only part used : the whole plant 
when fresh has a bad smell, but as the seeds dry, 
they become sweet and fragrant. They are ex- 
cellent to dispel wind ; they warm and strengthen 
the stomach, and assist digestion. It is good against 
pains in the head, and has some virtue in stopping 
purgings, joined with other things. 

Cornel Tree. Cornus mos* 

A garden tree of the bigness of an apple-tree, 
and branched like one ; the bark is greyish, the 
twigs are tough : the leaves are oblong, broad, and 
pointed, of a fine green colour, but not serrated 
at the edges. The flowers are small and yellowish, 
the fruit is of the bigness of a cherry, but oblong, 
not round ; it is red and fleshy, of an astringent 
bark, and has a large stone. The fruit is ripe in 
autumn; the flowers appear early. 

The fruit is the part used ; it may be dried and 
used, or the juice boiled down with sugar; either 
way it is cooling and moderately astringent ; it is a 
gentle pleasant medicine in fevers with purgings. 

There is a wild cornel tree, called the female 
cornel, in our hedges ; a shrub five feet high, with 
broad leaves and black berries ; it is not used in 
medicine. In some parts of the West Indies they 
intoxicate fish with the bark of a shrub of this 
kind, by only putting a quantity of it into the water 


FAMILY HERBAL, 91 

of a pond ; we have not tried whether this of .ours 
will do the same. 

Corn Marigold. Chrysanthemum segestum. 

A very beautiful wild plant growing in corn- 
fields, with large bluish leaves, and full of flowers 
like marigolds. It is two feet high ; the stalks are 
numerous, round, stiff, tolerably upright, and 
branched ; the leaves stand irregularly, and are 
long, very broad, and of a bluish green ; they are 
smallest towards the base, and larger at the end, 
and they are deeply cut in at the sides. The flow- 
ers are as broad as half a crown, and of a very beau- 
tiful yellow ; they have a cluster of threads in the 
middle. The root is fibrous. 

The flowers, fresh gathered and just opened, 
contain the greatest virtue. They are good against 
all obstructions, and work by urine. An infusion of 
them, given in the quantity of half a pint warm, 
three times a day, has been known to cure a jaun- 
dice, without any other medicine ; the dried herb 
has the same virtue, but in a less degree. 

Costmary. Costus hortorum 

A garden plant kept more for its virtues than its 
beauty, but at present neglected. It grows a foot 
and half high, and has clusters of naked yellow 
flowers like tansy. The stalks are firm, thick, 
green, and upright ; the leaves are oblong, narrow, 
of a pale green, and beautifully serrated ; the flowers 
consist only of deep yellow threads. r 

It was once greatly esteemed for strengthening 
the stomach, and curing head-aches, and for opening* 
obstructions of the liver and spleen, but more seems 
to have been said of it than it deserved. 


52 


FAMILY IIERBAL, 

Costus Plant. Costus « 


An Indian plant, which bears two kinds of stalks, 
one for the leaves, and the other for the flowers and 
seeds ; these both rise from the same root, and often 
near one another. 

The leaf-stalks are four feet high, thick, hollow, 
round, upright, and of a reddish colour. 

The leaves are like those of the reed kind, long, 
narrow, and pointed at the edges, and they are of 
a bluish green colour. The stalks which bear the 
flowers are eight inches high, tender, soft, round, 
and as it were scaly. The flowers are small and 
reddish, and they stand in a kind of spikes, inter- 
mixed with a great quantity of scaly leaves. 

The root is the only part used ; it is kept by our 
druggists ; it is oblong and irregularly shaped. It is 
a very good and safe diuretic, it always operates 
that way, sometimes also by sw r eat, and it opens 
obstructions of the viscera. But unless it be new 
and firm, it has no virtue. 

Cotton Tree. Gossypium sive xylon . 

A small shrub, with brittle and numerous 
branches, and yellow flowers : it does not grow 
more than four feet high ; the leaves are largo, and 
divided each into five parts ; and of a dusky green 
colour. The flowers are large and beautiful, they 
are of the bell-fashioned kind, as broad as a half 
crown, deep, of a yellow colour, and with a purple 
bottom ; the seed-vessels are large, and of a roundish 
figure, and they contain the cotton with the seed* 
among it. When ripe, they burst open into thrc$ 
or four pails. 

The seeds are used in medicine, but not so 
much as they deserve ; they arc excellent in coughs. 


i 















































- 



•- 























V 












% - 











6 . 





FAMILY HERBAL. 


S3 

and all disorders of the breast and lungs ; they 
cause expectoration, and are very balsamic and 
astringent. 

Cotton Thistle. Acanthium . 

A tall and stately wild plant, common by 
our way sides, and known by its great white 
prickly leaves and red flowers. It is four or 
five feet high. The leaves which grow from 
the root are a foot and a half long, a foot broad, 
deeply indented at the edges, and beset with yel- 
lowish thorns ; they are of a whitish colour, and 
seem covered with a downy matter of the nature of 
cotton. The stalks are thick, round, firm, and up- 
right ; and winged with a sort of leafy substances 
which rise from them, and have the same sort of 
prickles that are upon the leaves. The ordinary 
leaves upon the stalks are like those which grow 
from the root, only they are more deeply indented, 
and more prickly ; the flowers are purple ; they 
stand in long prickly heads, and make a beautiful 
appearance. The root is very long, thick, and 
white. 

The root is the part used, and that should he 
fresh gathered. It opens obstructions, and is good 
against the jaundice, and in dropsies, and other 
disorders arising from obstructions. It also mo- 
derately promotes the menses. It may be dried 
and given in powder for the same purposes. But 
the virtues are much less. 

Couch Grass. Gramen caninum . 

A very troublesome weed in fields and gar- 
dens, but very useful in medicine. Nature 
has made those plants which may be most useful 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


y4 

to us the most common, and the most difficult to; 
be removed. Couch grass grows two feet high, 
and is a robust kind of grass : the stalk is round 
and pointed ; the leaves are grassy, but broad, 
and of a fresh green colour ; the spike at the top 
is like an ear of wheat, only thin and flat. It 
consists of ten rows of grains. The root is 
white, slender, very long and jointed, and it takes 
fresh hold at every joint ; so that if but a piece 
is left in pulling it up, it grows and increases very 
quickly. 

The roots are used, and they are to be fresh 
taken up and boiled. The decoction is excellent 
in the gravel and stone ; it promotes urine strong- 
ly, yet not forcibly or roughly. Taken for a 
continuance, the same decoction is good against 
obstructions of the liver, and will cure the jaun- 
dice. 

Cowslip. Paralysis. 

A pretty wild plant in our meadows. The 
leaves are broad, oblong, indented, rough, and 
of a whitish green colour ; the stalks are round, 
upright, firm, thick, and downy ; they are six 
or eight inches high, and are naked of leaves. 
At the top of each stand a number of pretty yellow 
flowers, each upon a separate foot-stalk, and in its 
own separate cup. 

The flowers are the part used. They have been 
celebrated very much against apoplexies, palsies, 
and other terrible diseases, but at present in such 
cases we do not trust such remedies. They have 
a tendency to procure sleep, and may be given in 
tea, or preserved in form of a conserve. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 95 

Cowslip of Jerusalem. Pulmonaria maculata . 

A low plant, bnt not without beauty,, kept in 
gardens for the credit of its virtues, which are 
indeed more and greater than the present neglect 
of it would have one to suppose. It grows to eight 
or ten inches high ; the leaves are long and broad, 
hairy ^ of a deep green, and spotted with white 
spots on the upper side, but of a paler colour, and 
not spotted underneath. The stalks are slender, 
angulated, and hairy, and have smaller leaves on 
them, but of the same figure with those from the 
root. The flowers are small and reddish, and grow 
several in a cluster at the top of the stalk. The 
root is fibrous. 

The leaves are used * they should be gathered 
before the stalks grow up, and dried ; they are 
excellent in decoction for coughs, shortness of 
breath, and ail disorders of the lungs ; taken in 
powder, they stop the overflowing of the menses ; 
and when fresh bruised and put into a new made 
wound, they stop the bleeding and heal it. 

C ow-whe at . Cra t eo gon um . 

A common wild plant in our woods and 
thickets, with narrow blackish leaves, and bright 
yellow flowers. It is eight or ten inches high. 
The stalks are square and slender ; very brittle, 
weak, and seldom quite upright. The leaves are 
oblong and narrow ; sometimes of a dusky green 
colour, but oftener purplish or blackish ; they 
are broadest at the base, and small all the way to 
the point ; and they are commonly, but not always, 
indented a little about the edges. The flowers 
stand, or rather hang, all on one side of the stalk, 
in a kind of loose spike ; they are small and yellow. 


9B 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


and grow two together. The seeds which follow 
these are large, and have something of the as- 
pect of wheat, from whence the plant has its odd 
name. 

These seeds are the part used ; they are to be 
dried and given in powder, but in small doses. 
They have virtues which few seem to imagine ; 
they are a high cordial and provocative to venery ; 
but if given in too large a dose, they occasion the 
head-ache and a strange giddiness. I knew an im 
stance of a woman who had boiled the fresh tops 
of the plant in a large quantity in water, as a re- 
medy for the jaundice, (I know not by what in- 
formation,) and having drank this in large draughts, 
was as a person drunk and out of her senses ; she 
complained of numbness in her limbs, and seemed 
in danger of her life, hut nature recovered her after 
a few hours without other assistance. 

Crab Tree. Malus sylvestris . 

A common hedge shrub, and when in flower very 
beautiful. The trunk is uneven, and the bark 
rough ; the branches are knotty, the wood is firm, 
and the bark of a dark colour ; the leaves are 
broad and short, the flowers are large and reddish, 
very beautiful and sweet, and the fruit is a small 
apple. 

Veijuice is made from the crab ; and it is a re- 
medy for the falling down of the uvula, better 
than most other applications : it is also good 
against sore throats, and in all disorders of the 
mouth. 

Cranesbill. Geranium robertianum^ 

' V 

Cranssbil* is a little herb very frequent 


\ 




£ 


FAMILY HERBAL. 9? 

* 

under hedges, and in uncultivated places : there 
are many kinds of it, but that which has most vir- 
tue, is the kind called herb robert ; this is a pretty 
and regularly growing plant. The stalks are a 
foot long, but they seldom stand quite upright \ 
they are round, branched, and jointed, and are often 
red, as is frequently the whole plant : the leaves are 
large, jmd divided into a great number of parts, 
and they stand upon long foot-stalks, two at every 
joint. The flowers are moderately large, and of 
a bright red, they are very conspicuous and pretty ; 
the fruit that follows is Ions' and slender, and has 
some resemblance of the long beak of a bird, whence 
the name. 

The whole plant is to be gathered root and all, 
and dried for use ; it is a most excellent astringent : 
scarce any plant is equal to it. It may be given 
dried and powdered, or in decoction. It stops 
overflowings of the menses, bloody stools, and all 
other bleedings. 

It is to be observed that nature seems to have 
set her stamp upon several herbs which have the 
virtue to stop bleedings. This and the tusan, the 
two best remedies the Helds afford for outward and 
inward bleedings, become all over as red as blood 
at a certain season. 


The Garden Cress. Nasturtium hor tense. 


A COMMON garden plant, raised for sallads. It 
is two feet high : the stalk is round and firm, and 
of a bluish green ; the leaves are divided into seg- 
ments, and the flowers are small and white ; but 


the full grown plant is not seen at our tables ; we 
eat only the leaves rising immediately from the root. 


rs ' j 

i hese 


are larje, finely divided, of 


a 


brigh ■ 

w 


green* 




\ 


vs 


irJZ±u.xjLi x i-iiiiiiiiAju. 


eocI sharp. Cresses eaten in quantity are very good 
against the scurvy. The seeds open obstructions. 

Water Cress. Nasturtium aquaticum . 

A W ILD plant common with us in ditches, and 
shallow rivers. It is a foot high, the stalks are 
round, thick, but not very upright, of a pale green, 
and much branched ; the leaves are of a fresh and 
bright green, divided in a winged manner and ob- 
tuse ; the flowers are small and white, and there is 
generally seen a kind of spike of the flowers and 
seeds at the top of the stalks. 

The leaves are used ; they may be eaten in the 
manner of garden cress, and are full as pleasant, 
and they are excellent against the scurvy. The 
juice expressed from them has the same virtue, and 
works also powerfully by urine, and opens ob- 
structions. 

Sciatica Cress. I her is. 

A PRETTY wild plant, but not frequent in all 
parts of the kingdom. It is a foot high. The 
stalk is round, firm, and upright ; of a pale green 
colour. The leaves are small, longish, and of a 
pale green also ; and the flowers stand at the tops 
of the branches, into which the stalk divides in its 
upper part ; they are white and little. The leaves 
that grow immediately from the root, are four 
inches long ; narrow and serrated about the edges, 
and of a deep green. 

The leaves are used ; they are recommended 
greatly in the sciatica or hip-gout ; they are to be 
applied externally, and repeated as they grow dry. 
The best wav is to beat them with a little lard. It ' 


FAMILY HERBAL. A® 

is an approved remedy, and it is strange that it is 
not more in use. 

\ 

Wart Cresses, or Swine’s Cresses* Coronopns 

ruellii. 

A LITTLE wild plant very common about our 
Helds and gardens. It spreads upon the ground. 
The stalks are five or six inches long ; firm, and 
thick, but usually flat on the earth ; very much 
branched, and full of leaves. The leaves that rise 
immediately from the root are long, and deeply 
divided : and those on the stalks resemble them, 
only they are smaller : they are of a deep glossy 
green colour, and not at all hairy. The flowers 
are small and white ; they stand at the tops of the 
branches arid among the leaves ; the seed-vessels 
are small and rough. 

This is an excellent diuretic, safe, and yet very 
powerful. It is an ingredient in Mrs. Stephens' 
medicine: the juice may be taken; and it is good 
for thejaundice, and against all inward obstruc- 
tions, and against the scurvy ; the leaves may 
also be eaten as lalad, or dried and given in de- 
coction. 

Cross-wort. Cruciata. 

A VERY pretty wild plant, but not very com- 
mon : it grows a foot and a half high The stalks 
are square, hairy, weak, and of a pale green. The 
leaves are broad and short ; they stand four at 
every joint, star-fashioned, upon the stalk. The 
flowers are little and yellow ; they stand in clusters 
round the stalk, at the joints, rising from the in- 
sertion of the leaves. It is to be found in dry 
places. 


1-00 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


The whole plant is to be gathered when begin- 
ning* to flower, and dried. A strong decoction of 
it is a good restringent and styptic ; it stops pin- 
gings, even when there are bloody stools ; and 
overflowings of the menses. 

€ r o w -foot . Ramie ulus . 

A COMMON wild plant. There are several 
sorts of it, but the kind used in medicine is that 
most common in meadows, and called the common 
creeping crowfoot. It grows a foot or more high ; 
the stalks are firm, thick, branched, and of a pale 
green ; but they seldom stand quite upright. The 
leaves on them are few, and divided into narrow 
segments ; the flowers are yellow, of the breadth 
of a shilling, and of a line shining colour ; they 
stand at the tops of all the branches ; the leaves 
which rise from the root are large, divided in a 
threefold manner, and often spotted with white. 

Some are so rash as to mix a few leaves of this 
among salad, but it is very wrong ; the plant is 
caustic and poisonous. They are excellent applied 
externally in palsies and apoplexies ; for they act 
quicker than cantharides in raising blisters, and are 
more felt. It is a wonder they are not more used 
fur this purpose ; but we are at present so fond 
of foreign medicines, that these things are not 
minded. 

There are two other kinds of crow-foot distin- 
guished as poisons ; though all of them are, with 
some degree of justice, branded with this name : 
but the two most pernicious kinds are that called 
spearwort, which has long, narrow, and undivided- 
leaves ; and that with very small flowers, and leaves 
somewhat like the divisions of those of smallage, 
These both grow in watry places. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 

The Cubeb Plant. Cubeba , 


101 


A CLAMBERING plant of the warm cli- 
mates, but unknown in this part of the world, until 
described by those who have been where it grows. 
The stalks are weak, angulated, and reddish; the 
leaves are broad and short, and the dowers small ; 
the fruit is of the bigness of a pepper corn, but a 
little oblong, and grows on a long and very slender 
foot stalk. 

This fruit is the part used ; the druggists keep 
it. It is a warm and pleasant spice good against 
weaknesses of the stomach, in colics, and in palsies, 
and all nervous disorders. But it is seldom used 
alone. 

The Cucumber Plant. Cucumis hortensis . 

A CREEPING straggling plant sufficiently 
known. The stalks are a yard or two long, thick, 
but spread upon the ground, angulated and hairy. 
The leaves are broad deeply indented, and very 
rough, and of a bluish green colour; the dowers 
are large and yellow. The fruit is long and thick; 
the seeds are used in medicine, and the fruit should 
be suffered to stand till very ripe before they are 
gathered. They are cooling and diuretic, good 
against stranguries, and all disorders of the urinary 
passages ; the best way of giving them is beat up 
to an emulsion with barley water. 

The Wild Cucumber. Cucumis asininus . 

THIS, though called wild, is not a native of 
England. It spreads upon the ground in the 
manner of the other cucumber, and its branches 
grow to a considerable length ; they are thick. 




192 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


hairy* angulated* and of a pale green and tough , 1 
The leaves are broad at the base., and narrow at the 
point, serrated round tire edges, and of a pale green 
above, and whitish below. The flowers are yellow* 
and moderately large ; the fruit is of an oval 
figure* hairy* and full of juice. Care must be taken 
in touching it when ripe* for the sharp juice dies 
out with violence. 

The juice of the fruit is pressed out* and a thick 
matter that subsides from it is separated and dried ; 
the druggists keep this and call it elatherium* it is 
a violent purgative* but little used. 

Cuckow Flower* or Lady's smock. Car da - 

mine. 

A VERY beautiful wild plant, frequent in our 
meadows in spring* and a great ornament to them. 
It grows a fool high. The leaves which rise from 
the root* are winged very regularly and beautifully* 
and are spread in a circular manner* the stalk is 
round, thick* firm* and upright. The leaves that 
grow on it are smaller* finely divided* and stand 
singly. The flowers grow in a little cluster* on 
that spike on the top* and from the bottom of the 
leaves. They are large* of a fine white* often 
tinged with a blush of red. 

The j nice of the fresh leaves is to be used ; 
it is an excellent diuretic, and is good in the 
gravel and all suppressions of urine. It also opens 
obstructions* and is good in the jam dice and 
green sickness ; and a course of it against the 
scurvy. 

Cudweed. Gnaphalium . 

/ 

A COMMON wild plant* but singular in its 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


iOS 

appearance. There are many species of it. But 
that used in medicine is the kind called the twiddle 
cudweed, a herb impious. It f has this last name 
from the whimsical observation of the young* flow- 
ers rising’ above the old ones,,' which is callet | the 
son's growing above the father. This cudweed* 
is a little low plant* it seldom rises to a foot high. 
The stalks are tough, firm, w hite, slender, and up- 
right ; they are very thick, set with leaves, which 
are small, oblong, while, a^d pointed at the ends, and 
seldom lie very even. The flowers are a kind of 
brown or yellowish heads, standing at the tops, and 
in the divisions of the stalks. 

The herb bruised, and applied to a fresh wound, 
stops the bleeding ; it may be also dried and given in 
decoction, in which form it is good against the 
whites, and will often stop violent purgings. 

Cummin. Cuminum. 

A PLANT of the umbelliferous kind, cultivated 
in every part of - the East, for the value of the seed. 
It grows a foot and a half high. The stalk is 
round, striated, green, and hollow. The leaves are 
large, and very finely divided in the manner of 
those of fennel. The flowers stand in large clus- 
ters, at the tops of the branches, and they are small, 
and white, with a blush of red. The seeds are long 
and striated. 

The seeds are used. Our druggists keep them. 
They are of a very disagreeable flavour, but of 
excellent virtues; they are good against the colic 
and wind in the stomach, and, applied outwardly, 
they will often remove pains in the side. They must 
be bruised, and a large quantity laid on. 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


104 

The Black Currant. Ribesia nigra. 

\ 

V 

THIS is a little' shrub, of late brought very 
unive sally into out\ gardens. It grows three or 
four foot high. Thd branches are weak, and the 
bark is smooth. The leaves are large and broad, 
and divided in the manner of those of the common 
currants ; but they have a strong smell. The 
flowers are greenish and hollow. The fruit is 
a large and round berry, black, and of a some- 
what disagreeable taste, growing in the manner of 
the currants. 

The juice of black currants boiled up with su- 
gar to a jelly, is an excellent remedy against sore 
throats. 

Long Cyperus. Cyperus longus. 

A WILD plant in our marshes, fens, and other 
damp places. It is a foot and half high. The 
leaves are a foot long or more, narrow, grassy, and 
of a bright green colour, flat, and sharp at the 
ends. The stalk is triangular and green ; there 
are no leaves on it, except two or three small ones 
at the top, from which there rises a number of 
small tufts or spikes of flowers. These are brown, 
light, chaffy, and in all respects like those of the 
other water grasses. 

The root is used. It is long and brown, and 
when dried, is of a pleasant smell, and aromatic 
warm taste. It should be taken up in spring. It 
is good against pains in the head, and it promotes 
urine. 

Round Cyperus. Cyperus rotundus. 

A PLANT in many respects resembling the other. 


FAMILY HERBAL. lOl 

\ 


but a native of the warmer countries. It grows 
two feet high. The leaves are very numerous, 
a foot and a half long, narrow, of a pale gieen 
colour sharp at the point, and ribbed all along 
like those of grass. The stalk is triangular, and the 
edges are sharp ; it is firm, upright, and often 
purplish, especially towards the bottom. The 
flowers are chaffy, and they grow from the top of 
the stalk, with several small and short leaves set 
under them ; they are brown and light. The root 
is composed of a great quantity of black fibres, to 
which there grows at certain distances roundish 
lumps. These are the only parts used in medicine. 
Our druggists keep them. , They are light , and of 
a pleasant smell, and warm spicy taste. 

They are good in all nervous disorders. They 
are best taken in infusion, but as the virt ues are 
much the same with the other, that is best, because 
it may be had fresher. 

The Cypress Tree. Cuprcssus » 


A TREE kept in our - gardens, an evergreen, 
and singular in the manner of its growth. It 
rises to twenty or thirty foot high, and is all the 
w ay thick beset with branches. These are largest 
towards the bottom, and smaller all the way up ; 
so that the tree appears naturally of a conic fi- 
gure. The bark is of a reddish brown. The 
leaves are small and short, they cover all the 
twigs like scales, and are of a beautiful deep 
green. The flowers are small and inconsiderable. 
The fruit is a kind of nut, of the bigness of a 
small walnut, and of a brown colour and firm sub- 
stance. When ripe, it divides into several part» p 
and the seeds fall out. 

The fruit is the only part used,. It is to bfe 

* 


/ 


106 


family herbal. 


\ , 

i 


gathered before it bursts, and carefully dried and 
given in powder ; live and twenty grains is the 
dose. It is an excellent balsamic and styptic. 
It stops the bleeding of the nose, and is good 
against spitting of blood, bloody-flux, and over- 
flowing of the menses. We are not aware hoW 
powerful a remedy it is ; few things are equal 
to it 

D. 

Common Daffodill. Narcissus. 

A WILD English plant, with narrow leaves and 
great yellow flowers, common in our gardens 
in its own form, and in a great variety of .shapes 
that culture has given it. In its wild state, it is 
about a foot high. The leaves are long, narrow, 
grassy, and of a deep green, and they are nearly 
as tall as the stalk. The stalk is roundish, hut 
somewhat flatted and edged. The flower is large 
and single ; it stands at the top of the stalk, and by 
its weight presses it down a little. The root is round 
and white. 

The fresh root is to be used, and 'tis very easy 
to have it always in readiness in a garden ; and 
very useful, for it has great virtues. Given in- 
ternally, in a small quantity, it acts as a vomit, 
and afterwards purges a little; audit is excellent 
against all obstructions. The best way of giving 
it is in form of the juice pressed out with some 
white wine, but its principal uses are externally. 
The eastern nations have a peculiar way of dry- 
ing the thick roots of plants, especially if they 
are full of a slimy juice as this is : They put 
them fo soak in water, and then hang them over 
the steam of a pot in which rice is boiling ; after 
this they string them up, and they become in some 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


IOT 

degree transparent and horny. It would be worth 
while to try the method upon this root and some 
others of our own growth ; which, because of this 
slimv juice, we cannot well dry any other way ; 
probably ibis would lose its vomiting quality 
when rtried, and would act only as an opener of 
obstructions, in which case, it might be given in 
repeated doses ; for at present no body will be pre- 
vailed upon to take it often. 

The fresh root bruised and applied to fresh 
wounds heals them very suddenly. Applied to 
Strains and bruises, it is also excellent, taking away 
the swelling and pain. 

The Great Daisy. Beilis major . 

4 

A BEAUTIFUL and stately wild plant, which, 
if it w ere not frequent in our fields, would doubt- 
less be esteemed in gardens. It grows to a foot 
high. The stalks are angulated slender, but firm 
and upright : the leaves are oblong, narrow, 
dented round the edges, and of a beautiful deep 
green. The flowers stand on the tops of the 
branches. Thev are white, and an inch broad t 
very like the white china starwort so much esteem- 
ed in our gardens. The root is slender. 

The flowers are the part used. They are to be 
gathered when newly opened, and dried, and may 
afterwards be given in powder or infusion. They 
are good against coughs and shortness of breath, 
and in all disorders of the lungs. They are balsamic 
and strengthening. 

The Little Daisy. Beilis minor. 

A PRETTY wild plant, too common to need 
much description, but too much neglected for its 


m FAMILY HERBAL. 

virtues. The leaves are oblong, broad, and ob- 
tuse. The stalks are three or four inches high/ 
and have no leaves. The flowers grow one on 
each stalk, and are of the breadth of a shilling, and 
whitish or reddish. The root is composed of a, 
vast quantity of fibres. 

The roots fresh gathered and given in a strong 
decocUon, are excellent against the scurvy; the 
use of them must be continued some time, but the 
event will make amends for the trouble. People 
give these roots boiled in milk to keep puppies from 
growing, but they have no such effects. 

Dandelion. Dens I corns,. 

* - ■■ -• t> J-' 

ANOTHER of our wild plants too common to 
need much description. The leaves are very long, 
somewhat broad, and deeply indented at the edges. 
The stalks are naked, hollow, green, upright, and 
six, eight, or ten inches high ; one flower stands 
on each, which is large, yellow, and composed of 
a great quantity of leaves, and seeds which follow 
this, have a downy matter affixed to them. The 
whole head of them appears globular. The root 
is long, large, and white. The whole plant is full 
of a milky juice, the rootmost of all. This runs 
from it when broken, and is bitterish but hot dis- 
agreeable. 

The root fresh gathered and boiled, makes an 
excellent decoction to promote urine, and bring 
away gravel. The leaves may be eaten as salad 
when very young, and if taken this way in suf- 
ficient quantity, they are good against the scurvy. 

Red Darnell. Lolium rubrum. 

.. .. . « * .* ' i 

* A WILD grass, very common about way-sidc% 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


1U'J 

and distinguished by its stubborn stalks and low 
growth, it is not above a foot high* often much 
less. Tire leaves are narrow, short, and of a 
dusky gn en. The stalk is thick, reddish, some- 
what flat ed, and upright. The ear is flat ; and 
is composed of a double row of short spikes : this, 
as well as the stalk is often of a purplish colour. 
The i o d is composed of a great quantity of whitish 
fibres. 

The rootsarcto be used : and they are best dried 

* V* 

and given in powder. They aro a very excellent 
astro gent ; good against purging, overflowing of 
the menses, at d all other fluxes, and bleeding ; 
but the last operation is slow, and they must be con- 
tinued. Tis a medicine fitter, therefore, for ha- 
bitual complaints of this kind, than sudden illness. 

There is an old opinion that the seeds of darnel!* 
when by chance mixed with corn, and made into 
bread, w hich may happen, when it grows in corn- 
fields, occasions dizziness of the head, sickness of 
the s?< tnach* and all the bad effects of drunkenness : 
they are said also to hurt the eyes ; hut we have 
very little assurance of these effects ; nor are they 
very probable. They properly belong to another 
kind of darnell, distinguished by the name of white 
darnel! ; which is a tallerplanf, and more common 
in corn-fields than the red ; but this is very much 
to be suspected upon the face of the account. The 
antients make frequent nicucion of this kind of 
darnell, growing, to their great distress, among the 
wheat ; but by the accidental hints some have 
given about its height* and the shape of its ear* 
they seem to have meant the common dog’s grass 
or couch grass, under that name ; though others 
have seemed to understand the distinction. In this 
uncertainty* however, remains the matter about 
which particular kind of grass was really accused 


110 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


of possessing 1 these bad qualities : but it is most 
probable that they belong to neither ; and that 
fancy, rather than any thing really known, gave 
birth to the opinion. 

The Date Tree. Palma dactylifera . 

A TREE of the warmer countries, very unlike 
those of our part of the world. The trunk is thick 
and tall, and is all the way up of the same bigness ; 
it has no bark, but is covered with the rudiments of 
leaves, and the inner part of the trunk when it is 
young is eatable. At the top of the trunk stand a 
ya»t quantify of leaves, some erect and some droop- 
ing, and from the bosoms of these grow the flowers 
and the fruit ; but it is remarkable that the flowers 
grow upon the trees only, and the fruit on some 
others. If there be n )t a tree of the male kind, that 
is a flowering tree near the fruit of the female, it 
will never naturally ripen. In this case they cut 
off bunches of the flowers, and shake them over 
the head of the female tree, and this answers the 
purpose 

All plants have what may be called male and fe- 
male parts in the r flowers. The male parts are 
certain dusty particles : the female parts are the 
rudiments of the fruits. In some plants these are 
in the same flowers as in the tulip. Those black 
grains which dust the hands are the male part, and 
the green thing in the middle of them is the female: 
it becomes afterwards the fruit or seed vessel. In 
other plants, as melons, and many more, tire male 
parts grow in some flowers, and the female parts in 
others, on the same plant : and in others, the male 
flowers and the female grow upon absolutely dif- 
ferent plants, but of the same kind. This is the 
case in the date tree as we see, and it is same though 




FAMILY HERBAL III 

we do not much regard it, in hemp, spinage, and 
manv others. 

The fruit of the date is the only part used. It 
is as thick as a man’s thumb and nearly as long,, of 
a sweet taste, and composed of a juicy pulp, in a 
tender skin, with a stone within it. They are 
strengthening and somewhat astringent, but we do 
not much use them. 

Devil’s Bit. Succisa. 

A WILD plant in our meadows, with slender 
stalks, and globous flowers. It grows two feet 
high. The stalks are round, firm, and upright, 
and divided into seyeral branches: they have two 
little leaves at each joint. The flowers are as big 
as a small walnut, and composed of many little ones; 
their colour is very strong and beautiful. The 
leaves which grow from the root are four inches 
long, an inch broad, obtuse, of a dark green, and a 
little hairy, not at all divided, or so much as in- 
dented at the edges. The roots are white, and com- 
posed of a thick head, which terminates abruptly 
as if it had been bitten or broken off, and of a 
multitude of fibres. The Devil, as old women say, 
bit it away, envying mankind its virtues. 

The leaves are to be gathered before the stalks 
appear. They are good against coughs, and the 
disorders of the lungs, given in decoction. The 
root dried and given in powder, promotes sweat, 
and is a good medicine in fevers, but we neglect it. 

Dill. Anetlium . 

An umbelliferous plant, kept in our gardens, 
principally for the use of the kitchen. The stalk 
is round, striated, hollow, upright, three feet high. 


112 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


mid divided into a great many branches. ‘The leave! 
are divided into numerous, narrow, and long parts, 
in the manner of fennel ; but they are not so large. 
The flowers are small and yellow ; they stand in 
clusters on the tops of the branches. The root 
is long. The seeds of dill are good against the 
colic ; and they are said to be a specific against 
the hiccough, but I have known them tried with- 
out success. 

.» * 

Dittander. .Lepidium . 

A TALL plant, with broad leaves and little while 
flowers ; wild in some places, and frequent in 
' our gardens.* It grows a yard high. The stalks 
are round, firm, of a pale green, and ver y much 
branched. The leaves are large towards the 
bottom, smaller upwards ; and the flowers stand 
in a kind of loose spikes ; the lower leaves are 
beautifully indented, the others scarce at ail : the 
seeds are contained in little roundish capsules, and 
are of a hot and pungent taste. 

The leaves of dittander fresh, gathered and boil- 
ed in water, make a decoction that works by urine, 
and promotes the menses : they are also good to 
promote the necessary discharges after delivery. 

Dittany of Crete. Dictamuns Creticus . 

A VERY pretty little plant, native of the East, 
and kept in some of our curious people’s gardens. 
It has been famous for its virtues, but thev stand 
more upon the credit of report than experience. 
It is six or eight inches high, the stalks are square, 
slender, hard, woody, and branched. The leaver 
are short, broad, and roundish ; they stand two at 
every joint, -and are covered with a white woolly 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


IIS 

matter. The flowers are small and purple: they 
grow in oblong and slender scaly heads, in th« 
manner of those of origanum ; and these heads are 
themselves very beautiful, being variegated with 
green and purple. The whole plant has a fragrant 
smell. 

Th© leaves are used, our druggists keep -them 
dried. The old writers attribute miracles to it in 
the cure of wounds ; at present it is seldom used 
alone ; but it is good in nervous disorders, and 
it promotes the menses, and strengthens the sto- 
mach, 


White Dittany. Fraxinella . 

» 

A VERY beautiful plant, native of many of the 
warmer parts of Europe ; but with us kept only 
in gardens. It is three foot high, very much 
branched and very beautiful. The stalks are round, 
thick, firm, and of a green or purplish colour. The 
leaves stand irregularly on them, and are like those 
of the ash tree, only smaller. The flowers are 
large and elegant : they are of a pale red, white, or 
striped ; and they stand in a kind of spikes at the 
top of the branches. The whole plant is covered 
in the summer months with a kind of balsam, 

i ^ 

which is glutinous to the touch, and of a very fra- 
grant smell. This is so inflammable, that if a candle 
be brought near any part of the plant, it takes fire 
and goes off in a flash all over the plant. This 
does it no harm, and may be repeated after three or 
four days, a new quantity of the balsam being pro- 
i duced in that time. The roots of this plant are the 
i only part used, and they are kept dry by the drug;- 
;l gists. They are commended in fevers,, and' in 
nervous and hysteric cases, but their virtues are 
n not great, I have found an infusion of tb« tops of 
* ... % 


I 


114 FAMILY HERBAL, 

the plant, a very pleasant and excellent medicine in 
the gravel ; it works powerfully by urine, and gives 
ease in those colicy pains which frequently attend 
upon the disorder. 

Sharp-pointed Dock* Lapathur.i folio acuto . 

A COMMON plant, like the ordinary dock, but 
somewhat handsomer, and distinguished by the 
figure of its leaves, which are sharp-pointed, not 
obtuse as in that, and are also somewhat narrower 
and longer. The plant grows three foot high. 
The stalks are erect, green, round* striated and 
branched. The leaves are of a fine green, smooth,, 
neither crumpled on the surface, nor curled at the 
edges, and have large ribs. The flowers are small* 
at first greenish, then paler, and lastly, they dry and 
become brown. The root is long, thick, and of & 
tawny colour. 

The root is the part used. It is excellent a*» 
gainst the scurvy, and is one of the best things we 
know, for what is called sweetening the blood. It 
Is best given in diet drinks and decoctions. Used 
outwardly, it cures the itch, and other foulness of 
The skin ; it should be beat up with lard for ihit 
purpose. 

Great Water Dock. Hydrolapatham maximum . 

THIS is the largest of all the dock kinds ; they 
have a general resemblance of one another, but thi& 
is most of all like to the last described, in its man- 
ner of growth, though vastly larger. It is fre- 
quent about waters, and is five or six feet high,. 
The stalks are round, striated, thick and very up- 
right, branched a little and hollow. The leaver 
are vastly large; of a pale green colour, smooth* 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


115 

and sharp at the point. The flowers are small,, 
and of a greenish colour with some white threads, 
and they afterwards become brown. The root is 
large, long, and of a reddish brown. 

It is a good remedy in the scurvy. The root con- 
tains the greatest virtues, and it is to be given in 
diet drinks. The seeds of this, and all other docks, 
are astringent, and good against purgings. 

Garden Dock, called Monks* Rh;ubarb. Lapa~ 

thum sativum , patientia . 

A TALL plant of the dock kind, a native of 
Italy, and kept in our gardens for its virtues. It 
grows six or seven feet high. The stalk is round, 
striated, thick, upright, and firm. The leaves are 
very large, long, and are pointed at the extremity: 
they stand upon thick hollowed foot stalks ; and 
the main stalk of the plant is also frequently red. 
The flowers are like those of the other docks, 
greenish and white at first, but afterwards brown ; 
but they are larger than in almost any other kind. 
The root is very large, long, and divided ; the outer 
coat is of a brownish yellow ; w ithin, it is yellow 
mixed with red. This is the part used ; it has been 
calledmonks* rhubarb, from itspossessingsomeofthe 
virtues of the true rhubarb ; but it possesses them 
only in a slight degree, it is very little purgative, 
and less astringent : It w orks by urine as well as 
stool, and is good in the jaundice, and other disor- 
ders arising from obstructions. 

There is another plant of the dock kind, called 
bastard rhubarb, kept in some gardens, and mista- 
ken for this. The leaves of it are roundish. It has 
the same virtues with the monks* rhubarb, but in $ 
much less degree, so that it is very wrong to use il 
jin its place. 


FAMILY HERBAL, 
Dodder. Cuscuta . 


IIS 


A VERY strange and singular plant, but not 
uncommon with us. It consists of only stalks and 
Sowers, for there are- no leaves, nor the least 
resemblance of any. The stalks are a foot or two 
in length, and they fasten themselves to other 
plants ; they are of a purplish colour, as thick as 
a small pack-thread, and considerably tough and 
firm. These wind themselves about the branches 
of the plants, and entangle themselves also with 
one another in such a manner, that there is no end 
of the perplexity of tracing and unfolding them. 
The flowers grow in little heads, and are small and 
reddish, four little seeds succeed to each of them. 

Dodder is best fresh gathered ; it is to be boiled 
in water with a little ginger and allspice, and 
the decoction works by stool briskly ; it also opens 
obstructions of the liver, and is good in the jaun- 
dice, and many other disorders arising from the like 
cause. 

The dodder which grows upon the garden thyme, 
has been used to be preferred to the others, and 
has been supposed to possess peculiar virtues, from 
the plant on which it grows ; but this is imagi- 
nary : experience shews it to be only a purge as 
the other, and weaker. The common dodder is 
preferable to it with us, because we can gather it 
fresh, the other is imported, and we only have it 
dry ; and it often loses a great deal of its virtue irj 
the hands of the druggist. 4 

Dog Me r curt. Cynocrambe. 

•r 

A COMMON and poisonous plant named here* 
mot as a medicine but that people who gather herbs, 
for whatever use, may guard against it. It fa 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


11 1 


common under hedges ; and in the earlier part of 
the year makes a pretty appearance. People might 
very naturally be tempted to eat of it among other 
spring herbs, for there is nothing forbidding in its 
aspect ; and what is much worse, the authors most 
likely to be consulted on such an occasion, might 
lead those into it, whom they ought to have guarded 
against it. 

It is about a foot high, and lias but few leaves* 
but they are large. The stalk is round, thick* 
whitish, pointed, and a little hairy ; thje leaves 
itand principally toward the top, four, five, or six, 
seldom more : they are long and considerably 
broad, sharp-pointed, notched about the edges, and 
a little hairy. The flowers are inconsiderable : they 
stand in a kind of spikes at the tops of the stalks ; 
and the seeds are on separate plants, they are dou- 
ble and roundish. The herb has been from this 
divided into two kinds, male and female, but they 
have in earlier time given the distinctions of the sex 
wrong. Those which bear the spikes of flowers, 
are the male plants ; the others, notwithstanding 
any accidental resemblance, female. 

There is not a more fatal plant, native of our 
country, than this ; many have been known to 
die by eating it boiled with their food ; and proba- 
bly many also, whom we have not heard of: yet 
the writers of English Herbals, say nothing of this. 
Gerard, an honest and plain writer, but ignorant 
as dirt, says, it is thought they agree with the 
other mercuries in nature. These other mercuries 
are eatable ; therefore, who would scruple on this 
account, to eat also this. Johnson, who put forth 
another edition of this book, and called it Gerard 
Emaeulated, from the amending the faults of the 
original author, says nothing to contradict it : but 
&fter some idle observations upon other herbs of the 


4 IB FAMILY HERBAL. 

' / 

same name, but very different qualities, which yet 
lie seems to suppose of the same nature, leaves his 
reader to suppose, that he meant equally any of the 
kinds of mercury, for the purposes he names ; and, 
like his predecessor Gerard, supposed them all to be 
alike ; those safe, and those poisonous. It is true, 
Mr. Hay, in bis Synopsis of the British plants, 
gives an account of it as a poison, and must suffici- 
ently warn all who read him, from the herb : but 
who reads him ? His book in which this is mentioned, 
is written in Latin ; and those who want the infor- 
mation, cannot read it. 

This is not only the case in one or two particulars, 
it is so in all. To speak generally, the hooks which 
contain real knowledge, are written in Latin, 
through an ostentation of their authors, to shew 
their learning, or a pride in having them read in 
other nations as well as here ; and those we have 
in English are ignorant ; despised by the persons of 
judgment, and fit only to mislead. If they enu- 
merate virtues, they give them at random, or give 
too many false among the true, that the reader 
knows not what to choose ; or their real ignorance 
mingles poisons w ith salads, as we see in the present 
instance : Nor is any more regard to be paid to what 
they say of herbs, from certain great names they 
quote. Dioscorides and Galen were indeed great 
physicians ; but men like these are not qualified 
to profit from their labours. The names of plants 
have been changed so often since their time, that 
we do not know what they mean by several : and it 
is easy for such sad proficients as these, to record 
of one plant, what they spoke of another : besides, 
even in their best writings, there is a great deal of 
error and folly, as may he seen in a quotation of this 
Johnson’s from them, added to Gerard in this very 
chapter. Where, speaking of one of the kinds of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


m 

mercury, distinguished like this poisonous kind, 
into male and female, he says, f that the maR kind 
* conduces to the generation of boys, and the female 
r of girls/ Such is the matter, that a superiority 
in one of these authors over the other, qualified 
him to add to his book : such are the English 
books that are extant upon this subject ; and such 
the direction offered to the charitable, confounding 
eatable herbs with poisons. This has been one 
great reason of writing the present book, that there 
may be one guide and direction at least, to be de- 
pended upon ; and this its author has thought pro- 
per to say at large upon the immediate occasion, 
rather than in a preface ; because there it must 
have been accompanied with a needless repetition, 
and perhaps would not have been observed by many, 
who may have recourse to the book. 

Dog Tooth. Dens caninus „ 

A VERY pretty little plant, with two broad 
leaves and a large drooping flower ; common in 
Italy and Germany, and frequent in our gardens. 
It is five or six inches high. The stalk is round, 
slender, weak, and greenish towards the top ; often 
white at the bottom. The leaves stand a little 
height above the ground : they are oblong, some- 
what broad, of a beautiful green, not at all dented 
at the edges, and blunt at the end : they inclose 
the stalk at the base. The flower is large and white, 
but with a tinge of reddish; it hangs down, and 
is long, hollow, and very elegant. The root is 
roundish, and has some fibres growing from its 
bottom ; it is full of a slimy juice. 

The fresh gathered roofs are used ; for they dry 
very ill, and generally lose their virtues entirely. 
They are good against worms in children, and take 


120 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


a surprising and speedy effect against those violent 
pains in the belly, which are owing to those crea- 
tures. The best way of giving them is in the ex- 
pressed juice ; or if children will not take that, 
they may be boiled in milk* to which they give very 
little taste. It is a powerful remedy ; and a small 
dose will take effect,, especially of the juice; so 
that it is best to begin with very little, and as that 
is well borne, to increase the quantity. 

, Dragons. Dracontium . 

A FINE, tall, and beautiful plant ; kept in 
gardens for its use in medicine, as well as for its 
appearance. It is four feet high. The stalk is 
thick, round, and firm ; perfectly smooth, and 
painted on the surface with several colours ; 
purple, white, green, and others. The leaves 
are very large, and stand on long foot-stalks : they 
are of a deep and strong green ; and each is divided 
into several portions in the manner of fingers. 
The flower is like that of the common arum or 
cuckoo pint : it is contained in a hollow green case* 
of a deep purple within, and the pistil is also of a 
deep purple ; after this is fallen, appear as in the 
arum, large red berries in a cluster. The whole 
plant is of an acrid and insupportable taste. 

The whole plant is to be gathered when in flower, 
and dried ; it may afterwards be given in decoction* 
powder, or otherwise. It was vastly esteemed for 
malignant fevers, and in the small pox ; but it has 
of late lost much of its credit : at present it is only 
used in some compositions. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 121 

The Dragon's Blood Thee, Sanguis dracmis 

arbor. 

A VERY beautiful tree, native of the Canaries, 
and some other places. It is of the palm kind, and 
one of the handsomest of them. The trunk is na- 
ked all the way to the top, and there stand on its 
summit a great quantity of leaves, long, narrow, 
and pointed at the ends ; of a bluish green colour, 
and not unlike the leaves of our flags. The fruit 
is round, and is of the bigness of a walnut with 
the green rind upon it. 

The dragon’s blood is a red friable resin. Our 
druggists keep it : the best is in small lumps ; there 
is an inferior kind in cakes or masses. It is pro- 
cured by cnttingthe trunk of this tree in the great 
heats. There are also two other kinds of palm, 
that afford the same resin. It is a very excellent 
astringent. It is useful in purgings and in the 
overflowing of the menses, in spitting of blood, and 
all other occasions of that kind. It may be given 
in powder, 

! Drop wort, Filipendula . 

A VERY pretty wild plant, with tufts of whitish 
flowers, and leaves finely divided. It grows two 
feet high. The stalk is^ round, striated, upright, 
firm, and branched. The leaves are large and 
divided into a great number of firm segments, they 
rise principally from the root, and stand on slender 
foot-stalks. There are few leaves or; the stalks, and 
they are small. The flowers are little, but they 
stand in great tufts at the tops of the branches : they 
ate white on the inside, and often reddish on the 
outside. The seeds are flatfish and grow several 
together. The root is composed of a great numbed 

n 


12 a FAMILY HERBAL. 

\ 

of small lumps, fastened together by filaments. 
This root is the part most used ; it is good in fits 
of thewgravel, for it promotes urine greatly and 
safely. For this purpose the juice should he given, 
or a strong decoction of the fresh root. When 
dried it may be given in po wder to stop the whites 
and purgings, it is a gentle and safe astringent. 

There are several other plants called in English 
dropworis, which are very different in their qua» 
lilies, and one of them is poisonous in a terrible 
degree; this last is called hemlock dropwort; care 
must therefore be taken that the right kind is used, 
but this is sufficiently different from all the others. 
The flower is composed of six little leaves, and is 
full of yellow threads in the middle ; the flowers of 
all the others are composed only of five leaves each. 
They are all umbelliferous plants, but this is not ; 
the flowers grow in clusters, but not in umbels : 
they grow like those of the ulmaria or meadow 
sweet. 

Puck-weed, Lenticula . 

A SMALL green herb, consisting of single, little 
roundish leaves, which float upon the surface of 
the water, and send their roots into it for nourish- 
ment, without sticking them into the mud. it is 
the small green herb that covers almost all our 
standing waters in summer. There are two other 
kinds of it, one with smaller leaves and many fibres 
from each, another with only one fibre from each 
leaf : both these are green all over ; and a third 
kind with larger leaves, which are purple under- 
neath, but all these have the same virtue, and it 
is no matter which is taken. The juice is to be 
given ; and it is to be continued for several days. 

St works powerfully by urine, and opens obstruct 


FAMILY HERBAL. 123 

lions of the liver : jaundices have been cured by 
it singly. 

Dwarf Elder. Ebulus . 

A PLANT so much resembling the common 
elder-tree,, that it may be easily mistaken for it till 
examined. It grows four or live feet high. The 
stalks are green, round, tender, and upright ; and 
they have very much the appearance of the young 
shoots of elder ; but there is no woody part from 
whence they rise. The leaves are large, and com- 
posed of several pairs of others, as those of elder,, 
with an odd one at the end ; hut these are longer than 
in the elder, and they are serrated round the edges. 
The flowers arc small and white ; but they stand 
in very large clusters or umbels, just as those of the 
elder ; and they are succeeded by berries which 
are black when ripe ; but that is a condition in 
which we seldom see them ; for the birds are so 
fond of them, they eat them as they come to ma- 
turity. The root is white and creeping ; and the 
whole plant dies down every year to the gound. 

It is wild in England, but not common ; a great 
quantity of it grows at the back of Cuper's gar- 
dens. It may be dried : but the best way of 
giving it is in the juice. This works strongly both 
by stool and urine, and has often cured dropsies. 

Dyer's Weed. Luteola . 

A VERY singular and pretty wild plant ; it 
grows on dry banks and upon walls, and is known 
at sight by its upright stalks, and very long spikes 
of greenish yellow flowers. It grows to four feet 
or more in height. The stalk is thick, firm, chan- 
nelled, and in a manner covered with leaves ; they 


m 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


p.re small in proportion to the bigness of the plant, 
oblong, narrow, and pointed at the ends, of a yel- 
lowish green colour, and not serrated at the edges ; 
a tuft of the same kind of leaves, but somewhat 
larger, surrounds the bottom of the stalk. The 
root is long and white. The flowers are small, 
but very numerous. 

The flowery tops of this plant dried, and given 
in decoction, are said to be a remedy for the evil, 
but the report is not established by any known ex- 
perience. 

f 

i 

E 

\ 

Elder. Sambucus . 

A COMMON wild shrub ; it grow s irregularly. 
The stem or trunk is covered with a rough whitish 
bark, and the wood is firm, but there is a hollow 
within ; this is smallest in the largest parts of the 
shrub, but it is never quite obliterated. The young 
shoots are thick, long, and green ; they grow quick, 
and are often a yard long before they begin to change 
colour, or grow woody. These contain a large 
quantity of pith ; and their bark as they stand be- 
comes brownish, and their undersurface woody. The 
leaves are composed of several pairs of others, 
with an odd one at the end : the flowers stand in 

y ’ .1 v - '> 

vast clusters, or umbels, and are small and white ; 
they are succeeded by berries, which are black 
when ripe, and are full of a purple juice. There 
is another kind of elder, with berries white when 
they are ripe, and another with jagged leaves, but 
the common elder is the sort to be used. 

The inner bark of the elder is a strong purge; 
and it has been known to cure dropsies when taken 
in time, and often repeated. The flowers are made 







V 











s 

















t 






«• 








* 














* 






























/ 









( 



36 - 








35. 




W/U/r/JL 











FAMILY HERBAL. 


1 -CitL 

ZD 

Into an ointment, bj boiling them in lard, till they 
are almost crisp, and then pouring it oft, this is 
cooling ; the juice of the berries is boiled down 
with aT little sugar, or by some wholly without, 
and this, when it comes to the consistence of honey. 
Is the famous rob of elder, good in colds and sore 
throats, A wine is made of the elder-berries, which 
has the flavour of Froniignac. 

Elecampane. Enula campana. 

A TALL and robust plant, wild in some parts 
of England, but kept in gardens for the uses of 
medicine ; it grows five feet high, and the flower 
is yellow, and very large. The stalk is round, 
thick, upright, very robust, and reddish : the 
leaves are long, large, and rough, and they are 
pointed at the ends ; of a pale green colour. 
The flowers grow at the tops of the branches, 
and have something like the appearance of a dou- 
ble- sun flower. They are two inches in diameter, 
yellow, and very beautiful. The root is long 
and thick, and is brown on the outside, and white 
within. 

The root is the part used ; we have it dried from 
Germany, but it is for most purposes better to take 
that fresh out of the garden, which we have here-. 
Hardly any plant has more virtues. It is good in 
all disorders of the breast and lungs, and it opens 
obstructions : It operates by urine powerfully, and 
also by sweat : and the juice of it will cure the 
itch, applied externally. Its greatest virtue, how- 
ever, is against coughs, and for this purpose it is 
best taken candied, provided that be well done. A 
little of it may in this way be held almost conti- 
nually in the mouth, and swallowed gently, so that 


1 26 FAMILY HERBAL, 

it will (%ke effect much better than by a larger dosfe 
swallowed at once. 

Elm, Ulmus . 


A TALL tree native of our own country, and 
sufficiently common in our hedges. It grows to a 
great bigness. The bark is brownish, rough, and 
irregular ; the twigs are also brown, and very tough. 
The^leaves are small, broad, short, rough to the 
touch, and finely indented about the edges, and they 
terminate in a point. The flowers are not regarded ; 
they appear before the leaves, and principally about 
the tops of the tree, and they are only thready ; the 
seeds are flat. 

The inner bark of the elm boiled in water, makes 
one of the best gargles for a sore throat that can 
be supplied by the whole list of medicines. It 
should be sweetened w ith honey of roses ; it is 
extremely soft and healing, and yet at the same time 
very cleansing. 

There are two or three other kinds of elms com- 
mon in garden hedges ; they are brought from other 
countries, but the bark of the English rough elm h 
preferable to them all as a medicine. 

Endive. Endivict . 


A COMMON garden plant kept for salads. It 
grows two feet high, and the flowers are blue, but 
we see it a thousand times with only the leaves 
for once in a flower, and these the gardeners have 
the art of twisting and curling, and whitening in 
such a manner, that they are scarce to be known, 
as belonging to the plant. Natural!}' they are long 
and narrow, blunt at the end, and deeply notched 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


m 

at the edges, and of a yellowish green colour ; the 
stalks are round and firm, and the leaves that grow 
on them are like those from the root, but smaller : 
the flowers stand at the tops of the stalks and bran* 
dies, they are blue, and in shape and structure like 
those of dandelion : they are very beautiful. 

The juice of endive may he taken with great 
advantages as medicine ; it cools the stomach, 
and; operates by urine very powerfully; it also 
opens obstructions of the viscera. It is good 
against the jaundice, and constantly taken for some 
time, against the. scurvy. 

Bryn go. Eryngium . 

A WILD plant, which grows with us by the sea 
side, and is kept also in gardens, because of its 
virtues. It ia prickly like a thistle, and the 
whole plant appears not green, but whitish. The 
stalk is firm, woody, round, striated, and thick* 
not very upright, branched, and spread irre« 
gularly about. The leaves are small, and of a 
pale bluish green, approaching to white ; they 
are broad, oblong, and jagged and prickly. The 
flowers grow in little heads at the tops of the 
stalks, and there stands a circle of small leaves under 
them. The flowers, separately taken, are small* 
and of a pale greenish white, but the head of them 
is tolerably large. The root is long and slender* 
and of a pleasant taste. 

This is the part used ; the best way is to take 
them candied ; they are good against coughs, and 
weakness- of all kinds. They have also caused 
noble virtues, as a diuretic, and are good against 
the jaundice ; for this last purpose a decoction, 
made from the fresh roots is best. The) are bal- 
samic as well as diuretic. 


FAMILY HERBAL,. 


m 

The 'Euph-orbium Plant. Euphoruium . 

A VERY strange plant, native of the hot courH 
tries, and unlike every thing that is known in 
this part of the world. It is ten or twelve feet 
high, and is of a solid thick body, of a triangu- 
lar or else a square figure, as thick as a. man's 
leg, and is divided by knots placed at distan- 
ces, so as to seem made up of several joints. The 
edges of the body are all beset with very .sharp 
prickles ; the plant itself is composed only of a 
pulpy soft matter, covered with a thick rind, of 
a green colour ; it abounds with a milky juice, 
but so acrid that there is no bearing a, drop of it 
a moment on the tongue. The plant often coo*» 
sists of one single stem, such as is just described, 
but frequently it sends out several branches; these 
are naked in the same manner as the main stem. 
All that have beside the prickles, are a kind of 
thin films or membranes, small and growing from 
their bases, but the plant is altogether without 
leaves. The flowers grow three together among 
the thorns, and the fruit is a vessel containing three 
seeds. t 

The gum which sweats out from this plant, is 
used in medicine ; it is yellowish and comes forth 
in small drops, its taste is sharp and insupporta- 
ble ; it is a violent purge, and is recommended 
against dropsies, but we scarce ever prescribe it, 
it is so very rough ; it is sometimes used outwardly 
among other things applied to the feet in violent 
fevers. 


I Eve bright. Euphrasia , 

A VERY pretty low herb common in our mea- 
dows* with woody stalks, and bright, and’ little 


variegated flowers. It grows 'six or eight inches 
high. The stalks are round, thick, firm, and very 
hard ; the leaves are fiat, broad, and very deeply 
indented at the edges ; and they are of a bright 
shining green. The flowers are little, and they are 
very bright ; their ground colour is white, and they 
are streaked and spotted with black and some other 
dark colours. 

This plant has been always famous for dimness 
of sight, but whether experience warrants the 
character that is given of it is uncertain. The juicfs 
is very diuretic. 

F. 


F ennel . Famicii him . 

A common garden plant, kept for its use in 
the kitchen, rather than its medicinal virtues. 
It grows six or eight feet high. The stalk is 
round, hollow, and of a deep green colour * the 
leaves are large, and divided into a vast num- 
ber of fine slender segments, and they are also of 
a deep or bluish green colour. The flowers stand 
at the tops of the branches, and are small and 
yellow ; but there grow large clusters of them to- 
gether > the seed is small, dark coloured, and striated., 
and is of a sharp acrid taste ; the root is long and 
white. 

The root is the part most used * a decoction 
made of it with common water, and given in large 
quantities, works by urine, and is good against the 
gravel and in the jaundice. 

Sweet Fennel. Fceniculum dulce . 

9 

h garben plant very like the common kind. 


130 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


but of a paler colour. It grows four feet high ; 
the stalk is round, hollow,, striated, upright, and 
branched ; and the leaves are large and divided 
into a great number of fine segments, in the man- 
ner of those of common fennel, but both these and 
the stalks are of a pale yellowish green colour, 
not so dark as in the other kind. The flowers 
are yellowish, and stand in small clusters or umbels ; 
the seeds follow, two after each flower ; and 
they are quite different from those of the common 
ferine], in size, shape, colour, and taste. They are 
long, slender, of a pale colour, a little crooked, and * 
deeply striated. Their taste is sweetish and a little 
acrid. 

As the roots are the part most used of the com- 
mon fennel, the seeds are the only part used of this. 
They are excellent in the colic, and are used exter- 
nally with success in pultices to swellings. The 
seeds of the common fennel are used by some, but 
they are very hot and acrid. These are preferable 
for internal use. 

Fennel Flower. Nigeltci . 

A Singular and pretty plant kept in gardens. 
It grows a foot and a half high. The stalk is firm, 
round, striated, and upright and hollow. The 
leaves are divided into a multitude of tine slender 
parts like those of fennel, only very small in com- 
parison, and thence it had the English name of 
fennel flower ; they stand irregularly on the stalks, 
and are of a pale green. The flowers stand at tin 1 
tops of the branches : they are singular and pretty ; 
the colour is whitish, and they are moderately large, 
the green leaves about them give them a very par- 
ticular grace. 

The juice of the plant fresh gathered, is good 


rsi 


for (lie head-ache ; it is to be snuffed up the nose,, 
and it will occasion sneezing ; inwardly taken it 
works by urine, and is good in the jaundice. 

Hog’s Fennel. Peucedcinum , 

A wild plant with divided leaves and umbels 
of yellow flowers, and thence bearing a remote re- 
semblance to fennel. It grows two feet high : the 
stalk is round, striated, hollow, upright, and 
branched. The leaves are like those of fennel, but 
the divisions are much broader, and they run in 
threes. The flowers are little and yellow, but the 
dusters of them are large, and the seed is oblong and 
flat. At the top of the root, there is always found 
& tuft of hairy matter. This is made up of the fibres 
of decayed leaves, but it has a singular appearance. 
The root is large, long, and brown, and this is 
the part used as a medicine. It is to be boiled in 
water, and the decoction drank night and morning ; 
it dissolves tough phlegm, and helps asthmatic 
people ; it also works by urine, and promotes the 
menses, and is good in all obstructions. 

Fcenugreek Fcenum Gr cecum. 

A plant of the trefoil kind, but singular in its 
manner of growth, cultivated in fields in many 
places for the sake of the seed. It is emollient. It 
grows a foot and a half high ; the stalks are round, 
striated, and branched. The leaves are short and 
broad : they stand three upon every stalk as in 
the common trefoils : and are indented about the 
edges. The flowers are white and small, and they 
resemble a pea-blossom ; the pods are flat, and in 
them is contained a quantity of yellow seeds, of an 
irregular figure, and disagreeable smell 


132 


FAMILY HERBAL. 

Male Fern. Fillx mas . 


A common weed growing at the roots of trees, and 
in dry ditches. It has no stalk for bearing of 
flowers,, but several leaves rise together from the 
root, and each of these is in itself a distinct plant. 
It is two feet high, and near a foot in flreadth ; 
the stalk is naked for six or eight inches, and thence 
is set on each side with a row of ribs or smaller 
stalks, every one of which carries a double row 
of smaller leaves, with an odd one at the end ; the 
whole together making up. one great leaf, as in many 
of the umbelliferous plants. 

On the backs of these smaller leaves stand the 
seeds in round dusters ; they look brown and dusty. 
The root is long and thick, and the whole plant 
has a disagreeable smell. The root is greatly re- 
commended for curing the rickets in children ; 
with what success it would be hard to say. 

Fema le F ern . Filix f ocmina , 

s i / 

A tall and spreading plant, common on our 
heaths, and called by the country people brakes. 
It grows four feet high. The stalks are round, 
green, and smooth : the leaves are set on each side, 
and are subdivided, The whole may indeed be 
properly called only one leaf as in the male fern ; 
hut it has more the appearance of a number because 
it is so ramous. The small leaves or pinnules which 
go to make up the large one, are oblong, firm, hard, 
and of a deep green colour, and they are so spread 
that the whole plant is often three feet wide. On 
the edges of these little leaves stand the seeds 
in small dusty dusters. But they are not so 
frequent on this as on the male fern, for nature has 
so well provided for the propagation of this plant 




5 




4 * 



FAMILY HERBAL. 


133 


by the roots, that the seeds are less necessary ; and 
where it is so, they are always produced more 
sparingly. A certain quantity of every species is 
to be kept up, but the earth is not to be over -run 
with any. 

The roots of female fern fresh gathered, and 
made into a decoction, are a remedy against that 
long and flat worm in the bowels, called the tape- 
worm ; no medicine destroys them so effectually. 

Flowering Fern. OsmUnda regalis . 

There is something that at first sight appears 
singular in the manner of this fern’s* flowering, but 
when particularly examined, it is not different in 
any thing material from the other. It grows three 
feet high, and the leaves are very regularly con- 
structed, and very beautiful ; they are composed 
in the manner of the other ferns, each of several 
small ones, and these are broader and bigger than in 
any of the other kinds, not at all indented on the 
edges ; and of a bluish green colour, and afterwards 
yellowish. Many leaves arise from the same root, 
but only some few of them bear seeds. These 
principally rise about the middle, and the seeds stand 
only on the upper part : they cover the whole 
surface of the leaf, or nearly so in this part, and the 
little pinnules turn round inwards, and shew their 
backs rounded up. These are brown from being 
covered with the seeds, and they have so different 
an appearance from all the rest of the plant, that they 
are called flowers. The root is long and covered 
with fibres. The plant grows in boggy places, 
but it is not very common wild in England. 

A decoction of the fresh roots promotes urine, 
and opens obstructions of the liver and spleen ; it is 


not much used, but I have known a jaundice cured 
by it, taken in the beginning. 

F everfew. Matricaria . 

A common wild plant, with divided leaves, 
and a multitude of small flowers like daisies ; it 
grows about fanners' yards. The stalk is round, 
hollow, upright, branched, and striated, and grows 
two feet high. The leaves are large, divided into 
many small ones, and those roundish and indented ; 
they are of a yellowish green colour, and particular 
smell. The flowers stand about, the tops of the 
stalks ; they are small, white round the edges, and 
yellowish in the middle. The root is white, little, 
and inconsiderable. 

The whole plant is to be used ; it is best fresh, 
but it preserves some virtue dried ; it is to be given 
in tea, and it is excellent against hysteric disorders ; ; 
it promotes the menses. 

Fig-tree. Ficus. 

A shrub sufficiently known in our gardens. The 
trunk is thick, but irregular, and the branches, which 
are very numerous, grow without any sort of order. 
The leaves are very large, and of a deep blackish 
green, brood, divided deeply at the edges, and full 
of a milky juice. The flowers are contained within 
the fruit. The fig-tree produces fruit twice in the 
year ; the first set in spring, the second towards 
September, but these last never ripen with us. The 
dried figs of the grocers are the fruit of the same tree 
in Spain and Portugal, but they grow larger there,, 
and ripen better. 

Our own figs are wholesome fruit, and they are. 


I 



applied outwardly to swellings with success, they 
soften and give ease while the matter is forming 
within. 

Figwort. Scrap fcal aria , 

A tall and regular growing wild plant, with 
small deep purple flowers. It grows four feet 
high, and is common in our woods and ditches, 
where there is little water ; there is another kind 
of it in w et places, called also water hetony, which 
is to be distinguished from it bv the round indent- 
ings of the leaves ; it also grows in water, or just 
by it : the right figwort only loves shade and 
dampness, but not absolute wet. The stalk is 
square, upright, hollow, and very firm ; the leaves 
stand two at each joint, opposite one to the other ; 
they are large, broad at the base, narrow at the 
point, and sharply indented ; they stand on long 
foot-stalks, and they have the shape of the nettle 
leaf, but they are perfectly smooth, and of a 
shining colour ; they are sometimes green, but often 
brown, as is also the whole plant. The flowers are 
very small and gaping, their colour is a blackish 
purple. The root is long, white, and full of 
little tubercles, it spreads a great way under the 
surface. 

The juice of the fresh gathered root is an excellent 
sweetener of the blood taken in small doses, and 
for a long time together. The fresh roots bruised 
and applie d externally, are said also to be excellent 
for the evil. They cool and give ease in the piles, 
applied as a pultice. 

Fir Tree. Abies. 

A wild tree in Germany, and many other parts 


I 


136 FAMILY HERBAL. 

of Europe, but with us only kept in gardens. We 
have no kind of the hr native : what is called the 
Scotch fir, is not a fir, but a pine. 

The fir-tree grows to a considerable height, and 
with great regularity. The trunk is covered with 
a. rough and cracked bark, of a resinous smell ; the 
leaves are numerous, and stand very beautifully on 
the branches. They stand in two rows, one oppo- 
site to the other, and are oblong, but somewhat 
broad and flat. They are of a pale green, and of 
a whitish hue underneath. The tree is hence called 
the silver fir, and, from the disposition of the leaves, 
the yew-leaved fir, for they grow as in the yew- 
tree. The fruit or cones stand upright ; in this kind, 
they are long, thick, and brown. 

The tops of this kind are great sweeteners of the 
blood, and they work powerfully by urine. They 
are best given in diet drinks, or brewed in the beer, 
which is commonly drank. 

Red Fir Tree, or Pitch Tree. Picea . 

A tall tree, but not so regular in its growth, 
or in the disposition of its leaves, as the other. The 
trunk is thick, the bark reddish, and the wood soft. 
The branches are numerous, and they stand ir- 
regularly. The leaves arc oblong, narrow, and 
sharp-pointed ; and they do not grow in two even 
rows, as in the other, but stand irregularly on 
the twigs. The cones are long, slender, and hang 
downwards. The whole tree has a strong resinous 
smell. 

The tops of this are boiled in diet drinks against 
the scurvy as the other, but they make the liquor 
much more nauseous ; and not at all better for the 
intended purposes. 

Pitch and tar are the produce of the fir-tree, a# 


FAMILY HERBAL. 



also the Strasburg and some oilier of the turpentines. 
The larch tree and turpentine tree furnishing the 
others, as will be seen in their places. The wood 
is piled in heaps, and lighted at the top, and the 
tar sweats out at the lower parts. This being 
boiled, becomes hard, and is called pitch. 

The turpentines are balsamic, and very pow- 
erful promoters of urine, but of these more in 
their places : the tar has been of late rendered 
famous by the water made from it ; but it was a 
fashionable remedy, and is now out of repute 
again. 


Sweet flag. Acorus calamus aromaticus diclus, 

A common wild plant that grows undistinguished 
among the (lags and rushes, by our ditch sides. 
The old physicians meant another thing by calamus 
aromaticus : they gave this name to the dried stalks 
of a plant, but at present it is used as the name of 
the root of this. The sweet flag grows three feet 
high, but consists only of leaves without a stalk. 
They are long, narrow", and of a pale green colour . 
Among these there are commonly three or four in 
all respects like the rest, hut that they have a cluster 
of flowers breaking out at one side, within live or 
six inches of the top. This is long, brown, and 
thick, and resembles a catkin of a filbert tree, only it 
is longer and thicker. The root is long, flattisli, and 
creeping : it is of a strong and rather unpleasant 
smell when fresh, but it becomes very fragrant, and 
aromatic in drying. Our own has its value, because 
we can have it fresh, but the dried root is better had 
of the druggists ; they have it from warmer countries, 
where it is more fragrant. 

The juice of the fresh root of acorus is excel- 
lent to promote the menses, it works by uriat 

■7f 


138 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


moderately, and gives no offence to the stomach. 
The dried root is cordial and sudorific., it warms 
the stomach, and is good against indigestions and 
fevers. 

Common Acokus, or Yellow Flags. Acorns 

adulterinus. 

A common plant in our ditches, and by river 
sides, distinguished by its blue-green flag like 
leaves, and its large yellow flowers, which in shape 
resemble those of the iris, or flower de luce. It 
grows four feet high : the stalk is roundish, but 
a little flatted, of a pale green, very erect, firm, and 
not branched. It only sends out two or three shoots 
Mpwards from the bosom of the leaves. The leaves 
are a foot and a half long, narrow, Hat, and sharp 
at the edges ; the flowers stand at the tops of the 
stalks, and are large and beautiful. The seeds are 
numerous, and are contained in large triangular 
vessels. The root creeps. 

The root of this is the only part used ; some have 
confounded them with the true acorns root, but 
they are called, by way of distinction, false or 
bastard acorns ; they are not at all like them in 
shape, colour, or qualities ; they are of a reddish 
brown, have no smell, and are of an austere taste ; 
they are an excellent astringent. They should be 
taken up in spring and dried, and afterwards given 
in powder, They slop fluxes and overflowings of 
five menses, 

Flax. Lznum . ' 

A very pretty as well as a very useful plant, 
cultivated for the sake .of its seeds, as well as its 
$ialks. It is three feet high ; the stalk is round. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 139 

slender, firm, and upright. The leaves are small, 
oblong, and narrow ; and they stand irregularly, 
hut in great numbers on it. Toward the top the 
stalk divides into three or four short branches ; 
and on these stand the flowers ;» they are large and 
of a beautiful blue. Each of these is succeeded 
by a roundish seed-vessel ; in which are a number 
of seeds. 

This seed is what is called linseed. A tea made 
of it is excellent in coughs and disorders of the 
breast and lungs, and the seed bruised is also good 
in cataplasms and fomentations for swellings. The 
oil drawn from it is given in pleurisies andperipneu- 
monies with great success, and it is also excellent 
in the gravel and stone. 

Purging Flax. Liniim cut liar ticum. 


A pretty little herb that grows abundantly 
in our hilly pastures, in parks and warrens. It is 
eight inches high. The stalk is round, firm, and 
at the top divided into small branches. The leaves 
are little, oblong, and obtuse, and they stand two 
at each joint. The flowers are small and white, 
and the whole plant has very much the aspect of 
some kind of duckweed, but the seed-vessel being 
examined, it appears to be altogether of the flax 
kind. The root is small and thready. 

This little plant is a strong but safe purge ; the 
country people boil it in ale, and cure themselves 
of rheumatic pains, and a great many other cb« 
stinate disorders by it. They talk of it as a re- 
medy for dropsies. Doubtless it is useful in all 
eases where a strong and brisk purgative is re** 
quired. 


FAMILY HERBAL." 


Fleabane.. Conj/za. 

A pretty wild plant frequent about damp places 
with whitish leaves and large yellow flowers in 
autumn. It is two feet high. The stalk is round 
and erect very linn and strong, and is often of a 
reddish colour. The leaves are numerous, and stand 
irregularly ; they arc above an inch long, moderately 
broad, of a rough surface, and whitish green. The 
flowers stand at the top of the branches ; they are 
broader than a shilling, yellow, and composed of 
many narrow petals. The whole plant has a 
disagreeable smell. 

It is disputed whether this kind of fleabane, or 
another which is smaller, and has globous flowers, 
have the greater virtue ; hut most give it for this. 
The juice of the whole plant cures the itch, applied 
externally ; and the very smell of the herb is said to 
destroy fleas. 


F LEATV QRT, Psi/ll IWH . 

An herb of no ereat beauty, native of France, 
but kept gardens here. It has narrow leaves, 
and inconsiderable flowers. It is a foot hisdn 

O 

The stalks are weak, greenish, and a little hairy. 
The leaves stand two or more at every joint, for 
that is uncertain ; they are long, very narrow 7 , and 
also somewhat hairy : there rise from the bosoms 
of these leaves, long naked stalks, on which stand 
a kind of spikes of little flowers, somewhat like 
the spikes of plantain, only shorter ; two seeds 
succeed each flower ; and they are smooth, black- 
ish, and of the shape of fleas ; whence the name. 
There are many flowers in each head. A mucilage 
is made Of the seeds to cool the throat in fevers. 












V 






























FAMILY HERBAL. 

Fotx Weed. Sophia chirurgorum 


A pretty wild plant, about our waste places and 
farm -yards ; conspicuous for its leaves, if not so for 
its flower. It grows two feet high ; and the stalk 
is round, erect, very firm and strong, and not much 
branched. The leaves are moderately large, and 
most beautifully divided into numerous small seg- 
ments, long and narrow ; they stand irregularly 
upon the stalks. The flowers are small and yellow ; 
they stand in a kind of spikes at the tops of the 
stalks. They are followed by short pods. The 
whole plant is of a dark green 

The seeds are the part used : they are to be 
collected when just ripe, and boiled whole. The 
decoction cures the bloody flux, and is good against 
the overflowing of the menses. 

F lower Gentle. Amaranthus . 

A garden flower. There are many kinds of 
it ; but that used in medicine is the large one 
with the drooping purple spike. It grows to four 
feet high. The stalk is firm, round, and channel- 
led, green sometimes, but often red. The leaves 
are oblong and broad even at the edges, and point- 
ed at the ends : they are very large, and are often 
jtinged with red. The flowers are purple, and 
they grow in long beautiful spikes hanging down- 
wards. 

The flowers are the part used. They are to be 
gathered when not quite full blown, and dried. 
They are good against purging and overflowing 
of the menses in powder or decoction. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


U2 

Flower de Luce. Iris. 

A common flower in on r gardens. The plan! 
grows three feet high. The leaves are a foot and 
a half long, narrow, flat, and in all respects like the 
leaves of flags, and of a bluish green. The stalks 
are round, or a little flatted ; thick, firm, upri 
and of a greener colour. The flowers are large, and 
of a deep blue. The root spreads about the surface, 
and is thick and of a brownish colour, and marked 
with rings. 

The juice of the fresh roots of this plant bruised 
with white wine is a strong purge ; it will some- 
times also vomit ; but that is not hurtful ; it is a 
cure for dropsies. Gordon, an old physic writer, 
says if a dropsy can be cured by the hand of man, 
this root will effect it. I have found it true in 
practice. 

Florentine Flower de Luce. Iris Florentina . 

A plant kept also in our gardens, but not so 
frequently as the former ; it scarce differs in any 
thing from the common flower de luce, except that 
the flowers are white. The root spreads in the 
same manner, and the leaves are flaggy. The 
stalk is two feet or more in height, and the flower 
is as large as that of the blue kind, and perfectly of 
the same form. f 

The root of this kind, when dried, is fragrant. 
The druggists keep it. It is good against dis- 
orders of the lungs, coughs, hoarseness, and all 
that tram of ills ; and it promotes the menses. 



Flu ellin. Elatine . 

A low plant frequent in corn-fields, and con- 


FAMILY HERBAL ^ 


spicuous for its pretty, thong'll small, flower. The 
stalks are five or six inches long, round, hairy, 
weak, and trailing upon the ground. The leaves 
are little, hairy, rounded, and placed irregularly. 
The flowers are very small, but they are variegated 
with purple and yellow, both colours very bright ; 
they have a heel behind, and each stands upon a 
little hairy foot-stalk, arising from the bosom of the 
leaf. 

There is another kind, the leaves of which have 
two ears at their base ; in other respects they are 
the same, and they have the same virtues. The 
juice of either is cooling and astringent. It is 
given by the country people in the bloody flux and 
overflowing of the menses. 

Focl’s Stones. Satyr turn sive orchis . 

A beautiful wild plant in our meadows and 
pastures in June. The leaves are long and spotted, 
and the flowers are purple. It grows ten inches 
high. The leaves are six inches long, and three 
quarters of an inch broad, of a very deep green, 
with large and irregular blotches of black in different 
parts. The stalk is round, thick, upright, single, 
and fleshy ; it has two or three smaller leaves of the 
same figure, and at the top stand the flowers, in a 
spike of an inch and a half long ; they are not very 
large, and of a shape different from the generality 
of flowers ; their colour is a deep and glossy purple ; 
but sometimes they are white. The whole plant is 
juicy. The root consists of two round bulbs or 
two round lumps, like a pair of testicles, and is 
white and full of a slimy juice. 

The root is the only part used. It is supposed 
to be a strengthener of the parts of generation, and 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


a promoter of venereal desires ; but with what truth 
one cannot say. Externally applied in cataplasms, 
it is excellent in hard swelling’s. There are a great 
many other kinds of orchis in our meadows, but 
only this is used. The root, called salep by our 
druggists, is brought from Turkey, and is the root 
of a plant of this kind. It is strengthening and 
restorative, good in consumptions and all decays. 

F ox -glove. Digitalis. 

A very beautiful wild plant in our pastures, 
and about wood-sides. The leaves are whitish, 
and the flowers large and red. It is three feet 
high. The leaves are large, long, rough on the 
surface, pointed at the ends, and serrated round 
the edges. The stalks are round, thick, firm, and 
upright, and of a white colour. The flowers 
hang down from the stalk in a kind of spike : they 
are hollow, red, large, and a little spotted with 
white ; they are shaped like the end of the finger 
of a glove. 

The plant boiled in ale, is taken by people of 
robust constitutions, for the rheumatism and other 
stubborn complaints ; it works violently upwards 
and downwards ; and cures also quartan agues, and, 
as is said, tiie falling-sickness An ointment made 
of the flowers of fox glove boiled in May butter, has- 
been long famous in scrophulous sores. 

Frankincense Tree. Arbor thurifera. 

A large tree, as is said, a native of the wanner 
countries, but we know very little of it. Those 
who describe it most, only say that the trunk is 
thick, the wood spungy, and the bark rough. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


The leaves, they say, are narrow, and of a pale 
green : but as to the flower and fruit, they are 
silent. Some say it is thorny. 

All that we use is the dry resin, which is of a 
yellowish white colour, and bitterish resinous taste, 
and strong smell. Our druggists keep this. What- 
ever tree produces this, it is a noble balsam ; dis- 
solved in the yolk of an egg, and made into an emul- 
sion with barley-water, it will do good in con- 
sumptions, when almost all other things fail. 
It were well if the common trifling practice in that 
fatal disorder would give way to the use of this 
great medicine. 


French Mercury. Mcrcurialis mas cl fcemina. 

A wild plant, but not very frequent in Eng- 
land, conspicuous for little else than that it has 
the male flow r ers on some plants, and the female 
flowers on others, in the manner of spinage, hemp, 
and some others, as has been explained already 
under the article date tree. It grows ten inches 
high The stalks are angular, green, thick, but 
not firm, and stand but moderately upright. The 
leaves are oblong, broadest in the middle, sharp 
at the point, serrated at the edges, and of a deep 
green colour. The female plants produce two 
seeds growing together at the top of a little spike. 
The male produce only one spike of dusty flowers, 
without any seeds or fruit at all. But people com- 
monly mistake the matter, and call the female the 
male. 

A decoction of the fresh gathered plant purges 
a little, and works by urine ; it is cooling, and 
good for hot constitutions and over fulness. The 
dried nerb is used in decoctions for clysters. 


146 FAMILY HERBAL. 

Frog Bit. Morsns ranee . 

A little plant, not uncommon on waters, 
with round leaves and small white (lowers. It 
has been by the common writers called a kind of 
water lily, because its leaves are round, and it 
floats upon the water, but it is as distinct as any 
thing can be, when we regard the flower Duck- 
weed has round leaves, and floats upon the water, 
and it might be called water lily for that reason, 
if that were sufficient. The leaves are of a round- 
ish figure, and a dusky dark green colour : they 
are of the breadth of a crown piece, and they rise 
many together in tufts, from the same part of the 
stalk. This stalk runs along at a little distance 
under the surface of the water, and from it descend 
the .roots, but they do not reach down into the mud, 
but play loose like the fibres of duck-weed in the 
water. The flowers stand singly upon slender 
foot-stalks ; they are white, and composed of 
three leaves apiece, which give them a singular 
appearance. 

The fresh leaves are used in outward applications, 
and are very cooling. 

Fumitory. Fumaria . 

A pretty wild plant, with bluish divided leaves, 
and spikes of little purple flowers, common in 
our corn-fields in June and July. It grows ten 
inches high. The stalk is round, striated, of a 
pale green, thick enough, but not very firm or 
perfectly erect. The leaves are large, but they are 
divided into a vast number of little parts, which 
are blunt and rounded at the ends ; their colour 
is a faint green. The flowers are small and pur- 
ple : they have a heel behind, and a number of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


147 


them stand together in a kind of spike. The whole 
plant has little taste. 

The juice expressed from this plant is excellent 
against the scurvy. It opens obstructions of the 
viscera, and is good against the jaundice, and all 
other diseases arising from obstructions. 

Furze Bush. Genista sninosa. 

A wild bush, upon our heaths and by road 
sides, too common to need much description. The 
stem is thick, tough, and of a whitish colour, cover- 
ed with fragments of an irregular kind. The bran- 
ches are extremely numerous, and spread in such 
a manner, that when the plant is left to itself, it 
forms a kind of globular or semi-globular tuft 
upon the ground. The thorns are very numerous 
and very sharp ; they stand, as it were, one upon 
another. The leaves are little, and of a pale green, 
and they fall off so quickly, that for a great part of 
the year we see the shrub without any. The fiow r - 
ers are yellow and beautiful, and the seeds are con- 
tained in pods. The root spreads a great way, 
and is not easily got up, when the shrub has once 
thoroughly fixed itself. Every piece of it left in 
will send up a new plant. 

The root and the seeds are used, but neither 
much. The seeds dried and powdered are astrin- 
gent, and a proper ingredient in electuaries, among 
other things of that intention. The bark of the 
root is used fresh taken up, and is to be given in 
infusion : It works by urine, and is good against 
the gravel ; but we have so many better things of 
our own growth for the same purpose, that it is 
scarce worth while to meddle with it ; it loses its 
Virtues by dryings 


148 


FAMILY HERBAL 


G. 

Galangal Plant. Galanga. 

A wild plant in the East, which grows by wa- 
ters, and has some resemblance of the generality 
of our water plants in its leaves, and manner of 
growth. It is two feet and a half high, and has 
white flowers. The roots spread about the surface, 
and are of an irregular shape. The leaves are a 
foot long, not half an inch broad, sharp at the point, 
and at the edges. The stalk is firm, thick, round, 
and of a purplish green ; the flowers are small, and 
of a snow white ; they consist of a larger upper 
lip, and a smaller tender one, each divided into three 
parts. The seed-vessels are oblong, and have each 
three divisions, containing many seeds. The roots 
have a very acrid taste, and are reddish : as we 
have two sorts of galangal roots at the druggists, 
it might be expected there should be found two 
galangal plants, but they are both the roots of the 
same. 

The lesser galangal is most used : it is a warm 
and fine stomachic, we put it in all bitter tinctures. 
Head-aches which arise from disorders in the sto- 
mach, are greatly relieved by this root. What is 
called English galangal, is the root of the long 

cyperus, described already in its place. 

■ • . ✓ 

Garlic. Allium . 

A plant kept in our gardens for its uses in 
medicine, and in the kitchen. It grows two 
feet and a half high. The leaves are broad, long, 
and of a strong green. The stalk is round, smooth, 
■and .firm, upright, and of a pale whitish or bluish 






ca/sutua 



Py* < jsHI 

(JR-o ' 

- i. '.#S -s Si n 

(f y I 

y . ' ) 11 'T 


jylgsr In 





FAMILY HERBAL. 


1 49 


colour. The flowers are white and small, but they 
grow in a large tuft at the top of the stalk. The 
root is white, or a little reddish ; it is composed 
of a great number of bulbs, or, as we call them, 
cloves, joined together, and covered with a common 
skin, and with fibres at the bottom. The whole 
plant has an extremely strong smell, and an acrid 
and pungent taste. 

The root is to be boiled in water, and the decoc- 
tion made into syrup with honey ; this is excellent 
in asthmas, hoarseness, and coughs, and in all diffi- 
culties of breathing. 

Gentian. Gentianct . 

A robust and handsome plant, native of Ger- 
many, and kept with us in gardens. It grows 
two feet and a half high. The leaves that rise 
from the root, are oblong, broad, of a yellowish 
green colour, and pointed at the ends. The stalk 
is thick, firm, upright, and brownish or yellowish. 
At every joint there stand two leaves like the others, 
only smaller ; and towards the tops at every joint, 
also, there stand a number of flowers : these are 
small, yellow, with a great lump in the middle, 
which is the rudiment of the seed-vessel, and a 
great N quantity of yellow threads about it. The 
root is large, long, and often divided. It is of a 
brownish colour on the outside, and yellow within, 
and is of a very bitter taste. 

The root is used ; our druggists keep it dry : it 
is the great bitter and stomachic of the modem 
practice. Gentian root, and the peel of Seville 
oranges, make the common bitter tinctures and in- 
fusions : beside strengthening the stomach, and 
creating an appetite, these open obstructions, and 


150 


FAMILY HERBAL, 

t 

are good in most chronic disorders. The powder 
of gentian will cure agues. 

Germander. Chamcedtys . 

f - • 

A little plant, native of many parts of Europe* 
but with us kept in gardens. It grows a foot 
or more in height, but rarely stands quite up- 
right., The stalks are square, green, and a little 
hairy. The leaves stand two at each joint. They 
are oblong, deeply indented at the edges, of a 
firm substance, green on the upper side, but hairy 
underneath. The flowers are small and purple, like 
the flowers of the little dead nettle. They stand in 
clusters about the upper joints of the stalks, and 
appear in July. 

Germander is an herb celebrated for many 
virtues. ^Tis said to be excellent against the 
gout and rheumatism : however that be, it pro- 
motes urine and the menses, and is good in all 
obstructions of the viscera. The juice is the 
best way of giving it, but the infusion is more 
frequent. 

W ater Germander. Scordium. 

A little mean looking plant, wild in some 
parts of England, but kept in gardens also for its. 
virtues. The stalks are square, hairy, of a dusky 
green, and so weak, that they seldom stand 
much up. They are eight or ten inches long’. 
The leaves are short, broad, and indented about the 
edges, hut not sharply or deep as those of the other 
germander : they are of a sort of woolly soft ap- 
pearance and touch, and of a dusky deep green 
colour. The flowers are very small and red, and; 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


151 


they stand at the upper joints of the stalks, in little 
parcels together. The whole plant has a strong and 
disagreeable smell. 

The whole plant is to be used fresh or dried. 
It has been celebrated greatly as a sudorific, and for 
its virtues against pestilential fevers,, but it is now 
little used. • 

Ginger. Zinziber . 

An East India plant, found also in other places, 
and very singular in its manner of growth. It 
produces two kinds of stalks, die one bearing the 
leaves, and the other only the flowers. The first 
grow two or three feet high, and are themselves 
composed in a manner of the lower parts of leaves ; 
so that they seem to be only bundles of leaves rolled 
together at the bottom. These are long, narrow, 
and in some degree resemble the leaves of our com- 
mon flags. The other stalks are tender, soft, and 
about a foot high : they have no leaves on them, 
but only a kind of films, and at the tops they 
produce the flowers, in a spike : these are small, 
in shape like those of our orchis, and of a mixed 
colour, purple, white, and yellow. The root spreads 
irregularly under the surface. 

The root is the only part used : we have it dry 
at the grocers ; but the best way of taking it, is: 
as it comes over preserved from the East Indies. 
It is a warm and fine stomachic, and dispeller of 
wind. It assists digestion, and prevents or cures 
cholics. It is also an excellent addition to the 
rough purges, to prevent their griping in. the 
operation. 

Gladwyn. Xyris she spatula fcetida . 

A wild plant of the iris kind, of no great 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


beauty* but not without its virtues. The root 
creeps about the surface, like that of the common 
flower de luce. The leaves are a foot long', nar- 
row, and sharp-pointed, and of a strong and very 
peculiar smell. The stalks are round, Ann, up- 
rigdit, and of a bluish green. The flowers are like 
those of the common flower de luce, but smaller, 
and of a very dull colour. There is a little purple 
in the upper part of the flower, and there are some 
veins and streaks in the lower ; hut the rest is of a 
dull dead hue, between grey and brown, and they 
have a faint and bad smell. 

The juice of the root promotes urine, and the 
menses. The dried root, in powder or infusion, is 
good against all hysteric disorders, faintings, and 
pains. Outwardly, the fresh root is said to be an 
excellent remedy for scrophulous swellings ; but this 
we must take upon trust. 

Glass wort. Kali. 

A common wild plant, on the sea coasts of 
many parts of Europe, but not a native of our 
country. It is called cochleated kali, from the 
form of its seed-vessels, which are twisted in the 
manner of a snail’s shell. It grows to a foot and a 
half in height. The stalk is round, thick, fleshy, 
and brittle, "flic leaves are few, and they stand 
irregularly ; they are oblong, and blunted at the 
ends, and of a bluish green colour. The flowers 
are small, inconsiderable, and yellow. 

The juice of the fresh plant is said to he an 
excellent diuretic ; but we have no opportunities 
of knowing its virtues here. Some say the seed- 
vessels have the same virtue, and give them in in- 
fusion, but we have better remedies of the same 
kind* of our own growth. The whole plant is 


FAMILY HERBAL. • 153: 

barn! for its fixed salt, which is used in making 
glass, 

Goat’s Beard. Tragopogon . 

A common wild plant, distinguished in our 
meadows by its narrow and fresh green leaves, and 
the long leaves of the cup, about its yellow flowers. 
It grows to a foot and a half in height. The leaves 
are very narrow ; they are broadest at the base, 
and smaller all the way to the point. The stalk is 
round, thick, firm, very upright, and towards the 
top divided into two or three branches. The 
flowers stand at the extremities of the stalks ; they 
are of a beautiful pale yellow, very large and sur- 
rounded by a cup, composed of long and narrow 
green leaves, which, for the greatest part of the 
clay, are closed over it, so that it seems only in bud* 
The seeds are winged w ith a fine white down, in 
the manner of those of dandelion, and, when ripe, 
they stand upon the tops of the branches, in a 
round head, in the same manner. The root is long 
and white ; and the whole plant is full of a milky 
juice, which, after it has been a little time ex- 
posed to the air, becomes yellow, and thick like 
cream. 

The root is used. It is so pleasant in taste, that 
it may be eaten in the manner of carrots, and other 
roots at table, but it exceeds them all in its qualities. 
It is an excellent restorative, and will do great 
service to people after long illness : the best way 
of giving it for this purpose, is to boil it first in 
water, and then, cutting it to pieces, boil it again 
in milk, which is to be rendered palatable in the 
usual way ; it becomes thus a most excellent medi- 
onie in the form of food. 


154 


FAMILY HERBAL,- 
Goat’s Rue. Genieva. 

o 

A tall plant, native of Italy, but kept with 
tis in gardens. It grows a yard high. The stalks 
are round, striated, hollow, not very firm, or strong, 
and of a pale green colour : they are very much 
branched, and not altogether upright. The leaves 
are long and large, each is composed of several pairs 
of smaller leaves, with an odd one at the end of the 
rib ; these are oblong, narrow, and of a yellowish 
green colour, thin, and not at all indented at the 
edges. The flowers are small, and of a bluish and 
whitish colour ; they stand a great many upon the 
sisame pedicle, in a drooping posture. 

The whole plant is used. It is to be gathered 
when just come to flower, and dried, and afterwards 
given in infusion : this gently promotes sweat, 
and is good in fevers ; so much is true of the 
virtues of this plant, but much more has been said 
of it. 

Golden Rod. Virga aurea . 

A very pretty wild plant, with tufts of yellow 
flowers, frequent on our heaths in autumn. It 
is two feet high. The stalk is firm, erect, round, 
and hairy. The leaves are long, broadest in the 
middle, indented at the edges, rough on the surface, 
hairy, and of a strong green colour. The flowers 
are small, and of a bright yellow, but they grow 
together in a sort of thick and short spikes, so 
that they are very conspicuous. The root is long, 
brown, and of an austere taste, as is also the whole 
plant. 

The root, taken up in spring and dried, is an ex- 
cellent medicine given in powder for purgings, and 
for overflowing of the menses, bloody stools* or any 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


155 


oilier hemorrhage whatsoever. The whole plant 
has been at all times famous as a vulnerary or 
wound herb; given in decoctions. 

Gold of Pleasure. Myagrum. 

A very pretty plants common in many parts of 
England,, and known at sight by the vast quantity 
of seed-vessels. It is two feet high : the stalk is 
rounds thick, firm, upright, and toward the top 
has a great many branches, all standing upright. 
The leaves stand irregularly, and are not numerous, 
they are long, not very broad, and of a pale green ; 
they are indented about the edges, and surround 
the stalk at the base ; the flowers are little and 
white ; the seed-vessels are short and roundish, and 
they stand in vast quantities, forming a kind of 
spikes all the way up the tops of the branches, with 
few flowers at the summit. 

The fresh tops of the plant are to be used 
before it is run to seed. An infusion of them 
sweetened with honey, is excellent for sore throats, 
and ulcerations of the mouth. The seeds yield a 
great quantity of oil oo. pressing, and they are so 
plentiful, that it might seem worth while to culti- 
vate the plant for them ; the oil is pleasant and well 
tasted. 

Gourd. Cucurbit a, 

A large plant, of the melon or cucumber kind, 
kept in gardens. The stalks are ten or twelve 
feet long, thick, angular, rough, and hairy, but 
unable to support themselves upright : they trail 
upon the ground or climb upon other things. 
The leaves are very large and broad, indented 
tteeply, rough, of a blackish green. The flowers 


I 


156 FAMILY HERBAL, 

are large, and bell-fashioned, white and downy on 
the inside,, and not altogether smooth on the outer 
surface. 

The fruit is large, and has a hard, firm shell on 
the outside, and is fleshy and juicy within, with 
seeds in the manner of the melons ; these are flat, of 
an oblong shape, and hard. 

These seeds are the only part used : they are 
cooling end diuretic. They have this virtue in 
much the same degree with cucumber and melon 
seeds, and are given with them in emulsions. 

Bitter Gourd, called Bitter Apple. 

Colocynthis. 


A native of the East, and of some other warm 
countries, kept in our curious gardens, and afford- 
ing the famous drug called coloquintide. It is a 
small plant of the gourd kind. The stalks are 
thick, angular, hairy, and of a pale green. They 
cannot support themselves, blit have a number of 
tendrils growing from them, by which they lay 
hold of every thing they come near. The leaves 
are large, broad, and very deeply divided at the 
edges. The flowers are of a pale yellow, large, 
and not unlike the flowers of melons. The fruit 
is a round gourd, of the bigness of the largest 
orange. The bark is hard, and the inner part spun- 
gy, with seeds among it : these are flat, hard, and 
of an oval figure. 

The fruit is the part used ; they take off the 
outer shell, and send the dried pulp with the seeds 
among it : but these are to be separated afterwards, 
and the pulp used alone. It is a very violent purge, 
but it may be given with proper caution ; and it is 
excellent against the rheumatism, and violent 
habitual head-aches. These rough purges will 





















\ 





\ 































FAMILY HERBAL. 


15 ? 


teach the cause of disorders, that the common gen- 
tle ones would not touch ; and the present practice 
denies the use of many of the best medicines we 
know. 

Gout Wort. Padagrava herb a gerrardi . 

A common wild plant over-running our gar- 
dens, and when once it has taken root very diffi- 
cult to be got out again ; it grows two feet high. 
The leaves which rise from the roots are large, 
and they are composed each of several smaller, set 
on a divided rib, in the manner of those of angelica, 
of which they have some resemblance. They are 
of a pale green colour, and are oblong and in- 
dented at the edges. The stalks are round, up- 
right, and a little branched, they are slender, stri- 
ated, and green ; the leaves on these are smaller, 
and consist of fewer parts than those that rise from 
the root. The flowers are little and white, and 
they stand in small round clusters ; each is suc- 
ceeded by two flat seeds. The root creeps. 

The root and fresh buds of the leaves are both 
used, but only externally ; they are excellent in 
fomentations, and pultices for pains ; and the plant 
has obtained its name from their singular efficacy 
against the pain of the gout : but it is not advise- 
able to do any thing in that disorder ; the warm 
applications of this kind are of all others the least 
dangerous. I have known a quantity of the roots 
and leaves boiled soft together, and applied to the 
hip in the sciatica, keeping a fresh quantity hot 
to renew the other, as it grew cold, and I have seen 
gseat good effect from it. Its use should not be 
confined to this pain alone, it will succeed in 
others. 


158 FAMILY HERBAL, 

G romvel. Lithospermon. 

A wild plant of no great beauty, but distinguished 
by its seeds, which are hard, glossy, and resemble 
so many pearls, as they stand in the open husk. 
The plant grows a yard high. The stalk is round, 
thick, firm, very upright, and branched. The 
leaves are oblong, not very broad, rough, and hairy, 
of a deep blackish green colour, and placed irregular- 
ly ; the flowers are small and white : .when they are 
fallen off, the cups remain, and contain these shining, 
and, as it were, stony seeds. The plant is fre- 
quent about hedges. 

The seeds are the only part used ; they work 
powerfully by urine, and are of great service in 
the gravel and all other obstructions ; they are best 
given in powdter, with a great deal of barley-water 

at the same time. 

Ground-Pine. Chamxpitys . 

A very singular little wild . plant, of a mossy 
appearance, and resinous smell : it grows four 
inches high ; the stalks are hairy, and seldom stand 
upright ; the leaves are very close set, and the 
young shoots which grow from their bosoms perfectly 
obscure the stalk ; it seems a thick round tuft. These 
leaves are short, narrow, and divided into three parts 
fit their ends, and they stand two at every joint of the 
stalk : they are rough and hairy like the stalk. The 
flowers are little and yellow, and they stand at the 
joints. 

The whole plant is used, and it has great vir- 
tue ; it is to be used dry in powder or infusion. 
It works strongly by urine, and promotes the menses. 
It opens also all obstructions of the liver and 


FAMILY HERBAL; 159 

spleen, and is good in jaundice, tlie rheumatism, 
and most of the chronic disorders. 

Groundsel. Erigeron sive senedo. 

A common weed in our gardens, and upon walls, 
with little yellow flowers, and downy seeds ; it 
grows eight inches high : the stalk is round, fleshy, 
tolerably upright, and green or purplish : the leaves 
are oblong, broad, blunt, and divided at the edges. 
The flowers are small and yellow ; they grow in 
a sort of long cups at the tops of the stalks and 
branches. 

The juice of this herb is a gentle and very good 
emetic. It causes vomiting without any great 
irritation or pain ; and it is also good for cutaneous 
foulnesses applied outwardly. 

Guaiacum Tree. Guaiacufh. 

A great tree, native of the West Indies, and 
to be seen in some of our curious gardens. The 
fruit is very large, and the branches are numerous ; 
the leaves are small, each is composed of two or 
three pair of smaller ones, with no odd leaf at the 
end of the rib. These are short, broad, roundish, 
and of a dusky green colour. The flowers are 
small and yellow, but they grow in large clusters 
together, so that the tree when in bloom makes a 
very pretty appearance. 

The bark and wood are the only parts of the tree 
used ; they are given in decoction, to promote sweat, 
and so cleanse the blood ; they are excellent against 
the rheumatism, scurvy, and all other disorders, 
which arise from what is commonly called foulness 
of the blood, but they must be taken for a consider- 


able time ; for these effects cannot be produced at 
once. 

What is called gum guaiacum, is the resin pour- 
ed from this tree ; it is very acrid and pungent, 
and in the rheumatism and many other cases is to b© 
preferred to the wood itself. 

\ ' Y 

II. 

Hare’s Ears. Buplewron latifolium . 

V 

A common wild plant in some parts of Europe, 
out kept here in gardens. It is two feet or more 
in height. The leaves are long and broad^ of 
a stiff substance, and somewhat hollowed, which 
gives them the appearance of a long and hollow 
ear, from whence they are named ; they are of a 
whitish green colour, and the ribs upon them are 
high. There is a sort with narrow leaves, but the 
broad leaved kind is to be used in medicine. The 
stalks are round, upright, striated, and toward the 
top branched. The flowers are little and yellow, 
and they stand at the tops of the branches in small 
umbels. The root is long and thick, and has many 
fibres. 

The young shoots of the leaves which grow 
from the root, are esteemed exceedingly in places 
where they are native, for the cure of fresh wounds. 
They cut two or three of these off close to the 
ground, and without bruising them, first closing 
the lips of the wound, they lay them on one over 
the other, making a kind of compress : they then 
bind them on with linen rags, and never take off 
the dressing for three days, at the end of which 
time in most cases they only find a scar : the cure 
being perfected. This is the substance of a pomp- 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


16! 


ous account sent lately to a person of distinction 
with some leaves of the herb. There is no doubt 
of the truth, and the surgeons will very well under- 
stand the nature of the cure ; the discovery how- 
ever is not new, for the herb has always been 
reckoned among the vulnerary plants ; and some 
have pretended that it will singly cure the king’s 
evil, but that is not to he expected ; at the same 
time it may be proper to^ob serve, that we do not 
want plants for the same use in England ; we have 
the tutsan which is to be applied in the same man- 
ner, and has the same effect ; clown’s all-heal, and 
many others, named in their places. 

Hare’s Foot. Lagopus . 

A COMMON little plant, singular in the tuft, 
which contains its seeds, and whence it has its 
name, but not so much regarded as it ought to he 
for its virtues. The stalks are numerous, round, 
slender, and spread upon the ground, each is 
divided into a number of lesser branches. The leaves 
are small, oblong, narrow, of a pale green colour, 
and hairy ; and they stand three together, in the 
manner of trefoils. The flowers are small and of 
a faint red, they stand several together in a short 
spike, and the cups which receive them at the’ 
base, are downy ; this gives the singular aspect of 
hairiness to these heads, and their softness to the 
touch. 

The whole plant is to be used dried. It is art 
excellent astringent. It stops the overflowings of 
the menses, and the whites, and is gyod against 
bloody fluxes, and purgings of all kinds. The best 
way of taking it is in a strong decoction, which 
must be continued sometime, 

¥ 


162 FAMILY HERBAL. 

Hart’s Tongue. Phyllitis. Lingua ccrvina « 

A WILD plant of the fern kind, that is con- 
sisting only of leaves, without a stalk, the flowers 
and seeds being borne on the backs of them. But 
it has no resemblance to the ordinary ferns in its 
aspect. Each leaf of hart’s tongue, is a separate 
plant, but there rise many from the same root. 
The foot-stalk is five inches long, the leaf an inch 
and a quarter broad, largest at the bottom, and 
smaller to the top, usually simple, hut sometimes 
divided into two or more parts at the end. it is of 
a beautiful green at the upper side, somewhat paler 
underneath, and the foot-stalk runs all along its 
middle in the form of a very large rib. The seed ves- 
«eis are disposed in long brown streaks on each side 
©f this rib, on the under part of the leaf, and they are 
more conspicuous than in most of the fern kind. 
The plant grows in old wells, and in dark ditches, 
and is green all the year. 

It is not much used, but deserves to be more 
known. It is an excellent astringent ; the juice 
of the plant taken in small quantities, and for a 
continuance of time, opens obstructions of the liver 
and spleen, and will cure many of the most obstinate 
chronic distempers. 

Hart wort. Scseli . 

A TALL, robust, and handsome plant, native 
©f the Alps/ but kept in our gardens. It grows 
live or six feet in height : the stalk is round, thick, 
striated, and hollow, very firm and upright, and 
but little branched. The leaves are very large, 
and they are divided into a great number of parts, 
by fives and by threes, they are of a yellowish 
green. The flowers are small and white, but they 


FAMILY HERBAL;' , 163 

stand in great tufts or umbels, a* the tops of tlie 
stilks: the seeds follow, two after each flower, and 
they are oblong, broad, and edged with a leafy 
border ; they are of a dark colour, a strong smell, 
and acrid taste. 

The seeds are the only part used ; they promote 
th e menses, and the necessary discharges after 
delivery ; and are an excellent warm and cordial 
medicine ; they work also gently by urine, and cure 
colicv pains ; they are to be given in powder or 
infusion. 

Hawthorn. Spina alba, 

A SHRUB too common in our hedges to need 
much description. The trunk is irregular, and sel- 
dom straight ; the branches are strong, tough, and 
thorny ; and the leaves of a glossy green and beau- 
tifully divided. The flowers are white and beauti- 
ful, the fruit is small. 

The flowers and the dried fruit are used in medi- 
cine ; they have the same virtue ; they work by 
urine, and are good in the gravel, and all com- 
plaints of that kind ; but there are so many better 
things for the same purpose at hand, that these are 
not much regarded. 

Hedge Mustard. Erisimum . 

A VERY common wild plant, and of no great 
beauty ; it is frequent about old walls, and in farm 
yards, and is distinguished by its long spikes of 
pods, which are lodged close upon the stalk. It 
grows two feet in height ; the stalk is round, firm, 
upright, but not always quite straight, and a little 
branched. The leaves are of a pale green colour, 
hairy, oblong, and deeply indented at the edges , 


164 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


T! <; flowers are small and vellow, and they common- 
]y stand at the tops of long spikes of pods, which 
have been flowers before them. 

The whole plant is used, an infusion of it fresh 
is the best way of taking it. This dissolves tough 
phlegm, and is excellent in asthmas, hoarse- 
nesses, and other complaints of the breast. This 
simple infusion, made into a syrup with honey, 
also answers the same purpose, and keeps all the 
year. 

Hemlock. Cicuta . 

A LARGE, tall, and handsome umbelliferous 
plant, frequent in our hedges. It grows to six 
feet in height ; the stalk is round, firm, hollow, 
and upright ; it is of a dark green, and often 
stained with purple and yellow. The leaves are 
very large, and divided into very fine and nume- 
rous partitions. The flowers are small and white, 
and stand in large clusters on the tops of the stalks. 
The seeds are roundish. The whole plant has 
a strong disagreeable smell, and has been called 
poisonous. 

The roots are excellent in pulticcs for hard 
swellings. 


Hemp. Cannabis . 

HEMP is a tall plant, of a coarse aspect, culti- 
vated m fields for its stalk. It grows five feet high, 
and is a robust plant ; the stalk is thick and rigid ; 
the leaves are numerous, they are large and each 
composed of six or seven smaller ; these are disposed 
in the manner of fingers, and are of a deep green 
colour, rough, narrow, and serrated at the edges. 
The flowers in hemp grow in some plants, and the 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


165 


i seeds on others. The flowers are inconsiderable, 
e arid whitish, the seeds are large, roundish, grey, and 
have a white pulp within. The root is fibrous, 

. The seeds are used in medicine ; an emulsion made of 
I them cures the jaundice. 

Hemp Agrimony. Eupcitorium cannabinum . 

A T ALL plant growing by waters, with tofts 
of red flowers and leaves, divided in the man- 
ner of those of hemp. It grows five feet high ; 
the stalk is round, thick, reddish, and very up- 
right. The leaves are large, of a pale green, 
and fingered ; they stand two at each joint, the 
flowers grow in bunches as big as a man's fist, 
on the tops of the branches, and are of a bright 
red. 

The root fresh gathered and boiled in ale is 
used in some places as a purge ; it operates strong- 
ly, but without any ill effect, and dropsies are said 
to have been cured by it singly. 

Black Henbane. Hyoscyarnus niger. 

A COMMON wild plant, of a dismal aspect 
and disagreeable smell. The farm yards and 
ditch banks in most places are full of it. It 
grows two feet high. The stalk is thick, round,, 
hairy, and clammy to the touch ; but not very 
upright. The leaves are large, long, and broad, 
deeply serrated at the edges, of a bluish green co^ 
lour, hairy, and clammy to the touch, and leav- 
ing a disagreeable smell upon the hands. The 
flowers are large and stand in rows on the tops 
of the branches, which often bend down ; they 
are of a strange yellowish brown colour, with 
purple veins. The seeds are numerous and brown*. 


166 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


The seeds are used ; the rest of the plant is 

esteemed poisonous. They are given in smaii doses 
against the bloody flux, ami it is said with great sue* 
cess ; I have not known it tried. 

White Henbane. Hyoscyamus albus. 

A NATIVE of Italy and Germany, kept in out 
gardens. It is a foot high, and has something of 
the aspect of the black henbane, but not so dismal. 
The stalk is round, thick, and of a pale g cen ; the 
leaves are large, broad, but short, and a little in- 
dented at the edges : they are of a yellowish green, 
and somewhat hairy ; the flowers are small and 
yellow, and the seeds are whitish. 

The seeds of this kind are preferred to those of 
the other, as less strong in their effects, but if any 
harm would happen from the internal use of the 
others, we should have known it, for they are ge- 
nerally sold for them. 

Good King Henry. Bonus Henricus . 

A COMMON wild plant, called also by some 
English mercury by way of distinction from the 
other, which is called French mercury, and has 
been described already. This grows a foot high ; 
the stalk is round and thick, but rarely stands 
quite upright ; it is greenish and purplish, and is 
covered with a kind of grey powder unctuous to the 
touch. The leaves are large, broad, and of the 
shape of an arrow-head, they stand on long stalks, 
and arc of a pale green above, and greyish under- 
neath, being there covered with this grey powder. 
The flowers are inconsiderable, and are of a green- 
ish yellow, and they stand in long spikes at the tops i 
of the branches ; the plant is common in farm yards. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


m 


The young shoots are eaten as spinage, the juice 
of the whole plant works gently,, and well bv urine ; 
and the dried herb is used in decoctions for glisters. 

The Hermodactyl Plant. Hermoductylus. 

A BEAUTIFUL plant, haying more the aspect 
of a garden flower, but it is common wild in the 
East. The root is roundish, but flatted, and in- 
dented at the bottom, and smaller at top. The 
leaves are small and broad ; they are sharp at the 
point, and of a deep green colour. The flowers are 
large and of a whitish colour, veined and striped 
with purple ; this is the best account we have re- 
ceived of the plant, buc part of it conies with less 
authority than one would wish to things of this 
kind. The root is dried and sent to us. 

It is a gentle purgative, but it is less used at 
this time than many others. It has been in more 
repute, perhaps with reason. 

t Holloak. Malva arbor ea. 

A COMMON garden flower. It grows eight 
feet high, and the stalk is round, Arm, hairy, and 
upright. The leaves are large and roundish, of a 
deep green, hairy, and cut in at the edges ; the 
flowers are very large, red, white, or purple, and 
stand in a kind of long spike. The root is white, 
i long, and thick, and is of a slimy nature, and not 
i disagreeable taste. 

This is the part used ; a decoction of it ope- 
rates by urine, and is good in the gravel ; it has 
the same virtue with the mallow and marshmallow, 
but in a middle degree between them ; more than 
the mallow, and not so much as the other, nor is it 
so pleasant. 


168 FAMILY HERBAL 

Honewort. Selinum siifoliis. 

A COMMON plant in corn-fields and dry 
places,, with extremely beautiful leaves from the 
root, and little umbels of white flowers. It has its 
English name from its virtues. Painful swellings, 
are in some parts of the kingdom called hones, and 
the herb, from its singular effect in curing them, 
has received the name of hone wort, that is hone- 
herb. ■ 

The root is long and white ; they rise from it 
early in the spring, half a dozen or more leaves, 
which lie spread upon the ground, in an elegant 
manner, and are all that is generally observed of 
the plant. The stalks do not rise till the end of 
summer, and these leaves decay by that time, so 
that they are not known to belong to it. These 
leaves are eight inches long, and an inch and a half 
in breadth : they are composed each of a double 
row of smaller leaves, set on a common rib, with 
an odd Leaf at the end ; these are oblong, tolerably 
broad, and indented in a beautiful manner. They 
are of a fresh green colour ; they are the parf of 
the plant most seen, and the part to be used ; and 
they are not easily confounded wiih those of any 
other plant, for there is scarce any that has what 
are nearly so handsome. The stalk is two feet high, 
round, hollow, upright, but not very firm, and 
branched toward the top. The leaves on it are 
somewhat like those from the root, but they have 
iiot the singularity of those beautiful and numerous 
small ones ; the flowers are little and white, and 
the seeds are small, flatted, striated, and two of 
th era Follow every flower. 

The leaves are to be used ; they are to be fresh 
gathered and beat in a marble mortar into a kind of 
paste. They are to be laid on a swelling that if 


FAMILY HERBAL . 1 169 

ted,, painful, and threatens to have bad consequences, 
and they disperse it. The application must be 
frequently renewed, and there are those who speak 
of its curing the evil. 

Honey-Suckle. Periclymcnum. ] 

A beautiful wild shrub. The trunk is seldom 
inore than an inch thick ; the branches are Very 
long and slender, of a reddish colour, brittle, and ail 
of the same bigness. The leaves stand in pairs, 
they are broad, short, blunt, of a dark dead green 
colour. The flowers grow in little clusters ; they 
are long, slender, tubular, and very fragrant ; the 
berries are red. 

The fresh leaves of honey-suckle given in de- 
coction, are good against obstructions of the liver 
and spleen ; they work by urine, and they are also 
a good gargle for a sore throat, • 

Honeywort. CerintliG . 

A juicy plant frequently wild in many parts 
of Europe, but with us kept in gardens. It has 
its name from the sweet taste of the flowers. Al- 
most all flowers have a drop of honey juice in their 
bottom : this is indeed the real substance of honey, 
for the bees only pick it out and get it together : 
the hollow flowers in general have more of it, or 
it is better preserved in them than others, but scarce 
any in so great a degree as this plant named from 
it. It is two feet high, when kept erect/ but if left 
to itself, is very apt to lean upon the ground. The 
stalk is round, thick, juicy, and tender ; the leaves 
are large, oblong, broad, they surround and inclose 
the stalk at their base ; they are of a bluish green 

% 


170 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


colour, spotted or clouded irregularly with white, 
and they are fall of a sort of prickles. The flow- 
ers grow at the tops of the stalks, several together, 
among the clusters of leaves ; they are hollow, 
oblong, ‘and very wide open at the mouth ; their 
colour is yellow, variegated with purple in the 
middle, and they have a very pretty appearance. 

yhe fresh gathered tops of the plant are to be 
used ; an infusion of them is cooling, and works 
by urine. Jt is good against scorbutic complaints, 
and in the jaundice. 

Hop Plant. Lupulus. 

A climbing plant, with very long stalks, common 
in our hedges, and cultivated also in many places. 
The stalks are roundish, rough to the touch, and 
of a purplish colour often, sometimes only green. 
The leaves are very large, of a roundish figure, 
deeply indented, of a dark green colour, and very 
rough also to the touch. The fruit is sufficiently 
known. 

A decoction of fresh gathered hops is good against 
the jaundice ; and the powder-of hops dried in an 
oven has been often known to cure agues, but upon 
ibis there is no absolute dependance. 

White Horehound. Marrubium album . 

A White hoary plant, with little flowers in 
tufts round the stalks, frequent in dry places in 
many pails of the kingdom. It grows sixteen 
inches high. The stalks are square, and very ro- 
bust, hairy, pale coloured, and upright. The 
leaves stand two at each joint ; they are short and 
broad, blunt at the ends, and widely indented at 


FAMILY HERBAL . 4 


m 


the edges, of a rough surface, and white colour. 
The flowers are white, and the points of their cups 
are prickly. 

The best part of the plant for medicinal use, is 
the tops of the young shoots ; a decoction of these 
made very strong, and boiled into a thin syrup with 
honey, is excellent against coughs, hoarsenesses 
of long standing, and all disorders of the lungs. 
The same decoction, if taken in large doses, and for 
a continuance, promotes the menses, and opens all 
obstructions. 

Black Horehound. Ballote . 

A common wild plant of a disagreeable smell, 
thence also called by some stinking horehound. 
The stalks are square, the leaves grow two at every 
joint, and are broad, short, and of a blackish green 
colour, but in shape not unlike those of the white 
kind. The flowers stand in clusters round the stalk 
at the joints, as in the other, but they are red. 
The whole plant has a dismal aspect. The root is 
fibrous. 

The plant is to be used fresh and dried, and 
it has more virtue than most imagine. It is to be 
given in the form of tea : it promotes the menses, 
and is superior to most things as a remedy in hysteric 
cases, faintings, convulsions, and low-spiritedness^ 
and all the* train of those disorders. 

Horsetail, Equisetum se get ale. 

A common, and yet very singular wild plant, 
frequent in our corn-fields, and composed of 
branches only, without leaves ; there are also many 
other kinds of horsetail. It is a foot or more in 
height, and is extremely branched ; the stalk is 



round, blunt, ridged, and angulated, and composed 
of joints. It is hollow, weak, and seldom sup- 
ports itself tolerably upright. The branches are 
of the same structure, and they are again branch- 
ed ; they grow several from every joint of the 
mam stalk, and have others again, though in less 
number, growing from their joints. The whole 
plant is of a green colour, and when bruised, not of 
a very agreeable smell. 

, The whole plant is to be usea, and it is best fresh ; 
though it retains a great deal of its virtue dried. 
Given in decoction, it stops overflowings of the 
menses, and bloody stools ; and applied externally, 
it immediately stops the bleeding of wounds and 
heals them. 

Hound’s Tongue. Cynoghssum « 

A tale and singular looking plant, frequent by 
our way sides, and distinguished by its large whitish 
leaves, and small purple flowers, as also by the 
particularity of its smell, which has been supposed to 
resemble that of a kennel of hounds. It is two feet 
and a half high. The stalk is angulated, firm, and 
upright : the leaves are long, considerably broad, 
and of a pale whitish or bluish green colour, sharp 
at the points, and not at all serrated at the edges. 
The flowers are small, and of a deep purple : they 
grow along the tops of the branches, and are followed 
by rough seeds. 

The root is the part used ; it is long, thick, and 
brown, but whitish within ; it is balsamic and 
astringent. Given in decoction, it is excellent against 
coughs arising from a thin sharp humour. Dried 
and powdered, it is good against purgings, and 
stops the overflowing of the menses, 




■ FAMILY 




Great Houseleek. Sedum majus . 

A plant sufficiently known as well by its particular 
manner of growing*, as for its place of growth. It 
forms itself into clusters of a roundish* figure, these 
are composed of leaves, which are largest toward 
the bottom, and smallest at the end : they are very 
thick and juicy, broad at the base, sharp at the 
point, flat on the upper side, a little rounded on 
the under, and somewhat hairy at their edges. The 
stalk grows to ten inches high ; it is very thick, 
round, and juicy, upright, of a reddish colour, 
and divided at the top into a few branches. The 
leaves on it are thin and narrow. The flowers 
are numerous ; they are red and have a green head 
in their middle, which afterwards becomes a cluster of 
seed-vessels. 

The leaves are the part used ; they are applied 
externally in inflammations, and are very useful, 
when cooling things may be employed. The juice 
is also cooling and astringent taken inwardly, but 
it is rarely used. Some praise it greatly for the in- 
flammations of the eyes. 

There is another kind of houseleek very unlike 
this in form, but of the same virtues, this is called 
the lesser houseleek ; the stalks are round, small, and 
reddish, and grow six inches high ; the leaves are 
long and rounded, not flat as the other leaves ; and 
the flowers are white, and stand in a kind of tufts, 
like umbels at the tops of the stalks. This grows on 
old walls, and the tops of houses like the other. 

Least Houseleek, or Wall Pepper. Sedum 

minimum acre. 

A common plant on old walls, of kin to the 


i 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


174 

preceding,, but very different both in face and 
virtues. The root is little ; from this grow abun- 
dance of stalks ; they are round, weak, and unable 
to support themselves ; they spread every way 
about, and are six inches in length. The greatest 
part of every stalk is covered with leaves, so that it 
appears a green substance, of the thickness of ones 
little linger ; these leaves are short and thick ; they 
are of a fine green colour, and are broad at the base, 
and sharp at the point. The flowers are little, and of 
a bright yellow ; they grow in great numbers, from 
the tops of these branches, and are of the shape of 
those of common houseleek, and rounded by such 
seed-vessels. 

The juice of this kind of houseleek is excel- 
lent against the scurvy and all other diseases arising 
from what is called foulness of the blood. It 
Is said that a continued course of it will cure 
the king’s evil : but we want experience to support 
this. 

Hypo c \ st . Hyp ocisius. 

A very singular plant, native of the Grecian 
Islands, and of some of the warmer parts of Europe. 
It is five inches high, and of a singular figure. 
It does not grow in the earth at large as other 
plants, but to the root of some species of cistus ; 
as miss|etoe grows to the branches of trees. The 
stalk is thick and fleshy, and is often twice as large 
toward the top, as at the bottom. It is whitish, or 
yellowish, or purplish, and has a parcel of short 
and broad skinny films, by way of leaves upon it. 
The flowers grow at the top, with leaves of the same 
kind among them. They are large and beautiful, 
and are succeeded by fruits of a roundish figure. 


FAMILY HERBAL, i 


liJ 

in which is a quantity of glutinous liquor, and with 
it the seeds, which are very small, and of a brown* 

ish colour. 

We use the hardened juice of the fruit ; it is 
■ evaporated over the lire, to a thick consistence, and 
then is of a black colour, like the common liquorice 
juice, called Spanish liquorice. The druggists 
, keep it in this state ; it is good in violent purgings, 

I with bloody stools, and in overflowing of the menses : 
it is to be given in an electuary, with conserve of red 
roses. 

Hyssop, tlyssopus. 

A very pretty garden plant, kept for its virtues. 
It grows two feet high. The stalks are square, 
robust, upright, and of a pale green colour. The 
leaves stand two at each joint ; they are long, narrow, 
pointed at the ends, and of a bright green colour. 
The flowers are small, and they stand in long spikes, 
at the tops of the branches ; they are of a beautiful 
blue colour. The whole plant lias a strong, but not 
disagreeable smell. 

Hyssop is to be gathered when just beginning to 
flower, and dried : the infusion made in the manner 
of tea, is not unpleasant, and is the best way of 
taking it : it is excellent against coughs, hoarse- 
nesses, and obstructions in the breast. A strong 
infusion made into a syrup with honey, is excellent 
for the same purposes, mixed with an equal quantity 
of oil of almonds. 

Hedge Hyssop, Grdtiola . 

I *r 

A little plant kept in our gardens. It 
grows to a foot in height ; the stalks are square, 
slender, and not very robust ; the leaves are long. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


176 

narrow, and sharp-pointed : they stand two at 
every joint. The flowers are long, moderately 
large, and yellow ; they grow from the bosoms of 
the leaves, and are hollow, and only a little divided 
at the ends : they are somewhat like fox-glove 
flowers. 

A decoction of the fresh plant is an excellent 
purge, but it works roughly ; it is good against 
dropsies and rheumatisms ; and the jaundice has 
been often cured by it singly. 

J 

Jack by the Hedge. Alliaria . 

A spring plant of a conspicuous figure, fre- 
quent in our hedges. The stalk is round, thick, 
firm, upright, and of a pale green, three feet iri 
height, and very straight. The leaves are large, 
broad, and short, of a figure approaching to 
roundish, but somewhat pointed at the ends, and 
notched at the edges ; they are of a pale yellowish 
green colour, and stand on long foot-stalks. The 
flowers are little and white ; they stand ten or a 
dozen together, at the tops of the branches, and are 
followed by long pods. 

The fresh leaves eaten as salad work by urine 
powerfully, and are recommended in dropsies. The 
juice of them boiled into a syrup with honey, is 
good to break tough phlegm> and to cure coughs and 

hoarsenesses. 

Jacinth, or Hyacinth. Hyacinthus 

vulgaris. 

* 

The common spring plant our children gather 
with their cowslips and May flowers, and call blue 


FAMILY HERBAL 


177 


’Ibells, The root is white and roundish ; the leaves 
are narrow and long, like grass, but of a deep green 
colour, and smooth surface : the stalks are round* 
upright, and smooth ; they have no leaves on them. 
The flowers are large, and of a beautiful blue ; they 
are hollow, oblong, and turn up at the rim. The 
root is the part used. 

* It abounds in a slimy juice, but it is to be dried, 
and this must be done carefully ; the decoction of 
it operates well by urine ; and the powder is balsa- 
mic, and somewhat styptic. It is not enough known* 
There is hardly a more powerful remedy for the 
whites 

T 

Jalap Plant. Jalapium . 

A climbing plant, native of America, and not 
yet got into our gardens. The root is long, irregu- 
larly shaped, and thick. The stalks are round* 
tough, and firm, but slender and unable to support 
themselves. They grow to ten or twelve feet in 
length, and wind among the bushes. The leaves 
are oblong, broadest toward the base, of a dusky 
green, and not dented about the edges. The flow- 
ers are large, and of the shape of a bell, and their 
colour is purplish or white. The seed-vessel is large 
and oval. 

The root is the part used ; and druggists sell it. 
Given in powder with a little ginger, to prevent its 
griping, it is an excellent purge. A strong tincture 
of it made in brandy answers the same purpose ; it 
is good in dropsies ; and is in general a safe and ex- 
cellent purge. 

Jessamin. e Jasminum . 

A common shrub in our gardens, and a 

a a 

i 


178 FAMILY HERBAL. 

great ornament to them. It does not weli support 
itself, so that it is commonly nailed against walls. 
The trunk is covered with a greyish bark : the 
young shoots are green. The leaves stand two at 
each joint, and they are very beautiful ; each is 
made up of about three pair of narrow, oblong, and 
pointed leaves, with a very long one at the end. 
They are of a deep green colour : the flowers are 
long,| hollow, open at the end, and white ; half a 
dozen or thereabout grow on each stalk, and they 
are of a very delicate and fragrant smell ; these 
are succeeded by berries, which ripen in the warmer 
countries. 

The flowers are the part used. Pour a pint of 
boiling water upon six ounces of the fresh gathered 
and dean picked flowers of jessamine ; let it stand 
twelve hours, then pour it off; add honey enough to 
make the liquor into a thin syrup, and it is an excel- 
lent medicine in coughs. 

Rose of Jericho. Rosa Hicracontea. 

A little woody plant, named a rose from nothing 
but its size, and its manner of folding itself up, 
by bending in the tops of the branches, so that it 
appears hollow and roundish. We are accustomed 
to see it dry, and in that condition it is always thus 
drawn together. It is of the bigness of a man's fist, 
and is composed of a quantity of woody branches, 
interwoven with one another, and all bending in- 
ward. When it is put into warm water, it expands, 
and become flatfish, but on drying, it acquires the 
old form again. 

It is in reality a kind of thlaspi, or treacle mus- 
tard, but of a peculiar woody texture. The root 
is long, and pierces deep into the ground ; there 
grow from this eight or ten stalks, which spread 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


179 


themselves upon the ground, in a circular manner, 
as we see the stalks of our bird’s foot, and many 
other little plants. These stalks are thick and 
woody, and about four inches in length : they lie 
upon the ground toward the base, but lay turned 
up a little at the tops, and each of them has a num- 
ber of branches. The leaves are long, narrow, 
and of a pale green ; they are very numerous, and 
they stand irregularly. The flowers are small, 
and white like those of our shepherd’s purse. The 
seed-vessels are small, and contain several seeds 
like those of the common treacle mustard. 

This is the appearance of the plant, as it grows 
very frequent in the warmer climates ; and thus 
it has nothing singular in it, while in its perfection 
of growth, but after a time, the leaves decay and 
fall off, and the stalks as they dry, in the heat, 
draw up more and more, till by degrees they get 
into this round figure, from which warm water 
will expand them, but they recover it again as they 
dry. 

This is the real history of that little kind of trea- 
cle mustard, which is called the rose of Jericho, 
and concerning which so many idle, as well as 
strange things, have been said. Our good women 
have many ways of trying many experiments with 
it, by way of deciding future events, but nothing 
can be so foolish. The nature of the plant will 
make it expand, and open its branches, when put 
into warm water, and draw them together again, as 
it grows dry. This will always happen, and it will 
be more quick or more slow, according to the con- 
dition of the plant. Where it is to be had fresh, 
it does not want medicinal virtues. The young 
shoots are good in infusion against sore throats, but 
we have the plant without its leaves, and, in reality. 


180 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


little more than a stick ; so that it would be idle to 
expect any good in it. 

Jesuit’s Bark. Tree. Arbor Peruviana . 

A small tree, native of South America, which 
has not yet got into our gardens. The trunk is 
as thick as a man’s leg, and its hark is grey. The 
branches are numerous and irregular, and their 
bark is of a browner colour, but with the same 
tinge of grey. The leaves are long and large, 
three inches in length, and half as much in breadth, 
and of a pale green colour : they are pointed at 
the end, but not at all indented at the edges. The 
flowers are small, and their colour is a pale purple : 
they stand in great clusters together ; they are long, 
hollow, and open at the end, where they are a little 
divided. The fruit is a dry capsule, of an oblong 
figure, 

The bark is the part used. Besides its certain 
efficacy against agues and intermitting fevers, it is 
an excellent stomachic and astringent ; nothing is 
better to strengthen the appetite, and in overflow- 
ings of the menses, and all other bleedings, it is 
of the greatest efficacy. It is best given in powder. 
The tincture is to he made in brandy, but it is not 
nearly so good as the substance ; when it is given 
for disorder^ of the stomach, the best way is to pick 
fine pieces of the bark and chew them. 

Jew’s. Ears. Aurlculce Judce, 

A kind of fungus, or, as the common phrase 
is, of toad’s stool, growing upon old elder trees. It 
is about an inch and a half long, and generally an 
inch broad, and is somewhat of the shape of an 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


181 


• / 

ear. It grows by a broad base to the bark of die 
tree., and from this it gradually spreads into a 
fiat 5 hollow,, substance, with several ridges in it, 
running irregularly, whence it is supposed to have 
the resemblance of the ear most perfectly. Its 
colour is a pale grey on the outside, it is darker 
within, and there run several ribs along it. It is 
to be dried. Boiled in milk, it is recommended 
greatly in sore throats and quinsies. These reme- 
dies of the vulgar have come originally from 
physicians, and they commonly have something to 
support them. The Jew's ear is at this time out 
of repute, but that seems owing to sophistication. 
They commonly sell, under the name of it, another 
fungus that grows to a great bigness, overspreading 
wood, in damp places. They get it off the water 
pipes at the New River head at Islington, to supply 
Covent Garden market. 

St. Ignatius's Bean. Taba sancti Ignatii 

A plant common in the West Indies, and very 
ill called a bean, being truly a gourd. The name 
bean was given to the seeds of this plant before it 
was known how they were produced, and some 
have continued it to the plant. It grows to a 
great height, when there is a tree to support it, for 
it cannot support itself. It has a stalk as thick 
as a man’s arm, angulated, light, and not firm. 
The leaves are very large, oblong, and undivided, 
and they have the ribs very high upon them : they 
are broad at the base, and grow narrower to the 
point, and are of a deep green colour. The flow- 
ers are very large, and of a deep blood red ; at a 
distance, they have the aspect of a red rose. The 
fruit is large and roundish ; it has a woody shell, 
and over that & thin skin, bright and shining. 


182 FAMILY HERBAL. 

Within there are twenty or thirty seeds ; they are 
of the bigness of a small nutmeg, when we see 
them : they are roundish, and very rough upon 
the surface : each is of a woody substance, and, 
when tasted, vs of the flavour of citron seeds, but 
extremely bitter and nauseous. The colour is of 
all grey or Brownish. 

These seeds ale what we use in medicine, and 
call the St. Ignatius’s bean. It is a medicine' to be 
given with great caution, but it has many virtues : 
the most powerful remedies, when in ill hands, are 
naturally the most dangerous ; the powder given 
in a small dose occasions vomiting and purging, 
and oftesi, if the constitution be tender, convulsions ; 
it is much better to give it in tincture, when no 
such effects happen ffom it. ’Tis of an excellent 
effect against nervous complaints : it will cure the 
falling-sickness, given in proper doses, and con- 
tinued for a long time : the tincture is best for this 
purpose. Some have given the powder in very 
small quantities against worms, and that with suc- 
cess ; its extreme bitter makes it very disagree- 
able, and the taste continues in the throat a long 
time, whence it occasions vomiting. We neglect 
it very much at present, because of its roughness; 
but it would be better we found the way of giving 
it with safety. There are gentler medicines, but 
none of them so efficacious : it will do service in 
cases that the common methods do not reach. 

St. John’s Wort. Hypericum, 

A robust and pretty plant, frequent in our 
pastures, and other dry places. The height is a 
foot and a half. The stalk is round, thick, firm, 
and very upright, and divided towards the top 
into several branches The leaves are short and 


FAMILY HERBAL 


183 


blunt at the points : they are of a bright green 
colour, and if held up against the light, they .seem 
to be full of pin holes. The flowers grow in 
abundance on the tops of the branches : they are 
large, and of a bright and beautiful yellow, full 
of yellow threads, which, if rubbed upon the hand, 
stain it like blood. The fruit is a dry seed- 
vessel. 

The part used is the flowery tops of the plant 
just as they begin to ripen. A decoction of these 
works powerfully by urine, and is excellent against 
the gravel, and in ulcerations of the ureters. The 
same tops fresh gathered and bruised are good for 
wounds and bruises ; they stop bleeding, and serve 
as a balsam for one, and take off blackness in the 
other 

Jujube Tees. Zizirphus. 

A tree of the bigness of our plum trees, and 
not unlike to them in shape. The bark is grey on 
the trunk, and brown on the branches. The leaves 
are moderately large, and each is composed of a 
number of smaller ones, set on each side of a middle 
rib, but not opposite to one another, and with an odd 
one at the end : these are oblong, obtuse, and serrated 
round the edges, and the odd leaf at the end is the 
largest and longest. The flowers are small and 
yellow. The fruit is oval, and of the bigness of a 
moderate plum ; it has a soft substance on the outside, 
and a stone within, which is large and long, and 
pointed at both ends. 

The fruit is used. It was at one time brought 

« * 

over to us dried, but we see little of it now ; it was 
esteemed balsamic, and was given to cure coughs, 
and to work by urine. 


184 


FAMILY HERBAL.' 


White Stock July Flower. Leucoium 

album. 

t 

A robust garden plant,, kept for its flowers, which 
art variegates and makes double. It grows two or 
three feet high. The stalk is thick, firm, round, and 
of a greyish colour. The leaves are long, narrow, 
hairy, and whitish. The stalks which bear the flow- 
ers are also of a whitish green, and tender. The 
flowers are as broad as a shilling, white, and sweet 
scented. 

The flowers are the part used, and they are to 
be fresh gathered, and only just blown. A tea 
made of them is good to promote the menses, and 
it operates also by urine. An ointment is to be 
made, by boiling them in hog’s lard, which is ex- 
cellent for sore nipples. 

J uniper Shrub. Juniperus. 

A common shrub on our heaths. It grows to 
no great height in England, but in some other 
parts of Europe rises to a considerably large tree. 
The bark is of a reddish brown. The branches are 
tough. The leaves are longish, very narrow’, and 
prickly at the ends. The flowers are of a yellow- 
ish colour, but small and inconsiderable. The 
berries are large, and when ripe blackish : they are 
of a strong but not disagreeable smell, and of a sweet- 
ish, but resinous taste. The leaves are of a faint 
bluish green colour. 

The berries are the part most used. We have 
them from Germany principally. They have two 
excellent qualities, they dispel wind, and work by 
urine, for which reason, they are excellent in those 
colics which arise from the gravel and stone. 
With these is also made the true Geneva, but the 


FAMILY HERBAL, 185 

liquor our poor people drink under that name, is 
only malt spirits and oil of turpentine. 

Ivy. Hedera . 

A very common shrub, crawling about old 
trees, or upon old walls ; it sometimes runs upon 
the ground for want of such support, but then it 
rarely bears any fruit The trunk is thick, brown* 
and covered with a peculiar roughness. The 
branches are numerous and brittle. The leaves 
have a strange variety of shapes, oblong, angular, 
cornered, or divided. The flowers stand in little 
round clusters, and they are small and inconsiderable ; 
they are succeeded by large berries. The leaves 
upon the young shoots that bear the flowers are al- 
ways oblong ; those on the trunk are angulated. 
They are all of a deep glossy green. 

The leaves and berries are both used, but nei- 
ther much. A decoction of the leaves destroys 
vermin in children’s heads, and heals the soreness 
that attends them. The berries are purging ; an 
infusion of them will often work also by vomit* 
but there is no harm in this : they are an excellent 
remedy in rheumatisms, and pains of all kinds, and* 
it is said, have cured dropsies ; but this is perhaps 
going too far. 

The ivy in the warm countries sweats out a kind 
of resin, which has been used externally at some 
times, on various occasions ; but at this time* it is 
quite unknown in practice. 

K. 

Kidney Wort. Umbilicus veneris . 

A very singular plant, which grows on old 

b b 


186 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


walls in some parts of England It is eight inches 
high, and is distinguished at sight by a cluster of 
round leaves which grow about the stalk. The 
root is roundish, and its fibres grow from the bottom. 
The leaves stand on longish and thick foot-stalks, 
which are, except in the lowest of all, inserted not 
at the edges of the leaf* but in the middle : these 
are round, thick, fleshy, and indented about the 
edges. The stalk which bears the flowers is round, 
thick, dnd, towards the top, divided into two or thre e 
branches ; on these grow the flowers, in a kind of 
spikes : they are oblong, holiowish, and of a green- 
ish white colour. 

... The leaves are the part used. Externally, they 
are cooling, and good against pains. They are 
applied bruised to the piles, with great success. 
The juice of them, taken inwardly, operates by 
urine, and is excellent against stranguries, and good 
in the gravel, and inflammations of the liver and 
spleen. 

Knap-weed. Jacea . 

A very common wild plant, with dark-coloured 
longish leaves, and purple flowers, like those of 
thistles. It is two feet high. The stalks are 
roundish, but ribbed : they are of a pale colour, 
very firm and strong, upright, and divided into 
branches. The leaves are long, and of the same 
breadth : those which grow immediately from the 
root, are but little jagged or cut at the edges : 
those which stand upon the stalk, are more so. 
The flowers are large ; they stand in scaly heads, 
one of which is placed at the top of every branch : 
and at a distance, they have something of the ap- 
pearance of the flowers of thistles, but when ex- 
amined nearer, they are more like those of the blue 


m 


. , FAMILY HERBAL. 

bottle. The flowers themselves are of a bright red, 
and large. 

The young plant is used fresh : a decoction of it 
is good against the bleeding of the piles, against 
loosenesses with bloody stools, and all other bleed- 
ings. A slight infusion is recommended against 
sore throats, to be used by way of gargle. There 
are so many of these gentle astringent plants, com- 
mon in our fields, as yarrow and the like, that less 
respect is fo be paid to one of less power in the 
same way. Knapweed may be very properly added 
to ..decoctions of the others, but it would not be so 
well to trust to its effects singly. 

Knot-grass. Polygonum . 

A most common wild plant in our fields, path- 
ways, and hedges : there are two or three kinds of 
it, but they pretty much resemble one another in 
form, and in virtues : the largest is the best. The 
stalks of this are ten inches long, round, jointed, 
and of a dusky green. The leaves are of an oval 
form, of a bluish green colour, and not indented 
at the edges. The stalks lie upon the ground, and 
one of these Only grows at each joint. The flowers 
are small and white, but with a tinge of reddish. 
The seed is single, black, and three-cornered. 

It has been observed before, that Providence has 
in genera] made the most common plants the most 
useful. A decoction of knot-grass roots, stalks, 
and leaves, is an excellent astringent. It stops 
bloody stools, and is good against all bleedings, 
but, in particular, it is a remedy against Che 
bleeding piles, and against the overflowing of the 
menses 


188 


FAMILY HERBAL 
L e 


Gum Las Tree. Laca arbor 

A tree of the bigness of our apple tree,, fre- 
quent in the East, but not yet known in Europe. 
The trunk is covered with a rough reddish bark. 
The branches are numerous and tough. They have 
a smoother rind, of a colour inclining to purple. 
The leaves are broad, and of a whitish green on 
the upper side, and of a silvery white underneath. 
The flowers are small and yellow. The fruit is of 
the bigness of a plum, and has in it a large stone : 
The outer or pulpy part is of an austere, and not 
very agreeable taste. 

The gum lac is found upon the branches of this 
tree but it is pretended by some, that a sort of flies ; 
deposit it there, and on other substances ; and 
that it is a kind of wax ; however, there are per- 
sons of credit, who say they have obtained by cut- 
ting the branches of this tree, and a like substance 
from the branches of the several kinds of jujubes, 
to which this belongs, in the hot countries. Pro- 
bably the flies get it dff this tree, and lodge it for 
their purposes upon sticks, and other substances, as 
we see it. 

Our druggists have three kinds of this resin, for 
it is ill called a gum. The one they call stick lac, 
because it is brought in round sticks ; the other 
seed lac, in small lumps ; and the other shell lac, 
which is thin’ and transparent, and has been melted ; 
of this resin the sealing wax is made with very little 
alteration more than the colouring it, which is 
done by means of a cinnabar or coarser materials. 
Taken inwardly, gum lac is good against obstruc- 
tions of the liver ; it operates by urine and sweat. 










FAMILY HERBAL*. 189 

and is good in most chronic cases arising from such 
obstructions. 

Ladies' Mantle. Archimilla. 

< 

A very pretty little plant, native of some parts of 
England, but not very common wild. The leaves 
are numerous and very beautiful ; they are broad, 
and of a roundish figure, but divided deeply into eight 
parts, and each of these elegantly indented about 
the edges. They are of a yellowish green colour, 
nearly as broad as the palm of ones hand, and they 
stand upon foot-stalks of an inch or two in length. 
The stalks grow in the midst ; they are round, a 
little hairy, eight inches long, not very upright, and 
of a pale green colour. The flowers stand in con- 
siderable numbers at their tops ; they are small and 
of a greenish colour, but have a great many yellow 
threads in the middle. The root is long, thick, and 
dark coloured. 

The root is the part most valuable ; a decoction 
of it fresh taken up, is arj excellent remedy for the 
overflowings of the menses, for bloody fluxes, and 
all other bleedings. Dried and powdered it an* 
swers the same purpose, and is also good against 
common purgings. The good women of the north 
of England apply the leaves to their breasts, to make 
them recover their form, after they have been swelled 
with milk. Hence it has got the name of ladies’ 
mantle. 

Larch Tree. JLarix. 

A moderately tall, and in summer a very beautiful 
tree ; but though one of the resinous kind, and in 
many respects approaching to the nature of the fir 
and pine, it loses its leaves in winter : it is a native 


190 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


■of Italy, and is frequent in our gardens. The trank 
is rugged, and the branches are covered with a 
rough bark, of a brownish colour, with a tinge of 
reddish. The leaves are an inch or more in length, 
.extremely slender, and of a bluish green colour, and 
they grow in little clusters, on 'different parts of the 
branches. The flowers are inconsiderable, the fruit 
is a cone, but very small. It is not bigger than a 
little walnut. 

The young leaves are boiled, and the liquor is 
drank to promote urine, but this is an idle way of 
getting at the virtues of the tree. Venice turpen- 
tine is produced from it, and this liquid resin con- 
tains them all in perfection. They cut the trunk of 
the tree deep, in the heat of summer, and the resin 
flows out. This works powerfully by urine, and 
is a noble balsam ; it is good against the whiles, and 
to stop the running that often remain § from a clap 
after alt the virulence is removed ; but in this case 
it must be given cautiously. 

Larks' Spur. Delphinium . 

A common flower in our gardens ; but not with- 
out its virtues. It grows a yard high : the stalks are 
round, upright, firm, and of a pale green. The 
leaves are cut into a multitude of long, narrow, and 
very fine divisions, and are of a deep green colour, 
and the flowers which grow in long spikes at the 
tops of the branches, are naturally blue, but often 
red or white. They are moderately large, and have 
a kind of spur behind. 

The leaves are used ; they must be boiled fresh 
in water, and the decoction is good against the 
bleeding piles. It stops the hemorrhage, and at the 
same time cools the body, whereas too many of the 
astringent medicines are heating. 


■ FAMILY HERBAL. , 191 

Lavender. I . avendiila . 

A common plant in our gardens, native of 
the warmer parts of Europe ; it is of a shrubby 
nature in the stem, but the rest is herbaceous. ■ It 
grows a yard high. The trunk, or main stem is 
thick, woody, firm, and covered with a whitish 
bark. The young shoots from this, are tender and 
greenish ; and on these stand the leaves. They are 
long, narrow, and of a pale green colour, and stand 
two at each joint. The stalks which bear the 
flowers are square, green, and naked ; the flowers 
stand in short spikes, or ears ; they are small, blue, 
and very fragrant ; the cups of the flowers are 
whitish. 

These flowers are the part used ; they are good 
against all disorders of the head and nerves. They 
may be taken in the form of tea. The famous 
spirit of lavender called palsy drops, and the sweet 
lavender water are made with them. The spirit of 
lavender called palsy drops is thus made best. 

Put into a small still a pound of lavender flowers, 
and five ounces of the tender tops of rosemary, put 
to them five quarts of common molasses spirit, and a 
quart of water : distil off three quarts ; put to this 
cinnamon and nutmegs, of each three quarters of 
an ounce, red sanders wood half an ounce ; let 
these stand together a week, and then strain off the 
spirit. 

The lavender water is thus made. Put a pound 
of fresh lavender flowers into a still with a gallon of 
molasses spirit, and draw off five pints-. This is 

lavsnder water. 

Lavender Cotton, Ahrotonum fmmina. 

A IJTTI.E shrubby plant, frequently wild in Italy, 


192 


FAMILY HERBAL., 


but with us kept in gardens. It grows two feet or 
more m height, the stem is whitish : the stalks grow- 
ing from it, are tough and firm, of a whitish colour 
also, and very numerous ; the leaves are oblong, 
slender, of a square shape, and indented ; they are 
also whitish and of a strong smell. The stalks which 
support the flowers are long and naked ; they are 
round, of a greenish colour, and each has at its top 
a single flower, which is yellow and naked, and of 
the bigness of an horse-bean. 

The leaves are the part used, they are best fresh 
gathered. They are to be given infused in water 
against worms, they are a disagreeable medicine, 
but a very efficacious one. They also promote the 
menses, and open obstructions of the liver. They 
have been recommended greatly in the jaundice. 

Spurge Laurel. Laureola. 

\ « 

A wild little shrub of a singular aspect and of 
considerable virtues, it is three feet high, the stem 
is half an inch thick, and divides into a great many 
branches. The bark is of a brownish colour, and 
they are not very strong. The leaves stand at the 
tons of the branches, they are long, narrow, and of 
a bright and fine green ; they are of a firm substance, 
and are not indented at the edges. The flowers are 
very small and inconsiderable, they are green with 
some yellow threads, and have a sweet smell ; the 
berries are small, roundish, and black. 

The leaves are a powerful remedy against the 
dropsy, but they are so violent they must be given 
with caution ; a small quantity of a slight infusion 
of them in water, works by vomit and stool in a 
powerful manner. It is not every constitution that 
can bear such a medicine. 


FAMILY HERBAL, 193 

Leek. Porrum. 

A common plant in our kitchen gardens. It 
grows three feet high ; the stalk is round, green, and 
thick ; the leaves are large, long, and of a deep green,^ 
and the flowers grow in a round cluster at the top ot 
the stalk ; they are of a purplish colour, with a tinge 
of green ; the root is white, oblong, thick, and round- 
ish, with fibres at the bottom. 

An infusion of the roots of leeks made in water* 
and boiled into a syrup with honey, is good against 
asthmas, coughs, and obstructions in the breast and 
lungs. It answers the same purposes with syrup 
of garlic, but it will agree with some who cannot 
bear that medicine. 

Lemon Tree. Limonia mains . 

A shrub, native of the warmer countries, and 
frequent in our green houses, very beautiful and 
fragrant. The trunk is moderately thick, and 
covered with a brown bark ; the branches are nume- 
rous, irregular, and beset with prickles. The leaves 
are large, and very beautiful, of an oval figure, and 
set upon a naked stalk ; they are of a beautiful 
green, and remain on the tree all winter. The 
flowers are large and white ; of a thick firm sub- 
stance, and very fragrant smell. The fruit we are 
sufficiently acquainted with ; its shape is oblong* and 
its rind of a pale yellow colour : it has a part like 
a nipple at each end. Its smell is very fragrant, and 
its juice sour. 

The peel and the juice of the fruit are used. 
The peel is stomachic and warm, it is a good in- 
gredient in bitter infusions. The juice made into 
a syrup with twice its weight of fine sugar, is ex- 

G C 


194 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


cellent for sweetening juleps and drinks in fevers, and, 
mixed with salt of wormwood, it stops vomitings. 

Leadwort. Dmtillaria sics plumbago. 

A little plant, native of some parts of Europe, 
and kept in our gardens. It is two feet high ; the 
stalks are slender, tough, and weak, hardly able to 
support themselves upright. The leaves are of a 
pale bluish green colour, oblong, not very broad, 
and they surround the stalk at the base. The dow- 
ers are red, they are singly, very small, but they 
stand in thick, oblong clusters, on the tops of the 
stalks, and each is succeeded by a single seed, which 
is very rough, and stands naked. 

The dried root is to be used ; a piece of it put 
into the mouth, fill it with a great quantity of rheum 5 
and is often an almost instantaneous cure for the 
head-ache. It also cures the tooth-ache in the same 
manner as pellitory of Spain does : it is more hot 
and acrid than even that fiery root. 

Indian Leaf Tree. Malabathrum. 

A tall and beautiful tree of the East Indies, 
not unlike the cinnamon tree in its manner of 
growth. The trunk is as thick as our elms,' and it 
grows as tall, but the branches are disposed with 
less regularity ; the wood is brittle, and the young 
shoots are of a pale brown. The leaves are very 
large, nine inches long, and seven in breadth, and 
not at all indented. The (lowers stand in clusters 
on the tops of the branches ; they are small and 
greyish, and the fruit is of the bigness of our red 
currant. It is common in the mountainous parts of 
the east. 


FAMILY HERBAL., 


195 


These leaves are the part used, we have them 
dried at the druggists, but they commonly keep them 
till they are decayed. It i*s an aromatic medicine, 
it strengthens the stonrach, and is good in nervous 
disorders. 

Lentil. Lens. 

A kind of little pulse, sown in fields in some 
parts of England. It grows a foot and a half high, 
but does not stand very upright. The stalk is an- 
.1 mated, of a pale green, and branched ; the leaves 
are like those of the common pea : they consist each 
of several pairs of small ones, set on a rib, and there 
is a tendril in place of an odd leaf at the end. These 
small leaves are of a pale green colour, and oval 
shape. The flowers are white and small, but in 
shape like a pea blossom, they stand singly on long 
stalks. The fruit is a pod of a flattish shape, in 
which there generally are two seeds also a little 
flatted, and of the bigness of a small pea. 

The fruit is used ; it is ground to powder to 
make into puitices for swellings, but it is not much 
regarded 

Lettice. Lcictuca . 

A common plant in our kitchen gardens, which 
we eat raw. When it rises to flower it is two feet 
and a half high. The stalk is round, thick, very 
upright, and of a pale green. The leaves are 
oblong, broad, and somewhat waved at the edges : 
the flowers stand on the tops of the stalks, and are 
of a pale yellow ; the seed is winged with a light white 
down. 

The juice of lettice is a good medicine to pro- 
cure sleep, or the thick stalk eaten will serve the 


196 


FAMILY HERBAL. 

same purpose. It is a good method to put those 
into who require a gentle opiate, and will not take 
medicines. 

‘ Wild Lettice. Lactuca sylvestris major . 

A common plant in our hedges, and having 
some resemblance to the garden lettice in its flowers, 
though not in its manner of growth. It is six or 
seven feet high. The stalk is thick, round, very 
upright, branched, and of a pale yellowish green 
colour. The leaves at the bottom are very large, 
a foot long and five inches broad, and of a pale 
green colour ; those higher up the stalks are smaller, 
they are deeply indented at the edges, and either 
these, the stalk, or any other part of the plant being 
wounded, there flows out a milky juice, which has 
the smell of opium, and its hot bitter taste: the 
branches are very numerous, and the flowers are 
also very numerous, but they are small and of a pale 
yellow. 

This is a plant not introduced into the common 
practice, but very worthy of that notice. I have 
known it used in private families, with great suc- 
cess. A syrup made from a strong infusion of it, 
is an excellent anodyne ; it eases the most violent 
pain in colics, and other disorders, and gently dis- 
poses the person to sleep. It has the good effect 
of a gentle opiate, and none of the bad ones of that 
violent medicine. 

White Lily. Lilium album . 

A tall, fragrant, and beautiful garden plant. 
It grows four or five feet high ; the stalk is round, 
green, thick, firm, and very upright ; a great many 
leaves surround it at the bottom, and a great mauy 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


197 


grow upon it all the way : these are of the same 
shape, long, narrow, and smooth, and of a pale green 
upon the stalk, and deeper green at the root. The 
flowers stand on the divisions of the top of the stalk, 
they are barge, white, and composed as it were of a 
quantity of thick scales 

The roots contain the greatest virtue ; they are 
excellent mixed in pultices, to apply to swellings. 
The flowers possess the same virtue also, being emol- 
lient and good against pain. An oil is made of the 
flowers steeped in common oil of olives ; but the 
fresh flowers are much better in the season ; and the 
root may be had fresh at all times, and it possesses the 
same virtues. 

Lily of the Valley. Lilium conv allium. 

A very pretty plant, but so different from the 
former, that one would wonder how it came to 
be called by any part of the same name. It is six 
or eight inches high. The leaves are large, long, 
and broad, of a deep green colour, and full of very 
thick ribs or veins. The stalks are weak, slender, 
angular, and green ; they bend towards the top, 
and on each there stands, or rather hangs, a row 
of white flowers ; they are roundish, hollow, and 
of a delicate and pleasing smell ; these are suc- 
ceeded by berries, which are red when they are 
ripe. 

The flowers are used. A tea made of them, and 
drank for a constancy, is excellent against all nerv- 
ous complaints ; it will cure nervous head -aches, and 
tremblings of the limbs : a great deal too much 
has been said of this plant, for people call it a re- 
medy for apoplexies and the dead palsies, but though 
all this is not true, enough is, to give the plant a 
reputation, and bring it again into use. 


198 


FAMILY HERBAL. 
Water Lily. Jfymphcea alba . 


A large and elegant plant, the broad leaves 
of which we see floating upon the surface of the 
water in our brooks not unfrequently ; and in the 
autumn large white flowers among them. The 
root of the plant is very long, and extremely thick, 
and lies buried in the mud. The leaves rise singly 
one on each stalk ; the stalks are round, thick, and 
of a spungy substaoce, having a white pith in 
them ; and the leaves also are thick and somewhat 
spungy ; they are of a roundish figure, and they 
lie flat upon the surface of the water. The flow- 
ers stand upon single foot-stalks, arising like those 
of the leaves separately from the root, and being 
like them, light, round, glossy, and full of a white 
pith ; the flowers are large and white, and have 
some yellow threads in the middle ; the seed-vessel 
is large and roundish, and the seeds are numerous. 

The root is the part used, and it is best fresh, and 
given in a strong decoction. It is a powerful re- 
medy in the whites, and in those weaknesses left 
after venereal complaints : it is also good against 
violent purgings, especially where there are bloody 
stools. There are other kinds of water lily in our 
ditches, particularly a large yellow flowered one, 
whose roots possess the same virtues with the others, 
but in a less degree. 

Lime Tree. Tilia. 

A tree common enough in parks and gardens, 
and when in flower very beautiful and fragrant ; 
the trunk is thick, and the branches grow with a 
tolerable regularity. The leaves are short, broad, 
of a figure approaching to round, but terminating 
in a point, and serrated about the edges. The 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


199 


flowers grow on long yellowish stalks, with a 
yellow, oblong, and narrow 7 leaf upon them. They 
are themselves also of a yellowish white colour, 
and extremely delicate and sweet smell. The 
fruit is roundish and small. The flowers are the 
only part used ; they are good against giddiness of 
the head-, tremblings of the limbs, and all other 
lighter nervous disorders. They are best taken as 
tea. 


Liquid Amjber Tree. Liquid Amhar . 

A very beautiful tree of the American islands, 
which we have brought of late into our gardens ; 
it grows fifty feet high, and the branches are nu- 
merous and disposed with a tolerable regularity. 
The leaves are large and very beautiful ; they are 
broad, and are divided much in the manner of the 
leaves of our maple tree, but much more beautiful- 
ly ; they are of a glossy green, and the tips of the 
boughs have a fragrant smell. The flowers are 
greenish and small ; the fruit is of the bigness of a 
small walnut, roundish and rough upon the surface, 
with several seeds within. 

We use a resin which runs from the trunk of 
this tree in great heats. It is of a reddish colour, 
soft, and extremely fragrant, nearly a perfume. It 
is an excellent balsam, nothing exceeds it as a remedy 
for the whites ; and for the weaknesses left after 
venereal disorders. It is also good in disorders 
of the lungs ; and it works by urine, and dislodges 
gravel. There was a custom at one time of mixing 
it among perfumes, but of late it has been neglected, 
and is grown scarce, 


200 FAMILY HERBAL. 

Liquid Storax Tree. Styrax liquida arbor. 

A large tree, so much we hear of it, is native 
of the East Indies, but very ill described to us. We 
are told the leaves are large, and the flowers fra- 
grant, but of what form they are nobody has told 
us, or what is the fruit. All that we use is a liquid 
resin of a very peculiar kind, which we are told is 
obtained by boiling the bark ; and the shoots of this 
tree in water ; the resin swims at the top, and they 
scum it off and strain it, but it will not all pass 
through. It is from hence that we see two kinds ; 
the one finer, thinner, and purer, the other thicker 
and coarser ; this last kind is more common than the 
better sort, and it is generally used. 

It is a balsam of the nature of the turpentines ; 
and is good against the whites, and the weaknesses 
that follow venereal disorders. Some have used it 
also in diseases of the lungs, but it has never been, 
in great repute on those occasions. It is sometimes 
put into ointments intended for old ulcers ; and it is 
said to be used this way with great success. 

Liquorice. Glycyrrhiza. 

A rough looking plant, cultivated in many 
places for the sake of the root. It is a yard high 
or more. The stalk is round, striated, and branch- 
ed : the leaves are long and large, each is com- 
posed of a great many pairs of smaller, standing on 
a middle rib, with an odd one at the end ; these are 
of an oval figure, of a dusky green colour, and 
they are clammy to the touch. The flowers are 
very small and blue, they stand in long spikes, 
rising from the bosoms of the leaves. The seeds 
are contained in pods. The root is the part used ; 
and its virtues are very great. It is best fresh taken 


FAMILY HERBAL: 


201 


out ot the ground, the sweetness of its taste renders 
it agreeable, and it is excellent against coughs, 
hoarsenesses, and shortness of breath. It also 
works gently by urine, and is of service in ulcera- 
tions of the kidneys and urinary passages, acting 
there as in lungs at once, as a detergent and balsa- 
mic. 

The best way of taking it is by sucking or chewing 
the fresh root : but it may be taken in infusion, or in 
the manner of tea. The black substance called 
liquorice juice, and Spanish liquorice, is made by eva- 
porating a strong decoction of this root. But the 
fresh root itself is better. 

Noble Liverwort, or Hepatic a. Hepatic a, 

nobilis . 

A common garden flower, which makes a very 
pretty figure in spring, and is little regarded, ex- 
cept as an ornament in our borders ; though it is 
not without considerable virtues. The leaves are 
supported each on a single foot-stalk, white, slender, 
and reddish, they are near an inch broad, and of 
the same length, and divided each into three parts. 
The flowers rise early in the spring, before these ap- 
pear ; they also stand singly on long foot-stalk?, and 
are moderately large and blue, with a greenish head 
in the middle, the root is fibrous. 

An infusion of the leaves of this plant is good 
against obstructions of the liver and spleen ; it works 
gently by urine, and is a good medicine in the jaun- 
dice, taking it in time. 

Green liverwort. Lichen vulpctris* 

A common low plant, composed wholly of 
leaves, which spread themselves on the ground, and 

x> d 


202 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


are of a beautiful green colour ; authors refer it to 
the kinds of moss. It grows on old walls, in wells, 
and other damp places. The leaves are oblong, blunt, 
and thin, they spread one over another and take 
root wherever they touch the ground. They often 
cover the space of a foot or more in one cluster. 
This is all that is usually seen of the plant, but in 
spring when the place and the weather favour, there 
rise up among these leaves certain long and slender 
stalks, on the tops of which stand imperfect flowers, 
as they are called, small roundish, and resembling the 
heads of little mushrooms. 

The whole plant is used, and it is best green and 
fresh gathered. It is to be given in a strong decoc- 
tion. It opens obstructions of the liver, and works 
*by urine. It is good against the jaundice, and 
is an excellent medicine in the first stages of con- 
sumptions. It is not nearly so much regarded as it 
ought to be. It is also used externally for foulness of 
the skin. 

Grey Ground Liverwort. Lichin cincrens ter - 

restris . 

A plant, very common by our dry wood-sides, 
and in pastures, in some degree resembling the 
last described, but differing in colour and in its 
fructification. This consists also entirely of leaves ; 
they are of a bluish grey colour, on the outside, 
and of a whitish grey underneath. They are two 
inches long, and an inch and a half broad ; and grow 
in clusters together ; often they are less distinct, and 
therefore appear larger. These do not send up any 
stalks to bear a kind of flowers in heads. The tips of 
the leaves turn up, and are reddish, and in these parts 
are contained the seeds. The whole plant seems dry 
and sapless. 


i 



The whole plant is used, arid has been of late very 
famous. Its efficacy is against the bite of a mad 
dog ; it is mixed with pepper, and the person is 
at the same time to bathe in the sea. There have 
been instances of its success, when given to dogs, but 
perhaps no cure was ever performed upon a human 
creature, when this terrible disease had arisen to 
any height. Bleeding and opium are the present 
practice. 

Logwood Tree. Arbor campechlana. 

A tree, native of the Southern parts of America, 
the wood of which has been used in dying, longer 
than in medicine, but is very serviceable in the 
latter capacity. The tree is large, and makes a 
beautiful appearance. The branches are numer- 
ous, and they spread with a sort of regularity. 
The leaves are composed each of several pairs of 
smaller, set on the two sides of a common rib ; with 
an odd one at the end. The flowers are of the shape 
of pea blossoms, but they are yellow ; the pods 
which succeed them are very large, and the boughs of 
the tree are very thick set, with sharp thorns of a 
reddish colour. 

We use only the heart of the wood which is of 
a deep red colour. It is of an austere taste, but 
with something of sweetness in it at last, in this it 
resembles greatly what is called Japan earth, and 
it resembles that drug also in its virtues. It is a 
a very powerful medicine to stop fluxes of the 
belly, and overflowings of the menses. The best 
way of giving it is in form of an extract, which 
is to be made by boiling down a strong decoction 
of wood to the consistence of honey. In this 
form it will keep a long time, and is always ready for 
use. 

\ " , 


204 FAMILY HERBAL. 

Purple Loosestrife. Lysimachia purpurea. 


A wild plant, that decorates the sides of 
ditches and rivers, and would be an ornament to 
our gardens. It grows to three feet high, and is 
very regular ; the stalk is square, hairy, and gene- 
rally of a reddish colour. The leaves stand two 
at each joint, and they are long and narrow ; of a 
dusky green, and a little rough. The flowers stand 
in very long spikes at the tops of the stalks, and 
are large, and of a strong purple colour. The spikes 
are often a foot or more in length. The seed is very 
little and brown. 

The leaves are used. They are a fine balsam for 
fresh wounds, and an ointment is to be made of 
them boiled in lard, which is also cooling and detersive, 
but it is not of a fine green colour. 

Yellow Loosestrife. Lysimachia lutca. 

A wild plant not uncommon in our watery 
places, but for its beauty, very worthy a place in 
our gardens. If it were brought from America, it 
would be called one of the most, elegant plants in 
the world. It is four feet high, the stalks are rigid, 
firm, upright, and very regular in their growth : a 
little hairy ; and towards the tops divided into several 
branches. The leaves are as long as ones finger, 
and an inch and half broad in the middle, and small 
at each end ; they are a little hairy, and of a yellow- 
ish green. The flowers are large and of a beautiful 
yellow, they grow several together on the tops of 
the branches. The seed-vessels are full of small 
seeds. 

The root dried and given in powder, is good 
against the whites, and against bloody fluxes, over- 
flowings of the menses, and purgings ; it is astrin- 


FAMILY HERBAL. 



gent and balsamic. The young leaves bound about a 
fresh wounds stop the bleeding, and perform a cure 
in a short time. 


Lav ace. Levisticum . 

A tall plant of the umbelliferous kind, kept 
in our gardens for its use in medicine. The stalk 
is round, thick, hollow, and deeply striated or 
channelled. The leaves are very large, and they are 
each composed of a number of smaller ; these are 
set on a divided stalk, and are short, broad, and in- 
dented at the edges. The flowers are small and 
yellow, the seed is striated, the root is brown, thick, 
and divided, and the fibres from it are numerous ; it 
is of a hot aromatic taste. 

The roots fresh dug work by urine, and are good 
against the jaundice. The seeds have the same ef- 
fect also and they dispel wind. The dried root is a 
sudorific, and h good in fevers. 

If* * ; \ 

Tree Lungwort. Muscus pulmonarius. 

A broad and large kind of moss, in form some- 
what resembling the green and grey liverwort, but 
bigger than either. It grows on the barks of old 
oaks, and beech trees, but is not common. It is 
principally found in large woods. Each leaf, or 
separate plant, is eight or ten inches long, and near- 
ly as much in breadth, of a yellowish colour, and 
of a substance resembling leather : it is divided deeply 
at the edges, and is rough, and full of high veins on 
the surface. At the season of flowering there also 
appear certain small red heads, which contain the seeds 
fora new succession of plants. 

This plant is not so much known as it deserves to 
be. Jt is an excellent astringent, a strong decoction 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


tm 

of it stops the overflowing’s of the menses, and all other 
bleedings ; it is remarkable against the spitting of 
bloody and hence it is got into general use in consump- 
tions; but that not so properly. It may be given in 
powder; but the other way is better. 

Lupine. Lupinus salivas albas . 

There are many lupines kept in gardens; but 
the best kind for use is the white-flowered ; it 
grows to a yard high, the stalk is round; thick, firm, 
and of a pale green. The leaves stand on long foot- 
stalks; and are each composed of seven; eight; or 
nine long narrow ones; disposed in the manner of 
lingers ; these are also of a whitish green colour. 
The flowers are large and white, of the shape of a 
pea-blossom. The pods are hairy. A decoction of 
the seeds of lupines; drank in the manner of barley 
water; not only works by urine, but is good to bring 
down the menses; and open all obstructions. It is 
excellent in the beginning of consumptions, jaun- 
dices, and dropsies ; but when those diseases are ad- 
vanced to a height, more powerful remedies are to 
be employed. A decoction made very strong is 
good to wash the heads of children that have break- 
ings out upon them ; they cleanse and dispose them 
to heal. 

i \ 

Golden Lungwort. Pulmonaria aurea* 

A tall, erect, and beautiful plant of the hawk- 
w’eed kind, with yellow flowers, and very hairy leaves ; 
it is frequent in the mountainous parts of Europe, and 
we have it wild in some places in England, upon walls 
and in very dry places, but with us it is not common. 

It is two feet high ; the leaves are large and ob- 
long ; they grow half a dozen or thereabout imn 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


207 


I 

mediately from the root, and have thick foot-stalks ; 
they are oblong 1 , broad, of a deep and often a 
purplish colour, and are extremely hairy, the hairs 
being long, white, and set so thick, that they give 
it an aspect of woolliness. The stalk is round, 
slender, tolerably firm, upright, of a purplish colour, 
and also hairy : the leaves on it are smaller than those 
from the root, but like them in shape, and they are 
in the same manner very hairy. The flowers are 
not very large, but they are of a beautiful yellow, 
and they have the more singular aspect, as the plant 
has so much whiteness. The seeds are winged with 
a white down. 

The young leaves rising from the root, are the 
part used. They are of the same nature with those 
of coltsfoot, but they possess their virtues in a much 
greater degree. In many other parts of Europe, 
where the plant is more common, it is a constant 
medicine in diseases of the lungs, in coughs, asth- 
mas, and the first stages of consumptions ; it is 
best given in form of a strong infusion ; and I have 
known it tried here with more success than could be 
expected from so simple a remedy, in cases of such 
consequence. It is scarce wild, but it is easily pro- 
pagated in gardens. Let but one plant of it ripen 
its seeds and leave them to the chance of the winds, 
and the garden, the walls, and the neighbouring 
places will never be without a sufficient supply of it, 
for all purposes. 

M 


' ■ Mace. Mads. 

The spice we call mace, is the covering of the 
stone or kernel of a fruit, within which is the nut- 
meg. The tree will therefore more naturally h® 


gos 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


described under the article nutmeg ; but it may bs 
proper to say here, that the fruit of it is large, and 
roundish, and has somewhat the a ppearance of a peach* 
being of nearly its bigness ; the outer part is more 
like the green rind of a walnut, than the flesh of a 
peach : within is the nutmeg contained in a hard 
shell, and on the outside of that shell, is laid the mace, 
in a kind of thin, divided, yellowish leaves. It is of 
a soft and unctuous nature, and very fragrant ; more 
so than the nutmeg itself. 

O ^ 

Mace is a noble spice, it warms and strengthens 
the stomach, and is good against pains in the head, 
arising from faults there : it is also good against colics ; 
and even outwardly applied will take effect. The 
mace bruised may be used for this purpose, or its oil 
by expression. 

Madder. Rubia tine tor urn, 

A rough and unhandsome plant, cultivated for 
the sake of its root, which is used by the dyers, 
and also in medicine. It is a foot and a half high. 
The stalk is square and weak. The leaves stand 
six or eight at every joint, disposed star-fash on ed, 
and they are of a dusky green colour, and very 
rough, they feel almost prickly. The flowers are 
little and yellow ; and they grow from the bosoms of 
the leaves. The root is long, slender, and of a red 
colour. 

A decoction of the fresh roots of madder, works 
gently by urine, but it very powerfully opens obstruc- 
tions of the liver and spleen. It is very good against 
the gravel and jaundice. 

True Maidenhair. Adiantum verum. 

A very beautiful plant of the fern kind, but 


20t 


FAMILY HERBAL,' 

exceeding the ordinary ferns very much in delicacy. 
The stalks are small, blacky and glossy ; each divided 
toward the top, into a great many branches, and on 
these stand the smaller leaves, which make up the 
complete one, or the whole plant ; (for in this, 
as in the fern, every leaf is an entire plant ; these 
are short, blunt, rounded, and notched very beauti- 
fully and regularly at the edges, and they are of a 
pale green colour. The seeds are fixed to the edges 
of the under side of the leaves, in form of a brown 
powder. The whole plant is used : our druggists 
have it from France. 

A decoction of the fresh plant, is gently diuretic, 
and opens obstructions, especially of the lungs ; 
but as we cannot easily have it fresh, and it loses 
a great deal of the virtue in drying, the best ex- 
pedient is to use the fine syrup of cap el! a ire, which 
is made of an infusion of the plant, when in its per- 
fection, with fine Narbonne honey. We suppose 
this a trifle, but barley water sweetened with it, 
is one of the best known remedies for a violent 
cough. 

English Maidenhair. Trkfiomanes. 

A very pretty little plant, of kin to the true 
maidenhair, and frequently used in its place ; hut 
this is very wrong, for its virtues are no greater, 
and it is unpleasant. It grows eight inches, and 
each leaf, as in the rest of the fern kind, is an entire 
plant. This leaf consists of a vast number of 
small ones, set on each side a middle rib, and they 
are very short and obtuse, of a roundish, but some- 
what oblong figure. The stalk is slender, black, 
and shining, and the little leaves are of a bright 
• and strong green colour. The seeds are lodged as 

e e 

V 


no FAMILY HERBAL, 

in the rest, in form of a brown dust, on the under part 
of these leaves. 

The plant grows frequently on the sides of old 
wells and on damp walls, and it is used entire. A 
syrup, made from an infusion of it, is the best shift 
we could make for the true French capellaire ; but 
that is so easy to be had, that no such shift is neces- 
sary ; an infusion of the dry plant may also be 
used. 


White Maidenhair. Adianium album. 

A very little plant of the fern kind, and of 
the nature of the two others just described. Some 
will be surprised at the calling it a very little plant, 
having seen leaves a foot long, sold in Co vent Gar- 
den, under that name ; but this is an imposition : 
they sell a. kind of water fern under this name. 
The real white maidenhair, is not above two inches 
high. The stalks are very slender, and of a whitish 
green, not black as in the others. The leaves 
are divided into a great many small parts, and at 
first sight they have some resemblance of the leaves 
of rue. The seeds are contained in brown lumps, 
behind the leaves, covering the greatest part of tiie 
surface. 

This is not uncommon in old walls : it has the 
same virtues with the others against coughs, and a de- 
coction of it is also strongly diuretic, and good against 
the gravel/ and all stoppages of urine. 

Black Maidenhair. Adlantum nigrum. 

Another of the small plants of the fern kind, 
and more of the shape and form of the common 
ferns, than any yet described. It is like the com- 


FAMILY HERBAL, 211 

mon fern of the divided kind, only very small. It 
grows to eight or ten inches high. The stalks 
are thick, black, and glossy. The leaves are very 
beautifully divided into a great many parts : these 
are short, of a dark shining green, and deeply notch- 
ed at the edges, and they terminate in a sharp point, 
not blunt as some of those already mentioned. The 
seeds lie on the edges of the under part of the leaves, 
in form of a brown dust. It is not uncommon by 
wood sides, and in shady lanes, 

A decoction of it works powerfully by urine, and 
it has the same virtue with the rest in the cure of 
coughs . 

Of these four, for they possess the same virtues, 
the preference is given to the first described, or 
true kind ; next to the English maidenhair ; and 
in defect of both these, to the black kind. The 
white maidenhair is preferred to any against the 
gravel, and in suppression of urine ; but for the com- 
mon use in coughs and hoarsenesses, it is the least 
esteemed of all. 

There is another plant, called by the name of maid- 
enhair, which is yet to be described, it makes one of 
what are commonly called the five capellary herbs, 
but it is so distinct from the others, that it is best 
kept separate. They are all kinds of fern : this is a 
sort of moss. 

Golden Maidenhair. Adiantum aureum . 

A little upright plant, but considered as a 
moss, one of the largest of the kind. It grows 
four or five inches high, when in perfection. The 
lower part of the stalk is covered for an inch or 
more, with thick, short, narrow leaves, sharp at 
the point, and of a dusky green colour : these stand 
in such clusters, that they quite hide the stalk ; from 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


212 

the top of these rise the pedicles., supporting the 
heads ; they are naked three or four inches high, 
slender, and of a brownish, reddish, or blackish 
colour : the head of the summit of these is single, 

x . . o 

square, and is covered with a woolly cap, of the 
figure of an extinguisher, which falls off when the 
head is Entirely ripe : this head is full of a fine 
dust. 

The plant is frequent in boggy places, and is to 
be used intire. Some talk of its being g'ood in coughs, 
but the more frequent use of it is externally, they boil 
it in water, and wash the head with it, to make the 
hair grow thick. 

Common Mallow. p Malva . 

t ' 

S 

A wild plant, every where about our hedges, 
fields, and gardens. It is one among many in- 
stances, that God has made the most useful plants, 
the most common. The mallow grows three or 
four feet high. The stalk is round, thick and 
strong. The leaves are roundish, but indented 
and divided at the edges. The flowers are nu- 
merous, large, and red. The root is long and white, 
of a firm, tough substance, and not disagreeable 
taste. 

The whole plant is used, but the root has most 
virtue. The leaves dried, or fresh, are put in de-- 
coctions for glisters ; and the root may be dried, 
for it retains a great deal of virtue, but it is best 
fresh, and should be chosen when there are only 
leaves growing from it, not a stalk. It is to be 
boiled in water, and the decoction may be made 
very strong, for there is nothing disagreeable in the 
taste : it is to be drank in quantities, and is ex- 
cellent to promote urine, and to take off the 
strangury. It is good also in the same manner,, 


FAMILY HERBAL, ' 213 

against sharp humours in the bowels, and for the 

e is a little kind of mallow, that has whitish 
flowers, and lies flat upon the ground. Tins is of a, 
more pleasant taste than the common mallow, and has 
the same virtues. A tea made of the roots and tops 
of this, is very agreeable to the taste, and is excellent 
for promoting the discharges by urine. 

Marsh Mallow. Althaea. 

A tall wild plant, of the mallow kind, fre- 
quent with us about salt marshes, and the sides of 
rivers where the tides come. It stows to four feet 

O 

in height. The stalk is round, upright, thick, and 
somewhat hairy. The leaves are large, broad at the 
base, small at the point, of a figure approaching to 
triangular, and indented round the edges : they are 
of a whitish green colour, and soft to the touch 
like velvet. The flowers are large and white, with 
sometimes a faint blush of reddish. They are of 
the same size and shape with those of the common 
mallow. 

The root is most used. It is white, long, and 
thick, of an insipid taste, and full of a mucilaginous 
juice. Boiled in water,, and the decoction made 
strong, it is excellent to promote urine, and bring 
away gravel, and small stones ; it also cures stran- 
guries, and is good in coughs. Its virtues are the 
same with those of the common mallow, but in a 
greater degree. 

Vervain Mallow. Alcea * 

A very beautiful plant, both in its flower and 
manner of growth ; common in pastures, and worthy 
to be cherished in our gardens. It grows two feat 


gravel 

Tin 


FAMILY HERBAL 


214 

high. The stalks are round, moderately thick, a 
little hairy, and very upright. The lower leaves are 
rounded, and divided slightly at the edges : those on 
the stalk are cut into very small parts, and in a very 
beautiful manner. The flowers are of a very bright 
red, and are three times as large as those of the com- 
mon mallow, and very beautiful. The seeds are dis- 
posed in the same circular manner, as in the common 
mallow. The root is white. 

The root is the part used. It has the same virtue 
with that of the common mallow, but in a less degree. 
The leaves also have the same virtue^ and are very 
pleasant taken in tea, 

Musk Mallow. Bamia Moschata. 

A plant, not unlike the vervain mallow in 
its aspect, but a native only of the hotter countries. 
It is two feet high. The stalk is single, round, 
thick, hairy, and upright. The lower leaves are 
roundish, only indented a little at the edges ; the 
upper ones are divided into five parts, pretty deep- 
ly. The flowers are of the shape of those of the 
common mallow, and are large, hut their colour is yel- 
low. The seed is contained in a long husk, or case, 
and is of a kidney-like shape, and of a sweet perfumed 
smell. 

The seed is the only part used, and that very 
rarely. It is said to be good against the head-ach, but 
we seldom meet with it fresh enough to have any 
virtue. 


Mandrake. Mandr agora. 

A plant, about which there have been a mul- 
titude of errors, but in which, there is, in reality, 
nothing so singular as pretended. There are pro- 



perly speaking, two kinds of mandrake ; the one 
with round fruit, and broad leaves, called the male ; 
the other with oblong fruit, and narrower leaves, 
called the female : their virtues are the same, but the 
male is generally preferred. They are natives ot 
Italy, where they grow in woods, and on the banks of 
rivers : we keep them in gardens ; but they grow 
there as freely as if native. 

The mandrake has no stalk. The leaves rise im- 
mediately from the root, and they are very large : 
they are a foot long, four inches broad in the mid- 
dle, and of a dusky green colour, and bad smell. 
The flowers stand upon foot stalks, of four inches 
high, slender, and hairy, and rising immediately 
from the root : these flowers are large, of a dingy 
purplish colour, and of a very had smell. The 
fruit which follows, is of the bigness and shape 
of a small apple, or like a small pear, according 
to the male or female kind : this is yellow when 
ripe, and is also of a very bad smell. The root 
is long and thick ; it is largest at the head, and 
smaller all the way down ; sometimes it is divided 
into two parts, from the middle downwards, if a 
stone have lain in the way, or any other accident 
occasioned it ; but usually it is single. This is 
the root which is pictured to be like the human 
form : it is when single, no more like a man than 
a carrot or a parsnip is, and when by some accident 
it is divided, 'tis no more like, than any long 
root, which happens to have met the same acci- 
dent. Those roots which are shewn about for 
money and have the head, limbs, and figure, of 
a human form, are made so by art, and they sel- 
dom use the real mandrake root for that purpose : 
they are often made of white briony root, some- 
times of angelica. The people cut them into 
this shape, and put them into the ground again. 


215 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


< 

where they will be sometimes in part covered with 
a new bark, and so look natural. All the story 
that they shriek, when they are pulled up, and 
they use a dog to draw them out of the ground, 
because it is fatal to any person to do it, and 
the like, are idle, false, and groundless ; calculated 
only to surprise ignorant people, and get money 
by the shew : there is nothing singular in the root 
of the mandrake ; and as to the terms male and female, 
the two kinds would be better distinguished, by call- 
ing the one, the broader leaved mandrake, with round 
fruit, and the other, the narrower leaved mandrake, 
with oval fruit. There are plants which are se- 
parately male and female, as hemp, spinach, the date 
tree, and the like : but there is nothing of this dis- 
tinction in the mandrakes. 

The fresh root of mandrake, is a violent me- 
dicine ; it operates both by vomit and stool, and few 
constitutions are able to bear it. The bark of the 
root dried works by vomit alone, but very roughly. 
The fruit may be eaten, but it has a sleepy quality, 
though not strong. The leaves are used in fomenta- 
tions and pultices, to allay pains in swellings, and they 
do very well. 

Most of the idle stories concerning the man- 
drake, have taken their origin from its being named 
in scripture. And from the account there given 
of it, some have imagined, it would make women 
fruitful ; but this plant does not seem to be the 
thing intended by the word, nor has it any such 
virtues. What the vegetable is, which is named in 
the scripture, and translated mandrake, we do not 
know. / 

Sweet Marjoram. Major ana. 

A common garden plant, of no. great beauty. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 217 

but kept for the sake of its virtues and use. It is 
a foot high. The stalks are firm, upright, and a 
little hairy. The leaves are broad, short, and some- 
what hairy, of a pale green colour, and not indented 
at the edges, and of a fine smell. At the tops of the 
branches, stand a kind of soft scaly heads, three 
quarters of an inch long, and from these grow the 
flowers, which are small and white. The seeds are 
very small ; and the root is fibrous. The whole plant 
has a fine smell. 

The whole plant is to be used fresh ; and it is 
best taken by way of infusion. It is good against the 
head ach, and dizziness, and all the inferior order of 
nervous complaints ; but they talk idly who call it a 
remedy for apoplexies. It gently promotes the menses, 
and opens all obstructions. The dried herb may be 
given for the same purpose in powder, but it does not 
succeed so well. 

Wild Marjoram. Origanum , 

A wild plant, frequent about way -sides, in 
many places, but superior to the other in beauty 
and in virtues. It very well deserves a place, on 
both accounts, in our gardens. It grows a foot 
and a half high. The stalk is firm, very upright, 
a little hairy, and of a purplish brown colour, ex- 
tremely regular in its growth. The leaves are broad 
and short, of the bigness of one’s thumb-nail, and of 
a dark green colour ; two stand at every joint, and 
they have long foot stalks. The flowers grow on 
the tops of the branches : there stand on these long 
scaly heads, of a beautiful form, and purple colour ; 
from different parts of those, arise the flowers, 
which are little, but of a beautiful red colour. The 
whole plant has a fragrant smell, and an aromatic taste. 

The fresh tops of the herb are to be used. They 

Ff 


218 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


are best taken in infusion : they strengthen the sto* 
roach, and are good against habitual colics : they are 
also good in head-achs, and in all nervous complaints ; 
and they open obstructions, and are good in the 
jaundice, and to promote the menses. Chy mists sell 
what they call oil of origanum, but its commonly 
an oil made from garden thyme, it is very acrid : 
a drop of it put upon lint, and laid to an aching tooth, 
often gives ease. 

{JCretic Major am. Origanum cretkum. 

A beautiful plant, of the wild marjoram kind, fre- 
quent wild in the east, and kept in our gardens. 

It grows a foot high. The stalks are square, upright, 
and brown. The leaves are oblong and broad : they 
are of a whitish colour, and stand on long foot stalks : 
there grow scaly heads at the tops of the branches, as 
in the other kinds, and from these burst out the flowers, 
which are little and white. 

The tops are the part used : our druggists keep 
them dry ; but they generally have lost so much 
of their virtue, that the fresh tops of our own wild 
majoram, or the dried ones of the last season, ar« 
better. 

i J 

Marigold. Calendula . 

A plant too common in our kitchen gardens, to 
need much description. It is a foot high. The stalks 
are thick, angulated, and not very upright. The 
leaves are long, narrow at the base, and broader to- 
ward the end. The flowers are large and yellow, and 
they stand at the tops of the branches. The whole 
plant is of a pale bluish green colour, and feels 
clammy. The root is fibrous, 
v A tea made of the fresh gathered flowers of 


FAMILY HERBAL, 



marigold, picked from the cups, is good in fevers : it 
gently promotes perspiration, and throws out any thing 
that ought to appear on the skin. 

Mastic Tree. Lentiscus . 

A native of the warmer countries, but not un- 
common in our gardens. It grows to the bigness 
of our apple trees, and is as irregular in the dispo- 
sition of its branches. They are covered with a 
greyish bark, and are brittle. The leaves are com- 
posed, each of about four pairs of small ones, with- 
out any odd leaf at the end : they are affixed to a 
kind of rib or pedicle, which has a film running 
down it, on each side. They are oblong, narrow, 
and pointed at the ends. The flowers are little, and 
yellowish ; and they grow in tufts. The fruit is a 
bluish berry. 

We use the resin which drops from the wounded 
branches of this tree. The tree itself is common 
in France and Italy, but it yields no resin there ; we 
have that from Greece : It is whitish, hard, and in 
little lumps. It is good for all nervous disorders, 
and acts also as a balsam. There is scarce any 
thing better for a spitting of blood, or in the first 
stage of a consumption : it is also good against the 
whites, and in the gleets after gonorrhoeas. Some 
have a custom of chewing it, to preserve the teeth 
and sweeten the breath. 

Herb Mastic. Marum . 

A pretty little plant, native only of the warmer 
climates, but common in our gardens. It is a 
foot high, and the stem and principal branches 
are shrubby or woody in their texture : the small- 
er shoots are whitish The leaves grow two at 


220 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


* 


each joint ; they are little, oblong, and pointed ; 
of a pale colour, and fragrant smell like mastic, 
resinous, and very agreeable. At the tops of the 
stalks, stand a kind of downy, or hairy spikes or 
ears, of a peculiarly odd appearance, and from out of 
these come the flowers, which are little and white 
The root is small. 

The whole plant is used dry. It may be given 
in infusion, or in powder : it is a good strengchener 
of the stomach, and an astringent. It stops the over- 
flowing of the menses : the powder of the tops is best 
given for this purpose in red wine, a scruple for a 
dose. 

Syrian Mastic Thyme. Marum Syriac um 

A beautiful little plant, native of the warm 
countries, but not unfrequent in our gardens. It 
grows a foot high. The stalks are brittle, slender, 
and whitish. The leaves stand two at each joint : 
they are small, in shape very like those of thyme, 
and of a pale green colour on the upper side, 
and white and hoary underneath. The flowers 
are small and red : they grow in a kind of little 
spikes, or oblong clusters at the tops of the stalks, 
and have hoary white cups. The whole plant has a 
very penetrating, but pleasant smell, and an aromatic 
taste. Cats are fond of this plant, and will rub 
it to pieces in their fondness. It is good for all 
disorders of the head and nerves': it may be given 
in powder, but the most common way is to take it in 
snuff. 

M a steryv out . Imp critoria . 

A plant of no beauty, kept in our gardens 
for its virtue. It grows two feet high. The stalks 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


m 


are round, striated, hollowed, upright, not very 
strong. The leaves are each composed of three 
smaller : they are of a dark green colour, blunt at 
the points, and indented about the edges. The flow- 
ers are small and white : they stand in little umbels 
at the tops of the branches. The roots are long, 
brown, divided, of a strong smell, and a sharp aromatic 
taste. 

The root is the part used : it is good in fevers, dis- 
orders of the head, and of the stomach and bowels. 
It is best taken up fresh, and given in a light infu- 
sion : it promotes sweat, and is a better medicine for 
that purpose, than most of the foreign roots kept by 
druggists. 

Maudlin. Ageratum. 

A common plant in our gardens, not without 
beauty, but kept more for its virtues. It is a foot 
high. The stalk is round, upright, firm, single, 
and of a pale green. The leaves are very numer- 
ous, and they are longish, narrow, and serrated 
about the edges. The flowers are small and naked, 
consisting only of a kind of thrums ; but they 
stand in a large cluster together, at the top of the 
stalk, in the manner of an umbel. The whole plant 
has a pleasant smell. 

The whole is used, fresh or dried ; but it is best 
fresh gathered. An infusion of it taken for a continu- 
ance of time, is good against obstructions of the liver ; 
it operates by urine. 

Stinking Mayweed. Cotula fcetida . 

A common wild plant jn corn fields, and waste 
grounds, with finely divided leaves and white 
flowers like daizies. The stalk is round and strja- 


223 FAMILY HERBAL.. 

✓ 

ted. The herb grows a foot high. The leaves are 
like those of camomile., only of a blacker green, and 
larger. The bowers stand ten or a dozen near one 
another, at the tops of the branches ; but they grow 
separate, not in a cluster. The whole plant has a 
strong smell. 

The infusion of the fresh plant is good in all 
hysteric complaints, and it promotes the menses. 
The herb boiled soft, is an excellent pultice for the 
piles. 

Meadow Sweet, Ulmaria . 

A wild plant, frequent about the sides of rivers, 
with divided leaves, and beautiful tufts of white 
flowers. It is four feet high. The stalk is round, 
striated, upright, firm, and V)f a pale green, or some- 
times of a purple colour. The leaves are each com- 
posed of about three pair of smaller, set on a thick 
fib, with an odd leaf at the end : they are of a fine 
green on the upper side, and whitish underneath, 
and they are rough to the touch. The flowers are 
small and white, but they stand so close, that the whole 
cluster looks like one large flower. The seeds are 
set in a twisted order. 

An infusion of the fresh tops of meadow sweet. 
Is an excellent sweat, and it is a little astringent. 
It is a good medicine in fevers, attended with purg- 
ings. It is to be driven in a bason once in two 
hours. 


Mechoacan Plant. Meckoacana . 

A climbing plant, native of the West Indies. 
It is capable of running to a great height, when 
it can be supported : it will climb to the tops 
of all trees. The stalks are angulated, slender. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


223 

green, and brittle ; and when broken, they yield a 
vast quantity of an acrid, milky juice. The leaves 
stand singly ; they are broad, and not very long, 
and of a beautiful shape, terminating in a point. 
The flowers are large, and of the shape of a bell : 
they are of a deep purple on the inside, and of a 
pale red without ; and the seed-vessels are large, 
as are also the seeds. The root is whitish, and very 
thick. 

The root is the part used : our druggists keep it 
dry. It is in slices, and is whitish and brittle. 
It is an excellent purge, but there requires a large 
dose to work tolerably ; this has occasioned its being 
much less used than worse medicines, that operate 
more strongly, and can be taken with less disgust : 
but it is to be lamented, that so little use is made 
of it. 

Medlar Tree. Mespilus. 

A common tree in our gardens. It is of the big- 
ness of an apple tree, and grows in the same irregular 
manner : the branches have thorns on them. The 
leaves are longer and narrower than in the apple 
tree, and they terminate in a point. The blossoms 
are large and white. The fruit is roundish, and 
open at the bottom : and till very much mellowed, is 
of an austere taste. 

A strong decoction of unripe medlars, is good 
to stop violent purgings. The seeds work by urine, 
and are good against the gravel ; but there are so 
many more powerful things at hand, they are seldom 
used. 


Melilgt. Melilotus . 

A common wild plant, with three leaves at 


224 FAMILY HERBAL. 

a joint, and long straggling spikes of yellow flow* 
ers. It is a foot and a half high, or more. The 
stalk is weak, slender, green, and striated. The 
leaves are oblong, and blunt at the ends : they 
are serrated round the edges, and of a bright green 
colour. The flowers are small, and of the shape 
of the flowers of tares, but little ; and there follows 
each a roundish pod, rough and green. The whole 
plant has a singular, but not disagreeable smell ; and 
the leaves are the food of so many insects, that they 
are commonly gnawn to pieces. 

The fresh plant is excellent to mix in pultices, to be 
applied to swellings. It was once famous in a plaister, 
used for dressing of blisters, but the apothecaries used 
to play so many bad tricks, to imitate the green colour 
it was expected to give, that the plaister is now made 
without it. 

\ 

Melon. Melo . 

A training herb, with yellow flowers, and large 
fruit ; well known at our tables. The plant grows 
to eight or ten feet long, but is not erect. The stalks 
are angulated, thick, and of a pale green. The 
leaves are large and broad, somewhat roundish, and 
not deeply divided, as in most of the creeping plants 
of this sort. There are tendrils on the stalk for its 
laying hold of any thing. The flowers are very 
large, and open at the mouth. The fruit is oblong 
and rough, more or less on the surface, containing 
seeds, with a juicy matter within. 

The seeds are the part used : they are cooling, and 
■work by urine. They are best given in an emulsion, 
beat up with barley water : this is a good drink in 
fevers given warm. 


f Mezereon Shrub. Mecercum. 

A very pretty shrub, native of many parts of 
Europe, and frequent in our gardens. It is four 
feet high, and very much branched. The branches 
Stand irregularly, and they are very tough and firm. 
The leaves are oblong and narrow : they grow in 
clusters from certain little swellings on the bark. 
The flowers are small and red ; they are hollow, and 
are succeeded by oblong berries, which are black 
when ripe. The root is woody and creeping ; and 
the plant is not easily destroyed, when once well 
established. 

The bark of the root, or the inner bark of the 
branches is to be used ; but it is a violent medicine, 
and must be given with great caution, in small 
doses, and only to those who have strong constitu- 
tions. It wall cause vomiting, and bloody stools 
to people that are tender, or to any, in a large dose ; 
but to robust people, it only acts as a brisk purge. 
It is excellent in dropsies, and other stubborn dis- 
orders ; and the best way of giving it, is in a light 
infusion. 

Millet, Milllum . 

A plant of the grass kind, large, upright, and 
not without its beauty. It is four feet high. The 
stalk is round, hollow, jointed, thick, and firm. The 
leaves are long and broad, of a pale green, and hairy. 
The flowers and seeds grow at the "top of the stalk, 
in a vast cluster, so heavy that the head usually hangs 
down : they are altogether of the grass kind. The 
flowers are inconsiderable, and the seeds small, hard, 
and white. 

The seeds are used sometimes in the manner of 
Parley to make a drink, which is good in fevers, 


226 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


and against heat of urine ; it is also a little astringent 
The grain is eaten also as barley. 

Milkwort, P o Ij/ga la. 

A common little plant upon our heaths, and 
in dry pastures, with numerous leaves and blue or 
white flowers, (for this is a variety and caused by 
accidents,) disposed in loose spikes. The root is 
long-, and divided into several parts, the stalks are 
very numerous, and very much branched, they are 
slender and weak, and they spread themselves upon 
the ground, forming a little green tuft. There is 
great variety in the appearance of the plant, beside 
what has been already named in the colour of the 
flower ; nor is that indeed the only variation there : 
so that it has been divided into two or three kinds 
by some writers, but as all these will rise from the 
same seed, and only are owing to the soil and 
exposure, the plant is without doubt the same in 
every appearance, and its virtues are the same 
in which ever state it is taken. When it grows 
in barren places, the stalks are not more than three 
or four inches in length, and the leaves are very 
numerous, short, and of an oval figure. The flow- 
ers are in this case small and blue, sometimes 
whitish, striated with blue, and sometimes in- 
tirely white. When the plant grows in some* 
what more favourable soil, the leaves are oblong, 
find narrow, pointed at the ends, and of a beautiful 
green, the stalks are five or six inches long, and 
the flowers in this case are commonly blue, and 
this is the most ordinary state of the plant. When 
it grows in very favourable places, as upon the 
damp side of a hill, where there are springs, and 
among the tall grass, then its leaves are longer, its 
stalks more robust and more upright, and its -flowers 


FAMILY HERBAL 


are red. These are the several appearances of this 
little plant, and it is all one in which of them it 
is taken. The root is often of a considerable thick- 
ness, and single, but it is more usually divided and 
smaller ; it is whitish, and of a disagreeable acrid 
taste. 

This plant had passed unregarded as to any 
medicinal use, till Dr. Tennant brought into Eng- 
land the senekka root, famous in America against 
the effects of the bite of the rattle-snake, and found 
here to be of service in pleurisies : but when it was 
found, that this was the root of a kind of milk- 
wort, not very different from our own, we tried 
the roots of our own kind, and found them effectual 
in the same cases : as to the poisonous bites of a 
serpent, they are so uncommon here, that we need 
not regard that part of the qualities, but we find it 
good in the other disorder, and in all diseases in 
which the blood is thick and sizy. The fresh root 
is best, but it has not its full virtue except in spring, 
when the stalks are just shooting out of the ground, 
for this reason it is most proper to take it up at that 
time, and dry it for the service of the year. When 
fresh, it is best given in infusion : but when dried, it 
is kept in pow r der. 

Speak Mint, Mentha vulgaris. 

A common plant in our gardens, and of frequent 
use in the kitchen. It is two feet high, the stalks are 
square, single, upright, firm, and of a pale green. 
The leaves stand two at a joint ; they are long, 
narrow, of a blackish green, serrated at the edges, 
and sharp-pointed. The flowers are small and pur- 
ple ; they stand in long spikes, in a beautiful manner. 
The whole plant has a fragrant smell, and a pleasant 
aromatic taste. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


228 

The whole plant is used, fresh or dried, and is 
excellent against disorders of the stomach. It 
will sfop vomiting, and create an appetite ; it is 
best given in the simple distilled water, well made, 
or else in the form of tea. The fresh herb bruised, 
and applied outwardly to the stomach, will stop 
vomitings. 

Water Mint. Miniha aquatica. 

A common wild plant of the mint kind, not 
so much regarded as it deserves. It is frequent 
by ditch sides, it is a foot and half high. The 
stalks are square, upright, firm, and strong, and 
generally of a brown colour ; the. leaves are broad 
and short ; they stand two at a joint, and are of a 
brownish or deep green colour, somewhat hairy, 
and serrated about the edges. The flowers are 
larger than those of common mint, and are of a 
pale red colour ; they stand in round thick clus- 
ters at the tops of the stalks, and round the up- 
per joints. The whole plant has a strong smell, 
not disagreeable, but of a. mixed kind between 
that of mint, and penny royal : and the taste is 
strong and acrid, but it is not to be called disagree- 
able. 

A distilled water of this plant is excellent against 
colics, pains in the stomach and bowels, and it will 
bring down the menses. A single dose of it often 
cures the colic. The use of peppermint has ex- 
cluded this kind from the present practice, but 
all three ought to be used. Where a simple weak- 
ness of the stomach is the complaint, the common 
mint should be used ; when colicy pains alone, 
the peppermint ; and where suppressions of the 
menses are in the case, this wild water mint : they 
may all be given in the way of tea, but a simply 


FAMILY HERBAL 


229 


water distilled from them, and made sufficiently strongs 
is by much the most efficacious. 

Peppermint. Mentha piperata. 

A plant kept in our gardens, but much more 
resembling the wild mint last described, than the 
spear mint, both in form and qualities. It grows 
two feet and a half high. The stalk is square and 
firm, upright, and of a pale green ; the leaves 
stand two at each joint : they are broad, not very 
long, of a dark green, and serrated deeply at the 
edges. The flowers grow in thick spikes, but 
not very long ones, they are large, and of a pale 
red. The whole plant has an agreeable quick 
smell, and a hot taste like pepper, but not dis- 
agreeable. 

The whole plant is used fresh or dried ; but the 
best way is to give the distilled water. It cures the 
colic, often almost instantaneously, and it is good 
against the gravel. 

Long Leaved Wild Mint. Menthvastriun , 

A singular wild plant, of the mint kind, 
but not without its beauty ; it is tw® feet high, 
and grows with great regularity. The stalk is 
square, firm, and of a pale green, very upright, 
and at the top full of young shoots. The leaves 
are long and narrow ; they are of a whitish green, 
deeply indented about the edges, and pointed at 
the ends : the flowers stand in spikes, at the tops 
of the young shoots ; they are pale, red, and large, 
and very numerous. The whole plant has a strong 
smell. 

I'he whole plant is used fresh or dried, and is 
to be given in the way of tea, for the distilled water 


i 


%30 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


is disagreeable. It strengthens the stomach, and 
promotes the menses. It is in this latter respect a 
very valuable medicine, but the use of it must be con- 
tinued some time. 

Myrtle. Myrtus 

A little shrub, very beautiful in its manner 
of growth, a native of Italy, but common in our 
gardens. The trunk is covered with a rough 
brown bark. The branches are numerous, slen- 
der, tough, and reddish. The leaves are very 
beautiful ; they are small, short, of a fine green, 
pointed at the ends, not serrated at the edges, and 
they stand in great numbers, and in a beautiful 
order upon the branches. The flowers stand on 
short foot stalks ; they are large, white, and full 
of threads : the fruit is a round black berry, as 
large as the biggest pea, and has a crown at the 
top. The leaves when bruised, have an extremely 
fragrant smell. The shrub will bear our climate 
better than is imagined ; there are, in some places, 
hedges of it five or six feet high, that stand the winters 
without the least hurt. 

The leaves and berries of the myrtle are used ; 
they are cordial and astringent. A strong infusion 
of the fresh leaves is good against a slight purging, 
strengthening the stomach at the same time that it .. 
removes the complaint. The dried leaves powdered, 
are excellent against the whites. The berries are 
good against bloody fluxes, overflowings of the 
menses, and in spitting of blood. 

Misletoe. Vis cus, 

A singular plant, native of our own country, 
but growing, not on the earth as other herbs, but 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


mi 


upon the branches of trees ; on which it makes a 
very conspicuous figure. It grows two feet high, 
and its branches are so numerous, and . spread in 
such a manner, that the whole plant is as broad as 
tall, and appears a round yellow tuft of that di- 
ameter, quite unlike to the tree on which it grows, 
in fruit, leaves and bark. The main stem is half 
an inch in diameter ; the branches divide always 
by twos and they easily break at the joints or 
divisions. The bark is throughout of a yellowish 
colour, though with some mixture of green on 
the young shoots ; the leaves are also yellowish ; 
they grow tw o at each joint : they are fleshy, oblong; 
narrowest at the bottom, and broader toward the top. 
The flowers are yellow, but they are small and in- 
considerable ; the fruit is a white berry, round, and 
of the bigness of a pea, this is full of a tough, clammy 
juice. 

The leaves of misletoe dried and powdered are 
a famous remedy for the falling sickness. They 
are good in all nervous disorders, and have been 
known to perform great cures taken for a continuance 
of time. 

Indian Myrobalan Tree. Myrob alarms 

Indie a. 


A tree native of the warmer climates, and not 
yet got into our gardens. It grows to twenty feet 
high. The branches are numerous, and very irre- 
gularly disposed. The leaves are long and narrow : 
the flowers are white, and like the blossoms of our 
plum trees ; and the fruit resembles a plum, oblong, 
and fleshy, with a long stone or kernel ; but the fruit 
is generally gathered before the stone hardens, so that 
it seems to have none. 

We used to have the fruit brought over, arid it 


family herbal 


332 

was given as a purge, but at present none regard 
it. There are also four others of the same kind, 
the names of which we see in books of mediciney 
but the fruits are not to be met with, nor is it 
much loss, for we have better things to answer 
their purposes. They were called the citrine, 
chebule, belleric, and emblec myrobalanus ; they are 
all used as purges, but common senna is worth 
them alL 


Moonwokt. Lunaria . 

A very singular, and very pretty plant, fre- 
quent in some parts of the kingdom, but in most 
very scarce. It grows six inches high ; and con- 
sists of the stalk, one leaf, and the flowers. The 
stalk is round, firm, and thick. It is naked to the 
middle, and there grows the leaf, which is composed 
as it were of several pairs of small ones, or rather 
is a whole and single leaf divided deeply, so as 
to resemble a number of smaller ; these are round- 
ed and hollowed, and thence came its name of 
moon wort ; from the base of this leaf, the stalk 
is continued up an inch or two, and then rise the clus- 
ters of flowers and seeds ; these are very small, and 
like dust, and of a brown colour. The leaves of moon- 
wort dried and given in powder, stop purgings, and 
the overflowing of the menses. The fresh plant 
bruised and laid to a cut, stops the bleeding, and heals 
it in a day or two. 

Hairy Tree Moss. Usnea. 

A very singular plant of the moss kind, fre- 
quent in our large forests, but rare elsewhere : 
it grows to the branches of old oaks and bushes, 
and hangs down from them in long strings. The 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


tufts of it are often a foot long, and in the w hole two 
or three inches thick ; they are composed of a grea: 
quantity of stalks and branches, the largest not 
bigger than a large packthread ; these are of a grey 
colour, and are composed of a soft bark, and a linn 
white fibre within : this bark is often cracked, and 
the fibres appear jointed ; the small fibres of the 
plant resemble hairs : on the larger grow, at certain 
seasons, little hollow brown bodies. These contain 
the seeds, but they are too minute to be distinguished 
singly. The whole plant is dry, and sapless as it 
grows, and has not the least appearance of leaves up- 
on it. 

The powder of this moss is an excellent astrin- 
gent ; it is to be dried in an oven, and heat in a mor- 
tar : the white fibres will remain, when the soft 
part has gone through the sieve ; they are of no 
use, the other has all the virtue. It is good against 
the whites, against overflowing of the menses, arid 
bloody fluxes, and against spitting of blood : it de- 
serves to be much more regarded than it is in the 
present practice. The dose is half a dram. 

Cup Moss. Aluseus pyxidaius. 

A common little plant on ditch banks, by 
wood sides, and in dry barren places. It consists 
of a thin coat of a leafy matter, spread upon the 
surface of the ground, and of a kind of a little cups 
rising from it. The leafy part is dry and without 
juice, divided into several portions, and these 
irregularly notched ; it is grey or greenish on the 
upper side, and whitish underneath. The cups 
are half an inch high. They have each a thick 
stem, and an open mouth, and rather resemble a 
clumsy drinking glass, than a cup. They are of 
a grey colour, often with some odd mixture of 

n \x 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


green, of a dusty surface ; sometimes they grow 
one from the edge of another, up to the third or fourth 
stage : they have also many other accidental varieties ; 
and sometimes they bear little brown lumps, which 
are supposed to contain the seeds. 

The whole plant is to be used ; it is to be taken 
fresh from the ground, shook dean, and boiled 
in water, till the decoction be very strong ; then 
there is to be added as much milk as there is of 
the licpior, and it is to be sweetened with honey. 
It is an excellent medicine for children’s coughs : 

O 

if is recommended particularly in that called the 

chin cough. * 

Common Ground Moss. Muscus terresiris vul- 
garis. 

A pretty, but very small plant. It creeps on 
the ground, or rises in tufts two or three inches 
high, according to the place. The stalks arc very 
slender, but they are thick, covered with leaves, 
and their branches are disposed in such a manner 
that they in some degree resemble tern. The leaves 
are very small, of a triangular shape, and of a bright 
green ; they stand loosely on the lower part of 
the stalks, but on the upper, they lie dose and cover 
them. It very rarely produces its seeds ; but 
when it does, there rise naked and very slender pedi- 
cles an inch long from the bosoms of the leaves, and 
at the top of each of these stands a little oblong head, 
of a brownish red colour, covered with a cap like 
an extinguisher in shape, and full of a fine green 
dust. 

1 he whole plant is used ; it is to be dried and 
now dered, and is given w ith success against overflovv- 
ngs of the menses, and all bleedings ; it is also good 
gainst the whites. 


FAMILY HERBAL 


j 


Moss of an Human Skull. 3 1 use us ex cranio 

humano. 


There is not any particular kind of moss that 
grows upon the human skulk nor does any moss by 
growing upon it acquire any particular virtues, 
whatever fanciful people may have imagined. In 
England, we commonly use the moss just described, 
when it happens to run over an human skull, 
that has been laid by accident, or has been laid 
on purpose in its way : in other places, they use 
the sort of white moss, that grows upon our old 
apple trees. Both these are in their own nature 
astringents, but they are as good if taken from trees, 
or off the ground, as if found upon these bones. 
They have been supposed* good against disorders of 
the head, when gathered b om the skull, but this is all 
fancy. 


Mother of ihyme. berpyllum. 

A common wild little plant, but very pretty, very 
fragrant, and of great virtues. It grows in little 
tufts by way sides, and on dry hillocks ; the stalks 
are round slender, reddish, and six or eight inches 
long, but they do not stand upright. The leaves are 
very small, and of an oval figure ; they grow two 
at each joint, and they are smooth, and of a bright 
green. The flowers are of a pale red, and stand in 
little tufts at the tops of the stalks, the whole plant 
has a very fragrant smell, and an aromatic and 
agreeable taste. 

It is a better medicine in nervous cases than 
most that are used ; the fresh plant or dried, may 
be drank as tea ; it is very agreeable to the taste, 
and by a Continuance, will cure the common nerv- 
ous disorders. The night mafe is a very trouble* 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


286 

some disease, and often puzzles the physician, but 
it will be perfectly cured by a tea made of this 
plant. 

Motherwort. Cardiac a. 

A tall, and not unhandsome wild plant. It 
grows wild about farm -yards and in dry places. It 
is a yard high ; the stalk is square, thick, upright, 
and iirrn. The leaves stand on long foot stalks, 
two at each joint. They are divided into three parts, 
the middle one being the longest, and are deeply in- 
dented at the edges ; of a dark green colour, and bad 
.smell.' The dowers are of a pale red : they grow 
in a kind of prickly cups, from the bosoms of the 
leaves, surrounding the stalks. The root creeps, and 
is whitish. 

The whole plant may be used dried, but the tops 
fresh cut are best ; they are to be given in a strong 
infusion or decoction. It is n’ood against hysteric 
complaints, and it promotes the menses. It is 
famous for curing the palpitation of the heart, when 
that arises from an hysteric cause : for there are pal- 
pitations, which nothing can cure. 

M ous e-e a r . Pilo sella. 

An exceeding pretty little plant, with whitish 
leaves, and large bright yellow dowers, frequent 
on our ditch banks. The leaves grow in little 
clusters, and are longish and broad, of a dark 
green on the upper side, but white underneath ; 
and so much of the under part is usually seen, 
that the whole looks whitish. The stalks trail 
upon the ground, and take root at every joint : 
the leaves have long hairs upon them. The stalks 
which support the dowers rise single. They are 








* 









\ 






\ 








FAMILY HERBAL. 


237 

hairy., they h&ve no leaves,, and each hears only one 
flower, this stands on the top, and is large, somewhat 
of the form of the dandelion flower, but of a beautiful 
pale yellow. 

The seeds are winged with down, and the stalks 
when broken yield a milky juice, but in no great 
quantity. The plant has scarce any smell, but an 
austere bitterish taste. 

A decoction of the fresh gathered herb is excellent 
against the bleeding of the piles : and the leaves 
boiled in milk, may be applied externally. It is good 
also in the overflowing of the menses, and in all other 
bleedings, and in the whites. 

Mugwort. Artemisia . 

A tall, and not unhandsome plant, frequent 
on ditch banks, having divided leaves, and flowers 
like those of wormwood. It is a yard high or 
more : the stalk is round, striated, often purplish, 
firm, upright, and branched. The leaves stand 
irregularly upon it ; they are large, and composed 
of a number of small parts, which are sharply in- 
dented and pointed. They are of a dusky green 
on the upper side and white underneath. The 
flow ers are little and brownish, they stand in small 
tufts all along the upper parts of the branches, but 
they stand upright, whereas those of wormwood hang 
down. They often have a tinge of purple before 
they are quite opened, which adds greatly to the 
beauty of the plant. 

The leaves of mugwort are to be used fresh or 
dried ; they are best given in infusion, and they are 
excellent to promote the menses, and against all the 
common hysteric complaints. 


238 FAMILY HERBAL. 

' .. t 

Mulberry Tree. Moms. 

A large and irregular growing tree, common 
in our gardens. The branches are numerous and 
spreading ; the leaves are very beautiful, large, 
broad, of a bright green, pointed at the end, and 
delicately serrated round the edges. The flowers 
are small, and inconsiderable : the fruit is suf- 
ficiently known ; it is large, oblong, juicy, and 
composed of a great number' of small granules : it is 
usually black when ripe. But there is a kind with 
white fruit. 

The bark of the root of the mulberry tree fresh 
taken olf and boiled in water, makes an excellent 
decoction against the jaundice ; it opens obstruc- 
tions of the liver, and works by urine. A very 
pleasant syrup is made from the juice of the ripe fruit, 
with twice the quantity of sugar. It is cooling, and 
is good for sore mouths, and to quench thirst in 
fevers. 


\Y kite Mullen. Kerb a scum album . 

A tall and stately wild plant, singular for 
its white leaves, and long spike of yellow flow- 
ers ; and frequent on our ditch banks, and on dry 
places. It grows six feet high ; the leaves rising 
from the root, are a foot long, as broad as ones 
band/ sharp-pointed, serrated about the edges, and 
covered with a white downy or woolly matter. The 
stalk is thick, firm, and very upright, and is cover- 
ed with smaller leaves of the same kind : the flow- 
ers are yellow and large : they stand in spikes, of 
two feet long, three or four only opening at a time ; 
the seeds are small and brown, the root is long and 
shaggy. 

The leaves are used, jmd those are best which 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


239 


grow from the root,, when there is no stalk. They 
are to he given in decoction against the overflowings 
of the menses, the bloody flux, the bleeding of the piles, 
and spitting of blood ; boiled in milk, they are also 
excellent by way of pultice to the piles, and other 
painful swellings. 

Mustard. Sinapi. 

A common rough looking plant, wild in many 
places, but kept also in gardens, for the sake of the 
seed, it grows a yard high. The stalk is round, 
smooth, thick, and of a pale green ; the leaves are 
large, and of a coarse green, deeply indented, and 
placed irregularly ; they hang down, and have a 
disagreeable aspect. The flowers are small and yel- 
low ; they grow in great numbers on the tops of the 
branches, and the pods oft he seed follow them. The 
whole plant is of an acrid pungent taste. The root 
is white. 

The seeds are the part used ; what we call urns- 
tard is made of them, and it is very wholesome ; it 
strengthens the stomach, and procures an appetite 
The seed bruised and taken in large Quantities, works 
by urine, and is excellent against rheumatisms, and 
the scurvy. It also promotes the. menses. Laid 
upon the tongue it will sometimes restore speech in 
alsies, 

\tiit 

Treacle Mustard. Thlaspi discordis . 

** little wild plant with broad leaves, white 
flowers, and flat pods, common in dry places. It 
is eight inches high ; the stalk is round and stri- 
ated. The leaves are oblong, and broad, of a 
pale green colour, and deatated round the' edges. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


%iO 

They grow irregularly on the stalks, and have no 
foot stalks. The flowers are very small, a little 
tuft of them stands at the top of the stalk, and the 
pods follow them ; so that the usual appearance, 
when the plant is in flower, is a short spike of the 
pods, with a little cluster of flowers on the top ; the 
pods are large, flat, roundish, and edged with a leafy 
border. The seeds are small, brown, and of a hot 
taste. The seed is the part used ; but our druggists 
generally sell the seeds of the garden cress, in the 
place of it. It is not much regarded. 

Mitiiridate Mustard. Thlaspi incano folio . 

A little wild plant, common in corn-fields, 
it is of a foot high ; the stalks are round, firm, 
upright, and not much branched ; the leaves are 
long, narrow, a little hairy, and of a dusky green. 
The flowers are small and white, and the pods 
which follow them are roundish and little, not flatted 
as in the former kind, nor surrounded with a fo- 
liaceous edge. The leaves grow very thick upon the 
stalk, and each has as it were a couple of little ones at 
the nase. 

The seed of this is used also, at least in name, 
for tne cress seed serves for both : the matter is not 
great, for they seem to have the same virtues, and 
neither is minded, except as ingredients in com- 
positions. 

Myrrh Tree. Myvrha . 

A tree concerning which we have but very 
imperfect accounts, and those not well warranted 
for genuine. All that we hear of it is, that the 
branches are numerous, and have thorns on them 3 


FAMILY HERBAL. 241, 

that the leaves are oblong, broad, and of a strong 
smell, and that the hark of the trunk is rough, and of 
a greyish colour. 

The gum resin called myrrh, is certainly pro- 
cured from some tree in the hot countries, but 
whether this be a true description of that tree, there 
is no certainty. The gum itself is a very great medi- 
cine ; it opens all obstructions of the viscera ; is 
good in consumptions, jaundices, and dropsies ; and 
is excellent for promoting the menses, and assisting 
in the natural and necessary discharges after delivery : 
it is to be given in powder ; the tincture dissolves ijt 
but imperfectly ; but this is excellent against disorders 
of the teeth and gums. 

N 

Sweet Nayey, Napus . 

A plant kept in some gardens, and not unlike 
the common turnip in its aspect and appearance. 
It grows a yard high, The stalk is round, smooth, 
and of a pale green. The leaves stand irregularly 
on it, and they are oblong*, broad at the base, where 
they surround the stalk, and narrower all the way 
to the point. The leaves, which grow from the 
root, are much larger and deeply cut in at the 
iides ; and they are all of a pale or bluish green 
colour. The flowers are small and yellow, and 
the pods are long. The seed is round and black. 
The root is white and large, and has the taste, but 
not the round shape of the turnip, for it is rather 
like a parsnip. 

The seeds are used, but not much. A decoc- 
tion of them is said to promote sweat, and to. drive 
any thing out to the skin ; but it does not seem to 4&* 
serve any great regard. 


m Fx\MILY HERBAL. 

Wild Navew. Bunias 

The plant which produces what we call rape* 
seed,, and in some places cole-seed. Though wild 
on our ditch hanks ; it sovvn in some places for 
the sake of its seed, from which an oil is made for 
mechanical purposes. The plant is two or three 
feet high ; the stalk is round, upright, smooth, 
thick, firm, and of a pale green, • the lower leaves 
are long and narrow, very deeply divided at the 
edges, and of a pale or bluish green colour. Those 
on the stalk are of the same colour, but small, 
narrow, and a little divided : the flowers are small, 
and of a bright yellow. The pods are long, and 
the seeds are round, large, and black ; they are of 
a somewhat hot and sharp taste. The seeds are used 
for the same purposes as the other, and are supposed 
to have more virtue, but probably neither have 
much. 

Colic Nard. Nardus celt lea. 

A little plant of the valerian kind, frequent 
in many parts of Europe, but not a native of Eng* 
land. It is six or eight inches in height ; the stalks 
are round, striated, and greenish : the leaves at the 
bottdm are oblong, narrow at the base, and rounded 
at the end, and of a yellowish green colour. Those 
on the stalks stand in pairs ; they are small and deeply 
cut ; the flowers stand in a little cluster at the top of 
the stalk ; they are small and white : the root is long, 
slender, and creeping. 

The roofc f is the part used ; our druggists keep 
it dry. It is best taken in infusion. It operates by 
urine, and in some degree by sweat, but that very 
moderately : it is commended in fevers and in tfe* 
jaundice. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 24.3 

Nettle. Urtica . 

A plant too common to need much descrip* 
tion. It is three feet high ; the stalks are angulated 
and rough ; the leaves are large, and of a beautiful 
shape, regularly from a broad base diminishing to 
a sharp point, and nicely serrated round the edges ; 
the colour of these and of the stalks is a dusky 
green, and they are both covered with a kind of 
prickles, which easily make their way into the 
skin, and have at their base, a hollow bag of sharp 
juice, which gets into the wound, occasioning that 
swelling, inflammation, and pain that follows. The 
naked eye may distinguish these bags at the bottom 
of the prickles on the stalk of a full grown nettle, 
but a microscope shews them all over. The flowers 
of the nettle, are yellowish, little, and inconsiderable, 
the seeds are small, and round, the root is long and 
creeping. 

The juice of the nettle is good against overflow- 
ings of the menses. The root is to be given in infu- 
sion, and it works powerfully by urine, and is excel- 
lent against the jaundice, 

Roman Nettle. Urtica Eomana . 

A wild plant of the nettle kind, but not com- 
mon. It is two feet high, the stalks are round, 
and of a deep green colour. The leaves are large, 
and of a deep green also ; broad at the base, narrow 
to the point, and deeply serrated. The flowers are 
small and inconsiderable, the fruit is a round ball, 
as big as a large pea, it stands on a long foot-stalk, 
and is of a deep green colour, and full of small 
brown seeds. All the plant is covered with the 
same sort of prickles as the common nettle, but they 
^re shorter and finer ; they are silvery, white at the 


S44 FAMILY HERBAL 

tips, and have the same bag of liquor at the base, and 
they sting very terribly ; more a great deal than the 
common nettle. 

The seeds are the part used ; they are good 
against coughs, shortness of breath, and hoarsenesses ; 
the seeds of the common nettle are commended for 
this purpose, but these are greatly preferable. The 
best way of giving them is in the manner of tea, 
sweetened with honey. 

Common Nightshade. Solarium vulgare . 

A wild plant, that over-runs gardens, and all 
other cultivated places, if not continually weeded out. 
It grows two feet high ; the stalks are roundish, thick, 
but not very erect or strong, and of a dusky green. 
The leaves are broad and roundish, but they ter* 
min ate in a point. They are of a dark green colour, 
and stand on foot stalks. The bowers grow in little 
clusters, ten or a dozen in a bunch ; they are white, 
with a yellowish centre, and they are succeeded by 
round black berries. 

The leaves are used fresh, and only externally. 
They are very cooling, and applied bruised to in- 
flammations, scalds, burns, and troublesome erup- 
tions on the skin. 

Deadly Nightstade. Solarium lethale . 

It may seem strange to mix a poison among me- 
dicines, but a part of this herb has its uses. This 
is a wild plant of a dull and dismal aspect. It 
grows five feet high. The stalks are angulated, 
and of a deep green. The leaves are very large, 
broad, and flat, and they also are of a dull dead 
green. The flowers stand singly on long foot- 
stalks, arising from the bosom of the leaves, and 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


£45 

they also have the same dismal aspect ; tiiey are 
large, hollow, and hang down. On the outside 
they are of a dusky colour, between brown and 
green, and within they are of a very deep purple. 
These are succeeded by berries of the bigness of 
cherries, black and shining when ripe, and full of 
a pulpy matter, of a sweetish and mawkish taste. 
The root is long. The berries are fatal ; children 
have often eat them, and perished by it. The leaves 
externally applied are cooling and softening ; they 
are good against the ringworm and tetters, and against 
hard swellings. They have very great virtue in this 
respect, but the plant should be kept out of the way 
of children, or never suffered to grow to fruit, as the 
leaves only are wanted. 

Nutmeg Tree. Nuxmoschata . 

A tall, spreading tree, native only of the 
warm climates ; the trunk is large, and the bran- 
ches are numerous and irregular ; the bark is of 
a greyish colour, and the wood light and soft. 
The leaves are large, long, and somewhat broad : 
they are not unlike those of the bay tree, but bigger, 
and are of a beautiful green on the upper side, and 
whitish underneath. They stand irregularly, but 
often so nearly opposite, that they seem in pairs, 
as we see in the leaves of some of our willows. 
The blossom is of the shape and bigness of that 
of our cherry tree, but its colour is yellow. The 
fruit which succeeds this, is of the bigness of a 
small peach, and not unlike it in the general form ; 
when cut open there appears first the fleshy coat, 
which is a finger thick, and of a rough taste, then 
the mace spread over a woody shell, in which is the 
nutmeg. We often have the whole fruit sent over 
preserved 


246 


FAMILYHERBAL. 


The nutmeg is an excellent spice, it strengthens 
the stomach, and assists digestion. It will stop 
vomitings, and is good against the colic. When 
roasted before the fire, and mixed with a small quan- 
tity of rhubarb, it is the best of all remedies against 
purgings. 

O. 

Oak. Quercus* 

i 

A noble and stately tree, native of our cmm-* 
try, and no where growing to so great perfection. 
|t is very tall, and though irregular in the dispo- 
sition of its branches, that very irregularity has its 
beauty ; the trunk is very thick ; the branches are 
also thick, and often crooked : the bark is brown and 
rough : the leaves are large, oblong, broad, and 
deeply cut in at the edges, and they are of a shining 
green. The flowers are inconsiderable. The fruit 
is the acorn, well known Galls are produced upon 
the oak, not as fruit, but from the wounds made by 
an insect. 

The bark of the oak is a very powerful astrin- 
gent ; it stops purgings, and overflowings of the 
menses, given in powder ; a decoction of it is ex- 
cellent for the failing down of the uvula, or as it 
is called the falling down of the palate of the mouth. 
Whenever a very powerful astringent is required, 
oak bark demands the preference over every thing : 
if it were brought from the East Indies, \t would be 
held inestimable. 

Scarlet Oak. Ilex . 

A shrub not much regarded oh its own ac- 
count, but from the insect called kernes, which 


FAMILY HERBAL. 247 

I 

is found upon it ; and has at sometimes been suppo- 
sed a fruit of it : the shrub thence obtained its 
name of the scarlet oak. It grows only six or 
eight feet high. The branches are tough, and 
covered with a smooth greyish bark. The leaves 
are an inch long, three quarters of an inch broad, 
of a figure approaching to oval, serrated about 
the edges, and a little prickly. The flowers are 
small and inconsiderable ; the fruit is an acorn, like 
that of the common oak, but smaller, standing in 
its cup. The kermes, or scarlet grain, is a small 
round substance of the bigness of a pea, of a fine 
red colour within, and of a purplish blue without, 
covered with a fine hoary dust, like a bloom upon 
a plum. It is an insect at that time full of young. 
When they intend to preserve it in its own form, 
they find ways of destroying the principle of life 
within, else the young come forth, and it is spoiled. 
When they express the juice, they bruise the whole 
grains, and squeeze it through a hair cloth ; they 
then add an equal weight of fine sugar to it, and 
send it over to us under the name of juice of kermes ; 
this is used in medicine much more than the grain 
itself. 

It is a cordial, good against huntings, and to drive 
out the small pox ; and for women in childbed. It 
supports the spirits, and at the same time promotes 
the necessary discharges. 

Oak of Jerusalem. Botrys . 

A little plant, native of the warmer coun- 
tries, and kept in our gardens, with leaves which 
have been supposed to resemble those of the oak 
tree, whence it got its name, and small yellowish 
flowers. The stalk is a foot and half high, round- 
ish angulated a little, or deeply striated, and of a 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


248 

pale green ; the leaves are of a yellowish green, ani 
of a rough surface ; they are oblong, somewhat 
broad pointed at the ends, and deeply cut in on the 
sides. The flowers stand in abundance of long 
spikes on the tops of the branches ; they are very 
small and inconsiderable. The whole plant has a 
pleasant smell, particularly the young shoots, which 
are to bear the flowers. 

The fresh plant is to be used, and it is best taken 
in the manner of tea, or in infusion. It is good in 
asthmas, hoarseness, and coughs, and it promotes the 
menses and discharges after delivery. 

Olive Tree, Olea . 

A large tree, native of the warmer parts of 
Europe and the East. The trunk is thick and 
rough. The branches are numerous, and stand ir- 
regularly ; their hark is grey and smooth. The 
leaves are longish and broad, and of a deep green on 
the upper side, and whitish underneath, and of a firm 
texture ; the flowers are small and yellow ; the fruit 
is of the bigness of a small plum, but of longer shape, 
and has a very large stone within. 

The oil is the only produce of this tree used in 
medicine, it is pressed out of the fruit, and is excel- 
lent in disorders of the lungs, and against colics, and 
stoppages of urine. But in the latter cases the oil 
of sweet almonds fresh pressed is preferable, and for 
the first linseed oil ; so that oil of olives, or as it called 
sallad oil is seldom used in medicine, unless these 
others cannot be had. 

Onion. Cepa. 

A common plant in our gardens, known at 
sight by its hollow tubular leaves. It grows two 


FAMILY HERBAL. 



feet and a half high. The leaves are long, round- 
ed, of the thickness of a man’s finger, and hollow. 
The stalk is round also, and has at the top a round 
cluster of little (lowers, these are of a mixed purplish 
and greenish colour ; and of a strong smell, as has 
the whole plant. 

The root is the part used ; it is roundish, and com- 
posed of a great multitude of coats laid one over 
another. A syrup made of the juice of onions and 
honey, is excellent for an asthma. 

Opoponax Plant. Opoponax . 

A large and robust plant, of which we have 
but imperfect descriptions : it is a native of the East, 
and has not been brought into Europe. It is said 
to be eleven or twelve feet high : the stalk is round, 
thick, and hollow r . The leaves very large, and each 
composed of a vast number of smaller set upon a di- 
vided stalk. The flowers we are informed stand in 
very large round clusters at the tops of the stalks, 
and that the seeds are broad, brown, and of a strong 
smell ; striated on the surface and flattish. The 
root is said to be long and large, and full of an acrid 
and milky juice 

fie use a kind of resin, which is said to be col- 
lected from this root, after it has been wounded 
to make it flow in sufficient quantity ; but the 
whole account comes to us very imperfect, and 
upon no very sound authority ; however it seems 
probable. 

The resin is brownish or yellowish, and in small 
pieces. It is an excellent medicine against nerv- 
ous complaints ; and particularly against disorders 
of the head. It works by urine and promotes 
the menses ; and has a tendency to operate, though 
very gently, by stool. It is not so much used as 

& k 


250 FAMILY IIBRBAL. 

it deserves to be. I have experienced excellent ef- 
fects from it. 

Orange Tree. Aurantia malus . 

A beautiful and valuable tree, native of Spain, 
Italy, and the East. It grows to a considerable 
bigness, and its branches spread irregularly. The 
bark of the trunk is brown and rough, that of 
the brances is smooth and greyish. The leaves are 
large, and very beautiful ; they are oblong, and 
moderately broad, and the foot stalk has an edge 
of a leafy matter on each side, giving it a heart- 
like appearance. The flowers are white, large, 
fragrant, and very beautiful. The fruit is enough 
known. 

The sour, or Seville orange, is the kind used in 
medicine, but the peel of this more than the juice 
or pulpy part. A pleasant syrup is made of Seville 
orange juice, by melting in it twice its weight 
of the finest sugar ; and a syrup equally pleasant, 
though of another' kind, is made of an infusion of 
the peel : but the great use of the peel is in tinc- 
ture, or infusion as a stomachic. It is for this pur- 
pose to be pared oft 1 very thin, only the yellow part 
being useful, and to be put into brandy or wine, 
or to have boiling water poured on it fresh or dry. 
If a little gentian and a few cardamon seeds be 
added to this tincture or infusion, it is as good a 
bitter as can be made : it prevents sickness of the 
stomach and vomitings, and is excellent to amend the 
appetite. 

< .1 

Orpine Tetephiirk . 

A very beautiful wild plant, of a foot high 
m more, with fresh green leaves, and tufts of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


251 


bright red flowers ; common in our hedges in 
autumn in many parts of England. The stalk is 
round and fleshy ; the leaves are oblong, broad, 
and indented round the edges, and their colour is 
a bluish green. The flowers are small, but they 
are very beautiful ; the root is white and thick. 
The whole plant has a fleshy appearance, and it 
will grow out of the ground, a long time, taking its 
nourishment from the air. 

The juice of orpine is good against the bloody flux : 
the best way of giving it is made into a thin syrup, 
with the finest sugar, and with the addition of some 
cinnamon. 

Oxeye. Buphthalmum , 

A very beautiful wild plant, common in the 
North of England, but not in other parts of the 
kingdom. It grows a foot and a half high. The 
stalk is round, firm, and branched ; the leaves are 
numerous ; they are divided each into a multitude 
of fine segments, so that at a distance they somewhat 
resemble the leaves of yarrow, but they are whitish. 
The flowers are large and yellow ; they somewhat re- 
semble a marigold in form, and they stand at the tops 
of the branches. 

The fresh herb is used ; they boil it in ale, and 
give it as a remedy for the jaundice : it works by 
urine. 

P 

Palma Christl Ricinus . 

A foreign plant, kept in our gardens more 
for its beauty than use. The stem is thick, and 
looks woody toward the bottom* It grows six 


252 FAMILY HERBAL 

feet high, and on the upper part is covered with 
a sort of mealy powder, of a bluish colour. The 
leaves are large, and very beautiful. They are 
somewhat like those of the vine, but they are di- 
vided deeply into seven or more parts, which are 
also sharply serrated at the edges, and they stand 
upon long foot stalks, which are not inserted at 
the edge, but in the middle of the leaf. The flow- 
ers are small : they grow in bunches toward the top 
of the plant. The seeds grow upon the trunk of 
the plant in different places : three are contained in 
husks, and they have over them severally a hard 
shell. 

The kernels of these seeds are the part used, but 
they are very little regarded at present. There 
used to he three or four kinds of them kept by 
the druggists, under different names, but nobody 
now minds them : they are very violent in their 
operation, which is both upwards and downwards, 
and have been given in dropsies and rheumatisms. 

Oily Palm Tree. Palma oleosa . 

A very beautiful tree, native of Africa and 
America. It grows moderately high. The trunk 
is naked all the way to the top, where the leaves 
grow in vast quantities: they are long and nar- 
row, and Ihe footstalks on which they stand are 
prickly. The flowers are small and mossy. The 
fruit is of the bigness of a plumb, oblong, and 
flattish, and is covered over with a tough and fibrous 
coat. From this fruit the natives express what they 
call palm oil : it is a substance of the consistence 
of butter, and of a pleasant, though very little 
taste. 

The oil is the only produce of the tree used : 
They eat it upon the spot, but we apply it exfcer- 



At 








4 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


253 


fla% against cramps, strains, pains in the limbs, 
and weaknesses : but we seldom meet with it fresh 
enough, to be fit for use ; and at present, it has 
given place to the famous opodeldoc, and to several 
other things, which have the same qualities in a 
much greater degree. 

Panic. Panicum. 

A very singular and pretty plant of the grass 
kind, cultivated in some parts of Europe. The 
stalk is very thick and firm, round, jointed, and 
a yard high. The leaves are grassy, but they are 
large and broad. The flowers and seeds are con- 
tained in a long ear, which is broad and flat ; it i* 
composed of several smaller ears, arranged on the 
two sides of the stalk ; these spikes are hairy. The 
seed is round, and is much like millet, only 
smaller. 

The seed/ is the only part used. It is good 
against sharp purgings, bloody fluxes, and spitting 
of blood. 


Pareira Brava. Pctrcira brctva. 

A climbing shrub of South America, the 
root of which has lately been introduced into 
medicine. It grows to twelve or fourteen feet in 
height, if there be trees or bushes to support it, else 
it lies upon the ground, and is shorter. The stalks 
are woody, light, and covered with a rough bark, 
which is continually coming off in small flakes. The 
leaves are large and broad. The flowers are small, 
and of a greenish colour ; and the berries are round, 
and when ripe, black. The root is large, woody* 
and very long and creeping. 


254 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


The root is used. It is of a brownish colour, 
rough on the surface, and woody, but loose in its 
texture. It is to be given in infusion. It is an 
excellent medicine in the gravel, and in suppres- 
sions of urine, as also in the quinzy, and in pleu- 
risies, and peripneumonies. It works the most 
powerfully, and the most suddenly, by urine of 
any medicine : and is so excellent in forcing away 
gravel and small stones, that some have pretended 
it a remedy for the stone, and said it would dissolve 
and break it. This is going too far ; no medicine 
has been found that has that effect, nor can it be 
supposed that any can. Great good has been 
done by those medicines which the parliament pur- 
chased of Mrs. Stephens, more than perhaps, by any 
other whatsoever, in this terrible complaint ; but they 
never dissolved a large and hard stone. Indeed there 
needs no more to be assured of this, than to examine 
one of those stones ; it will not be supposed, any 
thing that the bladder can bear, will be able to dissolve 
go firm and solid a substance. 

Parsly. Petroselinum . 

A very common plant in our gardens, useful in 
the kitchen, and in medicine. It grows to two feet 
in height. The leaves are composed of many small 
parts : they are divided into three, and then into a 
multitude of sub-divisions : they are of a bright 
green, and indented. The stalks are round, angu- 
lated, or deeply striated, slender, upright, and 
branched. The flowers are small and white ; and 
they stand in large tufts at the tops of the branches. 
The seeds are roundish and striated. The root is 
lor? g' and white. 

The roots are the part used in medicine A 


FAMILY HERBAL 


255 


strong decoction of them is good against the jaundice. 
It operates powerfully by urine, and opens ob- 
structions. 


Parsly Piert. Percicicr . 

A little wild plant, common among our corn,, 
and in other dry places, with small pale leaves, 
and hairy drooping stalks. It does not grow to 
more than three or four inches in length, and seldom 
stands well upright. The stalks are round and 
whitish. The leaves stand irregularly : they are 
narrow at the base, and broad at the end, where 
they are divided into three rounded parts. The 
flowers are very small : they grow in dusters at the 
joints, and are of a greenish colour. The seed is 
small and round. The root is fibrous. 

The whole plant is used ; and it is best fresh. 
An infusion of it is very powerful against the 
gravel. It operates violently, but safely, by urine, 
and it opens obstructions of the liver ; whence 
it is good also in the jaundice. There is an opinion 
in many places, of its having a power of dissolv- 
ing: the stone in the bladder, but this is idle : there 
is, however, a great deal of good to be done in 
nephritic cases, by medicines which have not this 
power. 

i * 

Macedonian Parsly. Petroselinum Macedonicum, 

A plant kept in some of our gardens. It Is 
two feet high. The stalk is slender, branched, 
and hairy. The leaves are composed of many 
parts, and those are small and rounded: those on 
the upper part of the stalk are more finely divided. 
The flowers are small and white, like those of com- 
mon parsly ; and they stand like them, in cluster!? 


256 , FAMILY HERBAL. 

on the tops of the stalks. The seeds are small, some- 
what hairy, and of a dusky colour. 

The seed is used ; and it is best given in pow» 
der. It operates powerfully by urine, and it is 
good against stoppages of the menses, and in the 
gravel and colics, arising from that cause. It 
is also recommended against the dropsy and jaun- 
dice. 


Wild Parsnep. Pastinaca syfoestris . 

A wild plant, common about our road sides. 
It is three feet high. The stalk is straight, up- 
right, round, striated, and yellowish. The leaves 
are composed of many broad divisions, and resem- 
ble those of the garden parsnep, but they are smaller. 
The flowers are little and yellow : they grow at the 
tops of the stalks, in large, rounded tufts, and the 
seeds are flat, and of an oval figure. The root k 
long, white, and well tasted. 

The root is to -be used. A strong decoction of 
it works by urine, and opens all obstructions. It is 
good against the gravel and the jaundice, and will 
bring down the menses. 

Pay an a Shrub. Pavana 

A shrubby plant of the East Indies, of a 
beautiful, as well as singular aspect. It is six or 
seven feet high. The stem is woody, firm, and 
naked almost to the top. The leaves grow upon 
long foot stalks, and they all rise nearly together, 
at the upper part of the stem : they are large, of 
a rounded figure, and divided at the edges pretty 
deeply into several parts : their colour is a deep 
green. The flowers are small, and of a greenish 
colour. The fruit is of the bigness of a liazle 


FAMILY HERBAL, 257 

suit. The wood is not very firm, and when cut 
yields a milky juice,, of a very disagreeable smell, ’ 

The wood and the seeds are used ; and they 
have both the same violent operation by vomit and 
stool ; but the wood given in infusion, and in a 
moderate dose, only purges, and that, though brisk- 
ly, without any danger. It is good in dropsies, 
and in other stubborn disorders ; and it is excel- 
lent against rhumatic pains. Some recommend 
it as a specific against the sciatica. The seeds arc 
what are called grana tiglia ; but though much 
spoken of by some writers, they are at this time very 
little used in the shops. 

Peach Tree. Persica mains , 

A tree very frequent against our garden walls. 
The trunk is covered with a brown bark. The 
branches grow irregularly. The leaves are beauti- 
ful : they are long, narrow, and elegantly serrated 
at the edges. The blossoms are large, and of a pale 
red. The fruit is too well known to need much 
description : it consists of a soft pulpy matter, cover- 
ed by a hairy skin, and inclosing a bard stone, in 
which is a kernel of a pleasant bitter taste 

The {lowers are to be used. A pint of water is 
lobe poured boiling hot on a pound weight of peach 
blossoms ; when it has stood four and twenty hours, 
it is to he poured off, through a sieve, without squeez- 
ing, and two pounds of loaf sugar is to be dissolved in 
it, over the fire : this makes an excellent syrup for 
children. It purges gently, and sometimes will make 
them puke a little. They have so frequent occasion 
for this, that people who have children, have continual 
Use for it [ 


J l 


FAMILY HERBAL. 

Pellitory of the Wall. Farid . aria . 


A wild plant frequent on old walls, with weak 
branches, and pale green leaves. It grows a foot 
high, but seldom altogether erect. The stalks 
are round, tender, a little hairy, jointed, and often 
purplish. The leaves stand irregularly on them, 
and are an inch long, broad in the middle, and 
smaller at each end. The flowers stand close upon 
the stalks, and are small and inconsiderable, of a 
whitish green colour when open, but reddish in the 
bud. 

The whole plant is used, and it is best fresh. 
An infusion of it works well by urine. It is very 
serviceable in the jaundice, and is often found a 
present remedy in fits of the gravel, tke infusion being 
taken largely. 


Pellitory of Spain. Pgrethrum . 


A very pretty little plant kept in our gardens. 
It is eight inches high. The stalk is round and 
thick. The leaves are very finely divided, so that 
they resemble those of the camomile, but they are 
of a pale green, thick, and fleshy, and the stalk is 
purple. The flowers stand at the tops of the 
branches, and are very pretty : they are of the shape 
and size of the great daisy or ox-eye, white at the 
edges, yellow in the middle, and red on the back or 
under side. The root is long, and somewhat thick, 
of a very hot taste. 

The root is used : we have it at the druggists. 
Its great acridness fills the mouth with rheum on. 
chewing* and it is good against the tooth-ach. It is 
also good to be put into the mouth in palsies, for 
it will sometimes alone, by its stimulation* restore ths 
voice. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


259 




Penny-royal. Pulegium. 


A wild plant, creeping about on marshy 
places, with little leaves, and tufts of red flowers at 
the joints. The stalks are a foot long, round, and 
often of a reddish colour. The leaves are small, 
broad, and pointed at the ends, and of a pale green 
colour. The flowers stand round the joints in thick 
clusters : they are like those of mint, and of a 
pale red, and the cups in which they stand are green, - 
and a little hairy. The whole plant has a strong 
penetrating smell, and an acrid but not disagreeable 
taste. 

The whole plant is used, fresh or dried ; but that 
which grows wild, is much stronger than the larger 
kind, which is cultivated in gardens. The simple 
water is the best way of taking it, though it will do 
very well in infusion, or bv way of tea. It is ex- 
cellent against stoppages of the menses. 

Black. Pepper. Piper nigrum. 


An eastern plant, of a very singular kind. It 
grows six or eight feet in length, but the stalks are 
not able to support themselves upright : they are 
round, green, jointed, and thick, and when they 
trail upon the ground, roots are sent forth from these 
joints. The leaves are large, of an oval figure, 
of a firm substance, and ribbed highly: they stand 
on short pedicles, one at each joint. The flowers 
are small and inconsiderable : they grow to the 
stalk. The fruit succeeds, which is what we call 
pepper : they hang upon a long stalk, twenty or 
forty together : they are green at first, but when 
ripe they are red : they grow black and wrinkled in 
drying. The largest and least wrinkled on the coat, 
are the best grains. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


260 

The fruit is used, and it is excellent against all 
coldnesses and crudities upon the stomach. It 
gives appetite in these cases, and assists digestion. 
It is also good against dizzinesses of the head, and 
against obstructions of the liver and spleen, and 
against colics. We are apt to negiect things as 
medicines, that we take with food ; but there is 
hardly a more powerful simple of its kind than 
pepper, when given singly, and on an empty sto- 
mach. 

White Pepper. Piper Album. 

The common white pepper we meet with, is 
made from the black, by soaking it in sea water till 
it swells, and the dark wrinkled coat falls off ; 
but this though the common, is not the true white 
pepper : there is another kind, which is natural, and 
has no assistance from art. The white pepper plant, 
has round, thick, and whitish stalks : they lie upon 
the ground, and have large joints : at each joint stands 
a single leaf, which is long, and narrow, sharp at 
the end, and ribbed. The flowers grow on little 
stalks, hanging down from the joints : they are 
small and yellow. The fruit is round ; at first green, 
and when ripe white, which is gathered and dried for 
use. 

This fruit is used. The common white pepper 
is milder than the black ; that is, it is black pepper, 
which has lost a part of its virtue : this possesses all 
the qualities of the other, and yet it has not so sharp 

a taste. 

Long Pepper Plant. Piper Ion gum . 

An American plant, in some degree resembling 
the ether peppers in its general growth, but not 





























*. y 















































' • *r ‘ 



* 


■ 

















FAMILY HERBAL. 261 

Et all in its fruit. The stalk is round, thick, joint- 
ed, and of a deep green colour ; it is not able to 
support itself, but climbs upon bushes. The 
leaves are long and narrow : they stand one at each 
joint, upon long foot stalks. The flowers grow 
upon the outside of the fruit : they are small and 
inconsiderable. The fruit, which is what we call 
long pepper, is an inch and a half long, and as thick 
as a large quill, marked with spiral lines, and di- 
vided into cells within, in each of which is a single 
seed. 

This has the same virtues with the common black 
pepper, but in a less degree ; it is not so hot and 
acrid, and therefore will be borne upon the stomach 
when that cannot. It is excellent to assist digestion^ 
and prevent colics 

* t r * • 

Jamaica Pepper Tree. Piper Jamaiceme. 

* / 

An American tree, in all respects different from 
the plants which produce the other kinds of pep- 
per, as is also the fruit altogether different, it 
should not be called pepper : the round shape of 
it was the only thing that led people to give it such 
a name. The Jamaica pepper tree is large and 
beautiful. The trunk is covered with a smooth 
brown bark. The branches are numerous ; and 
they are well covered with leaves. The tree is 
as big and high as our pear trees. The leaves 
are oblong and broad, of a shining green colour: 
they grow in pairs, and they stand on long pedicles. 
The flowers grow only at the extremities of the 
branches : they stand a great many together, and 
are small. The fruit which succeeds is a berry, 
green at first, and afterwards becoming of a red- 
dish brown, and in the end, black. They are, 
when ripe, full of a pulpy matter, surrounding 


262 FAMILY HERBAL 

the seeds ; but they are dried when unripe for our 
use. 

The fruit, thus gathered and dried in the sun* 
is what we call Jamaica pepper,, piamenta, or 
allspice. It is an excellent spice : it strengthens 
the stomach, and is «;ood against the colic. The 
best way to take it is in powder, mixed with a little 
sugar. It will prevent vomiting, and sickness after 
meals, and is one of the best known remedies for 
habitual colics. 

Guinea Pepper. Capsicum. 

* 

A common plant in our gardens, distinguish- 
ed by its large scarlet pods. It grows a foot and 
a half high. The stalk is angulated, thick, and 
green, tolerably erect, and branched. The leaves 
stand irregularly, and are longish, pretty broad, 
and of a deep green colour. The flowers are 
moderately large and white, with a yellow head 
In the middle : they grow at the divisions of the 
branches. The fruit follows, and is an inch and 
a half long, an inch thick, and biggest at the base, 
whence it grows smaller to the point : the colour 
is a flue red, and its surface is so smooth, that it looks 
like polished coral : it is a skin containing a quantity 
of seeds. 

The fruit is the part used Held in the mouth, 
it cures the tpoth-ach ; for its heat and acrimony 
are greater than in pellitory of Spain, and it fills 
the mouth with water. Applied externally, braised 
and mixed with honey and crumbled bread, it is good 
fora quinsy. 

. Periwinkle. Vinca pervinca. 

A very v pretty creeping plant, wild in some 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


263 


places^, but kept in gardens also. The stalks are 
numerous, and a foot or more in length, but they 
do not stand upright : they are round, green, 
and tough, and generally trail upon the ground. 
The leaves are oblong, broad, of a shining green 
colour, smooth on the ‘.surface, and placed two 
at each joint. The dowers are large and blue : 
they are bell-fashioned, and stand on long foot- 
stalks : the fruit succeeding. Each is composed 
of two longish pods ; each containing several seeds. 

The whole plant is used fresh. It is to be boiled 
in water, and the decoction drank with a little red 
wine in it. It stops the overflowing of the menses, and 
the bleeding of the piles. 

Spelt, or St. Peter’s Corn. Zea . 

A plant of the corn kind, resembling* barley , 
sown in some parts of Europe, but not much known 
_ in England. It grows a foot and a half high. The 
stalk is round, hollow, jointed, and green ; the leaves 
are grassy, but broad. At the tops of the stalk 
stands an ear like that of barley, but smaller and 
thinner, though with long beards ; the grain is not 
unlike barley in shape, or between that and wheat, 
only much smaller than either. 

The seed or grain is the part used ; it is supposed 
to be strengthening and in some degree astringent, 
but we know very little of its qualities, nor are they 
considerable enough to encourage us to inquire after 
them. 


Pimpernel. Anagallis flore rubro . 

A pretty little plant common in com fields 
and garden borders. The stalks are square, smooth, 
green, but not very upright: they are five or sin 


/ 


864 FAMILY HERBAL. 

inches long. The leaves stand two at each joint, and 
they are of an oblong figure, considerably broad in 
the middle, and pointed at the end. The flowers 
stand singly on long slender foot stalks ; they are 
small, but of a most bright scarlet colour. 

The whole plant is used, and the best method 
of giving it, is in an infusion, made by pouring boil- 
ing water upon it fresh gathered : this is an excel- 
lent drink in fevers ; it promotes sweat, and throws 
out the small pox, measles, or any other eruptions : 
the dried leaves may be given in powder or a tea 
made of the whole dried plant, but nothing is so well 
as the infusion of it fresh, those who have not seen it 
tried this way do not know how valuable a medicine it is. 

There is another kind of pimpernel, perfectly like 
this, but that the flowers are blue ; this is called the 
female, and the other the male pimpernel, but the red 
flowered kind has most virtue. 

Pine Tree. Pinus . 

A large and beautiful tree, native of Italy, 
but kept in oiir gardens. We have a wild kind of 
pine in the North, called Scotch fir, but it is' not 
the same tree. The trunk of the true pine is cover- 
ed with a rough brown bark, the branches with a 
smoother, and more reddish. The leaves are long 
and slender, and they grow always two from the 
same base, or out of the same sheath, they are of 
a bluish green colour, and are a little hollowed on 
the inside : the flowers are small and inconsiderable ; 
they stand in a kind of tufts on the branches ; the 
fruit arc cones of a brown colour, large, long, and 
blunt at the top. These contain between the scales 
certain white kernels of a sweet taste, and covered 
with a thin shell 

These kernels are the part used, and they are ex* 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


265 


cellent in consumptions, and after long illness, given 
by way of restorative. An emulsion may be made by 
beating them up with barley water, and this will be 
of the same service with common emulsions for heat 
of urine, 

«■ ' / 

Wild Pine Tree. Finns STjlvestris, 

A tree native of many parts of Germany, very 
much resembling what is called the manured pine, 
or simply the pine before described. It grows to 
be a larae and tall tree ; the trunk is covered with 
a rough brown bark, that of the branches is paler 
and smoother. The leaves are very narrow, and 
short ; they grow two out of a case or husk, as in 
the other, and are of a bluish green colour. They 
differ principally in being shorter. The flowers 
•are yellowish, and like the others very small and 
inconsiderable, the cones are small, brown, and hard, 
and sharp at the tops, they contain kernels in their 
shells, among the .scales as the other • but they are 
smaller. 

The kernels have the same virtues as those of the 
other pines, but being little, they are not regarded. 
The resin which flows from this tree, either natural- 
ly, or when it is cut for that purpose, is what we 
call common turpentine. It is a thick substance, like 
honey, of a brownish colour, and very strong and dis- 
agreeable smell. 

When this turpentine has been distilled to make 
oil of turpentine, the resin which remains, is what 
we call common resin ; if they put out the fire 
in time, it is yellow resin ; if they continue it 
longer, it is black resin. They often boil the tur- 
pentine in water without distilling it for the com- 
mon resin'; and when they take it out half, boiled 
for this purpose ; it is what we call Burgundy 

m m 




HERBAL. 


1 

pilch. And the whitish resin which is called thus, 

and is a thing quite different from 


Irani 


license. 


olibanurr, or the line incense, is the natural resin 
flowing from the branches of tins tree, and harden- 
ing* into drops upon them. It does not differ much 
bom the common turpentine in its nature, but is less 
offensive in smell. 


The several kinds of pitch, tar, and resin, are 
principally used in plaisters and ointments. The 
turpentine produced from this tree also, and cal- . 
led common turpentine, is principally used in the 
same maimer, the finer turpentines being given in- 
wardly. These are procured from the turpentine 
tree, the larch free, and the silver fir. The yellow 
resin and the black are sometimes taken inwardly in 
pills, and they are very good against the whites, and 
the runnings alter gonorrhoeas ; but for this pur- 
pose it is better to boil some better sort of turpentine 
to the consistence and give it. 


Piony. Pceonia. 


A flower common in our gardens, but of 
great use as well as ornament. The common 
double piony is not the kind used in medicine ; 
this is called the female piony ; the single flowered 
one called the male piony, is the right kind. This 
grows two or three feet high. The stalk is round, 
striated, and branched : tike leaves are of a deep 
green, and each composed of several others : 
the flowers are very large, and of a deep purple, 
with a green head in the middle. When they are 
decayed, this head swells out into two or more 
seed vessels, which are whitish and hairy on the 
outside, and red within, and fall of black seeds. 
The root is composed of a number of longish or 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


267 

source of the stalk ; these are brown on the outside, 
and whitish within. 

The roots are used ; an infusion of them pro- 
motes the menses. The powder of them dried is 
good against hysteric and nervous complaints. It 
is particularly recommended against the falling 
sickness. 

Pistachxa Tree. Pistachio.. 

A tree common in the East. The trunk is 
covered with a brown rough bark, the branches 
grow irregularly; and their bark is reddish. The 
leaves are each composed of several pair of small 
ones ; they are oblong, broad, and of a beautiful 
green colour, and firm texture. The (lowers grow 
in tufts ; they are white and small ; the Odit which 
succeeds is what we call the prstachia nut ; it is 
as big as a filbert, but long and sharp-pointed, and 
it is covered with a tough wrinkled bark. The 
shell within this is woody and tough, but it easily 
enough divides into two parts, and the kernel with- 
in is of a greenish colour, but covered with a red skim 
It is of a sweet taste. 

The fruit is eaten, but if. may be considered as 
a medicine ; it opens obstructions of the liver, and 
it works by urine. It is an excellent restorative to 
be given to people wasted by consumptions, or other 
long and tedious illnesses, 

Pitch Tree. Picea , 

A tree of the fir kind, and commonly called 
the red fir. It is a tall tree of regular growth : 

^ . on ' 

the bark of the trunk is of a reddish brown, and 
it is paler on the branches ; the leaves are very 
numerous, short, narrow, and of a strong green ; 


I 


c 208 FAMILY HERBAL. 

they stand very thick* and are sharp* or almost 
prickly at the extremities. The flowers are yel- 
lowish and inconsiderable ; and the fruit is a long 
and large cone* which hangs down ; whereas that 
of the true fir tree* or the yew-leaved fir* stands up- 
right. 

O 

The tops of the branches and young shoots are 
used : they abound with a resin of the turpentine 
kind. They are best given in decoction* or brew- 
ed with beer. They are good against the rheuma- 
tism and scurvy ; they work by urine* and heal ulcers 
of the the urinary parts. 

Pitch and tar are produced from the wood of this 
tree* the tar sweats out of the wood in burning* and 
the pitch is only tar boiled to that consistence. To 
obtain the tar* they pile up great heaps of the wood* 
and set fire to them at top* and the tar sweats out of 
the ends of the lower* and is catched as it runs from 
them. 

Burgundy pitch is made of the resin of the wild 
pine tree* which is common turpentine boiled in water 
to a certain consistence* if they boil it longer* it would 
be resin* for the common resin is only this turpentine 
boiled to a hardness. 

Ammonlacum Plant. Ammoniadum, 

' y • » 

A tall plant* native of the East* and very im- 
perfectly described to us. What we hear of it is* 
that it grows on the sides of hills* and is five or six 
feet high ; the stalk is hollow and striated* and 
painted with various colours like that of our hem- 
. loc. The flowers* we are told* are small and white* 
and stand in great round clusters at the tops of the 
stalks, the leaves are very large and composed of a 
multitude of small divisions : one circumstance we 
can add from our own knowledge to this description. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


269 


and it gives .great proof of the authenticity of the 
rest ; this is, that the seeds are broads hat, striated, 
and have a folianous rim, as those of dill. We 
could know by these which are found very fre- 
quently among the gum, that it was a plant of this 
kind which produced it : so that there is great pro- 
bability that the rest of the description, which has 
been given us by those who did not know we had 
this confirmation at home, is true. These seeds often 
appear very fair and sound. I have caused a great 
number of them to be sown, but they have never 
grown. Though one of the sagapenum seeds grew 
up a little when sown among them : it would be worth 
while to repeat the experiment, for sometimes it might 
.succeed. 

We use a gum or rather gum resin, for it is of 
a mixed nature between both, which is procured 
from this plant, but from what part of it, or in 
what manner we are not informed ; it is whitish, of 
an acrid taste, with some bitterness, and is an ex- 
cellent medicine. It is superior to all other drugs 
in an asthma, and is good to promote the menses, 
and to open obstructions of ail kinds. The best 
way of giving it is dissolved in hyssop water. 
It makes a milky solution. It is used externally 
also in plaisters for hard swellings, and pains in the 
joints. 

i 

Broad Leaved Plantain. Plant a go major. 

A common plant by our way-sides, with broad 
short leaves, and long slender spikes of brown 
seeds. The leaves rise all from the root, for 
there are none, upon fi^^lk. They are of a some- 
what oval figure, and irregularly indented at the 
edges, sometimes scarce at all. They have several 
large ribs, but these do not grow side-ways from 


FAMILY HERBAL 


270 

the middle one, but all run length-ways, like that 
from the base of the leaf toward the point. The 
stalks grow a foot high, their lower half is naked, 
and their upper part thick set, first with small and 
inconsiderable flowers, of a greenish white colour, 
and afterwards with seeds which are brown and 
small. 

This is one of those common plants, which have 
so much virtue, that nature seems to have made them 
common for universal benefit. The whole plant is to 
be used, and it is to be fresh. A decoction of it in 
w ater is excellent against overflowings of the menses, 
violent purgings with bloody stools and vomiting of 
blood, the bleeding of the piles, and all other such dis- 
orders. The seeds beaten to a powder, are good 
against the whites. 

There is a broad leaved plantain with short flow- 
cry spikes, and hairy leaves, this has full as much vir- 
tue as the kind already described : the nor row leaved 

plantain has less, but of the same kind. 

► ✓ 

Plow man’s Spikenard. Baccharis monspeliensium . 

A tall robust wild plant with broad rough 
leaves, and numerous small yellowish flowers, 
frequent by road sides, and in dry pastures. The 
plant grows three feet high. The stalks are round, 
thick, upright, and a little hairy. The leaves are 
large, broad from the root, and narrower on the 
stalk ; they are blunt at the points, and a little in- 
dented at the edges. The flowers grow on the tops 
of the branches, spreading out into a large head 
from a single stem ; they are little and yellow : the 
seeds have down fixed to them. The root is brown 
and woody ; the whole plant has a fragrant and aro- 
matic smell. 

The leaves and tops given in decoction, are good 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


27 ! 


gainst inward bleedings. The root, dried and 
powdered, is a remedy for purgings, and is good 
against the whites. 

Poley mountain. Folium montanum, 

I 

A pretty plant, native of the warmer parts of 
Europe, and kept in our gardens. It is ten inches 
high. The stalks are square and whitish : the leaves 
are oblong and narrow, of a white colour, and woolly 
surface ; they stand two at a joint, and they are in* 
dented at the edges. The flowers are small and 
white. They grow in a kind of woolly tufts at the 
tops of the branches. 

The whole plant is used ; it is best dried ; given in 
infusion, it promotes the menses, and removes ob- 
structions of the liver, hence it is recommended 
greatly in the jaundice. It operates by urine. 

Candy Poleymoentain. Folium creticum . 

1 _ # 

A little plant of a woolly appearance, native 
of the Grecian Islands, and kept in some gardens. 
It grows about six inches high. The stalks are 
square, white, weak, and seldom upright. The 
leaves stand two at each joint : they are narrow, 
oblong, and not at all indented at the edges. They 
are of a white wholly aspect, and of a pleasant smell. 
The flowers are small and white, and they grow in 
tufts at the tops of the stalks ; their cups are very 
white. 

The whole plant is to be used dried. It operates 
very powerfully by urine, and is good against all hys- 
teric complaints, but it is not to be given to women 
with child, for it has so much efficacy in promoting the 
menses, that it mav occasion abortion. 


272 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


Polypody, Polypodium, 

A small plant of the fern kind. It is a foot 
high, and consists only of a single leaf. Several 
of these commonly rise from the same root, but each 
is a separate and entire plant. The stalk is naked 
for five inches, and from thence to the top stand on 
each side, a row of small, oblong, and narrow 
segments, resembling so many small leaves, with 
an odd one at the end. The whole plant is of a 
bright green colour, but the backs of these divisions 
of the leaf, are at a certain season, toward autumn, 
ornamented with a great number of round brown 
spots, these are the seeds : tliose of all ferns are 
carried in the same manner. The root is long, 
slender, and creeps upon the surface of old stumps 
of trees among the moss. The root is used, and it 
is best fresh ; it is a safe and gentle purge ; the best 
way of giving it is in decoction, in which form it 
always operates also by urine. It is good in the 
jaundice and dropsies, and is an excellent ingredient 
in diet drinks against the scurvy ; but beside these 
considerations, it is a safe and good purge, on all 
common occasions. 

' v • . -s. 

Pomegranate Tree. Granatus. 

A common wild tree in Spain and Italy, kept 
With us in gardens. It grows to the bigness of 
our apple-trees. The branches spread irregu- 
larly ; they have a reddish brown bark, and have 
here and there a few thorns. The leaves are nu- 
merous ; on the extremities of the branches they 
are small, oblong, narrow, and of a fine green 
The flowers are large, and of a beautiful deep red . 
the fruit is as big as a large apple, and has a brown 
woody covering * it contains within a great quan- 


v FAMILY HERBAL, 27S 

tity of seeds, with a sweet and tart juice about 
them. 

The rind of the fruit is used, it is to be dried and 
given in decoction ; it is a powerful astringent : it 
stops purgings and bleedings of all kinds, and is good 
against the whites. 

Wild Pomegranate Tree. Balaustia. 

A smaller tree than the former, but like it 
in its manner of growth ; except that the branches 
are more crooked and irregular, and are more 
thorny. The leaves are oblong, small, and of a 
bright green, iand they are set in clusters towards 
the end of the branches. The flowers are beau- 
tiful, they are double like a rose, and of a fine 
purple. ' 

The flowers are the part of the wild pomegranate 
used in medicine ; our druggists keep them and call 
them balaustines. They are given in powder or de- 
coction to stop purgings, bloody stools, and overflow- 
ings of the menses. A strong infusion of them cures 
ulcers in the mouth and throat, and is a good thing to 
wash the mouth for fastening the teeth. 

% 

POMPKIN. PepOL 

* 

A very large and straggling plant, cultivated 
by our poor people. The stalks are very long and 
thick, but they lie upon the ground j they are 
angulated and rough. The leaves are extremely 
large, and of a roundish figure, but cornered and 
angulated, and they are of a deep green colour, 
and rough to the touch. The flowers are very 
large, and yellow, of a bell-hke shape, but an- 
gulated at the mouth, and the fruit is of the melon 
kind, only bigger and round ; of a deep green 

n n 


274 


FAMILY HERBAL 


when unripe,, but yellow at last : in this, under the 
fleshy part, are contained many large flat seeds. 

The poor people mix the fleshy part of the fruit 
with apples, and bake them in pies. The seeds are 
excellent in medicine ; they are cooling and diure- 
tic ; the best way of taking them is in emulsions, 
made with barley water. They make an emulsion 
as milky as almonds, and are preferable to them, 
and all the cold seeds, in stranguries and heat of ' 
urine. 


Black Poplar. Populus nigra. 

A tall tree, frequent about waters, and of a 
very beautiful aspect. The trunk is covered with a 
smooth pale bark ; the branches are numerous, and 
grow with a sort of regularity. The leaves are short 
and broad, roundish at the base, but ending in a 
point ; they are of a glossy shining green, and stand 
on Ions; foot stalks. The flowers and seeds are 
inconsiderable ; they appear in spring, and are little 
regarded. 

The young leaves of the black poplar are excellent 
mixed in pultices, to be applied to bard painfu. 
swellings. 

White Poppy. Papctver album. 

A tall and beautiful plant, kept- in our gar- 
dens, a native of the warmer climates. It grows 
a yard and half high : the stalk is round, smooth, 
upright, and of a bluish green ; the leaves are 
very long, considerably broad, and deeply and ir- 
regularly cut in at the edges ; they are also of a 
bluish green colour, and stand irregularly on the 
stalk. The flowers are very large and white, one 
stands at the top of each division of the stalk ; 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


when they are fallen, the seed-vessel, or poppy head, 
grows to the bigness of a large apple, and contains 
within it a very great quantity of small whitish seeds, 
with several skinny divisions. 

When any part of the plant is broken, there 
flows out a thick milky juice, of a strong, bitter, and 
hot taste, very like that of opium, and full as dis- 
agreeable. 

The heads are used with us, and sometimes the 
seeds. Of the heads boiled in water, is made the 
syrup of diacodium. The heads are to be dried 
for this purpose, and the decoction is to be made 
as strong as possible, and then boiled up with 
sugar. The seeds are beaten up into emulsions 
with barley water, and they are good against stran- 
guries, and heat of urine : they have nothing of the 
sleepy virtue of the syrups, nor of the other parts or 
preparations of the poppy. Syrup of diacodium, 
puts people to sleep, but gently, and is safer than 
opium or laudanum. 

Opium is nothing more than the milky juice of 
this plant concreted ; it is obtained from the heads : 
they cut them while upon the plant in the warmer 
countries, and the juice winch flows out of the 
wound, hardens and becomes opium : they make 
an inferior kind also, by bruizing and sqeezing the 
heads. Laudanum is a tincture of this opium 
made in wine. Either one or the other is given 
to compose people to sleep, and to abate the sense 
of pain ; they are also cordial and promote sweat ; 
but they are to be given with great care and cau- 
tion, for they are very powerful, and therefore 
they may be very dangerous medicines. It is 
good to stop violent purgings and vomiting , but 
this must be effected by small doses carefully given. 
The present practice depends upon opium and 
bleeding for the cure of the bite ©f a mad dog ; 


276 


FAMILY HERBAL. 

but it is not easy to say that any person ever was 
cured, who became thoroughly distempered from 
that bite. One of the strongest instances we have 
known, was in a person at St. George's hospital, 
under the cure of Dr. Hoadly, there was an appear- 
ance of the symptoms, and the cure was effected by 

this method. 

* * 

Black Poppy. Papaver nigrum . 

A tall and fine plant, but not so elegant as 
the former. It is a yard high. The stalk is round, 
upright, firm, and smooth, and toward the top 
divides into some branches. The leaves are long 
and broad, of a bluish green colour, and deeply 
and irregularly cut in at the edges. The flowers a re 
large and single : they are of a dead purple colour, 
with a black bottom. The heads or seed-vessels are 
round, and of the bigness of a walnut. The seed is 
black. ' : 

A syrup of the heads of this poppy is a strong- 
er sudorific than the common diacodium, but it is 
not used. The gentleness of that medicine is 
its merit : when something more powerful is 
used, it is better to have recourse to opium, or 
laudanum. 

* s 

Red Poppy. Papaver srraticum . 

A common wild plant in our corn fields, dis- 
tinguished by its great scarlet flowers. It is a 
foot high. The stalk is round, slender, hairy, of 
a pale green, and branched. The leaves are long 
and narrow, of a dusky green, hairy, and very 
deeply, but very regularly indented. The flowers 
are very large, and of an extremely bright and 
fine scarlet colour, a little blackish toward the 

• i - . . . - - * - - . . - 




r 


FAMILY HERBAL 277 

bottom. The head is small, not larger than a horse 
bean, and the seeds are small, and of a dark colour. 
The whole plant is full of a bitter yellowish juice, 
which runs out when it is anv where broken, and lias 
something of the smell of opium. 

The flowers are used. A syrup is made from 
them bv pouring as much boiling water on them 
as will just wet them, and after a night’s standing, 
straining it off and adding twice its weight of 
sugar : this is the famous syrup of red poppies. 
It gently promotes sleep. It is a much weaker 
medicine than the diacodium. It is greatly recom- 
mended in pleurisies and fevers ; but this upon no 
good foundation. It is very wrong to depend upon 
such medicines : it prevents having recoin se to 
better. 


Primrose. Primula veris . 

A very pretty, and very common spring plant. 
The leaves arc long, considerably broad, of a 
pale green, and wrinkled on the surface : they grow 
immediately from the root in considerable numbers. 
The stalks which support the flowers are single, 
slender, four or five inches high a little hairy, 
and have no leaves on them : one flower stands 
at the top of each, and is large, white, and beautiful, 
with a yellow spot in the middle. The root is fibrous 
and whitish. 

The root is used. The juice of it snuffed up the 
nose occasions sneezing, and is a good remedy against 
the head-ach. The dried root powdered, has the 
same effect, but not so powerfully. 

Privet. Ligustrum. 

A little wild shrub in our hedges. It 


278 


FAMILY HERBAL; 


grows four feet high. The stalks are slender, 
tough, and covered with a smooth brown bark. The 


leaves are oblong and narrow : they are small, 
of a dusky green colour, broadest in the middle, 
and placed in pairs opposite to one another, and 
they are of a somewhat firm substance, and have no 
indenting at the edges. The flowers are white and 
little, but they stand in tufts at the ends of the branches, 
and by that make a good appearance. The fruit is a 
black berry : one succeeds to every flower in the 
cluster. 


The tops are used ; and they are best when the 
flowers are just beginning to bud. A strong infusion 
of them in water, with the addition of a little honey 
and red wine, is excellent to wash the mouth and 
throat when there arc little sores in them, and when 
the gums are apt to bleed. 


PuRSLAiN. Portulaca 

A common plant in our gardens, and of a very 
singular aspect : we have few so succulent. It 
grows a foot long, but trails on the ground. The 
stalks are round, thick, and fleshy, of a reddish 
colour, and very brittle. The leaves are short and 
broad : they are of a good green, thick, fleshy, and 
broad, and blunt at the end. The flowers are little 
and yellow : they stand among the leaves toward the 
tops of the stalks. The root is small, fibrous, and 
whitish. 

Purslain is a pleasant herb in sallads, and so whole- 
some, that kis a pity more of it is not eaten : it is ex- 
cellent against the scurvy. The juice fresh pressed 
out with a little white wine, works by urine, and is 
excellent against stranguries and violent heats, and 
also against the scurvv. 


FAMILY HERBAL.' -279 

• v * 

Q 

Quince Tree. Cydonia. 

A common tree in our gardens, of irregular 
growth. The trunk is thick, and has a brown bark. 
The branches are numerous, straggling, amt 
spreading. The leaves are roundish, of a dusky 
green on the upper side, and whitish underneath. 
The flowers or blossoms are large and beautiful, 
of a pale flesh colour. The fruit is of the shape 
of a pear, and has a large crown : it is yellow when 
ripe, and of a pleasant smell : its taste is austere, 
but agreeable. The seeds are soft and mucila- 

o 

ginous. 

The fruit and seeds are used. The juice of the 
ripe quince made into a syrup with sugar, is ex- 
cellent to stop vomiting, and to strengthen the 
stomach. The seed, boiled in water, gives it a 
softness, and mucilaginous quality ; and it is an 
excellent medicine for sore mouths, and may be 
used to soften and moisten the mouth and throat in 
fevers. 

4 

li 

Radish . Rctph a nu s . 

A common plant in our gardens, the root of 
which is eaten abundantly in spring. In this state 
we only see a long and slender root, of a purple or 
scarlet colour, (for there are these varieties) min- 
gled with white ; from which grow a quantity of 
large rough leaves^ of a deep green colour, and 
irregularly divided : amidst these in summer rises 
the stalk, which is a yard high, round, and very 
much branched. The leaves on it are much smaller 


FAMILY FERBAL. 


tban flme from the root. The flowers are very nu- 
merous, small, and white, with some spots of red. The 
pods are thick, long*, and spungy 
i The juice of the radish roots fresh gathered, with, 
a little white wine, is an excellent remedy against 
the gravel. Scarce any thing operates more 

speedily by urine, or brings away little stones more 
successfully. 

*■ \ 0 
/ " > 

Horse Radish. Rapkanus rusticanus 

A plant as well known in our gardens as the 
other, and wild also in many places. The root is 
very long, and of an exceedingly acrid taste, so that 
it cannot he eaten as the other. The leaves are 
two feet long, and half a foot broad, of a deep 
green colour, blunt at the point, and a lit- 
tie indented at the edges : sometimes there are 
leaves deeply cut and divided, blit that is an 
accidental variety. The stalks are a yard high : 
The leaves on them are very small and narrow, and 
at the tops stand little white flowers, in long spikes : 
these are followed by little seed-vessels. The plant 
seldom flowers, and when it does, the seeds scarce 
ever ripen. It is propagated sufficiently by the root, 
and wherever this is the case, nature is less careful 
about seeds. 

The juice of horse radish root operates very pow- 
erfully by urine, and is good against the jaundice and 
dropsy. The root whole, or cut to pieces, is put into 
diet drink, to sweeten the blood ; and the eating fre- 
quently and in quantities, at table, is good against the 
rheumatism. 

Ragwort. Jacohce . 

A wild plant, very common in our pasture#*. 


,Y HERBAL, 




and distinguished by its ragged leaves, and dusters 
of yellow flowers. It is two feet high. The stalk 
is robust, round, striated, and often purplish. The 
leaves are divided in an odd manner, into several 
parts, so that they look torn or ragged ; their co- 
lour is a dark dusky green, and they grow to the 
stalk without any foot-stalk, and are broad and 
rounded at the end. The flowers are moderately 
large and yellow, and the tops of the branches are 
so covered with them, that they often spread toge- 
ther to the breadth of a plate. The whole plant has 
a disagreeable smell. The root is flhrous, and the 

seeds are downy. 

*•* 

The fresh leaves are used : but it is best to take 
those that rise immediately from the root, for they are 
larger and more juicy than those on the stalk : they 
are to be mixed in puitices, and applied outwardly 
as a remedy against pains in the joints : they have a 
surprising effect. It is said that two or three times 
applied, they will cure the sciatica, or hip gout, when 
ever so violent. 

/ 

Raspberry Bush. Rubus ideeus . 

A little shrub, common in our gardens, but wild 
also in some parts of the kingdom. The stalks are 
round, weak, tender, of a pale brown, and prickly. 
The leaves are each composed of live others : they 
are large, of a pale green, indented about the edges, 
and hairy. The flowers are little, and of a whitish 
colour, with a great quantify of threads in the mid- 
dle. The fruit is the common raspberry, composed 
like the blackberry of several grains : it is soft to the 
touch, and of a delicate taste. The colour varies, 
for white ones are common. 

The juice of ripe raspberries, boiled up with 
sugar, makes an excellent syrup. It is pleasant, and 

o o 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


282 

agreeable to the stomach, good against sicknesses 
and Teachings. 

Rattle-Snake Root Plant. Seneca . 

» * 

A small plant, native of America, with weak 
stalks, little leaves, and white flowers. It grows a 
foot high. The stalks are numerous, weak, and 
round, few of them stand quite upright, some gene- 
rally lie upon the ground. The leaves stand irre- 
gularly : they are oblong and somewhat broad, and 
of a pale green. The flowers are little and white : 
they stand in a kind of loose spikes, at the tops of 
the stalks, and perfectly resemble those of the 
common plant we call milkwort, of which it is in- 
deed a kind : the whole plant has very much the 
aspect of the taller kind of our English milkwort. 
The root is of a singular form : it is long, irregu- 
lar, slender, and divided into many parts, and these 
have on each side, a kind of membranous margin 
hanging from them, which makes it distinct in its 
appearance, fit>m all the other roots used in the 
shops. 

We owe the knowledge of this medicine, origi- 
nally to the Indians : they give it as a remedy against 
the poison of the rattle-snake, but it has been 
extolled, as possessing great virtues. Dr. Tennant 
brought it into England, and we received it as a 
powerful remedy against pleurisies, quinzies, and 
all other diseases where the blood was sizey : it was 
said to dissolve this dangerous texture, better than 
ail other known medicines ; but experience does 
not seem to have warranted altogether these effects, 
for it is at present neglected, after a great many and 
very fair trials. 

When this remedy was discovered to be the 
root of a .kind of polygala, which discovery was 


FAMILY HERBAL . 1 


28S 

awing to the gentleman who brought it over, and 
with it some of the plant, for the inspection of the 
curious. The roots of the English poly gala were 
tried ; those of the common blue or white flowered 
milkwort, (for that variety is purely accidental,) 
and they were found to have the same effects : 
they were given by some in pleurisies, with great 
success. It was said at that time they had less 
virtues than the seneca root, though of the same 
kind : but it must be remembered, the virtues of 
the seneca root were then supposed to be much 
greater than they really were. The novelty adding 
to the praise. 

Common Reed. Arundo . 

A tall water plant sufficiently known. The 
stalks are round, hard, jointed, and six or eight 
feet high. The leaves are long and broad, but other- 
wise like those of grass, of a pale green colour, and 
highly ribbed. The flowers are brown and chaffy, and 
stand in prodigious numbers at the tops of the stalks, 
in a kind of panicle. The roots are knotty and 
jointed and spread vastly. 

The juice of the fresh roots of reeds promotes the 
menses powerfully, but not violently. It is an ex- 
cellent medicine : it works by urine also ; and is 
good against stranguries and the gravel. 

Prickly Restiiarrow, Anonis spinosa. 

A little, tough, and almost shrubby plant, 
common in our dry fields, and by road sides. It is 
a foot high. The stalks are round, reddish, tough, 
and almost woody. The leaves are numerous : 
they stand three on every foot stalk, and grow 


pretty dose to the stalk. There are several short 
and sharp prickles about the stalks, principally at 
the insertions of the leaves. The leaves are of a 
dusky green, and serrated about the edges. The 
flowers are small and purple : they stand among the 
leaves towards the tops of the stalks, and are in shape 
like pea blossoms, but flatted : each is followed by a 
small pod. The root is white, very long, tough, and 
woody. 

The root is to be taken up fresh for use, and the 
bark separated for that purpose. It is to be boiled 
in water, and the decoction given in large quantities 
It is good against the gravel, and in all obstructions 
by urine ; and it is also good in the dropsy and 
jaundice. 

Rhapontic. Rhaponiicum sire rha. 

* . 

A tall robust blant, native of Scythia, but 
kept in many of our gardens. It grows four feet 
high. The stalk is round, striated, an inch thick, 
sometimes hollow, and very upright. The leaves 
are large and broad : those from the root arc 
about a foot and a half long, and a foot broad ; of a 
deep green colour, with large ribs, and blunt at the 
ends. The flowers are small and white : they stand 
in clusters at the tops of the stalks, they are succeeded 
by triangular seeds. 

The root is the part used, and this is what the 
antients used under the name of rha. It is of the 
nature of rhubarb, but different in this, that it is less 
purgative, and more astringent ; for this reason, 
there are many purposes which it would answer much 
better. We have it at the druggists, but there is no 
depending upon what they sell, for they seldom keep 
it genuine. 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


Rice. Oryza . 


285 


! 


A very common plant in the East, sown in 
the fields for the sake of the seed or grain. It 
grows four feet high ; the stalk is round, hollow, 
and jointed ; the leaves are long and grassy, and 
of a pale green colour, but they are broader than those 
of any of our kinds of com. The flowers are incon- 
siderable ; the seeds or grains are contained in bushes 
of a brown colour, each having a long beard to it, 
usually curled at the bottom, and divided at the top 
into two parts. 

We eat rice as a food rather than medicine ; but 
it is excellent for those who have habitual purgings or 
loosenesses ; it is to be eaten any way for this pur- 
pose, only it must be continued, and it will do more 
than all the medicines in the world. The rice-milk 
is excellent for this purpose. 

Garden Rocket. Erne a sativa. 


A common plant in our gardens, two feet high, 
and very erect. The stalk is round and of 
a deep green ; the leaves are oblong, considerably 
broad, of a deep green colour, and divided at the 
edges : the flowers are moderately large, and of a 
whitish colour, veined with purple, and they stand in 
a long spike at the top of the stalk. The pods are 
long and slender. 

Some people are fond of rocket as a sallad herb, 
but it is not very pleasant. It works by urine, and 
is good against the scurvy. A strong infusion of the 
leaves made into a syrup is good against coughs, it 
causes expectoration, and eases the lungs. 

’ ■ V : 




§86 


FAMILY HERBAL; 


Dog Rose, or Wild Rose. Cynosbatus , sive 

rosa sylvestris. 

A common bush in our hedges. The stalks or 
stems are round, woody, and very prickly. The 
leaves are composed each of several smaller ; these 
stand in pairs on a rib, with an odd one at the end ; 
and they are small, oblong, of a bright glossy green 
colour, and regularly indented at the edges. The 
ilowers are single, large, and very beautiful : there 
is something simple and elegant in their aspect that 
pleases many, more than all the double roses raised 
by culture. They are white, but with a blush of red, 
and very beautiful The fruit that follows there is 
the common hip, red, oblong, and containing a great 
quantity of hairy seeds. 

The fruit is the only part used ; the pulp is sepa- 
ratee! from the skins and seeds, and beat up into a con- 
serve with sugar ; this is a pleasant medicine, and is 
of some efficacy against coughs. • 

Though this is the only part that is used, it is not 
the only that deserves to be. The Ilowers, gathered 
in the bud and dried, are an excellent astringent, 
made more powerful than the red roses that are com- 
monly dried for this purpose. A tea, made strong 
of these dried buds, and some of them given with 
it twice a day in powder, is an excellent medicine 
for overflowings of the menses ; it seldom fails to 
effect a cure. The seeds separated from the fruit, 
dried and powdered, work by urine, and are good 
against the gravel, but they do not work very 
powerfully; ' , . 

Upon the branches of this shrub, there grow a 
kind of spungy fibrous tufts, of a green or redish 
colour, they are called bedeguar. They are caus- 
ed by the wounds made by insects in the stalks, 
as the galls are produced upon the oak. They are 


FAMILY HERBAL,. 


mi 


astringent^ and msy be given in powder against 
fluxes. They are said to work by urine; but expe- 
rience does not warrant this. 

• * 

Damask Rose. Rosa damascena. 

A common shrub in our gardens; very much 
resembling that in our hedges last mentioned. It 
grows five or six feet high, but the stalks are not 
fery strong, or able to support themselves. They 
are round, and beset with sharp prickles. The 
leaves are each composed of two or three pairs of 
smaller ones, with an odd one at the end : they are 
whitish, hairy, and broad, and are indented at the 
edges. The flowers are white and very beautiful, 
of a pale red colour, full of leaves, and of an ex- 
tremely sweet smell ; the fruit is like the common 
hip. 

The flowers are used. The best way of giving 
them is in a syrup thus made. Pour boiling wa- 
ter upon a quantity of fresh gathered damask roses, 
just enough to cover them ; let them stand four 
and twenty hours, then press off the liquor, and 
add to it twice the quantity of sugar ; melt this, 
and the syrup is completed : it is an excellent purge 
for children and there is not a better medicine 
for grown people, who are subject to be costive. 
A little of it taken every night will keep the body 
open continually ; medicines that purge strongly, 
bind afterwards. Rose water is distilled from t\m 
kind. 

•I v • ' ' i 

White Rose. Rosa alba . 

A common shrub also in our gardens. It 
grows ten or twelve feet 1 bigh 3 but is not very able 
to support itself upright. The stalks are round, 

* 


288 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


prickly, and very much branched. The leaves are 
of a dusky green, each composed of several pairs 
of smaller, with an odd one at the end. The flow- 
ers are somewhat smaller than those of the damask 
rose, but of the same form : and their' colour is 
white, and they hate less fragrance than the 
damask. 

The flowers are used. They are to be gathered 
in the bud, and used fresh or dry. A strong infusion 
of them is good against overflowings of the menses,, 
and the bleeding of the piles. 

Red Rose. Rosa rubra. 

Another shrub common in our gardens, and 
the least and lowest of the three kinds of roses. The 
stalks are round, woody, weak, and prickly, but 
they have fewer prickles than those of the damask 
rose : the leaves are large ; they are composed each 
of three or four pair of smaller, which are oval, of a 
dusky green, and serrated round the edges. The 
flowers are of the shape and size of those of the 
damask rose, but they are not so double, and they 
have a great quantity of yellow threads in the middle. 
They are of an exceeding fine deep and red colour, 
and they have very little smell : the fruit is like the 
common hip. 

The flowers are used. They are to be gathered 
when in bud, and cut from the husks without the 
white bottoms and dried. The conserve of red 
roses is made of these buds prepared as for the 
drying ; they are beaten up with three times their 
weight of sugar. When dried, they have more vir- 
tue ; they are given in infusion, and sometimes in 
powder against overflowings of the menses, and all 
other bleedings. Half an ounce of these dried buds 
arc to be put into an earthen pan, and a pint of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


289 


boiling water poured upon them after they have 
stood a few minutes, fifteen drops of oil of vitriol 
are to be dropped in upon them, and three drachms 
ot the finest sugar, in powder, is to be added at the 
same time, then the whole is to be well stirred 
about and covered up, that it may cool leisurely : 
when cold it is to be poured clear off. It is called 
Cincture of roses ; it is clear, and of a fine red colour, 
it strengthens the stomach, and prevents vomitings, 
and is a powerful as well as a pleasant remedy 
against all duxes. 

Rose- Wood Tree. Rhodium. 

There are two kinds of wood known under 
the name of rose-wood, the one from the East, 
which, when fresh brought over, has a very fra- 
grant smell, exceedingly like that, of the damask 
rose, and from the wood is distilled the oil, which 
is sold under the name of essence of damask rose ; 
we have no account of the tree which affords this. 
The other rose-wood is the produce of Jamaica, 
and has very much of the fragrant smell of the 
eastern kind, but it is not the same : the tree which 
produces this is fully described by that great natu- 
ralist sir Hans Sloane, in his History of the Island 
of Jamaica. The tree grows twenty feet or more 
in height, and its trunk is very thick in proportion. 
The leaves are each composed of three or four pairs 
of smaller : these stand at a distance from one ano- 
ther on the common stalk ; the flowers are little 
and white, and they grow in clusters, so that at a 
distance, they look like the bunches of elder flow- 
ers. The fruit is a round berry, often each of the 
bigness of a tare. The wood of this tree is lighter, 
paler coloured, and of the looser grain than the 
eastern rose-wood. 

p [> 


290 


FAMILY HERBAL 


The wood is said to be good in nervous disorders, 
lint we seldom make any use of it. 

Rosemary. Eosemarinus 

A pretty shrub, wild in Spain and France, 
mid kept in our gardens. It is five or six feet 
high, but weak, and not well able to support itself 
The trunk is covered with a rough bark. The 
leaves stand very thick on the branches, which are 
brittle and slender : they are narrow, an inch long 
and thick, and they are of a deep green on the 
upper side, and whitish underneath. The flowers 
stand at the tops of the branches among the leaves ; 
they are large and very beautiful, of a greyish co- 
lour, with a somewhat reddish tinge, and of a very 
fragrant smell. Rosemary, when in flower, makes 
a very beautiful appearance. 

The flowery tops of rosemary, fresh gathered, 
contain its greatest virtue. If they are used in 
the manner of tea, for a continuance of time, they 
are excellent against head-aclis, tremblings of the 
limbs, and all oilier nervous disorders. A conserve 
is made of them also, which very well answers 
this purpose : but when the conserve is made only 
of the picked flowers, it has less virtue. The corn 
serve is best made by beating up the fresh gathered 
tops with three times their weight of sugar. The 
famous Hungary water is made also of these flow- 
ery tops of rosemary. Put two pound of these into 
a common still, with two gallons of molasses spirit, 
/and distil off one gallon and a prat. This is Hun- 
gary water. 

Rosa Sous, or Sundew. Eos solis. 

A very singular and very pretty little plant. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


common in boggy places on our heaths. It grows 
six or seven inches high. The leaves all rise im- 
mediately from the root : they are roundish and 
hollow, of the breadth of a silver two-pence, ami. 
placed on foot-stalks of an inch long* ; they are 
covered in a very extraordinary manner with long* 
red hairs, and in the midst of the hottest days they 
have a drop of dear liqueur standing on them. 
The stalks are slender and naked : at their tops 
stand little white flowers, which are succeeded 
s *>y seed-vessels, of an oblong form, contain*" 
ing a multitude of small seeds. The root is fi- 
brous. 

The whole plant is used fresh gathered. It is 
esteemed a great cordial, and good against convul- 
sions, hysteric disorders, and tremblings of the limbs ; 
but it is not much regarded. 

Rhubarb JRhabarb arum . 

A tall, robust, and not unhandsome plant, a 
native of many parts of the East, and of late got 
into our gardens, after we had received many others 
falsely called by its name. 

It grows to three feet in height. The stalk is 
round, thick, striated, and of a greenish colour, 
frequently stained with purple. The leaves are 
very large, and of a figure approaching to triangu- 
lar :• they are broad at the base, small at the point, 
and waved all along the edges. These stand on 

O O I 

thick hollowed foot-stalks, ' which are frequently 
also reddish. The flowers are whitish, small and 
inconsiderable : they stand at the tops of the stalks 
in the manner of dock-flowers, and make little more 

% ure • the seed is triangulated. The root is thick, 
long, and often divided toward the bottom ; of a 
yellow colour veined with purple, but the purpi# 


292 FAMILY HERBAL. 

appears much more plainly in the dry, than in the 
fresh root. 

The root is used : its virtues are sufficiently 
known ; it is a gentle purge, and has an after as- 
tringency. It is excellent to strengthen the sto- 
mach and bowels, to prevent vomitings, and carry 
off the cause of colics ; in the jaundice also it is 
extremely useful. Rhubarb and nutmeg toasted 
together before the lire, make an excellent remedy 
against purgings. There is scarce any chronic dis- 
ease in which rhubarb is not serviceable. 

, The Rhapontic monks rhubarb, and false monks" 
rhubarb, all approach to the nature of the true 
rhubarb ; they have been described already in their 
several places. 

Rue. jRula. 

A pretty little shrub, frequent in our gar- 
dens. It grows three or four feet high. The stem 
is firm, upright, and woody ; very tough, and 
covered with a whitish bark. The branches are 
numerous, and the youpg shoots are round, green, 
and smooth * the leaves are composed of many 
smaller divisions ; they are of a blue green colour 
and fleshy substance ; and each division is short, 
obtuse, and roundish. The flowers are yellow, not 
large, but very conspicuous ; they have a quantity 
of threads in the center, and they are succeeded by 
rough seed-vessels. 

Rue is to be used fresh gathered, and the tops 
of the young shoots contain its greatest virtue. 
They are to be given in infusion : 'or they may be 
beaten up into a conserve with three times their 
weight of sugar, and taken in that form. The in- 
fusion is an excellent medicine in fevers ; if raises 
the spirits, and promotes sweat, drives any thing 


s 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


293 


out, and is good against head-aches, and all other 
nervous disorders which attend certain fevers. The 
conserve is good against weaknesses of the stomach, 
and pains in the bowels. It is pleasant, and may b£ 
taken frequently by people subject to hysteric dis- 
orders with great advantage. 

Rupture- wort. Ilerniaria. 

A little low plant, wild in some parts of the 
kingdom, but not common, and kept in the gardens 
of the curious. It grows three or four inches long, 
hut the stalks lie on the ground : many grow from 
the same root, and they spread into a kind of cir- 
cular figure. They are slender, round, jointed, and 
of a pale green. The leaves are very small, and 
nearly of an oval figure ; they stand two at each 
joint, and are also of a pale green. The leaves 
are very small ; the root is very long, butjnot thick. 

The juice of the fresh gathered herb, externally 
applied, has been much celebrated against ruptures ; 
perhaps without any great foundation. An in- 
fusion of it, taken inwardly, works by urine, 
and is very good against the gravel, and in the 
jaundice. 


S 

Saffron. Crocus. 

* 

A Very pretty plant, of the same kind with 
what are called crocuses in our gardens. It is 
planted in fields, in some parts of England, and 
yields a very profitable kind of produce. The 
flowers of this plant appear in autumn, but the leaves 
not till sometime after they are fallen. These flow- 
ers have, properly speaking, no stalk ; they rise im- 




§94 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


mediately from the root, which is roundish, and m 
bigas a large, nutmeg, and they stand a little way 
above the surface of the ground ; they are of a pur- 
plish blue, and very large ; the lower part is cov- 
ered with a skinny husk. In the- centre of these 
stand three stamina, or threads, with yellow tops, 
which are useless, but in the midst between these 
rises up what is called the pistil of the flower. 
This is the rudiment of the future seed-vessel ; it is 
oblong and whitish, and at its top separates into 
three filaments ; these are long, and of an orange 
scarlet colour ; these three filaments are the only 
part of the plant that is used ; they are what we call 
saffron. They are carefully taken out of the flower 
and pressed into cakes, which cakes we see under 
the name, of English saffron, and which is allowed 
to he the best in the world. 

The leaves are long and grassy, of a dark green 
colour, and very narrow. They are of no use. 

Saffron is a noble cordial. 

* 

Bastard Saffron . Carlhamus. 

A. plant in its whole aspect as unlike to that 
which produces the true saffron, as one herb can 
be to another ; but called by this name, because 
of the yellow threads which grow from the flow- 
er. It is of the thistle kind, two feet and a 
half high, and very upright. The stalk is round, 
angulated, and branched, but it is not prickly. 
The leaves are oblong, broad, round at the points, 
and prickly about the edges. The flowers stand 
at the tops of the branches : they consist of round- 
ish, scaly, and prickly heads, with yellow flowers 
growing from amongst them : these are like the 
flowers in the heads of our thistles, but narrower 
and longer. 


i 


FAMILY HERBAL. 



These flowers are used by the dyers in some 
parts of Europe. The seed is the part taken into 
the shops : it is longish, covered, and white with 
a hard covering ; it is to be given in infusion, 
which works both by vomit and stool, but not 
violently. It is good against rheumatisms and the 
jaundice. 

Sagapenum Plant. Sagapenum . 

A large plant, native of Persia in the East 
Indies, and described but imperfectly to us ; how- 
ever, so that we have confirmation that the dcscrip-* 
tion is authentic, if not so finished in all its parts 
as we could wish. It grows upon the mountains, 
and is eight feet high ; the leaves are very large, 
and are composed of a great multitude of little 
parts, which are fixed to a divided rib, and are 
of a bluish green colour, and when bruised, of a 
strong smell. The stalk is thick, striated, round, 
hollow, and upright, purplish towards the bottom, 
but green upwards. The leaves which stand on 
it are like those which rise from the root, only 
smaller. The flowers are little and yellowish ; 
they stand in very large umbels at the tops of the 
stalks, and each of them is succeeded by two 
seeds ; these are flat, large, brown, and striated. 
The root is long, thick, of a yellowish colour, and 
of a disagreeable smell. This is the account we 
have from those who have been of late in the 
East : and there is a great deal to confirm it We 
find among resin which is brought over to us, 
pieces of the stalk and many seeds of the plant : 
these agree with the description. I procured some 
of the seeds picked out of some sagapenum, by 
young Mr. Sisson, to be sowed with all proper 
care at the lord Petre’s, whose principal gardener 


296 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


was an excellent person at his business, and with 
them some seeds of the ammoniacum plant, pick- 
ed also out of a large quantity of that gum. Those 
of the ammoniacum plant all perished ; from the 
saga pen um seeds, though more than an hundred were 
sown, we had only one plant, and that perished 
by some accident very young ; but what we saw 
of the leaves gave credit to the account given 
of the plant by Mr. Williams, who told us he 
had. seen it in Persia. These are curious parts 
of knowledge, and they are worth prosecuting by 
those who have leisure : the success of this experi- 
ment shews the possibility of raising some of those 
plants at home, which we never have been able 
to get truly and fully described to us. 

We use a gum resin obtained from the roots 
of this plant, by cutting them and catching the 
juice ; w r e call this, when concreted into lumps, 
sagapenum. We have it either finer in small 
pieces, or coarser in masses ; it is brownish, with 
a cast of red, and will grow soft with the heat of 
the hand : it is disagreeable both in smell and taste, 
but it is an excellent medicine. It is good for all 
disorders of the lungs arising from a tough phlegm, 
and also in nervous cases. It has been found a 
remedy in inveterate head-aches, after many other 
medicines have failed. It is one of those drugs, 
too much neglected by the present practice, which 
encourages the use of others that have not half 
their virtue: but there are fashions in physic, as 
there are in all other tilings. 

Red Sage. Salvia hortens-is . 

The common sage of our gardens. It is a 
kind of shrubby plant, a foot or tvyo high, and 
full of branches. The stem is tough, hard, woody,. 


297 


I- FAMILY HERBAL, 

and covered with a brown rough bark ; the smaller 
branches are reddish, the leaves are oblong and 
broad ; they stand on long foot stalks, and are of 
a singular rough surface, and of a reddish colour. 
The flowers grow on stalks that only at that 
season of the year, and stand up a great deal above 
the rest of the surface of the plant ; they are large 
and blue, and are of the figure of the dead nettle 
flowers, only they grape lastly more. The whole 
plant has a pleasant smelltv. The leaves and tops 
are used, and they are best fresh: ; the common 
way of taking them is in infusion, or in form of 
what is called sage tea, is better than any other : 
they are a cordial, and good against all diseases of 
the nerves : they promote perspiration, and throw 
any thing out which ought to appear upon the skin. 
The juice of sage works by urine, and promotes 
the menses. 

Sage of Virtue. Salvia minor . 

Another shrubby plant, very like the former 
in its manner of growth, but wanting its red colour. 
It is a foot or two in height, and very bushy. The 
stem is woody. The branches are numerous. The 
leaves are oblong, narrower than in common sage, 
and of a whitish green colour : there is often a 
pair of small leaves at the base of each larger. 
The flowers grow in the same manner as in the 
red sage, but they are smaller. The whole plant 
has a pleasant smell. 

The green tops are used ; and their virtues are 
much the same with those of the former, but they 
are less. It got into use from an opinion that the 
other was too hot, but this was idle. 

« q 


family herbal. 

Wood Sage. Salvia agrestis . 


A wild plant, common in woods and hedges, 
with leaves like sage, and spikes of small flowers. 
It grows two feet and a half high. The stalk is 
square, firm, slender, and upright. The leaves 
stand two at each joint : they are somewhat shorter 
and broader than those of sage, of a green colour, 
and serrated about the edges. The flowers are 
numerous, and very small : they stand in long 
spikes, and are of a greenish yellow colour, with 
some red threads in them. The plant has a singu- 
lar smell, with something of the garlic flavour, but 
that not strong. 

The tops are to be used fresh. Made into an in- 
fussion, they promote urine and the menses : the 
juice of them drank for a continuance, is excellent 
against rhumatic pains. 

I 

Salep plant. Orchis orientalis. 

A very pretty plant, of the nature of our 
common orchis, native of the East, but growing to 
a greater height and producing larger roots than, 
with us, though it seems very nearly allied to what 
we cal! the tall female orchis, with large flowers, 
which is. frequent in our meadows. It grows in 
damp ground, and is a foot high. The stalk is 
round, jucy, and tender. The leaves are eight 
inches long, and not an inch broad, of a dark green 
colour, and also juicy. The flowers stand at the 
tops of the stalk, in a spike of two indies long : 
they are moderately large, and of a pale red colour. 
The root is composed of two roundish bodies, of the 
bigness of a pidgeon’s egg, and of a white colour, 
with some fibres. 

We use the root, which we receive dry from 


I 


FAMILY HERBAL. 299 

Turkey. They have a peculiar method of curing 1 
it ; they make it clean and then soak it four and 
twenty hours in water ; after this, they hang a 
quantity of it in a coarse cloth, over the steam of a 
pot in which rice is boiling ; this softens it, but it 
gives it a sort of transparence, and qualities it for 
drying ; these juicy roots, otherwise growing moul- 
dy. When they have thus far prepared it, they 
string it upon a thread, and hang it in an airy place 
to dry ; it becomes tough as horn, and transparent. 
This is a practice common in the East with the roots 
they dry for use, and it would be well if we would 
practise it here ; the fine transparent kind of ginseng, 
which we have from China, is dried in this manner. 
It is highly probable, nay it is nearly a certainty, 
that the roots of our common orchis have all the 
qualities and effects of this salep, but we do not 
know how to dry them. If we tried this method, 
it might succeed ; and in the same manner, our own 
fields and meadows might afford us many medicines, 
what at present we purchase at a great price, from 
the farthest parts of the earth. 

The dried root is the part used ; and it is an ex- 
cellent restorative, to be given to persons wasted 
with long illnesses : the best way is to put a small 
quantity of it in powder, into a bason of warm 
water, which it instantly turns into a jelly, and a 
little wine and sugar are to be added. The Turks 
use it as a provocative to venery : they take it dis- 
solved in water, with ginger and honey. 

Hampshire, Crithmum mciritimuni. 

A plant mot uncommon about sea coasts, with 
much of the appearance of fennel, only not so tall ; 
some have called it sea fennel. It is two feet high* 
The leaves are large, and divided in the manner of 


soo 



HERBAL. 


those of fennel, into slender and small parts, but 
they are thick and fleshy. The stalk is round, hol- 
low, striated, and a little branched. The flowers 
are small and yellow, and they stand at the tops of 
the stalks in great clusters or umbels, in the manner 
of those of fennel. The whole plant has a warm 
and agreeable taste, and a good smell. 

The leaves are used fresh ; but those which grow 
immediately from the root, where there is no stalk, 
archest; they are pickled, and brought to our 
tables ; but they are often adulterated, and other 
things pickled in their place. The juice of the 
fresh leaves operates very powerfully by urine, and 
is good against the gravel and stone, against sup- 
pressions of the menses, and the jaundice. 


Sanicle. Sanicula. 

A pretty wild plant common in our woods, 
and distinguished by its regular leaves, and small 
umbels of flowers. It grows a foot and a half 
high. The leaves are numerous, and they all rise 
immediately from the root : they stand on long foot- 
stalks, and are very conspicuous : they are of a 
roundish shape, but cut in so, as to appear five 
cornered, serrated about the edges, and of a very 
deep glossy green colour, and shining surface. The 
stalk is striated, upright, naked: on its top grows a 
little round cluster of flowers : they are small and 
white, and each is succeeded by two little rough 
seeds. The root is fibrous. 

The leaves are used. A strong decoction of them 
is good against the overflowing of the menses, and 
the bleeding of the piles. It has been vastly 
celebrated for the cure of ruptures, but that is 
idle. 


FA MILY HERBAL. 30 1 

Sarsaparilla Plant, Sarsaparilla. 

A plant of the diming kind, native of the 

v. j 

warmer countries. The stalks run to ten or twelve 
feet in length, but are weak, and support them- 
selves among the bushes : they are whitish, angu- 
lar, and striated, and are full of small prickles. 
The leaves are an inch long, or more, and above 
half an inch broad, of an oval figure, of a deep 
green on the upper side, and white underneath, 
firm in their texture, and very glossy. The flow- 
ers are little and yellowish. The berries are black, 
round, and of the bigness of a small pea. The 
root is very large and slender. 

The root is used. Our druggists keep it ; they 
split it in two. It is brown on the outside, and 
white within ; and its taste is insipid. It is sup- 
posed to have great virtues, but they are not per- 
fectly established. They have been at times dis- 
puted, and at times supported. Given in decoc- 
tion, it promotes sweat and urine. It has been, 
esteemed good against the scurvy, and famous in 
the cure of the veneral disease. It is, in general, 
accounted a sweatener of the blood. 

Sassafras Tree, Sassafras. 

A beautiful tree, native of America, and 
to be met with in some of our gardens. It grows 
twenty five or thirty feet high. The trunk is 
naked till it comes near the top. The branches 
grow near together, and spread irregularly. The 
leaves are of two kinds : those on the older parts 
of the twigs are oblong and pointed, somewhat 
like hay leaves ; and those on the tops of the 
branches are larger, broader, and divided into 
three parts, like the leaves of maple, or they can y 


302 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


some resemblance of the smaller leaves of the fig- 
tree. The flowers are small and yellow. The 
fruit are berries like bay berries. The wood is 
of a reddish colour and perfumed smelh 

The wood is used. Our druggists receive it in 
logs, aid cut it out into shavings. The wood of 
the root is best, and its bark contains most virtue 
of all. It is best taken in infusion, by way of tea 
for it is very pleasant : il promotes sweat and 
is good against the scurvy, and all other foul- 
nesses of the blood* It is a constant ingredient in 
diet drinks against the venereal disease. 


Savine. Sabina , 

A litte garden shrub, green all the winter. 
The trunk is covered with a reddish brown bark. 
The bran dies-' are numerous, and stand confusedly. 
The leaves are small, narrow, of a dark green 
colour, and prickly. The flowers are very small, 
and of a yellowish colour ; and the fruit is a 
small berry, of a black colour when ripe, and cover- 
ed with a bluish dust like the bloom of a plum. 

The tops of the young branches are used ; they 
are best fresh, and given in the manner of tea. 
They very powerfully promote the menses ; and 
if given to women with child, will frequently cause 
a miscarriage. The country people give the juice 
mixed with milk to children, as a remedy against 
worms : it generally works by stool, and brings 
worms away with it. 

Summer Savory. Sal ur eta hortcnsis 

A common little plant in our kitchen gardens. 
I is ten inches or a foot hi Hu The stalks are nn~ 

o 

serous, and very hard, and woody toward the bot- 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


SOS 


tom. The leaves are oblong' and narrow: they 
stand two at each joint, with a quantity of young 
ones on their bosoms. The flowers grow on the 
upper parts of the stalks among the leaves : they 
are white with a tinge of bluish or reddish. The 
whole plant has a pleasant smell, and an agreeable 
taste. 

The whole plant is used. An in fusion of it, 
drank in the manner of tea, is good against col icy 
pains, and it opens obstructions, and promotes the 
menses. 

There is another kind of savory, with more woody 
stalks, called winter savory ; this has much the 
same virtues. 

Red Saunders Tree. Sant alum rub-rum . 

A tree, native of the West Indies, but of 
which we have seen nothing but the wood, and 
have received very imperfect descriptions. They 
say it grows forty feet high ; that the leaves are 
small, but many, set near together : their colour is 
a dusky green ; and their substance thick and 
fleshy. The flowers are like pea blossoms, and 
the fruit is a pod, containing three or four seeds. 
This is all we have been informed concerning the 
tree, and part of tin's by hearsay only. 

The wood is used, ft is of a deep red colour 
It is astringent, and is good against violent purgings 
and overflowings of the menses : for the former 
purpose, it is best given in powder, in small doses ; 
and for the latter, it is given in decoction. But it 
is not much used. 

Yeelow and White Saunders Tree. 

Sant alum JLavura it album . 

A beautiful tree, native of the East Indie* 


304 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


It grows forty or fifty feet high, and is very much 
branched. The leaves stand two or three pairs 
upon a stalk, in the manner of those of the lentisk, 
and are not unlike those of that tree in shape ; they 
are of a dark green colour, small, oblong, and 
fleshy* The flowers are moderately large, and of 
a deep dusky blue ; the fruit is a berry, of the big- 
ness of a large red cherry, which is black when ripe. 
Tfee wood is white in the outer part, and yellow at 
the heart, and these two parts are kept separate, 
and were long supposed the woods of two different 
trees. They have the same smell and taste, only 
that the yellow has them both in the greatest perfec- 
tion : and in the same manner, their virtues are the 
same ; but the yellow is so much superior, that the 
* white deserves no notice. 

The yellow saunders is best taken in the man- 
ner of tea, it is this way not unpleasant, and is 
cordial, good against disorders of the nerves, and 
hysteric complaints, and opens obstructions, it 
also gently promotes perspiriation, and works by 
urine. 


White Saxifrage. Saxifraga alba , 

A very pretty plant in our meadows, dis- 
tir^guished by the regular shape of its leaves, and 
its white snowy flowers. It grows ten inches high ; 
the stalk is round, thick, firm, upright, and a little 
hairy. The leaves are of a pale green colour, and 
fleshy substance : they are of a roundish figure, 
and indented about the edges ; and they stand upon 
long fool-stalks. The flowers are large and white ; 
they grow in considerable numbers on the tops of 
the stalks. The root is composed of a parcel of 
small white or reddish granules. 

The root is used ; and these small parts of which 
it consists have been used to be called by ignorant 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


30S 


apothecaries saxifrage seed. It is diuretic, and 
good against the gravel. The roots are best fresh, 
and the best way of giving them is in decoction. 

Meadow Saxifrage. Seseli pratense 

i 

A wild plant also, but though known by the 
same English name with the other, very different 
in form and flower. It grows to more than two 
feet in height. The stalks are round, deeply stri- 
ated, of a dark green colour, and considerably 
branched. The leaves are large, but they are di- 
vided into a multitude of fine narrow segments.. 
The flowers stand at the tops of the stalks in little 
umbels or round clusters, and they are small and 
yellow. The root is brown, long, and slender, and 
is of an aromatic and acrid taste. 

The root is used : it is best fresh taken up 
Given in a strong infusion, it works powerfully 
by urine, and brings away gravel. It also eases 
those colics, which are owing to the same 
cause. 

Scabious. Scabies a, 

A common wild plant in our corn-fields, dis- 
tinguished by its tall round stalks, and round blue 
flowers. It grows to three feet in height. The 
leaves rise principally from the root, and they lie 
spread upon the ground. They are oblong, and 
irregularly divided at the edges ; they are of a 
pale green, hairy, and rough to the touch. The 
stalks are round, upright, hairy, of the same pale 
green, colour, and they have a few leaves on them, 
placed two at a joint ; these are more deeply 
divided than those on the ground. The flowers 
sdand at the tops of the branches, they are of ® 

k r 


306 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


deep blue colour, and each is composed of a number 
of smaller flosudes, collected into a head. The root 
is Ions: and brown. 

O 

The leaves growing from the root are lobe gathered 
for use before the stalks appear. They are best 
fresh. A strong infusion of them is good against 
asthmas, and difficulty of breathing, and the same 
infusion made into syrup, is good against coughs. 
The (lowers are said to be cordial, and an infusion 
of them to promote sweat, and carry off fe vers, but this 
is less authentic ; the juice externally applied is good 
against foulnesses of the skin. 

Sc am m on v Plant. Seammonia 

A climbing plant, native of the eastern 
parts of the world. The stalks are numerous, 
green, slender, and angmlated ; they are live or six 
feet long, but unable to support themselves with- 
out the help of bushes. The leaves stand irregular- 
ly, and not very close to one another ; they are of 
a triangular figure, and bright green colour, and 
they stand upon long foot -stalks. The flowers 
are large and bell-fasluoned ; they resemble very 
much those of our common little bind-weed being 
whitish but they oftener have a yellowish than a red- 
dish tinge. The root is a foot and a half long, and 
as thick as a man's arm, full of a milky juice. They 
wound the roots and catch the milky juice as it runs 
out in shells ; and this when it is concreted into a 
hard mass is the scammonv we use. 

It is a rough purge, hut a very powerful and 
useful one. It is good against the rhumatie 
pains, and will reach the seat of many disorders that 
a common purge does not effect. However, it is 
seldom given alone : and a great misfortune is, 
that the compositions made with it are never to b® 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


307 


perfectly depended upon, because there is so much 
difference in several parcels of scammony, that they 
seem hardly the same medicine, some are so very 
strong, and some so weak. 

Garden Scurvy Grass, Cochlear la horlensis. 

A common wild plant about our sea coasts, 
but kept also in gardens for its virtues ; it is a foot 
high : the stalks are round, weak, and green ; the 
leaves that rise from the root make the most con- 
siderable appearance ; they stand in a large tuft, 
and are of a roundish figure, and a bright green 
colour, tender, juicy, and supported on long and 
slender foot-stalks. There are but few leaves on 
the stalks, and they are not so round as those from 
the root, but are a little angular and pointed. 
The flowers stand at the tops of the stalks, in little 
clusters ; they are white, small, and bright ; they are 
succeeded by short roundish seed-vessels. 

The fresh leaves are used, and the best way of 
all is to drink the pressed juice of them ; this is 
excellent against the scurvy, and all other foul- 
nesses of the blood. It may be mixed with Seville 
orange juice to make it pleasant, and should be 
taken every day for six weeks or two months toge- 
ther in springe 

Sea Scurvy Grass. Coehlearia marina . 

A common plant also about our sea coasts, 
and by the sides of rivers, where the tide comes 
The leaves are not so numerous as those of the other i 
and they are oblong, of a reddish green colour, 
pointed at the ends, and indented at the edges in an 
irregular manner : they are considerably larger thaft 
those of garden scurvy grass, and more fleshy. The 


308 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


stalks are eight or ten inches high ; they are ten- 
der, round and striated ; they have few leaves 
on them, but the flowers are small and white, and 
stand in clusters at the tops of the stalks, as in 
the other. The leaves are to be used fresh gather- 
ed. or their juice is to he taken. Their virtues 
are the same as those of the other. But it is the 
general opinion that they are greater, though the 
taste be not so agreeable, 

Sebesten Tree. Xyxa she sebesten • 

A tree of the bigness and form of our com- 
mon plum tree, and producing a fruit not altogether 
unlike it. The trunk is covered with a rough 
hark, the branches grow irregularly and crooked, 
and are generally so slender toward the ends, and 
so full of leaves that they bend downward ; the 
leaves are broad and short ; the flowers are white, 
small, and sweet scented ; they stand in tufts or 
clusters, and the cup in which they stand remains, 
and encloses the fruit. This is somewhat like 
a plum, and has a kernel in the same manner : 
its shape is oblong ; and the pulpy part of it is so 
tough and clamy, that being beat up with water 
it makes good bird lime. 

This fruit is the part used ; it is sent over to 
us dried in the manner of a prune. It used to be 
a constant ingredient in decoctions for coughs, 
and disorders of the lungs, but it is now dis- 
regarded. 

Self-heal Prunnella. 

A little wild plant common about way sides, 
with dark green leaves, and short tufts of blue 
flowers. It grows six inches high ; the stalk is 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


$09 


square, and a little hairy ; the leaves stand in pairs 
upon it, but there are seldom more than two or 
three pair, the great quantity of them rise imme- 
diately from the root ; they are oblong, broad, 
blunt at the point, and not at all indented at the 
edges. The flowers are small ; they stand in a 
kind of short spikes or heads : the cups of them 
are often purplish. The root is small and creep- 
ing, and full of fibres. The juice of self-heal 
is astringent ; it is good against purgings, with 
very sharp or bloody tools, and against overflow*- 
ings of the menses. The dried herb made into 
an infussion and sweatened with honey, is good 
against a sore throat, and ulcers of the mouth. 

Sena Shrub. Sena. 

A little shrub, three or four feet, high, 
native of the East. The trunk is covered with a 
whitish and rough bark ; the leaves are composed 
each of three pair of smaller, disposed on a com- 
mon rib, with an odd one at the end : they are 
oblong, narrow, and sharp pointed, of a smooth 
surface, a thick substance, of a pale green colour, 
and not indented at the edges. The flowers are 
like a pea blossom in shape, hut they are yellow, 
marked with purple veins. The pods are short 
and flat, and the seeds are small and brown. 

We have the dried leaves from the East, the 
druggists keep them. They are given in infusion, 
and are an excellent purge, but as they are apt to 
gripe in the working, the common method is to 
throw in a few cardamom seeds, or some other 
warm medicine into the water. 


i 


310 FAMILY HERBAL, 

Bastard Sena. Colutea. 

A common shrub kept for ornament in our 
gardens. The trunk is not very robust, but it 
keeps upright, and is covered with a whitish rough 
bark. The leaves are composed each of several 
pairs of smaller, set on a common rib, with an 
odd leaf at the end ; but they are rounder and 
broader in proportion to their length than those 
of the true sen a. The flowers are yellow : they 
are but small, but they hang in long branches, 
and are succeeded by pods, which look like blad- 
ders of a greenish colour. 

The leaves are used ; some give an infusion of 
them as a purge, but they are very rough : they 
work both upwards and downwards, and are only 
fit for very robust constitutions. For such as can 
bear them, they are good against rheumatic pains. 

Senega Tree, Senica . 

A tree frequent in the East, and named from 
a gum which it affords, and which is brought in 
great quantities into Europe. The tree is large 
and spreading ; its trunk is covered with a rough 
bark, its branches with a smoother, of a pale brown, 
and they are very full of thorns. 

The leaves are large, and they are composed of 
many smaller, set in pairs, very beautifully and 
evenly about a common rib, with an odd one at the 
end of each rib : they are oblong, and of a beauti- 
ful green. The flowers are white, and of the 
shape of a pea blossom ; the fruit is a large and 
flat pod, jointed oh divided into several parts, 
with seeds in them ; the tree is of the acacia kind, 
in many things very like that which produces the 


FAMILY HERBAL. 311 

gum arable,, and the gum which is obtained from 
it is in the same manner very like that. 

This gum is the only product of the tree heard 
of in medicine, and this is not much. It is brought 
over, however, in great quantities, for the dyers 
(Use a great deal of it. It is in large lumps, of the 
bigness of an egg ; rough on the surface, but 
glossy and smooth when broken, and of a pale 
brown colour. It is as easily and entirely dissolv- 
ed in water as gum arabic, and has the same vir- 
tues. It is very seldom called for by name in 
medicine, but it is nevertheless often used, for 
the druggists have a way of breaking the lumps 
to pieces, and putting them among the gum 
arabic ; they may be distinguished by their brown 
colour, the true gum arabic being white, or yel- 
lowish, if coloured at all, and never having any 
brown in it : some pick these brown pieces out ; 
but, upon a separate trial, they are found to be 
so perfectly of the same nature, that it is a needless 
trouble. 

Right Service Tree. Sot bus legitima . 

A tree wild in some parts of this kingdom, 
but not known in others, nor even in many of our 
gardens. It grows twenty feet high or more, and 
the branches stand very irregularly. The leaves 
are each composed of several pairs of smaller, 
set on a common rib, with an odd one at the end 
these are long, narrow, and serrated, so that they 
have some resemblance of the ash tree. The 
flowers are not large ; they are white, and stand 
in clusters. Each is succeeded by a fruit of the 
shape of a pear, and of the bigness of some pears 
of the smaller kind ; these are green, except where 


SIS 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


they have been exposed to the sun, where they are 
sometimes reddish ; the taste is very pleasant when 
they are ripe. 

The unripe fruit is used ; they press the juice* 
and give it against purgings* but is little known. 

Common Service Tree. Sorbus vulgaris , 

A large tree and very beautiful, its growth 
being regular, and the leaves of an elegant shape ; 
the bark of the trunk is greyish, and tolerably 
smooth ; on the branches it is brown : the leaves are 
single, large, and of a rounded figure, but divided 
into five, six, or seven parts, pretty deeply, and 
Serrated round the edges ; they are of a bright green 
on the upper part and whitish underneath. The 
flowers are little and yellowish, and they grow in 
clusters ; the fruit is small and brown when ripe. 
It grows in bun dies. 

The unripe fruit of this service is excellent 
against purgings, but it can only be had recourse to 
when in season, for there is no way of preserving 
die virtue in them all the year. 

Shepherd's Purse. Bursa Pastoris. 

* 

/ 

The most common almost of all wild plants, 
ever-running our garden-beds, and court-yards. 
The leaves spread upon the ground, and are long 
somewhat broad, and more or less indented at the 
edges, for in this there is great variation : the stalks 
are round, upright, and eight or ten inches high, 
they have few leaves on them. The flowers stand 
at the tops in little dusters, and they are small and 
white : below there is commonly e a kind of spike 
of the seed-vessels : these are short, broad, and of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


313 


the figure of a bag, or pouch, and are divided a 
little at the end. The seeds are small and yellow- 
ish, and the roots white. 

The juice of Shepherd's purse is cooling and 
astringent • it is good against purgings, with sharp 
and bloody stools ; against the bleeding of the piles, 
and the overflowing of the menses. 

Skirret, Sis arum. 

A plant kept in our kitchen gardens. It 
grows three or four feet high. ,The stalk is round, 
hollow, striated, and somewhat branched : the leaves 
are each composed of three or five smaller, two or 
four set opposite and one at the end ; they are ob- 
long, serrated at the edges, and sharp pointed ; the 
end leaf is longer than the others. The flowers are 
little : they stand in round clusters on the tops of 
the branches. The root is of a singular form ; it 
is composed of several long parts like carrots. They 
are of a good taste, and some people eat them at 
their tables. 

A decoction of them works by urine, and is good 
against the gravel. The roots boiled in milk, are 
an excellent restorative to people who have suffered 
long illnesses. 

O 

Sloe Tree. Prunus sylveslris . 

The common low shrub in our hedges, which 
vve call the blackthorn. It is a plum-tree in 
miniature. It grows five or six feet high ; the trunk 
and branches are all covered with a dark purplish or 
blackish bark. The leaves are roundish, and of a 
good green, elegantly dentated about the edges# 
The flowers are small and white. The fruit is d 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


Bit 

little plum, of a very austere taste when unripe, but 
pleasant when mellow. 

The juice expressed from unripe sloes, is a very 
good remedy for fluxes of the belly. It may be 
boiled down to a firm consistence, and will so keep 
the whole year. We used to find this dried juice 
kept by druggists under the name of German acacia, 

but they neglect it. 

✓ 


SMALL AGE. 


A common wild plant, about ditch sides, 
with the appearance of celery. These are very 
numerous and large. The stalk rises two feet and 
a half in height, and is round, smooth, striated, and 
branched. The leaves on it are like those from the 
root, composed of many small parts, which are 
broad and indented, but they are smaller. The 
flowers stand in little umbels at the divisions of the 
branches : they are small and of a yellowish white. 
The seeds are small and striated. The roots are 
long', not very thick, white, and of a strong, but not 
disagreeable taste. 

The roots are most used ; a strong infusion of 
them fresh gathered, works briskly by urine. It is 
good against the gravel, and in jaundices and other 
diseases arising from obstructions in the liver and 
spleen. The seeds dried are good against the colic* 
and strengthen the stomach. 


/ 

CoLURINE-WOOD, OF SxAKE-WOCD Tr E. 
Lignum colubrinum . 


A tall tree of the East, irregular in its growth, 
but not without beauty. The bark is rough and 
brown ; the leaves are large, broad in the middle. 




FAMILY HERBAL, 


815 


©blo'ng and sharp at the point. Tliey are of a deep 
green colour, and firm substance : (tie (lowers are 
small, they grow in clusters upon the branches, not 
at their extremities, but in different parts of them* 
The fruit is large, and much of the shape of a 
walnut. It is yellow when ripe, and contains a 
great many round fiat seeds. These are exactly t# 
the shape and form of what we call mix vomica, 
hut (hey are not half so big. Some have, for this 
reason, supposed the real mix vomica do be the 
fruit of this tree ; but it is produced by another of 
the same genus. The wood of the smaller branches 
is used : this is what we called lidntim colubrinum, 
adder- wood, and snake- wood. It is famous in the 
East for curing fevers and destroying worms ; 
they also say it is a remedy against the bites of 
serpents, and hence conics its name. We have been 
tempted to give it in some cases ; but it seems better 
suited to the constitutions of the people among 
whom it grows than to ours : it brings on con- 
vulsions, if given in too large a dose, or if too fresh. 
It loses its strength by degrees in keeping ; but 
I don’t know how it can he possible to determine 
what dose to give of such a medicine. 


Sneezewort. Ft arm tea , 


A very pretty wild plant, with daisy -like 
flowers, and a norrow dentated leaves. It grows 
two feet high. The stalk is round, firm, upright, 
and but little branched. The leaves are very 
numerous, and they stand irregularly ; they are 
an inch or more in length, and very narrow, rough 
to the touch, and of a bright green. The flowers 
stand at. the tops of the stalks, so that they form 
a kind of round head ; they are less than daises 
and their leaves broader. 


316 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


The leaves of sneeze wort, dried and powdered* 
taken by way of snuff, are excellent against the 
tiead-ach. The roots dried are almost as fiery 
as pillitory of Spain, and they cure the iooth-ach 
in the same manner, A piece held in the mouth* 
fills it with rheum in a minute, 

Solomon’s Seal, Poh/gonatu7n . 

A pretty plant, wild in some places, and 
frequent in gardens. It grows a foot and half 
high. The stalk is round, striated, and of a pale 
green ; naked half way up, and from thence to 
the top ornamented with large oval leaves of a 
pale green, blunt, smooth, ribbed, and not at all 
indented at the edges. The (lowers hang from 
the under part of the stalk ; they are small and 
white ; the fruit is a berry as big as a pea, and 
black when ripe. The root is white, oblong’, 
irregular, and creeps under the surface of the 
ground. 

The root is the part used : it is commended 
extremely for an outward application against 
bruises. The root dried and powdered is good 
against purgings with bloody stools ; and the fresh 
root beat up into a conserve with sugar, against 
the whites, 

SopeworTc Saponaria . 

A wild plant, but not very common. It is 
two feet high. The stalk is round, thick, jointed, 
and of a pale green ; the knots are large. The 
leaves stand two at each joint ; they are of an 
oval figure, and dark green colour, smooth, not 
dentated at the edges, and full of large ribs. The 
flowers stand in a kind of clusters at the tops ; 


V 


, FAMILY HERBAL; 317, 

they are white or reddish, and not very large ; 
the root is knobbed and lias great many fibres 
running from it : it is of a disagreeable mawkisht 
taste. 

The root is used ; and it should be fresh taken 
up ; a decoction of it opens obstructions,, and pro- 
motes urine and perspiration. It is an excellent 
sweetener of the blood. 

Sorrel. Acciosa. 

. A common plant in our meadows, with 
broad and oblong leaves, striated stalks, and red- 
dish tufts of flowers. It is a foot and half high. 
The stalk is round, not very firm, upright and a 
little branched. The leaves are of a deep green, 
angulated at the base, blunt at the point, and not 
at all indented about the edges. The flowers stand 
on the tops of the stalks, in the manner of those of 
docks, of which sorrel is indeed a small kind. 
They are reddish and husky ; the root is small 
and fibrous ; the whole plant has a sour taste. 

The leaves eaten as a sallad, or the juice taken, 
are excellent against the scurvy. The seeds are 
astringent, and may be given in powder for fluxes. 
The root dried and powdered, is also good against 
purgings, the overflowing of the menses, and 
bleedings. 

o 

There are two other kinds of sorrel, nearly of 
km to this, and of the same virtue : one small, 
called sheep's sorrel, common on dry banks ; the 
other large, with broad leaves, called garden 
sorrel, or round-leaved sorrel ; this is rather pre- 
ferable to the common kind. Besides these, there 
is a plant called in English a sorrel, so different 
from them all, that it must be described sepa- 
rately. - 


i 


518 - FAMILY HERBAL,’ 

Wood Sorrel. Luiula 

A very pretty little plant, common about out 
wood sides, and distinguished by its bright green 
elegant leaves*, and pretty flowers. The leaves rise 
in considerable number from the same root ; they 
stand three together upon separate, long, and very 
slender foot-stalks, of a reddish colour ; each is of a 
heart-like shape, the broad and indented part hang- 
ing downwards, and the three smaller ends meeting 
on the summit of the stalk. The flowers are 
whitish, tinged with purple, very bright and de- 
licate ; they stand also on single stalks, and rise im- 
mediately on the root. The seed-vessels are large, 
and when ripe, they burst asunder with the least 
touch, and the seeds fly about. The root is small 
and irregular. 

The leaves are used ; they are to be fresh gather- 
ed ; their roots are very agreeably acid, and the juice 
of them makes a pretty syrup. The leaves also beat 
up with three times their weight of sugar, make an 
excellent conserve. They are good to quench thirsts 
in fevers, and they have the same virtue with the 
other against the scurvy and in sweetening the 
blood. 

Southernwood. Ahrotanum mas . 

A shrubby plant, native of many parts of 
Europe, but kept in our gardens. . The stem is 
woody, and tough, and is covered with a brown 
bark. The leaves are divided into fine slender 
parts, and are of a pale green, whitish colour, and 
strong smell. The flowers are small and yellowish ; 
they grow in great numbers on the top of the stalk, 
and are naked and of a rough appearance. The 
seeds are longish, and of a pale brown. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


* The tops of the young branches are used ; a 
decoction of them is good against worms, but it is 
a very disagreeable medicine. Beaten into a con* 
serve with three times their weight of sugar, they 
are not very unpleasant, and they are in this form 
good against nervous disorders, and in all hysteric 
complaints. 


Sowthistle. Sanchus asper . 

A common weed in our gardens, and about 
our houses. It is three feet high ; the stalk is 
round, thick, green, and upright. The leaves are 
long, and not very broad ; they are indented at the 
edges, and prickly between the indentings. When 
any part of the plant is broken, there runs out a 
milky juice. The flowers are large, and yellow : 
they are somewhat like those of dandelion, and 
stand in a kind of scaly cup. The seeds have 
down affixed to them. The root is long and 
white. 

The leaves are to be used fresh gathered ; a strong 
infusion of them works by urine, and opens obstruc- 
tions. Some eat them in sallads, but the infusion 
has more power. There are three or four other 
kinds of sowthistle, common in some places with this, 
and they have all the same virtues, but this has them 
most in perfection. 

Speedwell. I eronica mas 

A common little plant in our dry pastures, 
and on heaths. The stalks are six or eight inches 
long ; the leaves are short, and of an oval figure. 
The stalks are not upright : they trail along the 
ground, only rising at thin upper parts. The 
leaves are of a pale green colour, a little hairy. 


320 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


and dentated at the edges : the flowers are small 
and blue ; they grow In slender spikes, arising 
from the bosoms of the leaves ; the root is small 
and fibrous. 

The whole herb is used, and it is best fresh. An 
infusion of it drank in quantities, works by urine, 
and opens all obstructions : it promotes the menses. 
There was an opinion lately that this plant would 
cure the gout. The dried leaves picked from the 
stalks, were sold in our markets, and people made a 
tea of them. The opinion was so prevalent, that 
the plant was in a manner destroyed for many 
miles about London, but like all other things, 
that want the truth for their foundation, it came to 
nothing. 

Sprignel. Meam . 

A wild plant not altogether unlike fennel 
It grows two or three feet high. The stalks are 
round, striated, and branched. The leaves are 
large, and divided like those of fennel, but into 
narrower and finer parts, and they are of a very 
dark green colour. The flowers are little and 
white, but they stand in clusters at the tops of the 
stalks, and are conspicious by their number. The 
root is long and brown, and there are always a 
quantity of filaments at the head of it like hairs : 
these are the fibres of the stalks of former leaves. \ 

The root is used, and it is best fresh taken up. 
An infusion of it is excellent medicine in the gravel ; 
it also opens obstructions, and promotes the menses. 
The root dried and given in powder strengthens the 
stomach, creates an appetite, and is good against 
the colic. 


FAMILY HERBAL, 321 

Spin age. Spina cilia, 

A common herb in our kitchen gardens. It grows 
two feet high ; the stalk is round, thick, and juicv ; 
the leaves are broad and cleft at the bases, so that 
they resemble a broad arrow head : the flowers are 
inconsiderable ; the seeds grow on other plants of 
the same kind, and are rough and prickly : the root 
is white and oblong. 

The leaves are eaten at our tables ; but their 
juice may very well .be recommended as a medi- 
cine. It works by urine, and is good against the 
gravel. The leaves eaten frequently, keep the body 
open, 

i * 

Spleen wort. Aspleniiim , 1 

A singular plant, of the nature of the ferns, 
but not unlike any of them in form. The root 
is fibrous. From this the leaves rise in great num- 
bers together, each being a distinct and separate 
plant ; they are narrow, and five inches long, deeply 
indented on each side, but very irregularly, and 
covered on the under part with small seeds. When 
they first grow from the root, they are folded in- 
ward, so that only the under part appears ; and they 
have a very peculiar aspect, more like some insect 
than the leaf of a plant. It grows on old walls, 
and is green all the winter, but it has most virtue in 
spring. 

The whole- plant is used. It is best given in in- 
fusion, and must be continued for some time ; it 
opens all obstructions* of the liver and spleen, and is 
excellent in disorders arising from that cause. They 
say the powder of the dried leaves cures the rickets, 
but this wants proof. 


322 


FAMILY HERBAL, 

Indian Spikenard. Nardus Indiea, 


If 


An East Indian plant, of the grass kind, with 
triangular stalks, and yellowish flowers. It re- 
sembles not a little that common yellow tufted grass, 
which is frequent in our meadows in spring. It is 
six or eight inches high. The leaves are long, 
narrow, and of a pale green ; they are very numer- 
ous, and stand in a thick tuft almost growing together 
at the bases. The stalks rise among these ; they are 
naked, triangular, and of a pale, green colour ; the 
flowers stand in tufts, of the bigness of an horse- 
bean, on the tops of the stalks ; they are blackish, 
but ornamented with yellow threads, which give the 
whole a yellowish appearance. This is the plant, 
some samples of which have been of late brought 
over as the Indian spikenard, and there is reason 
and authority for supposing they are so. The tops 
of the roots have that sort of tuft of hairy matter, 
which we call Indian spikenard, growing to them ; 
and it is of the nature of the hairy top of the spignel 
roof, owing to the fibres of decayed leaves. Breynius 
also calls the plant which affords the Indian spikenard* 
a kind of cyperus grass-: 

The tuft of fibres at the tops of the root of this 
plant, is what we call Indian spikenard ; they are 
brown, flatfish, matted together, and of a pleasant 
smell : they are good in disorders of (he nerves, and 
hysteric cases ; but so many better medicines are at 
hand, that it is rarely used. 

Sponge. Spongm. 

A sea plant of a very singular kind arid form. 
It has neither leaves, stalks, nor branches, nor has 
it the colour or aspect of our ordinary plants, 
Jt more approaches to the nature of the mushrooms. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


323 


than of any other of the vegetable kinds. It grows 
to the rocks, and swells out to an irregularly shaped 
mass of matter, full of holes, of a yellowish colour, 
and retaining a great deal of water, which is easily 
pressed out, and is received again on dipping 
it again in the wet. It is of a roundish figure, 
and sometimes hollow. Sponge in the shape of 
a funnel is frequently seen, and has been described 
as a particular species ; but this is only an accident 
in the growth. 

It would be very imprudent to swallow sponge 
in its natural form ; but calcined, it is of excellent 
service to sweeten the blood, and is good against the 
scurvy, and the evil : great care is to be taken in 
the burning it. It must be made brittle and fit for' 
powdering, hut if it be calcined too long, all the 
volatile parts will be driven off, and it will be worth 
nothing. 

i 

Great Spurge. Esula major 

• 

We have many kinds of spurge wild in England, 
and some of them large enough ; but this used in 
medicine is a different species. It is native of 
Germany, and is kept in our gardens. It grows a 
yard high ; the stalk is round, thick, reddish, and 
divided into branches. The leaves are numerous, 
and stand irregularly ; they are narrow and of a 
pale green, and are broadest at the end. The flowers 
are little, and of a pale yellow, but the seed-vessels 
are large, and make a conspicuous figure on the 
tops of the branches. The root is very thick and 
long ; it consists of a firm heart covered with a thick 
rind. The whole plant, when broken, affords a 
milky acrid juice. 

The bark of the root is used dry ; and even in 
that state is very rough in its operation. It works 


324 - 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


by stool and vomit, and is good in the rheumatism 
and dropsy ; but it is not every constitution that can 
bear the use of such remedies. 

Lesser Spurge. Esula minor . 

A lesser plant than the former, but sufficiently 
robust ; it is a native of the same part of the worlds 
hut is common in our gardens. It is a foot high. 
The leaves are longish and very narrow, but 
rounded at the end : the stalks are thick, round, and 
red ; the flowers are small and yellow ; and the seed- 
vessels large and three cornered. The whole plant 
is full of a sharp milky juice, but most of all the 
root. 

The bark of the root is used. It works by vomit 
and stool as the former ; but though with less violence, 
yet too rough for most constitutions. It is good in 
the rheumatism. 


Squill. S cilia. 

A very common plant by the sea side in Italy 
and other parts of Europe, but not native of 
this country. It grows a yard high, and when 
in flower, is very beautiful ; the stalk is thick, 
round, fleshy,’ and green, or else reddish. The 
flowers are white ; they are small but they have 
their beauty. They stand in a long spike down 
a third part of the stalk ; the leaves are very large 
and long ; they are of a deep green colour, and 
grow immediately from the root ; the root is 
round, and of a pound weight ; it is composed 
like an onion of many coats one over another, 
and is full of an acrid slimy juice. The colour 
is white or yed, and they call it the white or red 
squill. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


32 5 


The root is used dried, or infused in vinegar or 
wine, and that afterwards made into a syrup with 
honey. These three preparations are called the 
wine of squills, vinegar of squills, and oxymel 
of squills; they are all good against asthmas,, 
and difficulty of breathing. The oxymel is most 
given for this purpose ; the vinegar causes vomit- 
ing, and cleanses the stomach ; the wine of squills 
works by urine, and is good against the jaundice and 
dropsy. 

Starwort. Aster aliens 

A common wild plant, in many parts of Europe 
and in the Grecian islands, but not here : we 
have it in gardens. It is a foot and half high. 
The stalk is round, hairy, and branched ; the 
leaves are oblong, moderately broad, and rounded 
at the ends, and of a dusky green. The flowers 
are yellow and large ; they resemble the marigold ; 
it is singular that there stand some leaves under 
this flow er disposed into rays like a star ; the root is 
long. 

The fresh leaves are used ; and that only exter- 
nally. Bruised, and laid on as a pultice, they are a 
cure for buboes, and other hard swellings. The plant 
is called also ingunialis, from its peculiar effect in dis- 
sipating buboes of the groin. 

Star Thistle. Calcitrapa. 

A wild plant on our heaths, but not very 
common. It is two feet high, and extremely 
branched ; the stalks are round, hard, and whitish. 
The principal leaves rise from the root, and are 
disposed in a circular manner on the ground. 
They are oblong, and divided along the sides 


326 FAMILY HERBAL. 

quite to the middle rib : there are some smaller 
on the stalk, but few. The flowers are numerous > 
they are red, and of the form of the flowers of thistles. 
They grow out of a scaly and thorny head. The 
seeds are winged with down. The root is 

root is used ; a strong infusion of it is ex- 
eellent against the gravel, and is good also in the 
jaundice. It opens obstructions, and works by 
urine. 

Starry Headed Anise Tree. Anisum steb 

latum . 

A tall and very beautiful tree, native of the 
East, and much esteemed there. The trunk is 
covered with a thick bark : the branches are 
irregular and spreading. The leaves are very 
large and beautiful ; they are composed each of 
ten or twelve pair of others set on a common rib, 
with an odd one at the end ; they are longish, 
broad, serrated at the edges, and pointed at the 
ends, and are of a beautiful pale green colour, 
and of a fragrant smell when bruised, such as that 
we perceive in the young leaves of the walnut 
tree, but with a mixture of somewhat aromatic. 
The flowers stand at the tops of the branches, on 
divided pedicles ; they are white and very fra- 
grant. The fruit is of a singular figure, of the 
shape of a star, and of a woody substance ; it is 
composed of five or more rays, and in each is a 
single, smooth, brown seed. They have the smell 
of aniseed, and thence have been called by the 
name, for there is not the least resemblance be- 
tween the plants which produce the two ; one 

being a small herb, and the other a large and fine 
tree. 



FAMILY HERBAL, ?j9J 

The fruit is only used, and we sometimes see it at 
the druggists ; if the present practice encouraged 
it we might have it common enough : and it is one 
of those drugs which we neglect, while we are 
fond of such as do not deserve the distinction. It is 
an excellent medicine against coldness of the stomach* 
colics, and those head-achs which arise from indi- 
gestion. It also works powerfully by urine ; and with 
it possesses all the virtues of aniseed and many 
others ; and even in a very superior degree : it has 
not its disagreeable flavour. An oil drawn 
from it by distillation, is sw eet and excellent ; it has 
all the virtues of our oil of aniseed, but not its dis- 
agreeable taste, and it does not congeal like it in cold 
weather, 

i 

Staves- Acre, StaphU agria. 

A very pretty plant, native of Italy, and kept 
in our gardens. It is two feet and a half high. 
The stalk is round, thick, firm, and upright, and 
a little hairy. The leaves are of a roundish figure 
but divided deeply into seven parts, and these serrated 
at the edges ; they are large, and of a deep green, 
and stand on long foot-stalks. The flowers are of a 
deep blue, large, and very like the flowers of 
lark -spur : they grow in a spike at the tops of the 
stalks ; the seed-vessels are notched, and the seeds 
rough. 

The seeds are used. Some venture te give them 
inwardly in small doses against the rheumatism, and 
the venereal disease. They operate by vomit and 
stool, and bring a great quantity of water from the 
mouth. The powder of them is most used to kill 
vermin, by sprinkling it on children’s heads that have 
been kept uncleanly. 


Golden Stcechas. St&chas citrina. 

A pretty plant, native in the warmer parts of 
Europe, and kept in our gardens. It is a shrubby 
herb, two feet high, and keeps its leaves all the year. 
The stem is woody ; the leaves stand thick on the 
lower branches, and they are longish, narrow’, and 
whitish, especially on the under side. The flowers 
are yellow, and stand at the tops of the stalks ; they 
are dry and chaffy, and may be kept for a long time. 
The whole plant has an agreeable smell, when rubbed 
between the Angers. 

The leafy stalks are used : their tops are best, and 
those fresh gathered : an infusion of them works by 
urine, and opens obstructions. It is good in jaun- 
dices, and obstructions of the menses. 

There is another plant called Arabian stcechas, or 
French lavender. It has been described already under 
the head of lavender, to which it belongs, for it is 
altogether different from this plant. 

t Storax Tree. Slyrctx arbor. 

A small tree, native of the East, and some 
parts of Europe ; but in Europe it yields none of 
the resin we call storax. We have it in some 
gardens. It is twenty feet high ; the trunk is 
covered with a brown bark : that on the branches 
is greyish ; the leaves are of a brownish or a dusky 
green on the upper side, and whitish underneath : the 
flowers are white and large ; the fruit is like a nut, 
roundish and little, and is covered with a woolly coat ; 
three of the flowers grow together usually, and are 
succeeded by three of these. 

We use no part of the tree, but a resinous sub- 
stance, which is produced from it. This is kept I 
at the druggists, and is reddish and of a fragrant i 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


329 


smell but very foul It is good in all diseases of the 
breast and lungs,, being an excellent balsam. It is 
also good in all nervous and hysteric .complaints, and 
it promotes the menses. 

Strawberry Plant. Fra gar la, 

A very common little plant, both in our woods 
and gardens. The leaves stand three upon each 
stalk, and they are large, broad, sharp at the point, 
and serrated about the edges ; the stalks trail upon 
the ground, and take root at the joints : the flowers 
are white ; they stand four or five together upon a 
long stalk rising from the root and without any 
veins : they are white, and moderately large ; the 
fruit is well known. When ripe it is red, and of an 
agreeable taste. 

The fresh leaves are used ; an infusion of them is 
good liquor to wash a sore mouth or throat ; taken 
in large quantities, it works by urine, and is good 
against the jaundice. 

Succory. Chichoreum . 

A common plant in our gardens. . It is near 
a yard high, but of no great beauty. The stalk 
is round, striated, thick, green and strong. The 
principal leaves grow from the root ; they are long, 
narrow, and deeply indented, and are of a bluish 
green, and hairy ; those on the stalks are smaller, 
and have no foot-stalks. The flowers are of the 
shape of those of dandelion, but they are blue : 
the seed is winged with down. The flowers grow 
to the sides of the stalks, not at the tops, as in 
dandelion. The root is long and brown on the 
surface ; it is full of a milky juice* and white 
within. 


v n 


330 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


The root is used ; an infusion of it opens ob- 
structions ; it is good against the jaundice. A de- 
coction of the whole plants fresh gathered,, works 
powerfully by urine, and is good against the gravel. 

It also gently promotes the menses. 

Sugar Cane Arundo saceharifera . 

A kind of reedy native of the East and West 
Indies, of the Canary islands,, and of some other 
places ; and cultivated in all our plantations. It 
is eight or ten feet high. The stalk is round, 
hollow, hard, jointed, and upright ; it is very like 
that of a common reed, only so much thicker. 
The leaves are like those of the reed, but vastly 
larger ; and the flowers are in the same manner, dry, 
brown, and chafiy, but the cluster of them is a 
yard long ; the roots are long, creeping, and jointed • 
in the manner of the stalk. In very hot countries 
the sugar will sweat out at the cracks of the stalks, 
and stand in form of a bright powder ; this is native 
sugar, and is what the antients meant when they 
talked of honey growing upon reeds. We press out 
the juice, and boil it to the consistence of brown 
sugar, which is afterwards refined, and becomes the 
white powder or loaf-sugar. 

It were idle to talk of the virtues of sugar, its 
uses are sufficiently known, and are very great. 

! ■ 

Sumach Rhus . 

A shrub, native of warmer countries, hut 
common in our gardens. It is of a singular ap- 
pearance. It doses not grow more than ten or 
twelve feet high ; the wood is brittle, and the bark 
is brown. The leaves are long and very beautiful^ 
each consists of a great many pairs of smaller 


FAMILY HERBAL/ 


331 


leaves., with an odd one at the end ; these are singly, 
oblong, and of a dark green, and serrated at the 
edges. The flowers are white ; they grow in very 
large, thick, and long clusters, and are succeeded 
by flat seeds, hairy and roundish and of an austere 
astringent taste. There are several other kinds of 
sumach in the gardens of curious people, some of 
them much more beautiful, but this is the kind that 
is to be preferred for its medicinal virtues. 

The seeds, dried and powdered, stop purgings, 
and the overflowings of the menses. Tiie fresh 
tops have also great effect in strengthening the sto- 
mach and bowels ; they are best taken in infusion. 
The bark of the root has the same virtue ; but the 
seeds have it in the greatest degree. 

Swallow-wort. Asclepias . 

A common plant in gardens, but native of 
the warmer climates. It is two feet high. The 
stalks are round, slender, of a dark colour, and 
jointed ; the leaves are large and longisb, and of 
a deep green; they stand two at each joint. The 
flowers are small and white, and each is succeeded 
b y two pods growing together ; the root is fibrous 
and spreading. 

The root is used ; an infusion of it fresh is good 
against the jaundice ; it works by urine and opens 
obstructions. Dried and given in powder, it ope- 
rates by sweat, and is good in fevers. 

■ T 

Tacamahac Tree. Tacamahac a, ' 

i 

A large and beautiful tree, native of the 
East, and of America. It is fifty or sixty feet 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


332 

high. The bark is brown on the trunk, and grey- 
ish on the branches. The leaves are large and 
longish, sharp-pointed, and dentated at the edges ; 
they are of a dusky green on the upper side, and 
brownish underneath. The flowers are incon- 
siderable and yellowish. The fruit is small and 
round. The buds of the tree are very fragrant ; 
a brown kind of resin issues from them, which 
sticks to the fingers, and this has that pleasant 
smell. 

We use no part of the tree, but a resin which is 
produced from it. The druggists- keep this. It is 
brown ; some of it is in grains, and som§ in a 
mass. It is used only externally ; a plaister made 
of it, spread on leather, is applied to the fore- 
head against the head-ach ; and to the navel in 
hysteric cases, but it does not seem to have much 
efficacy 

T am arino T ree . Tame m id u § 

A very pretty tree, native both of the East 
and West Indies, and kept in many of our gardens. 
The trunk is covered with a pale coloured rough 
bark ; the branches with a smoother. The leaves 
are each composed of a great many pairs of smaller, 
disposed on a common rib, with no odd one at the 
end. They are small, oval, and of a pale or 
whitish green. The flowers are large, and very 
pretty ; they are part yellow, and part white ; the 
white leaves of them stained often with red. They 
stand in clusters, half a dozen together. The fruit 
is a flat pod, broad, brown, and hard ; these contain 
a pulpy substance, and the seeds a stringy matter 
with them. The pulp, strings, and seeds are 
brought over to us, and the pulp is separated for 
use : it is of a pleasant add taste, and is a gentle 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


233 

and excellent purge ; it works also by urine. It is 
good m the jaundice. The pulp is useful also to cool 
the mouth, and quench thirst in fevers. It is not 
much used singly as a purge. 

Tam arisx . Tama riscus. 

A little tree, frequent wild in France, and kept 
in our gardens : it grows, however, much larger in 
its native climate than here. The bark is brown on 
the trunk, and paler on the brandies, and the young 
shoots are red and very slender. The leaves are 
very beautiful ; they are of a fine bright green, 
delicately divided into small parts, and regular. 
The flowers are very small and red ; but they stand 
in spikes, and very close together ; and as four or five 
of these spikes also often stand together, they are very 
conspicuous ; the seeds are small, and lodged in a 
downy substance. 

The bark is used dried, and the tops of the 
branches fresh ; both have the same virtue ; the 
one is best in decoction, the other in a light in- 
fusion, made in the manner of tea. Either is good 
to open obstructions. They promote the menses, 
are good in the jaundice, and it is said against the 
rickets. 

Tansy. Tanacetum . 

A common plant in our gardens. It is a 
yard high : the stalks are round, firm, upright, 
and of a pale green ; the leaves are large, oblong, 
broad, and very beautifully formed ; they are each 
composed of several pairs of smaller, set on each 
side of a common rib, with an odd leaf at the end. 
These are narrow, long, pointed, and serrated at 
the edges. The flowers stand in large clusters at 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


m 

the tops of Hie stalks, and they are roundish, 
yellow, and naked. The root is a cluster of large 
creeping fibres. The whole plant has a strong 
smell. 

The leaves are to be used fresh gathered ; a strong 
infusion of them opens obstructions ; it works pow- 
erfully by urine, and gently promotes the menses. 
The flowers dried, powdered, and mixed with treacle, 
are a common medicine for worms, and they visibly 
f destroy them. 


Wild Tansy. Argentina, 

A common wild plant about our way sides, 
and a great ornament to them. It rises to no 
height. The stalks creep upon the ground, and 
take root at the joints * but it is easily distinguish- 
ed by its silvery leaves and yellow r flowers. The 
stalks are round and reddish. The leaves rise 
from these ; they are very large, and each com- 
posed of a great many pair of smaller set on both 
sides of a common rib, with an odd one at the 
end. They are of the shape, and much of the 
size of the leaves of tansy ; and the smaller leaves of 
which they are composed, are oblong, narrow, and 
serrated ; but they are of a most beautiful colour ; 
a fine silvery green on the upper side, and a 
perfect silvery white on the under. The flowers 
stand on short foot stalks, and are large and yellow, 
somewhat like the flowers of the crow-foots, but 
more beautiful. 

The leaves are used ; a strong infusion of them 
is given with success against the bleeding of the 
piles, and bloody stools : and made less strong and 
sweetened a little with honey, it is excellent for a sore 
throat. The women use it also to take away freckles, 
hut this seems idle. 


FAMILY HERBAL. 335 

! 

Tarkagon, Dracunculus. 

A common plant in our gardens. It is two 
feet high. The stalk is round, upright, firm, and 
green ; the leaves are very numerous, and stand 
irregularly. They are longish and very narrow, 
and of a deep green colour ; the flowers are 
little and greenish, in form like those of wormwood t 
they stand in spikes at the tops of the stalks. The 
whole plant has a strong smell, somewhat like 
fennel. 

An infusion of the fresh tops works by urine, and 
gently promotes the menses. 

Tea. Thea, 

A sjrauB, native of the East, and cherished there 
with great care. It is six or seven feet high ; the 
branches are slender ; the leaves are numerous, 
oblong, serrated round the edges, and sharp pointed. 
The flowers are as big as orange flowers, and white ; 
they stand in a very small cup : the fruit is dry, and 
of the bigness of a nut, containing one, two, or three 
cells. 

All the kinds of tea arc the leaves of this shrub * 
they only differ as they are gathered in different 
states : the bohea tea is gathered when the leaves are 
in the bud, and more heat is used in drying it. 
The several sorts of green are got from the young 
shoots or older branches, in spring, in summer, or in 
autumn, and dried with different degrees of care, ac- 
cording to their value. 

Good green tea, drank moderately, strengthens 
the stomach, and assists digestion ; it is good 
against sicknesses, and will prevent the colic : but 
when bad tea is drank, and a great deal of it, 
nothing is more pernicious, " Bohea tea is more 


336 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


astringent, and it is restorative and strengthening ; 
this should be drank with cream, but with only a 
moderate quantity of sugar. 

Teazle. Dip saciis sylvestris . ' 

A tall and stately plant, common by road 
sides, with large bur-like heads, and little red 
flowers growing out of them. It is six feet high : 
the stalk is single, thick, white, and very strong-. 
The leaves grow two together, encompassing the 
stalk at their base, and make a hollow there which 
will hold water : they are prickly on the under part 
along the rib. The heads are as big as an apple, 
and somewhat oblong : they are of a pale colour. 
The root is long. 

The root is used ; it is bitter, and given in infu- 
sion, strengthens the stomach and creates an appetite. 
It is also good against obstructions of the liver, and 
the jaundice ; people have an opinion of the water 
that stands in the hollow of the leaves being good to 
take away freckles. 

There is another kind of teazle, called the ma- 
nured teazle. The heads are used in dressing of 
doth ; the virtues are the same, and they differ very 
little in their general form. 

Blessed Thistle. Carduus benedictus . 

A plant once in great esteem, and at present 
not altogether neglected. It is a native of the 
warmer countries, and is raised with us in gardens. 
It is two feet high ; the stalk is reddish, slender, 
and weak ; very much branched, and scarce able 
to keep upright under the weight of leaves and 
heads. The leaves are long, narrow, cut in on 
both sides, and of ari obscure green. The flow* 


337 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


ers are yellow : they stand in a kind of green leafy 
heads : the lime leaves composing these heads 
are prickly : and each of the caps of the flowers 
ends in a long brown spine* dented on both sides. 

It is bitter and stomachic. An infusion of it 
taken in large quantities, will excite vomiting : 
in smaller draughts, it is good to create an appe- 
tite, and prevents sicknesses and Teachings. The 
leaves, dried and powdered, are good against worms. 
It was at one time suppossed to possess very great 
virtues against fevers of all kinds : but that is 
now disregarded. 

Milk Thistle. Carduus marice- 

A very beautiful plant, common by road- 
sides, but wanting only to have been a native of 
Greece, or the Indies, to be esteemed one of the 
most elegant vegetables in the world. The leaves 
rising from the root are two feet long, and more 
than a foot broad, of a beautiful deep green, varie- 
gated all over with irregular lines of a milk white, 
dentated deeply at the edges, and prickly. They 
spread themselves into a round of more than a yard 
diameter, and when they grow out of the way of 
dust, make a most charming appearance. A single 
stalk rises in the midst of these. It is five feet 
high, round, thick, very firm, upright, and divided 
at the top into a few branches. The leaves on it 
are like those from the root, and variegated with 
white in the same manner. At the tops stand the 
flowers, which are of the nature of those of other 
•thistles, but twice as big, and vastly more beau- 
tiful. The flowery part is of a deep and fine pur- 
ple ; the head itself is composed of beautiful scales 
arranged with great regularity, and each termi- 

x x 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


388 

Rating' in a single and very strong prickle ; the root 
is long and thick ; the seeds are winged with down. 

The root and seeds are used. An infusion of 
the fresh root removes obstructions, and works by 
urine ; it is good against the jaundice. The seeds 
beaten up into an emulsion with barley-water are 
good in pleurisies. The young leaves with the 
prickles cut off, are excellent boiled in the way of 
cabbage ; they are very wholesome, and exceed all 
other greens in taste* 

Thorn Apple. Stramonium . 

A very beautiful plant, native of warmer 
climates, but frequent in our gardens ; we some- 
times. meet with it, as it is called, wild ; but it is no 
native of our country. Seeds have been scattered 
from gardens. 

It is three feet high • the stalk is round, thick, 
and divided into many branches. The leaves are 
very large, oblong, broad, and of a bright green ; 
divided at the edges, and of a pretty appearance, 
but a very ill smell. The flowers are very large, 
and white ; they are hollow, and long ; open, and 
angulated at the brim. The fruit is as big as a 
. large walnut, and is covered with prickles ; the 
root is very long and thick, white, and of an ill 
smell. 

The leaves are used externally ; the country 
people lay them upon burns and inflammations ; but 
this is not always safe. The root and seeds are 
of a sleepy quality ; but they are not thought safe 
to be given inwardly. Opium is a less dangerous 
medicine, so they are not used. 


FAMLIY HERBAL. 


339 


Goat's Thorn, Tragacantha. 

A little white looking prickly shrub, native 
of the East, but kept in our gardens. It is npt 
above two or three feet high, very spreading and 
full of brandies. The stem is of a tough and very 
firm substance, covered with a whitish rough bark, 
the branches are as tough, and the bark is pale 
but smoother. The leaves are long and narrow ; 
they are each composed of a great many pairs of 
smaller set on a middle rib, which is continued 
into a thorn, and when these leaves fall off, remains 
a white thorn of that length. The flowers are 
white and small ; they are of the shape of a pea 
blossom, but flatter ; the pods which follow are 
short and flat. 

No part of the shrub itself is used, but we have 
a gum produced by it, and called by its name in 
the shops ; this is what they also call gum draganf, 
it is white and tough and is in long twisted pieces ; 
it sweats out of the bottom of the trank in the heat 
of summer. It is good in coughs arising f rom a 
sharp humour : and in sharpness of urine, and 
sharp stools, but it is a disagreeable medicine ; it 
is very difficultly powdered, and the solution is not 
pleasant. 

Thorough wax . Perfoliata , 

A very beautiful wild plant among our corn, 
distinguished by the stalk growing through the 
leaves. It is three feet high. The stalk is 
round, firm, upright, whitish, and toward the top 
divided into some branches. The leaves are broad 
and oval ; the stem runs through them toward the 


bottom, for tliey have no foot stalks, and they sur- 
round it in their largest part, ending in a blunt 
point. They are of a bluish green colour, and 
not dented at the edges. The flowers are little and 
yellow, they stand in clusters, or a kind of umbels 
at the tops of the branches, with a parcel of small 
leaves placed under them. The root is white, oblong, 
and slender. 

The leaves are used by the country people 
against wounds and bruises externally, the seeds are 
given inwardly, to prevent the ill effects of internal 
hurts. 




VUE. 



A common plant in our kitchen gardens, 
with hard and woody stalks, small leaves, and pale 
red flowers. The height is eight or ten indies : 


the brandies are numerous. The leaves stand two 
at each joint, and are of a dusky green ; the flow- 
ers are disposed in a kind of short spikes at the tops 
of the stalks ; the whole plant has a strong smell, 
and an aromatic taste. 

A tea made of the fresh tops of thyme, is good 
in asthmas' and stuffings of the lungs ; it is recom- 
mended against nervous complaints ; but for this 
purpose the wild thyme, called mother of thyme, is 
preferable. There is an oil made from thyme that 
cures the tooth-ach, a drop or two of it being put 
upon lint and applied to the tooth : this is com- 


monly called oil of origanum. 


Toad Flax. Unarm. 


A common wild plant, with narrow bluish 
leaves, and thick spikes of yellow flowers. It grows 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


341 


cm dry banks, and is a foot and half high. The stalk 
is round and thick, firm, upright, and single. The 
leaves stand irregularly ; they are oblong', narrow, 
smooth, not dented at the edges, and pointed at 
the ends : the flowers stand in a short and thick spike ; 
they are large, and many of them are generally open 
together ; they have a spur behind, and their forepart 
is of two yellows, a darker in the middle, and a paler 
on each side. 

The tops are used fresh gathered, or the whole 
herb dried. An infusion of them is excellent 
against the jaundice, and all inward obstructions ; 
it gently promotes the menses, and works by urine. 
A fine cooling ointment is made by boiling the fresh 
plant chopped to pieces in lard, till it be crisp ; the 
lard is then to be strained off, and is of a fine green 
colour. 

Tobacco. Nicotiana . 

A tall and beautiful plant, native of the West 
Indies, but kept in our gardens. It is five feet 
high ; the stalk is round, thick, upright, single, and 
a little hairy. It has a clammy dampness about it, 
by which it sticks to the hands in touching. The 
leaves are very large, oblong, and pointed at the 
ends. They are of a dusky green colour, and feel 
also clammy like the stalk. The flowers are red 
and large ; they are long, hollow, and open at the 
mouth. The seed-vessel is oval, and the seeds are 
small. 

The leaves are good fresh or dried. A slight 
infusion of them fresh gathered is a powerful 
vomit ; it is apt to work too roughly, but for con- 
stitutions that will bear it, is a good medicine 
against rheumatic pains. An ointment made of the 
fresh ones with lard, is good against the inflam- 


/ 


342 FAMILY HERBAL. 

xnation of the piles, the distilled oil is sometimes 
dropped on cotton to cure the tooth-ach, applying 
it to the tooth ; the powder kills all kinds of vermin. 
As to the custom of chewing and taking it as snuff, 
little can be said for them, from practice, and nothing 
fjbom reason : nor much for smoking. If these cus- 
toms had any good tendency, it would be taken off by 
the constant practice. 

There is a lesser, greener kind of tobacco, called 
English tobacco. It has the same virtues with the 
other, but in a more remiss degree. The leaves are 
often sold for those of the other. 

T ormentil. Tormentilla . 

A very common wild plant, but very pretty, 
and of great virtue. The stalks are eight inches 
long, but they don’t stand upright. They are very 
slender, round, and of a. brownish colour. The 
leaves stand seven or thereabout together at a joint, 
all rising from one base ; they are narrow, longish, 
pointed at the ends, and serrated at the edges, and 
of a deep green. The flowers are small, but of a 
beautiful shining yellow: * they grow on slender 
foot-stalks, and are of the shape and colour of the 
crow-foot flowers, only more beautiful ; and much 
less. The roots are large, thick, and crooked, brown 
on the outside, and reddish within, and of an austere 
taste. 

The root is the part used, and it is best dried ; it 
may be given in powder, or decoction. The pow- 
der is excellent against the bleeding of the piles, 
bloody stools, and the overflowings of the menses. 
Two ounces of the root added to a quart of harts- 
horn drink in the boiling, gives it a pretty colour, 
and adds to its virtue ; the root is cordial as well as 
astringent, and operates a little by sweat : this d*> 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


341 


coction is therefore very serviceable in fevers, attended 
with purgings. It checks this moderately, and is 
good against the fever at the same time. 

. t 

Tree of Life. Arbor vitro 

A small tree of irregular growth, a native of 
America, but common in our gardens. The 
trunk is covered with a rough brown bark : the 
branches are numerous, and irregular ; the young 
twigs are flatted and the leaves of them are very 
flat, and of a scaly texture ; they are of a bright 
green, narrow, and somewhat like the leaves of 
Cyprus, only not prickly ; (lie flowers are whitish^ 
small, and inconsiderable : they stand towards the. 
tops of the branches. The whole tree has a strong 
and not agreeable smell, it brings into one’s mind 
old bad cheese. 

The young shoots and tops of the branches, are- 
used fresh. An infusion of them is good against ob- 
structions of 'the lungs, but it must be slight, and the 
use continued. 

Gum Anime Tree. Anirne arbor . 

A large and beautiful tree, native of America, 
Its trunk is covered with a rough brown bark ; 
the leaves are large and oblong ; they are not un- 
like those of the common bay-tree in form, and 
they always grow two at a joint, one opposite to 
the other. They are very numerous ; and the 
branches of the tree spread a great way ; they are 
not all naked, but the head seems at a distance a 
«olid mass : the leaves are of a firm texture, bu$? 
when held up to the light, innumerable holes are- 
seen in them, as they are in the leaves of St. John's- 
wort. The flowers are shaped like pea blossoms ; 


3i4 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


they are of a purple colour* and stand at the tops of 
the branches. The frail: is a large pod. 

The only substance we owe to this tree, is what 
we commonly call gum anime, but that is a very ill 
name, it is properly a resin. It is whitish, brittle, 
and very fragrant. We sometimes also see at the 
druggists a greenish, brownish, or reddish resin, 
called guru anirne ; this comes from the East, a.nd 
is what was originally known by that name ; but 
at present the other only is used. It is a fine bal- 
sam, good in consumptions, and against the whites : 
and it is put into some ointments, for old ulcers, with 
great advantage. 

T refoio. Trifolium Purpureum . 

A common wild plant in our meadows. It is 
eight inches high ; the stalk is round, and not very 
upright ; the principal leaves rise immediately from 
the root ; they stand three together upon long foot- 
stalks, and are of an oval figure, but pointed ; of 
a pale green colour, a little hairy, and have gene- 
rally a. white spot in the centre of each. The leaves 
on the stalks, are of The same form, but little : the 
flowers stand at tiie tops, in a kind of short, thick, 
spikes ; they are sn^all and red, and are followed by 
little flat pods. 

The flowers are used ; they are best fresh 
gathered, and given in infusion. They are good 
against the bleeding of the piles ; and while they 
are balsamic and astringent in the bowels, they work 

by urine. 

Turmeric. Curcuma. 

A native of the East Indies, and a very sin- 
gular plant. The leaves rise immediately from 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


845 


the root, and are long', broad, pointed at the 
ends, not dented at the edges, and of a very deep 
green colour. On other parts of the root stand 
the stalks, which bear the flowers ; these are a 
foot high, and of the thickness of a goose quill. 
They have only a kind of films instead of leaves ; 
the flowers stand in short thick spikes, and are 
of a red colour, longish and slender ; they look 
very pretty in the spike, but do not last long ; 
the root is oblong, thick, and of an irregular 
figure, whitish on the outside, and of a deep 
yellow within; it creeps under the surface of the 
ground. 

Our druggists keep these roots dry. They are 
good against the jaundice ; they open all obstruc- 
tions, and promote the menses, and work by 
urine. 

T crp£th. Turn °thum 

A plant of the bind weed kind, native of the 
East Indies. It grows to twelve feet in length, but 
the stalk is slender and weak, and cannot support 
itself upright. The leaves are oblong, broad, and 
obtusely pointed. The flowers are white, and 
large ; they very much resemble those of the com- 
mon great bind-weed, and the seed-vessel is large 
and full of little seeds ; the root is very long and 
slender. 

The bark of the root is sent us dry. It is 
Jproperly indeed the whole root, with the hard 
woody part taken out of its centre. It is kept 
by our druggists ; it is a brisk purge given in a 
proper dose, but it is very rarely used at this 
time* 


340 FAMILY HERBAL.' .^,.7 . . 

4 ! "'* * k 

Turnip. Rapum. 

t 

A plant too common in our gardens to require 
a curious description. The root is round and 
white, or purplish. The leaves are large, long, 
rough, and of a deep green ; they are deeply 
cut at the edges, and large and round at the ends : 
the stalks are a yard high, round, smooth, firm, 
upright, and branched ; the leaves on them are 
small and smooth ; the flowers are little and yellow, 
and they stand in a kind of long spikes ; they are 
followed by long pods. 

The roots are so frequently eaten, that few 
would think of their possessing any medicinal 
virtues, but being cut into slices, and stewed with 
sugar, till their juice with the sugar, becomes a 
syrup ; this is a very good medicine against a 
cough 

j Turpentine Tree. Terebinthus. 

A Tall tree in the East, where it is native ; 
we have it in gardens, but it never arises to any 
great height here. The bark is brown and rough : 
the branches are numerous and stand irregularly ; 
the leaves are each composed of a double row 
of smaller set on a common rib, with an odd 
one at the end. These are oval, and of a deep 
shining green. The flowers are small and pur- 
ple ; they appear in form of clusters of threads 
before the leaves ; the fruit is long, but with a kerne! 
of a resinous taste. The whole shrub has also a 
resinous smell. 

We use no part of the tree but the line Chio tur- 
pentine, the most esteemed of all those balsams, is 
obtained from it ; in the island whence it has 
its name. It is a pleasant and an excellent mcdi- 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


847 


cine ; it works by urine,, and is an universal balsam. 
It is good in coughs and all other disorders of the 
lungs ; and it stops the whites, and the weaknesses 
after venereal complaints. 

There are several other kinds of turpentine in 
use in the shops produced from the different trees ; 
the Venice turpentine is from the larch tree ; the 
Strasbourg turpentine from the yew-leaved hr ; 
and the common turpentine from the wild pine. 
They all have been mentioned * already, under 
the names of the several trees winch produce them ; 
but this is the finest kind. What is called Cyprus 
turpentine is obtained from the same tree with 
the Chio turpentine, the right turpentine tree, but it 
is coarser and browner, otherwise the same with the 
Ohio. 


Tutsan. Androsoemum . 


) 


A very singular and beautiful plant, and of 
great virtues. It grows in our woods, and under 
hedges, but not very common : it is kept in many 
gardens. It grows two feet in height. The 
stalks are firm and smooth, of a reddish colour 
tolerably upright, and not at all branched, ex- 
cept for some young shoots near the top. The 
leaves stand two at each joint, opposite to one 
another, and at no great distance ; they are very 
large, and of a shape approaching to oval. Their 
colour is a brownish green ; they are smooth and 
not serrated at the edges. The flowers are not 
very large, hut of a beautiful yellow ; they re- 
semble those of St. John's wort, and are like them 
full of yellow threads, which, when rubbed, stain 
the hands red. The fruit is a kind of berry, 
black when ripe, and 'containing a great quan- 
tity of small seeds. The whole plant in autuma 


348 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


frequently appears of a blood red colour, very singular 
and beautiful. The root is small, reddish, and ir« 
regular ; it creeps under the surface. 

The leaves are an excellent cure for fresh wounds. 
Scarce any thing is equal to them. The young 
and tender ones at the tops of the branches are to 
be chosen ; they are to be bound upon the wound, 
and they stop the bleeding and perform a very 
speedy cure. I have had very late and very singular 
Instances of the effects of this herb. Many of the 
common plants are celebrated for this virtue, but the 
effect of this is surprising. 


Twy Blade. Bifolium. 


A very singular and pretty plant, common in 
our meadows in the beginning of summer. It 
is a foot high ; the stalk is round, green, tender, 
and upright ; it has only two leaves on it, and they 
l£FOW from the root. They ar<* very large, broad, 
ef an oval figure/and stand opposite to one another, 
about the middle of the stalk or somewhat lower. 
The Cowers are small and green ; they are of 
an uncommon figure, somewhat like that of the 
orchis, and they stand in a long spike ; the seeds 
are very small, and the root is small, slender, and 
white. 

The fresh gathered plant is used ; an infusion oi 
it made strong, is good against the bleeding of the 
piles, and the juice is recommended to be applied to 
them externally. 


V. 

ti 

Garden Valerian. Valeriana hortensis, 

A tapl and beautiful plant, native of the 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


349 

mountainous parts of Italy,, and common in our 
gardens. It is three feet high. The stalk is 
upright, round, striated, and hollow. The leaves 
which grow from the root, are long and somewhat 
broad ; some of these are divided deeply on each 
side, others are entire ; all have a broad and round 
end. Those on the stalks are smaller, and they 
are all deeply divided. The flowers stand in large 
tufts, in the form of umbels, at the tops of the 
stalks and branches ; they . are small and white* 
The root is long, irregular, and moderately thick ; 
it creeps under the surface of the ground, and has a 
strong smell ; its colour is brown, and it is full of 
fibres. 

This root is used dry ; the druggists call it piiu : 
it is good in fevers and suppressions of the menses,, 
for it is diaporetic, and good against all obstruc- 
tions. It works also by urine, and it is warm up- 
on the stomach, and good a ainst disorders of the 
nerves. 

Wild Valerian. Valeriana sylvesiris. 

A tall and handsome plant, frequent in our 
woods and upon heaths, not unlike the garden 
valerian in its form and manner of growth, and 
of greater virtues. It is a yard high. The 
stalks are round, striated, upright, hollow, and 
of a pale green. The leaves are large end beauti- 
ful ; they are each composed of several pairs of 
smaller set on a common rib, and with an odd 
one at the end. These are long, narrow, den- 
tated at the edges, of a faint green colour, and 
a little hairy. The flowers stand in large tufts 
like umbels at the tops of the stalks, and are 
small and white with a blush of reddish. The 
root is of a whitish colour, and is composed of 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


& great many thick fibres. It is of a very strong and 
disagreeable smell. 

The root is used ; it is best dried and given in 
powder, or in infusion. It is an excellent medicine 
in nervous disorders. It is said that it will cure the 
falling sickness, but its good effects against head- 
achs, low-spiritedness, and tremblings of the limbs, 
are well known. 

Vanilla Plant. Vanilla . 

? 

A climbing plant, native of America. It 
grows to thirty feet or more in length, but the 
stalk is slender and weak, and climbs upon trees to 
support it. It is round, striated, green, and tough. 
The leaves are numerous and placed irregularly ; 
they are a foot long, considerably broad, and like 
those of the common plantain, of a dusky green, 
and have high ribs.' The flowers are small in shape 
like a pea blossom, but of a greenish white colour. 
The pods are long and flatted, of a brown colour, of 
a very fragrant smell, and full of exceedingly small 
seeds. 

This pod is the part used ; it is a cordial and 
restorative; it opens obstructions, and promotes the 
menses ; it operates by urine, and by sweat, but it is 
not much used. Some put them into chocolate, 
to give it a flavour, and to make it more cordial and 
restorative ; this is done in the grinding up the nuts 
to the cake, and we buy it by the name of Vanilla 
chocolate. 


Vervain. Verbena . 

A common wild plant, about our path-ways, 
with slender spikes, and a few little flowers. It is 
two feet high ; the stalks are numerous, square, very 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


351 

strong, a little hairy, and often purplish. The 
leaves grow two at each joint ; they are oblong, nar-* 
row, notched at the edges, of a dusky green, and of 
a wrinkled and rough surface. The flowers are white, 
with a tinge of purplish : there is a long spike of 
their buds, and of the remaining cups, but only two 
or three flowers are open at a time. 

The fresh gathered tops are used ; an infusion 
of them is good against obstructions of the liver and 

o _ o 

spleen : it is warm upon the stomach, and a 
continued use of it will remove nervous com- 
plaints. 

Vine,. Vitls. "b 

/ 

A weak shrub, too familiar in our gardens to 
need much description. The trunk is covered with 
a rough bark ; the branches are long, weak, and 
straggling ; the leaves are roundish in the whole 
figure, but indented deeply into five or seven di- 
visions, the lower are inconsiderable : the fruit 
is round, or oblong, juicy, and produced in great 
bunches. 

We use no part of the common vine, as it grows 
with us ; but not to mention the several kinds of 
wine that are useful on different occasions, the 
dried fruit in the form of what we call raisins and 
currants, is in constant repute. Raisins of the sun, 
Malaga raisins, and currants all have the same virtue ; 
they are good in coughs, and soreness of the lungs, 
and in consumptions. 

Vinegar is also a product of the grape : it is 
wine become sour, and spirit of wine and brandy 
of the very best kinds, are made from wine also by 
distillation. -The substance called tartar, of which 
the cream of tartar is made, is only a salt of the 
grape, which sticks to the wine casks. So that we 


family 




owe to the grape, more medicines than to any one 
simple whatsoever. 

Violet. Viola 


A common wild plant in our woods and hedges, 
but of a fragrance superior to all that we re- 
ceived from the rich East. It is a little, low, 
creeping plant, obscure even when in flower ; the 
stalks are round, green, and creeping ; they do 
not rise up, but spread themselves along the ground, 
taking root at the joints ; the leaves rise from 
these rooted parts ; they are large and stand each 
on a long foot stalk. They are of a heart-like 
shape, and dented round the edges, and of a deep 
green. The bowers are small and of a deep and 
beautiful purple ; they stand singly on short foot 
stalks arising among the leaves, and covered by 
them. 

The flowers are the part used ; boiling water 
is to be poured upon them just enough to cover 
them, and it is to stand all night ; when it is 
strained clear off, the sugar is to be added to it, 
at the rate of two pounds to each pint, and it is to 
be melted over the fire ; this makes syrup of 
violets, an excellent gentle purge for children. 
The leaves are dried also, and are used in the de- 
coctions for clysters. An infusion of them works by 
tirinc. 


i Viper’s Grass. Scorzoncra 

A tall and handsome plant, native of the 
warmer parts of Europe, but kept in our gardens. 
It is three feet high ; the stalk is round, thick, 
tipright, and firm ; the leaves are numerous and 
stand irregularly ; they are long, narrow, of a 


FAMILY HERBAL. 353 

pale green, sharp pointed, and not dentated at the 
edges. Those from the root are long and narrow 
also, but they are considerably larger. The flow- 
ers grow at the top of the branches ; they are 
large like dandelion flowers in shape, and of a 
most beautiful pale yellow ; the seed has a white 
down annexed to it. The root is long, thick, 
and brown. 

The root is the part used, and it is best fresh 
taken up. It is given in infusion, anti it is cor- 
dial, and operates by sweat ; it is goocj in fevers, 
but little used. 

• J :■•/> m A '•* . * rf/t Jocp/ 9i1‘ "• .1 

Viper’s Bug loss. Echitwi . > } v . . 

[i flhi vv A mu voi .. m 10T om 

A common wild plant, about opr path ways, 

and on ditch-banks, known by its spotted stalks, 
and fine blue flowers. It is a foot and half high ; 
the stalk is round, thick, firm, hairy, and upright ; 
it is of a whitish, colour stained with spots and 
lines of blue, red, and purple. , t The leaves are 
longish and narrow ; they are rough, and of a 
deep dusky green, broad and blunt at the point, 
and have no foot stalks. The flowers are large, 
and of a beautiful blue, with a red stamina in 
the middle. 

The leaves are used ; those growing from the 
root are best ; an infusion of them is cordial, 
and operates by sweat ; it is good in fevers, and 
against head-achs, and all nervous complaints. 

Virginian Snakeroot Plant. Serpenlaria 

Virginiana . 

A little plant of the birth wort kind, hut 
different from the several sorts of that plant, des- 
cribed already in their places, in its roots, and 

% % 


FAMILY HERBAL. 



in its manner of growing. It is two feet high* 
when it grows in a favourable soil* and has 
bushes or any thing else to support it* The stalks 
are weak and green ; the leaves stand irregularly 
on them, and they are oblong, narrow, and auri- 
culated at the bottom. The flowers are small, 
hollow, and of a deep dusky purplish colour. 
The root is composed of a vast quantity of strings, 
which are of a dusky olive colour, and of a 
strong smell and aromatic taste. The roots of 
this plant were the first that came into use, under 
the name of Verginian snakeroot, hut there are 
upon the spot two other plants of the same kind, 
though different species, which have thready roots 
of the same form, and they are indifferently taken 
up for use ; they all seem to have the same vir- 
tue, so that there is no harm in the mixture. 
There is sometimes another root mixed among 
them ; but that is easily distinguished, for it is 
black, and these are all of the same dusky olrve 
colour. This last adulteration should be avoided. 

The Virginian snakeroot is an excellent medi- 
cine in fevers ; it operates by urine and by sweat, 
and will often take off inveterate head-achs. 
It is also given by some as a remedy against 
worms ; and it was originally famous against the 
poison of the rattle snake, and was a remedy we 
learnt from the Indians. It is good against worms 
in children, and may be given in small doses for 
a continuance of time. Scarce any thing is more 
effectual. 

Vomic Nut Tree Jsitx vomica . 

A tall and spreading tree of the East, "very 
like that which affords the wood called snake- 
weed in the shops, and by some supposed the 


FAMLIY HERBAL* 355 

same with it, but that is an error : the kernels of 
the fruit of that tree, are indeed of the shape 
of the vornic nuts, but they are not half so big. 
The tree is large and spreading : the branches 
are numerous, and the leaves are large : they stand 
in pairs opposite to one another ; and are oblong*, 
broadest in the middle, and rounded or blunt at 
the end, and of a very bitter taste pjthe flowers 
are small, and stand in clusters at certain parts 
of the young branches : the fruit is of the big- 
ness of an apple, and is yellow when ripe. The 
kernels in this are what we call nux vomica ; 
there are fifteen of them in each fruit, and they 
are lodged in three divisions. 

These kernels are the only part used ; our drug- 
gists keep them ; they are round, flat, and of a 
whitish colour, very firm, and tough. They 
have been used as poison to dogs, cats, and other 
animals ; but there are those who give them to 
the human species, in small doses, without mischief, 
and with very good effect. Quartan agues that 
have stood it against the hark, have been cured 
by them ; but if the dose be too large, they 
bring on convulsions, and (here is reason to be- 
lieve, that in very large ones they would kill. 
At present we have choice of so many medicines 
for every disorder, that it is almost unpardonable 
to give such as are suspicious. Some people 
have ventured to give even ratsbane, as a medi- 
cine, mixed with other things, and in the twenti- 
eth part of a grain for a dose ; but reason con- 
dems this rash way of practice, and doubly, as 
there is no necessity to authorize it. 


366 


FAMILY HERBAL. 
W 


Walnut Tree. Juglans , 

oi«t t ' • 'Ilf ! ; ' ;; ' 

A common tree in our gardens ; it grows 
to a great bigness, and is very much branched* 
The leaves are very large and long ; each is com- 
posed of a double row of smaller,, and has an odd 
one at the end. These are each of an oval figure 
and yellowish green colour, and of a pleasant 
smell. The flowers are little ; they are yellow- 
ish, and arranged in loose catkins. The fruit is 
covered with a green thick coat, and has with- 
in a kernel divided into parts, and of an uneven- 
surface. 

The bark ^of the walnut tree is a good emetic ; 
it may be given in infusion, or dried and powder- 
ed ; it vomits easily and plentifully. The skin 
that covers the kernel is good against fluxes, 

W a ll-Flo w ee . L eu coinm . 

A common wild plant, hut, not without 
beauty ; it is frequent on old walls and bas yel- 
low and sweet-scented flowers. The stalks are 
woody, and a foot and half high ; the leaves are 
very numerous, longish, narrow, and of a dead 
green. The flowers stand in a kind of spikes, at 
the tops of the stalks, and are yellow and mode- 
rately large. The seeds are contained in long 
pods. 

» The flowers are Used ; and an infusion of them 
fresh is good against the head-ach, and in all nerv- 
ous disorders. They are also good to steep in oil, 
to whicli they give a cordial warmth, and make 
it good against pains in the limbs. But they are 
not either way much used at present 


Water Arrow Head. Sagitta aquatica , 

A very pretty plants common in our ditches, 
with leaves like the bearded heads of arrows, 
and with pretty white flowers. It is two feet 
and a half high, but generally the greatest part 
of the stalk is buried in water, very little appear- 
ing above, except (be spike of flowers,** The 
leaves stand each upon a pedicle, which is round, 
thick, and very long ; they are of a beautiful 
green, and are broad, and bearded at the base, 
and sharp at the point ; the flowers are white, to- 
lerably large, and very bright ; and the stalk, 
on which they are supported, is also round and 
thick. 

The common people in many places have a cus- 
tom of applying these leaves bruised to inflamma- 
tions ; they cool and give ease, but it is not always 
right. 

Water Plantain. Pl&titago aquatica . 

A very common tall plant in ditches, and 
having not the least resemblance of any kind of 
plantain, except in the leaves ; from which, how- 
ever, it has received its name. The root is com- 
posed of a great quantity of fibres. From this, 
there rise in spring a number of leaves, oblong, 
broad, smooth, and of a beautiful green colour, 
and having in shape, (hough not at all in colour 
or consistence, some slight resemblance of plan- 
tain : they are perfectly smooth, of a glossy sur- 
face, and brittle. These stand for many months 
without the stalk ; and doubtless in this state it 
got the name The stalk is two feet or more 
in height ; round, firm, and upright ; and at 
the top it sends out a vast number of branches. 


358 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


which send out other smaller ; and even these last 
are again divided. On the tops of the last di- 
visions stand the flowers with their buds, and 
the seed-vessels ; so that the whole has the ap- 
pearance of a cone. The flowers are little and 
white,, and consist of three leaves each ; they 
stand hut a little time, and only a few are seen to- 
gether. 

The seed is the part used ; the plant is to be 
suffered to stand, till this is tliorougly ripe, and 
then cut up gently, and laid to dry two or three days 
upon a table : a smart stroke or two, will dislodge 
a great quantity of the seeds ; they are very good 
against the overflowing of the menses, and all other 
bleedings ; and are given in powder, in electuaries, 
small doses being to he taken at a time and often re- 
pealed. 

Rue-leaved Whitlow-Grass. Par onychia rutiaco 

A common little plant, early in spring, on 
our walls and houses, and of a very singular as- 
pect ; it is red, and has pretty white flowers. 
It is not. more than four inches high ; the stalks 
are round, upright, and a little hairy ; and they 
are covered with an unctuous clamminess, which 
makes them stick to the finders in handling. The 

o r> 

leaves arc little, and also red ; they are each 
divided into three parts at the extremity, in the 
way of fingers : they stand irregularly on the 
stalks, and they are thick, fleshy, and clammy 
in handling. The flowers stand at the tops of 
the branches; they are little, but of a very bright 
white, and look very conspicuous. The whole 
plant dies away as soon as it has ripened the seed, 
and is not to be seen again till the next spring. 



FAMILY HERBAL. 


359 


The fresh gathered plant is to be used entire : 
a strong infusion of it is a very great sweetener 
of the blood. It is excellent against the scurvv 
in whatever form ; and there are accounts of its 
curing the king’s evib that seem very well attested. 
A syrup may be made of its juice, or of a very strong 
infusion of it ; or a conserve of the leaves ; for 
the dried plant has very little virtue, and it is 
to be had 
year. 

White Willow. Salix vulgaris alba . 

A very common tree in wet places, and this 
which is used in medicine is the most common of 
ail the several kinds of it. It is also the largest. 
It grows to be a tall tree : the bark is whitish, and 
rough upon the trunk, and grey upon the branches ; 
the leaves are oblong;, narrow, and whitish, es- 
pecially on the under side : they stand irregularly 
on the branches, and are a little serrated at the edges, 
and pointed at the ends. The dowers are very in- 
considerable, hut they are arranged several together, 
in what are called catkins or palms. The seeds are 
small ; they stand in the same catkins, mixed with 
fine white down. 

The hark of the branches is used, and it is best 
dried ; it is good against purgings, and the.overdow- 
ings of the menses, and is most conveniently given 
in powder, half a dram for a dose. 

• W inter Green. Pi/rola . 

An extremely pretty plant, wild in some parts 
of England, but not common. The stalk is 
round, thick, upright, and ten inches high. The 
leaves all grow from the root, for the stalk is naked. 


fresh only a very small part of the 


3 60 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


they are broad, roundish, and of a deep green colour ; 
they are of a fleshy substance, and stand each on 
a separate foot-stalk of three or four inches long. 
The flowers are small, and of a very bright white ; 
they stand in a kind of loose spike on the tops of the 
stalks. The root is composed of a quantity of thick 
whitish fibres. 

The leaves are used. A decoction of them with 
a piece of cinnamon, and a little red wine, is given 
against the overflowings of the menses, bloody stools, 
and all hemorrhages, and against ulcers in the urinary 
passages, and bloody urine. 

Wo ad. Glcistum. 

A plant cultivated in fields, in many parts of 
England, for the use of the dyers, and common- 
ly met with in places near those where it was 
sown, as if a wild plant ; but it is not properly a 
native of our country. It is a tall, erect, and hand- 
some plant ; the stalk is round, thick, firm, upright, 
and four feet high ; but it is usually so covered 
with the leaves, that scarce any part of it is to be 
seen naked. The leaves are long and of a consider- 
able breadth. They are large at the base, where 
they grow to the stalk, without any foot-stalks ; 
and narrower all the way to the point. They are 
of a bluish green colour, and the whole plant is 
covered with them, so the top has a pretty aspect. 
The flowers are little and yellow ; they stand in 
great numbers about the tops of the stalks, which 
are divided into a multitude of small branches ; 
and they are succeeded by small seed vessels. The 
root is long and thick. 

Although the dyers are the people who pay 
most regard to woad, and for whose nse it is cul- 
tivated, it has virtues that demand for it a great 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


361 


Seal of respect in medicine. The top of the stalks* 
before the flowers appear, contain the greatest vir- 
tue, and they are best fresh. They are to be given in 
infusion, and they are excellent against obstructions 
of the liver and spleen ; they work by urine, and 
so take effect ; the use of this infusion must be 
continued a considerable time : these are disorders 
that come on slowly* and are to be slowly re- 
moved. 


Woodruffe. Asperula . 

A common little wild plant, in our woods 
and thickets : it is ten inches high. The stalk 
is square, slender, weak, and not able to support 
itself perfectly upright. The leaves stand several 
at each joint, encompassing the stalk in the man- 
ner of a star ; they are oblong, broad, and of a 
deep green. In their form and manner of growth 
they much resemble those of common cleavers, 
but they are larger, though the plant is so much 
less, and they are not rough as in that plant, but 
nearly smooth. The flowers stand at the tops of the 
stalks in little clusters ; they are small and white ; 
the seeds stand two together in a globular form. The 
roots are little and fibrous. 

The fresh herb is used, and is best given in a 
strong decoction ; it opens obstructions of the liver 
and spleen, and is a cordial, and stomachic. It is 
good in the jaundice. 

Wormseed Plant. Absinthium santonicum . 

A kind of wormwood, native of the East, 
and not known so much as in our gardens. The 
plant is two feet high. The leaves are very finely 

3 a 


362 


FAMILY HEllBAL. 


divided, like those of the true Roman worm- 
wood, and of a pale green on the upper side, and 
a silvery white below. The stalks are stiff, firm., 
woody, and branched ; they are of a whitish colour, 
and have a loose downy skin upon them : the flowers 
are small and brownish ; they resemble those of 
wormwood, and stand in a kind of loose spikes at the 
lops of the stalks. 

The seeds are used : our druggists keep them ; 
and very often the unripe buds of the flowers in 
their place, are mixed with them. They are good 
against worms in children ; the good women give 
them mixed with treacle : and few medicines 
for tl) is purpose have better effect. For people of 
nicer palates; they may be powdered, and made into 
boluses. 

Treacle Worm seed. Camelma . 

. " - i ’ * ... . • ; . f i i ■■ * 

This is not the plant which ' produces what 
the druggists sell under the name of wonnseed ; 
that is the produce of an Egyptian kind of 
wormwood, just described. This is an English 
herb of the podded kind, and very distinct in its 
whole appearance from that, and all of its sort. 
It is two feet high. The stalks are round, up- 
right, firm, and toward the top divided into 
branches ; the leaves are very numerous, and 
stand irregularly. They are longish, narrow, 
pointed at the ends, not at ail dented at the edges, 
and of a dusky green colour. The flowers are 
little and yellow ; they stand in small clusters at 
the tops of the branches, and under them is a kind 
of spike of pods ; these are long ahd slender, 
green at first, but of a kind of brown colour when 
ripe ; and in each is a great number of seeds ; 


these are round, small, and of an extremely bit- 
ter taste, much more bitter than the common 
worm seed. 

This seed is the part used. The good women 
bruise it, and mixing it with treacle, give it to 
the children of robust constitutions against worms. 
It operates powerfully by stool, and, if given in 
too large a quantity, by vomit. It is therefore 
to be used with discretion ; but it will answer the 
purpose, and is preferable, for many reasons, to 
those mercurial medicines, which it is the fashion of 
the times to give to people for those disorders ; es- 
pecially in the country, where there seldom is skill 
enough in the practitioner to manage, as he ought, 
medicines, which may be the occasion of so much 
mischief. 


Common w orm wood . Ah si/nth ium vulgare. 

A wild plant frequent by way sides, and on 
ditch-banks. It is a yard high. The stalks are 
round, striated, white, firm, and branched. The 
leaves are large, hut they are divided into a great 
number of small parts. They are of a pale whit- 
ish green, and stand irregularly on the stalks ; 
many larger, but of the same kind, rise from the 
root. The flowers stand in a kind of loose spikes 
at the tops of the stalks ; they are small and 
brown. The whole plant is of a very hitter 
taste. 

The tops of the plant are to be used fresh gather- 
ed : a very slight infusion of them is excellent for all 
disorders of the stomach, and will prevent sickness 
after meals, and create an appetite ; but if it be made 
strong, it will not only be disagreeable to the taste, 
blit will disgust the stomach. 

The tops with the flowers on them dried and 


364 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


powdered,, are good against agues, and have the 
game virtue with wormseed in killing worms ; indeed 
they are much better than the wormseed that is 
commonly to be met with, which is generally too 
much decayed. The juice of the large leaves of 
wormwood, which grow from the root before the 
stalk appears, is good against the dropsy and jaun- 
dice, for it opens obstructions, and works by urine 
powerfully. 


Sea Wormwood. Absynthium seriphium. 

A plant common in our salt-marshes, and 
about ditches, where salt water comes. It has 
somewhat the aspect of wwrmvood, but the leaves 
are much narrower in the divisions, and the whole 
plant is smaller. The stalks are woody, firm, up- 
right, very much branched, and a foot and a half 
«igh. The leaves are whitish and small. The flow- 
ers stand in loose spikes at the tops of the stalks ; 
they are little and brown ; and they very much 
resemble those of the common wormwood, except 
for the size. The whole plant has a bitter taste 
but not disagreeable, and it has a oleasant aromatic 
smell. 

The tops fresh gathered, and the whole plant 
dry, are used. They call it Roman wormwood 
at the markets and in the shops ; and it is used 
for the other : it has the same general virtues. 
All the three kinds indeed possess them in com- 
mon ; hut the common wormwood is the most dis- 
agreeable to the taste, and sits worst upon the 
stomach : this is better than that, but it is much 
more disagreeable than the true Roman worm- 
wood. It is very strengthening to the stomach ; 
it assists digestion, and prevents wind. It is com- 
monly an ingredient in the bitter infusions, and 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


r Mh 


tinctures of tb© shops, but it does very well alone ; 
boiling' water poured upon it. and suffered to stand 
till it is cold, then strained off, is an excellent me- 
dicine to cause an appetite. Put into white wine, it 
^Iso gives a pleasant bitter flavour, with the sain# 
yirtues. 

Roman Wormwood. Ahsynthium Romanian f 

A very delicate plant of the wormwood kind, 
native off the warmer parts of Europe, but kept 
in our gardens. It is two feet and a half high ; 
the stalk is round, smooth, hard, upright, of 
a brownish colour, and somewhat woody. The 
leaves stand irregularly on it, and they are small 
and divided into very fine segments : they a re 
more like the leaves of the common southern- 
wood in figure, than those of either of the other 
wormwoods. The flowers are little and brown, 
like those of common wormwood, but vastlv 

y ,7 

smaller ; they are very numerous, and stand at the 
tops of the stalks in a kind of long and thick spikes. 
The root is creeping and spreading, and composed of 
fibres. The whole plant has a bitter taste, but not 
at all like that of wormwood, extremely aromatic and 
pleasing. The flowers are very bitter, and have 
little of this aromatic flavour. 

The fresh tops are used, and the whole plant 
dried. It is excellent to strengthen the stomach ; 
but that is not all its virtue. The juice of the fresh 
tops is good against obstructions of the liver 
and spleen, and has been known singly to cure the 
jaundice. 


366 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


Y. 

\ . - - 

Y arrow. Millefolium . 

A common plant' in our pastures, and by way 
sides. It is two or three feet high ; the stalk 
is round, upright, firm, and striated : the leaves 
arc long, and not very broad, and they are the 
most beautifully divided of those of any known 
plant. 

Their colour is a deep green, and the parts 
into which they are divided are exceedingly fine, 
slender, and regularly arranged : the flowers stand 
at the lops of the branches, in the manner of umbels, 
in round and large tufts ; they are white, but 
they often have a blush of red. The root is white 
and creeping, and the seeds are white, broad, and 
flat. 

The whole plant is used fresh gathered, but the 
best part is the tops of the shoots ; these are to be 
boiled in water, and the decoction sweetened with 
fine sugar ; it is excellent against the bleedings 
of the piles, and bloody fluxes, and the overflowing 
of the menses. It is also healing and good in 
ulcerations of the ureters : and it operates gently by 
urine. 



Zedoary Plant. Zedoaria. 

An Eastern plant, very singular, and very 
beautiful. The root creeps under the surface, 
and has many tuberous lumps, some long, and 
some round; but the long are preferred. The 
round have by many been called zerumbeth ; 
though the zerumbeth is properly another rootj x 


FAMILY HERBAL. 


351 


to be described in its place. The leaves of the 
zedoary plant are large, very broad, and not 
vastly long ; they stand in dusters, encircling 1 
one another at the bases : the flowers stand on 
separate stalks : these are only eight or ten inches 
high. They are small, of an irregular shape, and 
purplish. 

The root is the only part used ; our drug- 
gists keep it dry ; it is a warm cordial, and 
stomachic medicine ; it strengthens the stomach, 
assists digestion, and expels wind. It is good 
also in all nervous complaints, such as lowness of 
spirits, faintings, tremblings of the limbs, and 
restlessness. An ounce of zedoary, sliced thin, 
and put into a quart of wine, makes an excellent 
tincture for these purposes, and is very good 
taken in the quantity of a small glass, on going 
into a damp, or what is suspected to be a tainted 
air. 


Zerumbeth Plant. Zerumbetha . 

The zerumbeth plant in some respects re- 
sembles that which affords the zedoary, but it 
is larger. It is a native of the East, and has 
not yet been got into our gardens. The leaves grow 
together in such a manner as to form a kind of 
stalk ; this is six feet high or more ; but. it is 
only formed of their lower parts wrapped round 
one another, in the manner of tire leaves of our 
(lags. The loose part of each leaf is long, nar- 
row, and of a bluish green. The (lowers stand 
upon separate stalks ; these rise about a foot 
high, and are of a brownish colour : they have 
only a sort of films upon them in the place of 
leaves. The (lowers stand in a short and thick 
spike, at the tops of these, they are oblong. 


I 


368 


FAMILY HERBAL, 


hollow, moderately large, and of a beautiful scarlet 
The root is long and irregular. 

The root is used ; our druggists keep it : it is 
warm and good in all nervous cases. Its virtues are 
very nearly the same with those of zedoary ; and in 
general the round roots of zedoary are sold under it^ 
name, though in reality it is a much longer, as well as 
larger root, than the zedoary itself. , 


APPENDIX. 


Concerning the virtues of plants which have not yet 

bee** tried. 


S the intent of this work is truly to be of use to 



jl\. mankind, the author who is desirous of making 
that utility as extensive as possible, cannot close it 
without observing, that, notwithstanding the great 
deal that is known of the virtues of English plants* 
there is certainly a great deal more unknown ; and 
there is room for great discoveries. 

The plants mentioned in this work are Only four 
or five hundred, and not all these of English 
growth ; if they were, they would yet be but a 
very small number in proportion to the whole. 
The catalogue of those native of our own country^ 
as published by Mr. Ray, amounting to many 
thousands ; great numbers therefore remain yel 
untried. 

To what purpose can a man devote the hours 
of his leisure better, than to the discovering among 
the number to the unregarded, virtues which may 
farther supply the catalogue of our own remedies* 
and make the roots and seeds brought from re* 
mote countries less necessary ? What encourage* 
men t to the attempt, that there are such m ul- 
titude of objects for the trial ! and that the dis- 
covering but one remedy among them all, for 


3 B 


APPENDIX. 


a disease we knew not how so well to cure before, 
is a source of more true honour, than can be de- 
rived from all the useless knowledge in the 
world , 

If any suppose the trial dangerous,, they mis- 
lead themselves ; and to encourage so laudible an 
undertaking, I shall observe how little is the 
hazard, and how considerable the advantages, 
from what we know already. 

If a man were to be turned loose upon an island 
where no person had set foot before, he might 
dread to taste of any plant he saw, because he 
might not know, but every one he saw was fatal : 
and supposing him to have got over this fear, 
the ignorance of the virtues of all would keep 
him backward : but this is not at all the case with 
hi m, who shall at this time set about inquiring 
into the virtues of plants in England. The 
poisonous plants, native of our soil, are hardly a 
dozen and these are charactered even to the eye, 
by something singular or dismal in the aspect. 
They are well known ; and he has nothing to do 
but to avoid them. For the rest, he has so many, 
whose uses and qualities are already perfectly 
known, that he has a great foundation to go upon 
in the search, because he can compare those he 
does not know with them. Their taste will go 
a great way toward informing him ; but this is 
not all, their very outward figures will direct him : 
for in general those plants which agree in the 
external aspect, agree likewise in their virtues. 

To give an instance in the marsh mallow. It is 
known to work by urine, and to be good against 
the gravel. We will suppose no more known 
concerning this kind. A person desirous of ex- 
tending this useful knowledge, finds that by the 
taste of the root, which is insipid, and its ism- 


APPENDIX, 


811 

cilagirious quality, he might have guessed this to 
he its virtue, from what he before knew of medi- 
cine. The next plant he meets, we will suppose 
is the common mallow, and afterwards the -little 
white flowered mallow, which lies upon the 
ground ; he tastes the root of these, and he finds 
they are like the other ; he will therefore guess, 
that they have the same virtues and upon trial, 
he will find it is so. 

But this is not all : if he had examined the 
flower of the marshmallow, in what manner it 
was constructed, and how the little threads grew 
within it, he would have found that the flowers 
of these other two mallows were, in all respects, 
like those of the other ; and farther, he would 
have found, that the seeds of these two kinds 
were in the same manner disposed in circular bo- 
dies : from this he might, without tasting their 
roots, have been led to guess that their virtues 
were the same ; or having guessed so much from 
this, he might have been thence led to taste them, 
and by that have been confirmed in it : but he 
might be carried farther ; he would find the same 
sort of round clusters of seeds in the hollyoak 
in his garden ; and upon examining the single 
flowers, he would see they were also alike : and 
hence he would discover that it was of this kind ; 
and he would rightly judge that the hollyoak, also 
possessed the same virtues. 

This is a method by which many of the plants 
mentioned in this book, have been found to have 
virtues which others neglected ; for there are 
many named in the preceding pages, and named 
with great praise, of which others have made 
little account : these are the means by which the 
first guesses have been made about their virtues ; 
and experiments have always confirmed them. 


APPENDIX 


It has not always happened that the virtues of a 
plant thus tried,, have been in a degree worth 
setting in a light of consequence ; they have been 
sometimes slight, and the plant has been disregard- 
ed ; but they have scarce ever missed to be found 
of the same nature. 

These experiments,, I have always thought ho- 
nesty required me to make upon myself, and' I 
never found harm from the trials. I had no right 
to bring into the least possible danger, the health 
of othei’s ; as to my own there was no probability 
of harm ; but if it had happened, the intent would 

have sanctified the accident, and I should have 

• ► * * 

been contented. 

There is this great use in examining other plants 
which have the same sort of flowers and fruits 
with those which we know to have virtues,, that 
we may in this way discover plants at home, to 
supply the place. of those we have from other 
countries. It is certain the sun in warmer climates 
does ripen the juices of vegetables farther than 
in ours, but yet we find the plants of the same 
kind from whatever part of the world they come, 
to possess nearly the same kind of virtues ; gene- 
rally indeed they are the same, only differing in 
degree. Thus all the mallows of Spain and Italy, 
to bring the trial to the before- named instance, 
possess the same virtues with the marsh-mallow, 
mallow, and hollyoak of England ; and the case 
is the same with those which are truly mallows 
of the East and West Indies ; though this does 
not hold good with respect to some of the 
plants of those countries which have been brought 
hither under that name. 

Thus also, that root which was at one time 
about to be brought very much into use, under 
the name of the Senegal rattle-srnake root, but 


APPENDIX, 


37S 


of which little mention has been made here, be- 
cause the attention has not been turned upon novel- 
ty, but use, being found to belong to a kind of milk- 
wort, or poly gala. The roots of the common 
milkwort of our pastures being tried, have been 
found to possess the same virtues, though in a 
less degree. This plant would not have been re- 
garded, if the other had not been found to be of 
the same kind ; but to that we owe the knowledge of 
its virtues. 

There is a great reason for seeking in our own 
climate, plants of the same nature, and form, and 
kind, with those which in other countries afford 
us remedies ; that they are generally of the same 
kind, and may be fitter for our constitutions. This 
is certain, that as the sun ripens the juices of plants in 
hotter countries to more virtue than with us, so it 
make men's constitutions more able to bear their 
effects. 

The Chinese will swallow such doses as are 
poison to one of us. This we know in many in- 
stances, and it ought to encourage us in the pre- 
sent research ; because, if the same doses which 
agree with them, are too much for us ; we may 
also find, that other medicines, of the same kind 
of virtues, though in a less degree, may also 
he found to agree better with our constitutions. 
I would not carry so far as some have done, that 
opinion of nature's having provided in every 
country the remedies for the diseases of that coun- 
try : God is the author of nature, and he know- 
ing there would be commerce among mankind, 
knew that would not be necessary. But not- 
withstanding that it may be necessary in some 
cases, and convenient in many, for us to have drugs 
from abroad, yet in general it will be better for us 
to be cured by those herbs we may find at home ; 


374 


APPENDIX, 


and they will be found upon trial more sufficient 
for that purpose,, than we at present imagine. The 
means are at hand, but we have made very little use 
of them, proportioned to their number and their 
value. 

The observation .already made, that the exter- 
nal form of plants may very well give the hint 
for a conjecture about their virtues, is much more 
general than might be imagined. Almost all 
the plants of the same kinds are of the same vir- 
tues. But that is not all: for in general, those 
of the same class possess the same qualities ; though 
different in degree : and this is a prodigious help 
to him, who shall set out upon the generous and 
useful plan of adding to the number of the useful 
plants. It is also singular, that what might appear 
objections in this case, being brought to the trial, 
will often be found confirmations of the truth there is 
in the observation. 

Thus suppose a man, observing that lettuce h 
eatable, should inquire into all the plants like 
lettuce, which are those that have flowers corn- 
posed of many parts, and have the seeds winged 
with a .white downy matter, to find whether they 
Were eatable ; let us examine how he would suc- 
ceed. The plants of this class native of England, 
are the sowthistle, the hawkweeds, the dandelions, 
goats-heards, succory, and endive, all eatables. 
The hawkweeds are less agreeable in the taste, 
but wholesome ; and as to the wild lettuces, those 
who would bring the opiate quality of the prin- 
cipal of them as an objection, strengthen the ob- 
servation : for the garden lettuce also has an opi- 
ate quality. This wild one possesses it in a great* 
er degree, but still in such degree, that it is an 
excellent medicine, -not at all dangerous. Its 
bitter taste would prevent people’s eating it, for 


APPENDIX. 375 

f 

it is disagreeable ; but its virtues are the same 
with those of lettuce, only greater. There are 
some kinds of hawkweed also, which have a bitter 
milky juice, altogether like that of this lettuce ; 
and they, also, have this opiate quality. I have 
tried many of them, but as they are none of them, 
equal to the great wild lettuce in this respect, it 
would have been idle to have spent many words 
about them. 

This general observation may be carried a great 
deal farther ; but it were the business of a volume, 
not of a short appendix, to explain it at large. In 
general, the seeds of umbelliferous plants, that is, 
those which have little flowers in rounded dusters, 
each succeeded by two seeds, are good against 
colics ; those of caraway, anise, cummin, corian- 
der, and all of that kind, are produced by plants 
of this figure. In the same manner, the verticil- 
late plants, as they are called, that is, those which 
have the flowers surrounding the stalks, as in mint 
and thyme, are of a warm nature ; and however 
they differ in degree and circumstance, they have 
the same general virtues. Farther, such plants 
as are insipid to the taste and smell, have generally 
little virtues ; and, on the contrary, those which 
have the most fragrant smell, and sharpest taste, have 
the greatest virtues, of whatever kind. 

In general also, those plants which have a strong 
but an agreeable taste, are most worthy to be 
examined with respect to their virtues ; for they 
are generally the most valuable ; and on the con- 
trary, when a very strong taste is also a very dis- 
agreeable one ; or, in the same manner, when the 
strong smell of a plant has also something heavy, 
disagreeable, and overpowering in it, there is 
mischief in the herb, rather than any useful quality. 

The poisonous plants of this country are very few ; 


3f6 


APPENDIX. 


but they are for the most part characterized after this 
manner : so that they are known as it were at sight, 
or by the first offer of a trial. 

Thus we see how very little can be the danger of 
Inquiring farther into the virtues of our own plants, 
by experiments ; and how useful such an inquiry 
may be to mankind is sufficiently proved by the matter 
of the preceding volume. 

What I have written, is with intent to encourage 
some who have opportunities to make the trial ; and 
for my own part, I shall not be wanting. What 1 
have already discovered in this way, l am pleased to 
see makes no inconsiderable addition to the present 
publication ; what I shall discover farther, or learn 
from the experience of others, shall have its place in 
the succeeding editions. 


FI MS. 


Bungay ; Printed by Brightly and Co. 


V-- '