Culpeper’s English Physician


Culpeper's English Physician

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 April 2022, Updated.   
From March 2022 I began to include excerpts of an old English natural remedy compendium called, Culpeper’s English Physician to end the Sunday livestream.

As the book is old, it can be a rather difficult read, so I began to prepare a couple of herbal descriptions each week with a translated text to be easily read on this page.

Below I offer up the book as a PDF but before that, I will present the parts already prepared and shared with my You Tube audience.

First I offer a quick look key to conditions and organs that benefit from the many natural remedies we will explore on this page.

Conditions And Herbal Remedies

Arteries : Asparagus – Bay Tree – Lady Bed Straw – 
Bladder : Allheal – Asparagus – Arsesmart – 
Blood : Aloe – Amara Dulcis – Angelica – Amaranthus – Arsesmart – Barberry –  Bawm – Bay Tree – Bean – Lady Bed Straw – 
Bowels : Agrimony – 
Brain : Asarabacca – 
Burns : Alkanet – Ash Tree – Angelica – Barberry – 
Cancers : Agrimony – 
Colic : Allheal – Agrimony – Ground Ivy – 
Choler : Barberry –  Bawm – 
Coughs : Almond Tree – Agrimony –
Depression :  Bawm – 
Cramp : Allheal – Asparagus – 
Dropsy : Amara Dulcis – Black Aldertree – 
Dead Birth : Allheal – Bay Tree – 
Ears : Agrimony – Ground Ivy – Angelica – Arsesmart – Barley – Bean – Beets – 
Eyes : Anemone – Adders Tongue – Almond Tree – Aloe – Asparagus – Ground Ivy –  Angelica – Anemone – Barley – 
Feet : Angelica – 
Fistulas : Asarabacca – 
Fits : Alkanet – Asarabacca – Asparagus – 
Fleas : Arsesmart – 
Gout : Allheal – Asparagus – Angelica – Barley – Bean – 
Headache : Aloe – Anemone – Beets – 
Haemorrhoids : Aloe – 
Heart : Angelica –  Bawm – 
Hair : Aloe – 
Humours : Aloe – Water Agrimony – 
Infection : Angelica – 
Inflammations : Adders Tongue – Alkanet – Aloe – Angelica – Arsesmart – 
Itch : Lady Bed Straw – 
Joint Aches : Allheal – Alkanet – Asarabacca – Lady Bed Straw – 
Jaundice : Alkanet – Aloe – Agrimony – Amara Dulcis – Water Agrimony – Black Aldertree – Garden Arrach – Barberry – Bay Tree – Beet – 
Kidneys : Allheal – Alkanet – Almond Tree – Asparagus – Arsesmart – Bay Tree – Kidney Bean – Bean – 
Leprosy : Anemone – Alkanet – Ash Tree – Anemone – Barley – 
Lethargy : Anemone – Allheal – Black Aldertree – 
Liver : Allheal – Asarabacca – Almond Tree – Agrimony – Amara Dulcis – Water Agrimony – Alexander – Angelica – Barberry –  Bawm – Beets – 
Lice : Black Aldertree – 
Lungs : Almond Tree – Amara Dulcis –  Ground Ivy – Water Agrimony – Angelica –  Bawm – Bay Tree -Kidney Bean – Beets – 
Mad Dogs : Allheal – Angelica –  Bawm – 
Measles : Alkanet – 
Mouth : Aloe – Ground Ivy – Garden Arrach – Bay Tree – 
Pain : Ground Ivy – 
Pestilence : Angelica – 
Phlegm : Asarabacca – Aloe – 
Poison : Angelica –  Bawm – Basil – 
Plague : Ground Ivy – Angelica – 
Tooth Ache : Allheal – Asparagus – Black Aldertree – 
Sciatica : Asparagus – Angelica – Bean – 
Scrotum : Adders Tongue –
Sex – Asparagus – Arrach Wild and Stinking – Amaranthus – 
Skin : Almond Tree – Water Agrimony – Black Aldertree – Barberry –  Bawm – Bay Tree – 
Small Pox : Alkanet – 
Sinews : Allheal – Asparagus – Lady Bed Straw – 
Spleen : Allheal – Alkanet – Asarabacca – Almond Tree – Amara Dulcis – Ground Ivy – Water Agrimony – Black Aldertree – Angelica – Archangel –  Bawm – Barley – Beets – 
Stomach : Aloe – Asparagus – Ground Ivy – Black Aldertree – Alexander – Barberry –  Bawm – Barley – Bay Tree – Kidney Bean – Beets – 
Toothache : Angelica – Lady Bed Straw – Beets – 
Ulcers : Anemone – Alkanet – Asarabacca – Aloe – Agrimony – Ground Ivy – Anemone – Arsesmart – 
Urine : Allheal – Asarabacca – Ash Tree – Almond Tree – Asparagus – Agrimony – Alexander – Bay Tree -Kidney Bean – Bean – Lady Bed Straw – Beets – 
Venomous Beasts : Allheal – Alkanet – Asarabacca – Ash Tree – Agrimony – Ground Ivy – Alexander – Angelica – Beets – 
Vertigo : Allheal – 
Womb : Almond Tree – Black Aldertree – Angelica – Arrach Wild and Stinking –  Bawm – Bay Tree – Beets – 
Worms : Allheal – Alkanet – Almond Tree – Water Agrimony – Arsesmart – Barberry – Bay Tree – 
Wounds : Adders Tongue – Aloe – Amaranthus – 

The Herbs

LADY’S BED-STRAW
Besides the common name above written, it is called cheefe-rennet, because it performs the same office ; as also gallion, pertiiTiugger, and maid’s hair, and by some wild- rosemary. 

Description. This riseth up with divers small, brown, and square, upright, stalks, a yard high, or more, sometimes branched forth into divers parts, full of joints, and with divers very fine small leaves at every one of them, little or nothing roughatall; atthetops of the branches grow many long tufts or branches of yellow flowers, very thick set together, from the several joints, which consist of four leaves each, which smell somewhat strong, but not unpleasant: the seed is small and black, like poppy-seed, two for the most part joined together; the root is reddish, with many small threads fastened unto it, which take strong hold of the ground, and creepeth a little; and the branches, leaning a little down to the ground, take root at the joints thereof, whereby it is easily increased. 

There Is also another fort of lady’s bed-straw, growing frequently in England, which beareth white flowers as the other doth yellow; but the branches of this are so weak, that, unless it be sustained by the hedges, or other things near which it groweth, it will lie down on the ground; the leaves are a little bigger than the former, and the flowers are not (o plentiful as those; and the root hereof is also thready and abiding. 

Place. They grow in meadows and pastures, both wet and dry, and by the sides of hedges. 

Time. They flower in May for the most part, and the seed is ripe in July and August. 

Government and Virtues. They are both herbs of Venus and therefore strengthen the parts, both internal and external, which she rules. The decoction of the former of these, being drunk, is good to fret and break the stone, provoke urine, stay inward bleedings, and to heal inward wounds: the herb or flower bruised, and put up into the nostrils, stayeth their bleeding likewise : the flowers and the herb being made into an oil by being set in the sun, and changed after it hath stood ten or twelve days; or Into an ointment, being boiled in axungia or salad -oil, with some wax melted therein after it is strained; either the oil made there- of, or the ointment, do help burnings with fire or scalding with water : the same also, or the decoction of the herb and flower, is good to bathe the feet of travellers who by much walking have contracted a weariness and stiffness in their sinews and joints : if the decoction be used warm, and the joints afterwards anointed with the ointment, it helpeth the dry scab, and the itch in children : and the herb with the white flowers is also very good for the sinews, arteries, and joints, to comfort and strengthen them after travail, cold, and pains. 

BEETS
Description. Of beets there are two sorts which are best known generally, and whereof I shall principally treat at this time, viz. the white and red beets -, and their virtues. 

The common white beet hath many great leaves next the ground, somewhat large, and of a whitish-green colour; the stalk is great, strong, and ribbed, bearing great store of leaves almost to the very top of it : the flowers grow in very long tufts, small at the ends, and turning down their heads, which are small, pale, greenish-yellow, burs, giving cornered prickly seed. The root is great, long, and hard, and, when it hath given seed, is of no use at all. 

The common red beet differeth not from the white, but only it is less, and the leaves and the roots are somewhat red : the leaves are differently red, in some only with red streaks or veins, some of a fresh red, and others of a dark red. The root hereof is red, spongy, and not used to be eaten. 

Government and Virtues. The government of these two sorts of beets are far different; the red beet being under Saturn, and the white under Jupiter; therefore take the virtues of them apart, each by itself. The white beet doth much loosen the belly, and is of a cleansing digesting quality, and provoketh urine : the juice of it open obstructions both of the liver and spleen, and is good for the headache, and swimmings therein, and turnings of the brain; and is effectual also against all venomous creatures; and, applied to the temples, stayeth inflammations in the eyes; it helpeth burnings being used without oil, and, with a little allum put to it, is good for St. Anthony’s fire. White beet is hot and dry, and loosens the belly by reason of its nitrosity. It is an errhine, especially the root; for the juice of it, received into the nostrils, occasions sneezing ; the young plants, with their roots, gently boiled and eaten with vinegar, procure an appetite, extinguish thirst, and suppress choler in the stomach. Beet among the antients was much noticed for its insipid taste. Martial reproaches it in the following distich :

Ut sapiant fatuac; fabrorum prandia betae, 

O quam faepe petet vina piperque coquus ?

The juice of this herb drawn up into the nostrils powerfully evacuates phlegmatic humours from the brain, and cures inveterate headaches. This is counted a great secret by some. It is also good for all wheals, pushes, blisters/ and blains, in the skin the herb boiled, and laid upon chilblains or kibes, helpeth them : the decoction thereof, in water and some vinegar, healeth the itch, if bathed therewith, and cleanseth the head of dandruff, scurf, and dry scabs, and doth much good for fretting and running sores, ulcers, and cankers, in the head, legs, or other parts; and is much commended against baldness and shedding of hair. 

The red beet is good to stay the bloody-flux, women’s courses, and the whites, and to help the yellow –jaundice. The juice of the root, put into the nostrils, purgeth the head, helpeth the noise in the ears, and the toothache; the juice snuffed up the nose helps a linking breath, if the cause lies in the nose, as many times it doth, if any bruise have been there as also want of smell coming that way. 

BEANS
Both the garden and field beans are so well known, that it saveth me labour of writing any description of them.

Government and Virtues.They are plants of Venus: and the distilled water of the flowers of garden-beans is good to cleanse the face and skin from spots and wrinkles ; and the meal or flower of them, or the small bean, doth the same. The water distilled from the green husks is held to be very effectual against the stone, and to provoke urine. Bean-flour is used in poultices, to assuage inflammations rising upon wounds, and the swelling of women’s breasts caused by the curdling of their milk, and refresheth their milk. The flour of beans and fenugreek mixed with honey, and applied to felons, boils, bruises, or blue marks by blows, or the im- posthumes in the kernels of the ears, helpeth them all: and with rose leaves, frank-incense, and the white of an egg, being applied to the eyes, helpeth them that are swoln, or do water, or have received any blow upon them, if used with wine. If a bean be parted in two, the skin being taken away, and laid on the place where a leech hath been set that bleedeth too much, it stayeth the bleeding. Bean-flour boiled to a poultice with wine and vinegar, and some oil put thereto, easeth both pain and swelling of the scrotum; the husks boiled in water to a consumption of a third part thereof, stayeth a lask; and the ashes of the husks, made up with old hog’s grease, helpeth the old pains, contusions, and wounds, of the sinews, the sciatica, and gout. The field-beans have all the aforementioned virtues as the garden- beans. Beans eaten are extreme windy meat ; but if, after the Dutch fashion, when they are half boiled, you husk them and stew them, they are wholesomer food.

F R E N CH  – KIDNEY B E A N S
Description. The French or kidney bean ariseth up at first but with one stalk, which afterward divideth itself into many arms or branches, but all {o weak, that, if they be not sustained with sticks or poles, they will lie fruitless upon the ground; at several places of these branches grow forth long foot-stalks, with every one of them three broad, round, and pointed, green leaves at the end of them, towards the top whereof come forth divers flowers made like unto pease blossoms, of the same colour for the most part that the fruit will be of, that is to say, white, yellow, red, blackish, or of a deep purple, but white is the most usual; after which come long and slender flat kids, some crooked, some strait, with a firing as it were running down the back thereof, Vt-herein are contained flattish round fruit, made to the fashion of a kidney ; the root is long, spreading with many strlngs annexed to it, and perlsheth every year.

There is also another fort of French-bean commonly growing with us In this land, which is called the scarlet-flowered bean. This ariseth up with sundry branches as the other, but runs up higher to the length of hop-poles, about which they grow twining, but turning contrary to the sun; they have foot-stalks with three leaves on each, as on the other : the flowers also in fashion are like the other, but many more set together, and of a most orient scarlet colour. The beans are larger than the ordinary kind, of a deep purple colour, turning black when it Is ripe and dry : the root of this also perisheth in winter.

Government and Virtues. These also belong to Venus; and, being dried and beaten to powder, are great strengtheners of the kidneys : neither is there a better remedy than it, if taken a drachm at a time in white wine, to prevent the stone, or to cleanse the kidneys of gravel or stoppage. The ordinary French-beans are of an easy digestion; they move the belly, provoke urine, enlarge the breast that is straightened with shortness of breath, engender sperm, and incite to venery. And the scarlet- coloured beans, on account of the beauty of their colour, being set near a quickset hedge, will greatly adorn the same by climbing up thereon, so that they may be discerned a great way, not without admiration of the beholder at a distance. But they will go near to kill the quick sets by clothing them In scarlet.

BARLEY
THE continual usefulness hereof hath made all in general so acquainted with it, that it is altogether needless to describe its several kinds hereof plentifully growing, being yearly sown in this land ; the virtues whereof take as followeth :

Government and Virtues. It is a notable plant of Saturn; if you view diligently its effects by sympathy and antipathy, you may easily perceive a reason of them, as also why barley-bread is so unwholesome for melancholy people. Barley, in all the parts and compositions thereof, except malt, is more cooling than wheat, and a little cleansing; and all the preparations thereof, as barley-water, and other things made thereof, do give great nourishment to persons troubled with fevers, agues, and heats in the stomach. A poultice made of barley meal or flour, boiled in vinegar and honey, and a few dry figs put into them, disollveth all hard imposthumes, and assuageth inflammations, being thereto applied; and, being boiled with mielilot and camomile flowers, and some linseed, fenugreek, and rue in powder, and applied warm, it easeth pains in the side and stomach, and windiness of the spleen.

The meal of barley and fleawort boiled in water, and made into a poultice with honey and oil of lilies, applied warm, cureth swellings under the ears, throat, neck, and such like ; and a plaister made thereof with tar, wax, and oil, helpeth the king’s evil in the throat : boiled with sharp vinegar into a poultice, and laid on hot, helpeth the leprosy: being boiled in red wine, with pomegranate-rinds and myrtles, it stayeth the lask or other flux of the belly : boiled with vinegar and a quince, it easeth the pains of the gout. Barley-flour, white salt, honey, and vinegar, mingled together, take away the itch speedily and certainly : the water distilled from the green barley in the end of May is very good for those that have defluxions of humour fallen into the eyes, and easeth the pains, being dropped into them : or white bread steeped therein, and bound on to the eyes, doth the same.

BASIL-GARDEN OR SWEET BASIL
Description. The greater ordinary basil riseth up usually with one upright stalk, diversely branching forth on all sides, with two leaves at every joint, which are somewhat broad and round, yet pointed, of a pale-green colour, but fresh, a little snipt about the edges, and of a strong heady scent. The flowers are small and white, standing at the tops of the branches, with two small leaves at the joints, in some places green, in others brown, after which come black seed. The root perisheth at the approach of winter, and therefore must be new sown every year. Place. It groweth in gardens only.

Time. It must be sowed late, and flowers in the heat of summer, being a very tender plant.

Government and Virtues. With respect to the qualities of this herb, most authors differ Galen and Dioscorides hold it not fitting to be taken inwardly, as does also Crysippus ; but Pliny and the Arabian physicians defend it. For my own part, I presently found that speech true, Non noftrum inter nos tantas componere lites, and away to Dr. Reason went I, who told me it was an herb of Mars, and under the Scorpion, and perhaps therefore called basilicon, and then no marvel if it carries a kind of virulent quality with it. Being applied to the place bitten by a venomous beast, or stung by a wasp or hornet, it speedily draws the poison to it. Every like draws its like. Mizaldus affirms, that, if it be laid to rot in horse-dung, it will breed venomous beads : and Hollerius, a French physician, affirms upon his own knowledge, that an acquaintance of his, by common smelling to it, had a scorpion bred in his brain. Something is the matter, this herb and rue will not grow together, no, nor near each other : and we know that rue is as great an enemy to poison as any that grows. To conclude, it expelleth both birth and after- birth, and, as it helps the deficiency of Venus in one kind, fo it spoils all her actions in another.

B A Y – T R E E
This is so well known, that it needs no description; I shall therefore only write the virtues thereof, which are many.

Government and Virtues. If shall but only add a word or two to what my friend hath written, viz. That it is a tree of the Sun, and under the celestial sign Leo, and resisteth witchcraft very potently, as also all the evils old Saturn can do to the body of man, and they are not a few; for it is the speech of one, and I am mistaken if it were not Mizaldus, that neither witch nor devil, thunder nor lightning, will hurt a man in the place where a bay-tree is. Galen faith, that the leaves or bark do dry and heal very much, and the berries more than the leaves. The bark of the root is less sharp and hot, but more bitter, and hath some astriction withal, whereby it is effectual to break the stone, and good to open obstructions of the liver, spleen, and other inward parts, which bring the dropsy, jaundice, &c. The berries are very effectual against the poison of venomous creatures, and the stings of wasps and bees, as also against the pestilence, or other infectious diseases, and therefore is put into sundry treacles for that purpose : they likewise procure women’s courses ; and seven of them, given to a woman in sore travail of child-birth, do cause a speedy delivery, and expel the after-birth, and therefore must not be taken by such as have gone out their time, left they procure abortion, or cause labour too soon: they wonderfully help all cold and rheumatic distillations from the brain to the eyes, lungs, or other parts; and, being made in to an electuary with honey, do help the consumption, old coughs, shortness of breath, and thin rheums ; as also the megrim : they mightily expel wind, and provoke urine : help the mother, and kill worms : the leaves also work the like effects. A bath of the decoction of the leaves and berries, is singularly good for women to fit in, that are troubled with the mother, or the diseases thereof, or the stoppings of their courses, or for the diseases of the bladder, pains in the bowels by wind, and slopping of urine. A decoction likewise of equal parts of bay-berries, cummin seed, hyssop, origanum, and euphorbium, with some honey. And the bead bathed therewith, doth wonderfully help distillations and rheums, and settleth the palate of the mouth in to its place. The oil made of the berries is very comfortable in all-cold griefs of the joints, nerves, arteries, stomach, belly, or womb; and helpeth palsies, convulsions, cramps, aches, trembling, and numbness in every part; also weariness, and pains that come by sore travellings: all griefs and pains likewise proceeding from wind, either in the head, stomach, back, belly, or womb, by anointing the parts affected therewith; and pains in the ears are also cured by dropping  some of the oil, or by receiving Into the ears the warm fume of the decoction of the berries through a funnel. The oil takes away marks of the skin and flesh by bruises, falls, &c. and disolveth the congealed blood in them; it helpeth also the itch, scabs, and wheals, in the skin.

B A W M
This herb is so well known to be an inhabitant in almost every garden, that I shall not need to write any description thereof, although the virtues of it, which are many, may not be omitted.

Government and Virtues. It is an herb tinder Jupiter, and under Cancer, and strengthens nature much in all its actions. Let a syrup, made with the juice of it and sugar, (as you (shall be taught at the latter end of the book), be kept in every gentlewoman’s house, to relieve the weak stomachs and sick bodies of their poor neighbours ; as also the herb kept dry in the house, that so, with other convenient simples, you may make it into an electuary with honey, according as the disease is, and as the state of the patient may from time to time happen to be. The Arabian physicians have highly extolled the virtues hereof, although the Greeks thought it not worth mentioning. Serapio saith, it causeth the mind and heart to become merry, and reviveth the heart fainting into swoonings, especially of such as are overtaken in their sleeps, and driveth away all troublesome cares and thoughts out of the mind arising from melancholy, or black choler; which Avicen also confirmeth. It is Pliny, when writing on bawm, informeth us, that, if it be tied to a sword which gave the wound, it instantly stoppeth the blood.

Very good to help digestion, and open obstructions of the brain ; and hath such a purging quality, saith Avicen, as to expel those melancholy vapours from the spirits and blood which are in the heart and arteries, although it cannot do so in other parts of the body. Dioscorides saith, that the leaves steeped in wine, and the wine drunk, and the leaves externally applied, is a remedy against the sting of scorpions, and the bitings of mad dogs; and commendeth the decoction thereof for women to bathe or sit in, to procure their courses ; it is good to wash aching teeth therewith, and profitable for those that have the bloody flux. The leaves also with a little nitre taken in drink, are good against a surfeit of mushrooms, helps the griping pains of the belly, and, being made into an electuary, it is good for them that can-not fetch their breath with ease; used with salt, it takes away wens, kernels, or hard swellings, in the salt or throat : it cleanseth foul sores, and easeth pains of the gout It is also good for the liver and spleen, A tansy or caudle made with eggs, and the juice thereof while it is young, putting to it some sugar and rose-water, is good for women in child-bed, when the after-birth is not thoroughly voided, and for their faintings upon, or after, their sore travail. The herb bruise and boiled in a little wine and oil, laid warm on a boil, will ripen and break it.

BARBERRY
The shrub is so well known to every boy and girl that hath but attained to the age of seven years, that it needs no description.

Government and Virtues. Mars own the shrub, and presents it to the use of my countrymen to purge their bodies of choler. The inner rind of the barberry-tree boiled in white wine, and a quarter of a pint drunk each morning, is an excellent remedy to cleanse the body of choleric humours, and free it from such diseases as choler causeth, such as scabs; itch, tetters, ringworms, yellow jaundice, boils, &c. It is excellent for hot agues, burnings, scaldings, heat of blood, heat of the liver, and bloody flux; the berries are as good as the bark, and more pleasing ; they get a man a good stomach to his victuals, by strengthening the attractive faculty, which is under Mars. The hair washed with the lye made of the ashes of the tree, and water, will make it turn yellow, viz. Mars’ own colour. The fruit and rind of this shrub, the flowers of broom and of heath, or furze, cleanse the body of choler by sympathy, as the flowers, leaves, and bark, of the peach-tree do by antipathy; because these are under Mars, that under Venus.

ARCHANGEL.
To put a gloss upon their practice, the physicians call an herb, which country people vulgarly know by the name of dead nettles, archangel, wherein whether they favour more of superstition or folly I leave to the judicious reader. There is more curiosity than courtesy to my countrymen used by others in the explanation as well of the names as description of this well-known herb: which, that I may not also be guilty of, take this short description; first, of the red archangel.

Description. This hath divers square stalks, somewhat hairy, at the joints whereof grow two fad-green leaves dented about the edges, opposite each other, the lowermost: upon long footstalks, but without any towards the tops, which are some-what round, yet pointed, and a little crumpled and hairy: round about the upper joints, where the leaves grow thick, are sundry gaping flowers of a pale reddish colour; after which come some-what The root is small and thready, perishing every year; the whole plant hath a strong scent, but not stinking.

White archangel hath divers square stalks, none standing upright, but bending downward, whereon two leaves at a joint, larger and more pointed than the other, dented about the edges, and greener also, more like unto nettle-leaves, but not stinging, yet hairy : at the joints, with the leaves, stand larger and more open gaping white flowers, in husks round about the stalks, (but not with such a bustle of leaves and flowers set in the top as is on the other), wherein stand small roundish black seeds. The root is white, with many strings at it, not growing downward, but lying under the upper crust of the earth, and abideth many years increasing. This hath not fo strong a scent as the former. Yellow archangel is like the white in the stalks and leaves, but that the talks are more straight and upright, and the joints with leaves are farther asunder, having longer leaves than the former, and the flowers a little larger and more gaping, of a fair yellow colour in most, in some paler. The roots are like the white, only they creep not so much on the ground.

Place. They grow almost: every where, unless it be in the middle of the street; the yellow most: usually in the wet grounds of woods, and sometimes in the dryer, in divers counties of this nation.

Time. They flower from the beginning of the spring all the summer long.

Virtues and Use. The archangels are somewhat hot, and dryer than the stinging nettles, and used with better success, for the stopping and hardness of the spleen, than they, by using the decoction of the herb in wine, and afterwards applying the herb hot unto the region of the spleen as a plaister, or the decoction with spunges. The flowers of the white archangel are preserved, or conserved, to be used to stay the whites, and the flowers of the red to stay the reds, in women.

ARSESMART
THE hot arsesmart is called also water-pepper, and culrage; the mild arsesmart is called dead arsesmart, porcicaria, or peach-wort, because the leaves are fo like the leaves of peach-tree; it is also called plumbago.

peach-tree This hath broad leaves set at the great red joints of the stalks, with semicircular blackish marks on them usually, yet sometimes without. The flowers grow in long spikes usually, either bluish or whitish, with such like seed following. The root is long, with many strings thereat, perishing yearly;  this hath no sharp taste, as another fort hath, which is quick and biting, but rather four like sorrel, or else a little drying or without taste.

Place. It grows in watery places, ditches, and the like; which for the most; part are dry in summer.

Time. It flowereth in June, and the seed is ripe in August.

Government and Virtues. As the virtues of both these is various, so are also their government; for that which is hot and biting is under the dominion of Mars, but Saturn challengeth the other, as appears by the lead-coloured spot he hath placed upon the leaf. The water arsesmart is of great use in the stone of the kidneys or bladder, a draught of it being taken every morning for two or three months together. A country gentleman used a load of this herb in a year to make the water, where-with he cured many of the stone. The root or seed, put into an aching hollow tooth, takes off the pain. There is scarce any thing more effectual to drive away flies, for, whatever wounds or ulcers cattle have, if they are anointed with the juice of arsesmart, the flies will not come near, though it is the heat of summer. It is of a cooling and drying quality, and very effectual for putrefied ulcers in man or beast, to kill worms, and cleanse the putrefied places. The juice thereof dropped in, or other-wife applied, consumeth all cold swellings, and dissolveth the congealed blood of bruises by strokes, falls, &c. The leaves bruised, and laid to the joint that hath a fellon thereon, taketh it away. The juice destroyeth worms in the ears, being dropped into them: if the hot arsesmart be strewed in a chamber, it will soon kill all the fleas, and drive away the flies, in the hottest time of summer ; a good handful of the hot biting arsesmart, put under a horse’s saddle, will make him travel the better, although he were half tired before: the mild arsesmart is good against hot imposthumes and inflammations at the beginning, and to heal green wounds.

All authors chop the virtues of both forts of arsesmart together, as men chop herbs for the pot, when both of them are of quite contrary qualities. The hot arsesmart groweth not so high, or tall, as the mild doth, but hath many leaves of the colour of peach-leaves, very seldom or never spotted; in other particulars it is like the former, but may be easily known from it, if you will be but pleased to break a leaf of it across your tongue, for the hot will make your tongue to smart, but the cold will not. If you fee them both together, you may easily distinguish them, because the mild hath far broader leaves : and our college of physicians, out of their learned care for the public good, and their own gain, mistake the one for the other in their New Masterpiece, whereby they discover, 1. Their ignorance; 2. Their carelessness ; and he that hath but half an eye may see their pride without a pair of spectacles. I have done what I could to distinguish them in their virtues; and, when you find not the contrary named, use the cold.

AMARANTHUS
Besides this common name, by which it is best known by the florists of our days, it is also called flower-gentle, flower-velure, floramor, and velvet-flower.

Description. It being a garden flower, and well known to every one that keeps of it, I might forbear the description; yet notwithstanding, because some desire it, I shall give it. It runneth up with a stalk a cubit high, streaked, and somewhat reddish towards the root, but very smooth, divided towards the top with small branches. Among which stand long broad leaves of a reddish green colour, and slippery. The flowers are not properly flowers, but tufts, very beautiful to behold, but of no smell, of a reddish colour; if you bruise them, they yield juice of the same colour; being gathered, they keep their beauty a long time; the seed is of a shining black colour.

Time. They continue in flower from August till the frosts nip them.

Government and Virtues. It is under the dominion of Saturn, and is an excellent qualifier of the unruly actions and passions of Venus, though Mars also should join with her. The flowers, dried, and beaten into powder, stop the terms in women, and so do almost all other red things. And by the icon or image of every herb the ancients at first: found out their virtues. Modern writers laugh at them for it; but I wonder in my heart how the virtue of herbs came at first to be known, if not by their signatures; the moderns have them from the writings of the ancients, the ancients had no writings to have them from. But to proceed : the flowers stop all fluxes of blood whether in man or woman, bleeding either by the nose or wound. There is also a sort of amaranthus which bears a white flower, which stops the whites in women, and the running of the reins in men, and is a most: Angular remedy for the venereal disease.

ANEMONE
Called also wind-flower, because they say the flowers never open but when the wind bloweth: Pliny is my author; if it be not so, blame him. The seed also, if it bears any at all, flies away with the wind.

Place and Time. They are sown usually in the gardens of the curious, and flower in the spring-time. As for the description, I shall pass it, they being well known to all those that sow them.

Government and Virtues. It is under the dominion of Mars, being supposed to be a kind of crow-foot. The leaves provoke the terms mightily, being boiled and the decoction drunk. The body being bathed with the decoction of them cures the leprosy. The leaves being stamped, and the juice snuffed up the nose, purgeth the head greatly : so doth the root being chewed in the mouth, for it causeth much spitting ; and bringeth away many watery and phlegmatic humours, and is therefore excellent for the lethargy. And, when all is done, let physicians say what they please, all the pills in the dispensatory purge not the head like to hot things held in the mouth : being made into an ointment, and the eyelids anointed therewith, it helps inflammations of the eyes, whereby it is palpable that every stronger draweth its weaker light; the same ointment is exceeding good to cleanse malignant and corroding ulcers. 

GARDEN ARRACH
Called also orach, and orage.

Description. It Is so commonly known to every housewife, it were but labour loft to describe it.

Time. It flowereth and seedeth from June to the end of August.

Government and Virtues. It is under the government of the Moon; in quality cold and moist: like unto her. It softeneth and looseneth the body of man being eaten, and fortifieth the expulsive faculty in him. The herb, whether it be bruised and applied to the throat, or boiled, and in like manner applied, it matters not much, it is excellent good for swellings in the throat; the best way I suppose is to boil it, and, having drunk the decoction inwardly, apply the herb outwardly; the decoction of it besides is an excellent remedy for the yellow jaundice.    

ARRACH WILD and STINKING
Called also vulvaria, from that part of the body upon which its operation is most : also dog’s arrach, goat’s arrach, and stinking motherwort.

Description. This hath small and almost: round leaves, yet a little pointed, and without dent or cur, of a dusky mealy colour, growing on the slender stalks and branches that spread on the ground, with small flowers in clusters set with the leaves, and small feeds succeeding like the rest, perishing yearly, and rising again with its own sowing. It smells like old rotten fish, or something worse.

Place. It grows usually upon dunghills.

Time. They flower in June and July, and the feed Is ripe quickly after.

Government and Virtues. Stinking arrach is useful as a remedy to help women pained and almost strangled with the mother, by smelling to it; but inwardly taken there is not a better remedy under the moon for that disease. I would be large in commendation of this herb, were I but eloquent. It is an herb under the dominion of Venus, and under the sign Scorpio. The works of God are given freely to man; his medicines are common and cheap, and easy to be found: the medicines of the college of physicians are dear, and scarce to find. I commend this for an universal medicine for the womb, and such a medicine as will easily, safely, and speedily, cure any disease thereof, as the fits of the mother, dislocation, or falling out thereof; it cools the womb being over-heated; and let me tell you this, and I will tell you but the truth, heat of the womb Is one of the greatest causes of hard labour in child-birth. 

It makes barren women fruitful, it cleanseth the womb if it be foul, and strengthens it exceedingly; it provokes the terms if they be stopped, and stops them if they flow immoderately : you can desire no good to your womb but this herb will effect it; therefore, if you love children, if you love health, if you love ease, keep a syrup always by you made of the juice of this herb and sugar, or honey if it be to cleanse the womb; and let such as be rich keep it for their poor neighbours, and bestow it as freely as I bestow my studies upon them, or else let them look to answer for it another day when the Lord shall come to make inquisition of blood.

COMMON ALDER TREE.
Description. It groweth to a reasonable height, and spreads much if it likes the place. It is generally so well known unto the country people, that I conceive it needless to tell them that which is no news.

Place and Time. It delighteth to grow in moist woods and watery places; flowering in April or May, and yielding the seed in September.

Government and Use. It is a tree under the dominion of Venus, and of some watery sign or other, I suppose Pisces; and therefore the decoction or distilled water of the leaves is excellent against burnings and inflammation, either with wounds or without, to bathe the place grieved with, and especially for that inflammation in the breast which the vulgar call an ague. If you cannot get the leaves (as in winter it is impossible), make use of the bark in the same manner. The leaves and bark of the alder-tree are cooling, drying, and binding. The fresh leaves laid upon swellings dissolveth them, and stayeth the inflammations; the leaves, put under the bare feet galled with travelling, are a great refreshing to them; the said leaves gathered while the morning dew is on them, and brought into a chamber troubled with fleas, will gather them thereinto, which, being suddenly cast out, will rid the chamber of those troublesome bed-fellows.

Angelica 
That is, the angelical or angel-like herb. On what occasion this excellent name was first given unto it, I know not; unless it was for the excellent virtues thereof, or for that God made it known to man by the ministry of an angel. I suppose the former case rather to be true: however, as I am not able to prove the other, so I think no man can give any good reason to the contrary. For this we know, that God; hath made his angels ministering spirits, to serve us for the safeguard of our Souls; and also of our bodies. But, upon what occasion soever the name was given, it is excellent, and so are its properties. 

Description. Angelica is hot and dry at lead in the third degree. All the latter writers agree upon this, and experience proveth the same, that it is good against poison, pestilent airs, and the pestilence itself. The practitioners of Germany write thus of if.—If any man be suddenly taken either with the pestilence, or with any pestilent ague, with too much sweating, let him drink of the powder of the root half a drachm, mingled with a drachm of treacle, in three or four spoonfuls of the water of angelica, distilled from the roots, and, after his going to bed, covering himself well, let him fast, at least, three hours after ; which if he do, he will begin to sweat, and, by the help of God, he will be cured of his disease.

For want of treacle, one may take a whole drachm of the root of angelica in powder with so much of the distilled water as aforesaid, and it will have the same effect.

The root of angelica well steeped in vinegar, and smelt to in time of the pestilence, and the same liquor being sometimes drunk fasting, preserveth from infection. But, in my judgment, it is better to take an orange or a lemon, cut off the top, pick out the meat, prick it full of small holes, put into it a piece of sponge, or fine linen cloth dipped in the aforesaid vinegar, and smell to it.  The water distilled out of the roots of angelica, or the powder of the same, is good against gnawing and pains of the belly occasioned by cold, if the body be not bound. It is good against all inward disease, as pleurisy, in the beginning before the heat of the inflammation be come into the body; for that it dissolvoth and scattereth abroad such humours as use to cause the pleurisy. Moreover it is good for the diseases of the lungs, if they come of a cold cause; and from the strangurian, if from a cold cause, or of a stopping.

It is good for a woman that is in travail. It expelleth wind that is in the body, and easeth the pain that cometh from the same. The root may be sod in wine or water, as the nature of the sick requireth. 

The root or the juice, put into a hollow tooth, taketh away the ache ; the same effect hath the distilled water, being put into the car.

The juice or water of angelica quickens the eye-sight, and breaks the little films  that cover the eyes, causing darkness of sight. Of the roots of angelica and pitch may be made a good plaister against the bitings of mad beasts. The water, the juice, or the powder, of this root, sprinkled upon the diseased place, is a very good remedy against old and deep sores, for they scour and cleanse them, and cover the bones with flesh. The water of the same, in a cold cause, is good to be laid on places diseased with the gout and sciatica; for it easeth the pain, and melteth away the tough humours that are gathered together. The seed is of like virtue with the root. The wild angelica, that groweth here in the low woods, and by the water-side, is not of such virtue as the other; howbeit the surgeons seeth the root of it in wine to heal green wounds. These properties I have gathered out of German writers. I have not as yet proved them all myself ; but divers of them I have proved, and have found them to be true. I have set down the peel of an orange, or lemon; the meat whereof is also commended by the physicians to be a good preservative both against-poison and the infection of pestilence.- Late writers affirm that the roots of angelica are opposite to all poison and infection. If any be infected with the plague, or poisoned, they give him immediately to drink a drachm of the powder of this root with wine in the winter, and in summer with distilled water of carduus benedictus ; then get him to bed, and cover him until he sweat freely. The same root being taken falling in the morning, or but held in the mouth, doth keep and preserve the body from the evil of the air. The leaves of angelica pounded with the leaves of rue and honey are very good to be laid to the bitings of mad dogs presently after the hurt, the wine being drunk wherein the root or leaves of angelica hath been boiled.

There is both garden and wild angelica ; some also reckon up a water kind ; it groweth up with great hollow stalks, four or five feet high, having broad divided leaves, of a pale green colour ; at the top cometh forth large umbels of white flowers, after which succeed flat seed, somewhat whitish ; the root perisheth every year if it be suffered to seed.

Place and Time. Angelica is Latin and English; it grows commonly in our gardens, and wild also in many places; flowers about July, and the seed is ripe soon after.

Government and Virtues. It is an herb of the Sun in Leo; let it be gathered when he is there, the Moon applying to his good aspect; let it be gathered either in his hour, or in the hour of Jupiter ; let Sol be angular. Observe the like in gathering the herbs of other planets, and you may happen to do wonders. In all epidemical diseases caused by Saturn, this is as good a preservative as grows ; it refills poison by defending and comforting the heart, blood, and spirits, it doth the like  against the plague and all epidemical diseases, if the root be taken in powder to the weight of half a drachm at a time with some good treacle in carduns water, and the’ party thereupon laid to sweat in his bed; if treacle be not to be had, take it alone in carduus or angelica water. The stalks or roots, candied and eaten falling, are good preservatives in time of infection, and at other times too warm and comfort a cold stomach. The root also steeped in vinegar, and a little of that vinegar taken sometimes fasting, and the root smelled unto, is good for the same purpose. A water distilled from the root limply, or steeped in wine, and distilled in glass, is much more effectual than the water of the leaves; and this water, drunk two or three spoonfuls at a time, easeth all pains and torments coming of cold and wind, so as the body be not bound; and, taken with some of the root in powder at the beginning, helpeth the pleurisy, as also all other diseases of the lungs and breast, as coughs, phthysie, and shortness of breath; and a syrup of the stalks doth the like. It helps pains of the cholic, the stranguary, and flopping of the urine, procureth women’s courses, and expelleth the after-birth openeth the stoppings of the liver and spleen, and briefly easeth and difusseth all windiness and inward swellings. The decoction drunk before the fit of an ague, that they may sweat, if possible, before the fit comes on, will in two or three times taking rid it quite away. It helps digestion, and is a remedy for a surfeit. The juice, or the water, being dropped into eyes or ears helps dimness of sight and deafness; the juice, being put into hollow teeth, easeth their pains. The roots in powder, made up into a plaister with a little pitch, and laid on the biting of a mad dog, or any other venomous creature, doth wonderfully help. The juice, or water, dropped, or tents wet therein, and put into old filthy deep ulcers, or the powder of the root, in want of either, doth cleanse and cause them to heal quickly, by covering the naked bones with flesh. The distilled water, applied to places pained with the gout or sciatica, doth give a great deal of ease. The wild angelica is not so effectual as the garden, although it may be safely used to all the purposes aforesaid.

ALEXANDER
It is also called alisander, horse-parsley, and wild-parsley, and the black pot-herb: the seed of it is that which is usually sold in the apothecaries shops for Macedonian parsley-seed.

Description. It is usually sown in all the gardens in Europe, and so well known that it needs no further description.

Time. They flower in June and July, and the seed is ripe in August.

Government and Virtues. It is an herb of Jupiter, and therefore friendly to nature, for it warmeth a cold stomach, and openeth stoppings of the liver, and wonderfully helpeth the spleen; it is good to remove women’s courses, to expel the after-birth, to break wind, to provoke urine, and help the stranguary; and these things the seeds will do likewise. If either of them be boiled in wine, or be bruised and taken in wine, it is also effectual against the biting of serpents. And now you know what alexander pottage is good for, that you may no longer eat it out of ignorance, but out of knowledge.

BLACK ALDERTREE.
Description and Names. This groweth up like a small shrub, or bush, and spreads in many branches ; the wood is white, and red at the core, the bark blackish with white spots, the inner bark yellow, the leaves somewhat like the com-mon aider ; the flowers are white, and come forth at the joints with the leaves; the berries are round, first green, then red and black when they are ripe. The Latins call It fraugula, and aliius nigra baccifera; in Hampshire it is usually known by the name of dog-wood.

Place. This tree or shrub may be found plentifully in St. John’s wood by Hornsey, and in the woods upon Hampstead-heath, as also at a wood called the Old Park at Barcomb in Sussex, near the brook’s side.

Time. It flowereth in May, and the berries are ripe in September.

Government and Virtues. It is a tree of Saturn. The inner bark thereof purgeth downwards both choler and phlegm, and the watery humours of such as have the dropsy, and strengtheneth the inward parts again by binding. The green leaves of this tree, applied to tumours, discusses them, and takes off inflammations.

Being put into travellers shoes, they ease pain, and remove weariness. A black colour like ink is made with the bark of alder rubbed off with a rusty iron, and infused in water for some days. Some use it to dye.  If the bark hereof be boiled with agrimony, wormwood, dodder, hops, and some fennel, with smallage, endive, and succory roots, and a reasonable draught taken every morning for some time together, it is very effectual against the jaundice, dropsy, and the evil disposition of the body : especially if some suitable purging medicine have been taken before to avoid the grosser excrements; it purgeth and strengtheneth the liver and spleen, cleansing them from such evil humours and hardness as they are afflicted with. It is to be understood, that these things are performed by the dried bark ; for the fresh green bark, taken inwardly, provoketh strong vomitings, pains in the stomach, and gripings in the belly : yet, if the decoction stand and settle two or three days, until the yellow colour be changed black, it will not work, so strongly as before, but will strengthen the stomach, and procure an appetite to meat. The outer bark contrarywise doth bind the body, and is helpful for all lasks and fluxes thereof; but this must also be dried first, whereby it will work the better. The inner bark thereof boiled in vinegar, is an approved remedy to kill lice, to cure the itch, and take away scabs by drying them up in a short time ; it is Angularly good to wash the teeth, to take away the pains, to fatten those that are loose, to cleanse them and keep them found. The leaves are good fodder for kine, to make them give more milk.

If in the sprlng-time you use the herbs before-mentioned, and will but take a handful of each of them, and to them add a handful of elder-buds, and, having bruised them all, boil them in a gallon of ordinary beer when it is new, and, having boiled them half an hour, add to this three gallons more, and let them work together, and drink a draught of it every morning, half a pint or thereabouts, it is an excellent purge for the spring, to consume the phlegmatic quality the winter hath left behind it, and withal keep your body in health, and consume those evil humours which the heat of summer will readily stir up.

WATER AGRIMONY
It is called in some countries water-hemp, bastard-hemp, and bastard-agrimony; also eupatorium and hepatorium, because it strengthens the liver.

Description. The root continues a long time, having many long slender firings; the stalks grow up about two feet high, sometimes higher; they are of a dark purple colour; the branches are many, growing at a distance the one from the other, the one from the one side of the stalk, the other from the opposite point; the leaves are winged, and much indented at the edges ; the flowers grow at the tops of the branches, of a brown yellow colour, spotted with black spots, having a substance within the midst of them like that of a daisy; if you rub them between your fingers, they smell like rosin, or cedar when it is burnt; the seeds are long, and easily stick to any woollen thing they touch.

Place. They delight not in heat, and therefore they are not so frequently found in the southern parts of England as in the north, where they grow frequently ; you may look for them in cold grounds, by ponds and ditch-sides, as also by running waters ; sometimes you will find them grow in the midst of the waters.

Time. They all flower in July and August, and the seed is ripe presently after.

Government and Virtues. It is a plant of Jupiter, as well as the other agrimony; only this belongs to the celestial sign Cancer. It healeth and drieth, cutteth and cleanseth, thick and tough humours of the breast and for this I hold it inferior to but few herbs that grow. It helps the cachexia, or evil disposition of the body ; the dropsy and yellow jaundice. It opens obstructions of the liver, and mollifies the hardness of the spleen; being applied outwardly, it breaks imposthumes ; taken inwardly, it is an excellent remedy for the third-day ague ; it provokes urine and the terms ; it kills worms, and cleanseth the body of sharp humours, which are the cause of itch, scabs, &c. l”he smoke of the herb, being burnt, drives away flies, wasps, &c. and it strengthens the lungs exceedingly.

Country people give it to their cattle when they are troubled with the cough, or broken winded.

ALE-HOOF, OR GROUND-IVY
Several countries give it several names, so that there is scarcely an herb growing of that bigness that hath got so many: it is called cat’s-foot, ground-ivy, gill-go-by-ground and gill-creep-by-ground, tun-hoof, hay-maids, and ale-hoof.

Description. This well-known herb lieth, spreadeth, and creepeth, upon the ground, shooting forth roots at the corners of the tender-jointed stalks, set all along with two round leaves at every joint, somewhat hairy, crumpled, and unevenly dented about the edges, with round dents: at the joints likewise with the leaves, towards the ends of the branches, come forth hollow long flowers, of a bluish purple colour, with small white spots upon the lips that hang down. The root is small, with firings.

Place. It is commonly found under the hedges, and on the sides of ditches, under houses, or in shadowed lanes, and other waste grounds, in almost every part of the land.

Time. They flower somewhat early, and abide for a great while; the leaves continue green until winter, and.  Sometimes • abide, except the winter be very sharp and cold.

Government and Virtues. It is an herb of Venus, and therefore cures the diseases he causes by sympathy, and those of Mars by antipathy. You may usually find it all the year long, except the weather be extreme frosty. It is quick, sharp, and bitter, in taste, and is thereby found to be hot and dry ; a singular herb for all inward wounds, ulcerated lungs or other parts, either by itself or boiled with other like herbs ; and, being drunk, it in a short time easeth all griping pains, windy and choleric humours in the stomach, spleen, or belly; helps the yellow jaundice by opening the stoppings of the gall and liver, and melancholy by opening the stoppings of the spleen ; expelleth venom or poison, and also the plague ; it provoketh urine and women’s courses. The decoction of it in wine, drunk for some time together, procureth ease unto them that are troubled with the sciatica, or hip-gout, as also the gout in the hands, knees, or feet; and, if you put to the deco(5lion some honey, and a little burnt allum, it is excellent good to gargle any sore mouth or throat, and to wash the sores and ulcers in the privy parts of man or woman; it speedily helpeth green wounds, being bruised and bound thereto. The juice of it, boiled with a little honey and verdigrease, doth wonderfully cleanse fistulas, ulcers, and stayeth the spreading or eating of cancers and ulcers ; it helpeth the itch, scabs, wheals, and other breakings-out in any part of the body. The juice of celandine, field-daisies, and ground-ivy, clarified, and a little fine sugar dissolved therein, and dropped into the eyes, is a sovereign remedy for all the pains, redness, and watering, of them ; as also for the pin and web, skins and films growing over the sight. It helpeth beasts as well as men. The juice dropped into the ears doth wonderfully help the noise and ringing of them, and helpeth the hearing which is decayed. It is good to tun up with new drink, for it will so clarify it in a night, that it will be fit to be drunk the next morning; or if any drink be thick with removing, or any other accident, it will do the like in a few hours.

A M A R A – D U L C I S
Considering that divers shires in this nation give divers names to one and the same herb, and that the common name which it bears in one county is not known in another ; I shall take the pains to set down all the names that I know of each herb. Pardon me for setting that name first which is most common to myself ; besides amara-dulcis, some call it morral, others bitter-sweet, some wood-nightshade, and others felon-wort.

Description. It grows up with woody stalks even to a man’s height, and sometimes higher; the leaves fall oft at the approach of winter, and spring out of the same stalk again at spring-time; the branch is encompassed about with a whitish bark, and hath a pith in the middle of it; the main branch spreadeth itself out into many small ones, with claspers, laying hold on what is next to them, as vines do; it bears many leaves; they grow in no order at all, or at least in no vulgar order; the leaves are longish, though somewhat broad and pointed at the ends; many of them have two little leaves growing at the end of their footstalk, some of them have but one, and some none; the leaves are of a pale green colour; the flowers are of a purple colour, or of a perfect blue, like to violets, and they stand many of them, together in knots; the berries are green at the first, but, when they are ripe, they are very red; if you taste them, you shall find them just as the crabs which v.e “ Sussex call bitter-sweet, viz. sweet at first, and bitter afterwards.

Place. They grow commonly almost throughout England, especially in moist and shady places. Time. The leaves shoot out about the latter end of March; if the temperature of the air be ordinary, it flowereth in July, and the seeds are ripe soon after, usually in the next month.

Government and Virtues. It is under the planet Mercury, and a notable herb of this also, if it be rightly gathered under his influence. It is excellent good to remove witchcraft, both in men and beasts ; as also all sudden diseases whatsoever. Being tied about the neck, it is one of the most admirable remedies for the vertigo, or dizziness in the head, and that is the reason (as Tragus saith) the people in Germany commonly hang it about their cattle’s neck when they fear any such evil hath betided them. Country people commonly use to take the berries of it, and, having bruised them, they apply them to felons, and thereby soon rid their fingers of such troublesome guests.

Now we have shown you the external use of the herb, we shall speak a word or two of the internal, and so conclude. Take notice, that it is a mercurial herb, and therefore of very subtle parts, as indeed all mercurial plants are ; therefore take a pound of the wood and leaves together, bruise the wood, (which you may easily do, for it is not fo hard as oak;) then put it in a pot, and put to it three pints of white wine ; put on the pot lid, and shut it close; then let it infuse hot over a gentle fire twelve hours ; then strain it out ; so you have a most excellent drink to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, to help difficulty of breath, bruises, and falls, and congealed blood in any part of the body, to help the yellow jaundice, the dropsy, and black jaundice, and to cleanse women newly brought to bed.

You may drink a quarter of a pint of the infusion every morning; it purgeth the body very gently, and not churlishly as some hold. And, when you find good by this, remember me.

AGRIMONY
Description. This hath divers long leaves, some greater, some smaller, set upon a stalk, all of them dented about the edges, green above, and greyish underneath, and a little hairy withal. Among which riseth up usually but one strong, round, hairy, brown stalk, two or three feet high, with smaller leaves set here and there upon it; at the top whereof grow many yellow flowers one above another in long spikes, after which come rough heads of seeds hanging downwards, which will cleave to and stick upon garments, or any thing that shall rub against them. The root is black, long, and somewhat woody, abiding many years, and shooting afresh every spring ; which root, though small, hath a pleasant smell.

Place. It grows upon banks, near the sides of hedges or rails.

Time. It flowereth in July and August, the seed being ripe shortly after.

Government and Virtues. It is moderately hot and moist, according to the nature of Jupiter. It is under Jupiter and the sign Cancer, and strengthens those parts under that planet and sign and remove diseases in them by sympathy, and those under Saturn, Mars, and Mercury, by antipathy, if they happen in any part of the body governed by Jupiter, or under the signs Cancer, Sagittarius, or Pisces; and therefore must needs be good for the gout, either used outwardly in an oil or ointment, or inwardly in an electuary or syrup, or concreted juice ; for which see the latter end of the book. It has moreover been recommended in dropsies and the jaundice. Externally, it has indeed its use ; I have seen very bad sore legs cured by bathing and fomenting them with a decoction of this plant.

It is of a cleansing and cutting faculty, without any manifest heat, moderately drying and binding. It openeth and cleanseth the liver, helpeth the jaundice, and is very beneficial to the bowels, healing all inward wounds, bruises, hurts, and other distempers. The decoction of the herb made with wine, and drunk, is good against the biting and stinging of serpents; and helps them that have foul, troubled, or bloody water, and causes them to make water clear and speedily. It also helpeth-the cholic, cleanseth the breast, and relieves the cough. A draught of the decoction, taken warm before the fit, first relieves, and in time removes, the tertian or quartan ague. The leaves and feed, taken in wine, stay the bloody-flux ; outwardly applied, being stamped with old swine’s grease, it helpeth old sores, cancers, and inveterate ulcers ; and draweth forth thorns, splinters of wood, nails, or any other such thing, gotten into the flesh. It helpeth to strengthen the members that be out of joint; and being bruised and applied, or the juice dropped in, it helpeth foul and imposthumed ears. The distilled water of the herb is good to all the said purposes, either inward or outward, but is a great deal weaker.

I cannot stand to give you a reason in every herb why it cureth such diseases; but, if you please to peruse my judgment in the herb wormwood, you shall find it there; and it will be well worth your while to consider it in every herb; you shall find them true throughout the book.

Prickly ASPARAGUS, SPARAGUS, or SPERAGE
Description. It groweth usually in gardens, and some of it grows wild in Appleton-meadow, in Gloucestershire, where the poor people do gather the buds, or young shoots, and sell them cheaper than our garden asparagus is sold in London.

Time. They do for the most part flower, and bear their berries, late in the year, or not at all, although they are housed in winter.

Government and virtues. They are both under the dominion of Jupiter. The young buds or branches, boiled in ordinary broth, make the belly soluble and open, and, boiled in white wine, provoke urine, being stopped, and are good against the suranguary, or difficulty of making water. It expelleth the gravel and stone out of the kidneys, and helpeth pains in the reins : if boiled in white wine or vinegar, it is prevalent for them that have their arteries loosened, or are troubled with the hip-gout, or sciatica. The decoction of the roots, boiled in wine and taken, is good to clear the sight, and, being held in the mouth, easeth the toothache; and, being taken fasting several mornings together, stirreth up bodily lust in man or woman, whatsoever some have written to the contrary. The garden asparagus nourisheth more than the wild, yet it hath the same effect in all the aforementioned diseases.

The decoction of the roots in white wine, and the back and belly bathed therewith, or kneeling or lying down in the same, or fitting therein as a bath, hath been found effectual against pains of the reins and bladder, pains of the mother and cholic, and generally against all pains that happen to the lower parts of the body and is no less effectual against stiff and benumbed sinews, or those that are shrunk by cramps and convulsions it also helpeth the sciatica.

ALOE, OR ALOES
Names. By the same name of aloe or aloes is the condensed juice of this plant called in all parts of Europe; the plant is also called fea-housleek and fea-ay-green.

Description. This plant hath very long leaves, thick, and set round about with short points or crests, standing wide one from another; the root is thick and long; all the herb is of a strong favour, and bitter taste; out of this herb is drawn a juice, which is dried, and called aloes in different parts of the world.

Place. Aloe groweth very plenteously in India, and from thence cometh the best juice; it groweth also in many places of Asia and Arabia, near the sea-side, but the juice thereof is not so good as that of India.

It is a martial plant, hot in the second degree, and dry in the third, of a very bitter taste; the juice, being refined and clarified from its dross, is of a clear and blackish clean brown colour, it openeth the belly, and purgeth cold phlegmatic and choleric humours, which overburthen and hurt the stomach; it is the balls in almost all pills ; it comforteth, cleanseth, and dryeth up superfluous humours. It may be taken with cinnamon, ginger, mace, galingal, or aniseed, to assuage and drive away pains of the stomach, and to comfort and warm the stomach, and expel phlegm; the same is also good against the jaundice and spitting of blood. Aloe made into powder, and strewed upon new bloody wounds, stoppeth the blood and healeth the wound ; likewise, being applied upon old ulcers, it closeth them up, and is a sovereign medicine for ulcers about the secret parts and fundament. The same, boiled with wine and honey, healeth rifts and outgrowings of the fundament, and stoppeth the flux of the haemorrhoids, and, being applied with honey, it taketh away black spots, that come by stripes or bruises; it is also good against inflammations, hurts and scabs of the eyes, and against running and dimness of the same. Aloes mixed with oil of roses and vinegar, and laid to the forehead and temples, assuageth the headache; the head being often rubbed with aloes mixed with wine, keepeth the hair from falling off. The same applied with wine cureth sores of the mouth and gums, the throat, and kernels under the tongue; and outwardly applied it is a good consolidative medicine;  stoppeth bleeding, and doth modify and cleanse all corruption.

ALMOND-TREE
Description and Names. Of this tree there are two kinds, the one bears sweet fruit, the other bitter; they grow bigger than any peach-tree; I have seen a bitter almond-tree in Hampshire, as big as a great plumb-tree. It hath leaves much like peach-leaves, and is called in Latin amigdalum ; they grow plentifully in Turkey and Barbary.

Nature and Virtues. The sweet almonds are hot and moist in the first degree, the bitter dry in the second. It is a plant of Jupiter. The sweet almonds nourish the body, and increase the feed ; they strengthen the breath, cleanse the kidneys, and open the passages of urine. There is a fine pleasant oil drawn out of the sweet almonds which being taken with sugar-candy is excellent against dry coughs and hoarseness ; it is good for those that have any inward sore, and for such as are troubled with the stone, because it makes slippery the passages of the urine. Bitter almonds also open obstructions of the liver and spleen, cleanse the lungs from phlegm, provoke urine, they expel wind, and provoke womens’ courses ; the oil of them kills worms, and helps pains of the womb. Some write that bitter almonds preserve from drunkenness, five or six being eaten fasting; the oil of both cleanses the Skin ; it easeth pains of the head, the temples being anointed therewith; and the oil, with honey, powder of liquorice, oil of roses, and white wax, makes a good ointment for dimness of sight. Also almond butter is very good for a stuffed breast this kind of butter is made of almonds with sugar and rose-water, which being eaten with violets is very wholesome and commodious for students; for it rejoiceth the heart, comforteth the brain, and qualifies the heat of the liver.

A C O N I T U M
Of this there are two sorts, the one bearing blue flowers, the other yellow; it is also called wolf’s bane, and the blue is generally known by the name of monk’s hood.

Description. The wolf’s bane which beareth the blue flower, is small, but groweth up a cubit high, the leaves are split and jagged, the flowers in long rows towards the tops of the stalks, gaping like hood; on the hoary root groweth as it were a little knob, wherewith it spreadeth itself abroad, and multiplieth. Place. The monk’s hood or blue wolf’s bane is very common in many gardens, the other rarely found but in the gardens of some curious herbalists ; but groweth in forests and dark low woods and valleys in some parts of Germany and France.

Time. They flower in April, May, and June.

Government and Danger. These plants are hot and dry in the fourth degree, of a martial venomous quality; if it be inwardly taken, it inflameth the heart, burneth the inward parts, and killeth the body. Dodonaeus reporteth of some men at Antwerp, who unawares did eat some of the monk’s hood in a salad, instead of some other herb, and died forthwith : this I write that people who have it in their gardens might beware of it.

A S H – T R E E
This is so well known, that time would be mis-spent in writing a description of it ; and therefore I shall only insist upon the virtues of it.

Government and Virtues. It is governed by the fun, and the young tender tops with the leaves taken inwardly, and some of them outwardly applied, are singularly good against the biting of the viper, adder, or any other venomous beast: and the water distilled therefrom, being taken in a small quantity every morning fading, is a singular medicine for those that are subject to the dropsy, or to abate the greatness of those who are too gross or fat. The decoction of the leaves in white wine, helpeth to break the stone and expel it, and cureth the jaundice. The ashes of the bark of the ash made into lye, and those heads bathed therewith which are leprous, scabby, or scald, are thereby cured. The kernels within the husks, commonly called ashen keys, prevail against stitches and pains in the side, proceeding from wind, and voideth the stone by provoking urine.

ASARABACCA
Description. Asarabacca hath many heads rising from the roots, from whence come many smooth leaves, every one upon his own footstalk, which are rounder and bigger than violet-leaves, thicker also, and of a dark-green shining colour on the upper-side, and of a paler yellow-green underneath, little or nothing dented about the edges, from among which rife small, round, hollow, brown, green, husks, upon short stalks about an inch long, divided at the brims into five divisions, very like the cups or heads of the henbane seed, but that they are smaller, and these are all the flowers it carrieth, which are somewhat sweet, being smelled unto, and wherein when they are ripe is contained small cornered rough seeds, very like the kernels or stones of grapes or raisins. The roots are small and whitish, spreading divers ways in the ground, and increasing into divers heads, but not running or creeping under the ground as some other creeping herbs do. They are somewhat sweet in smell, resembling nardus, but more when they are dry than green; and of a sharp, but not unpleasant, taste,

Place. It groweth frequently in gardens.

Time. They keep their leaves green all the winter, but shoot forth new in the spring, and with them come forth those heads or flowers which give ripe seed about midsummer, or somewhat after.

Government And Virtues. It is a plant under the dominion of Mars, and therefore inimical to nature. This herb, being drunk, not only provoketh vomiting, but purgeth downward, and by urine also, purging both choler and phlegm : if you add to it some spikenard with the whey of goat’s milk, or honeyed water, it is made more strong; but it purgeth phlegm more-manifestly than choler, and therefore doth much help pains in the hips and other parts. Being boiled in whey, it wonderfully helpeth the obstruction of the liver and spleen, and is therefore profitable for the dropsy and jaundice, being steeped in wine and drunk. It helps those continual agues that come by the plenty of stubborn humours : an oil made there, of by setting it in the sun, with some laudanum added to it, provoketh sweating, the ridge of the back being anointed therewith, and thereby driveth away the shaking fits of the ague. It will not abide any long boiling, for it loseth its chief strength thereby; nor much beating, for the finer powder doth provoke vomits and urine, and the coarser purgeth downwards. The common use hereof, is to take the juice of five or seven leaves in a little drink to cause vomitings; the roots have also the same virtue, though they do not operate so forcibly, yet they are very effectual against the biting of serpents, and therefore are put as an ingredient both into mithridate and Venice treacle. The leaves and roots being boiled in lye, and the head often washed therewith while it is warm, comforteth the head and brain that is ill-affected by taking cold, and helpeth the memory.

I shall desire ignorant people to forbear the use of the leaves : the roots purge more gently, and may prove beneficial in such as have cancers, or old putrefied ulcers, or fistulas, upon their bodies, to take a drachm of them in powder in a quarter of a pint of white wine in the morning. The truth is, I fancy purging and vomiting medicines as little as any man breathing, for they weaken nature, nor shall ever advise them to be used unless upon urgent necessity. If a physician be nature’s servent, it is his duty to strengthen his mistress as much as he can, and weaken her as little as may be.

A L K AN E T
Besides the common name, it is called orchanet and Spanish bugloss, and by apothecaries anchusa.

Description. Of the many forts of this herb there is but one grows commonly in this nation, of which one take this description. It hath a great and thick root of a reddish colour ; long, narrow, and hairy, leaves, green like the leaves of bugloss, which lie very thick upon the ground, and the stalks rile up compassed about thick with leaves, which are less and narrower than the former; they are tender and lender; the flowers are hollow, small, and of a reddish purple colour; the seed is greyish. 

Place. It grows in Kent near Rochester, and in many places in the west country, both in Devonshire and Cornwall.

Time. They flower in July and the beginning of August, and the seed is ripe soon after ; but the root is in its prime, as carrots and parsnips are, before the herb runs up to stalk.

Government and Virtues. It is an herb under the dominion of Venus, and indeed one of her darlings, though something hard to come by. It helps old ulcers, hot inflammations, burnings by common fire and St. Anthony’s fire, by antipathy to Mars ; for these uses, your best way is to make it into an ointment. Also if you make a vinegar of it, as you make vinegar of roses, it helps the morphew and leprosy ; if you apply the herb to the privities, it draws forth the dead child ; it helps the yellow jaundice, spleen, and gravel in the kidneys. Dioscorides saith it helps such as are bitten by venomous beasts, whether it be taken inwardly or applied to the wound ; nay, he saith further, if any one who hath newly eaten it do but spit in the mouth of a serpent, the serpent instantly dies. It stays the flux of the belly, kills worms, helps the fits of the mother ; it’s decoction, made in wine and drunk, strengthens the back, and easeth the pains thereof; it helps bruises and falls, and is a good remedy to drive out the small pox and measles. An ointment made of it is excellent for green wounds, pricks, or thrusts.

ADDER’S TONGUE, or SERPENT’s TONGUE
Description. This small herb hath but one leaf, which grows with the stalk a finger’s length above the ground, being fat, and of a fresh green colour, broad like the water plantane, but less, without any middle rib in it; from the bottom of which leaf, on the inside, riseth up ordinarily one, sometimes two or three, small slender stalks, the upper half whereof is somewhat bigger, and dented with small round dents of a yellowish green colour, like the tongue of an adder or serpent. Only this is as useful as they are formidable. The root continues all the year.

Place. It groweth in moist meadows and such-like places.

Time. And is to be found in April and May, for it quickly perisheth with a little heat.

Government and Virtues. It is an herb under the dominion of the Moon in Cancer; and therefore, if the weakness of the retentive faculty be caused by an evil influence of Saturn in any part of the body governed by the Moon, or under the dominion of Cancer, this herb cures it by sympathy ; it cures those diseases after specified in any part of the body under the influence of Saturn by antipathy. It is temperate in respect of heat, but dry in the second degree. 

The juice of the leaves drunk with the distilled water of horse-tail is a singular remedy for all manner, ‘of wounds in the breast, bowels, or other parts of the body, and is given with good success unto those who are troubled with casting, vomiting, or bleeding at the mouth or nose, or otherwise downwards. The said juice, given in the distilled water of oaken buds, is very good for women who have their usual courses, or the whites, flowing down to abundantly. It helps sore eyes. The leaves infused or boiled in oil omphacine, or unripe olives set in the sun for certain days, or the green leaves sufficiently boiled in the said oil, make an excellent green balsam, not only for green and fresh wounds, but also for old and inveterate ulcers ; especially if a little fine clear turpentine be dissolved therein. It also stayeth and represseth all inflammations that arise upon pains by hurts or wounds, either taken inwardly or outwardly applied. For ruptures or burden bellies, take as much of the powder of the dried leaves as will lie on a sixpence, or less, according to the age of the party, in two ounces of horse-tail or oak-bud water, sweetened with syrup of quinces. Use it every morning for the space of fifteen days. But, before you enter upon the use of this or any other medicine, the gut, if it fall into the scrotum, must be reduced by a surgeon, and a trust must be worn to keep it up, and the party must avoid all violent motions, and lie as much as may be in bed, or on a couch. Fabricius Hildanus says, that some have been cured of great ruptures by lying in bed, when they could be cured no other way.

A L H E A L
It is called’ alheal, Hercules’s alheal, and Hercules’s woundwort; because it Is supposed that Hercules learned the virtues of this herb from Chiron, when he learned physic of him : some call it panay, and other opopanawort.

Description. Its root is long, thick, and exceedingly full of juice, of a hot and biting taste; the leaves are great and large, and winged almost like ash-tree leaves, but that they are somewhat hairy, each leaf consisting of five or fix pair of such wings set one against the other, upon footstalks broad below, but narrow toward the end; one of the leaves is a little deeper at the bottom than the other, of a fair, yellowish, fresh, green colour, they are of a bitterish taste, being chewed in the mouth. From among these riseth up a stalk, green in colour, round in form, great and strong in magnitude, five or fix feet in altitude, with many joints and some leaves thereat; towards the top come forth umbels of small yellow flowers,  and after they are passed away you may find whitish – yellow short flat feeds, bitter also in taste.

Place. Having given you the description of the herb from the bottom to the top, give me leave to tell you that there are other herbs called by this name; but, because they are strangers in England, I gave only the description of this, which is easy to be had in the gardens of divers persons.

Time. Although Gerrard saith that they flower from the beginning of May’ to the end of December, experience teacheth those that keep it in their gardens, that it does not flower till the latter end of the summer, and sheds its seeds presently after.

Government and Virtues. If is under the dominion of Mars; hot, biting, and choleric; and remedies what evils Mars afflicts the body of man with by sympathy, as viper’s flesh attracts poison and the loadstone iron. It kills worms; helps the gout, cramp, and convulsions; provokes urine, and helps all joint aches; it helps • all cold griefs of the head, the vertigo, falling sickness, and lethargy ; the wind-cholic, obstructions of the liver and spleen, stone in the kidneys and bladder. It provokes the terms, expels the dead birth; it is excellent good for the grief of the sinews, itch, sores, and tooth-ach; also the biting of mad dogs and venomous beasts ; and purgeth choler very gently.

ANEMONE
Called also wind-flower, because they Say the flowers never open but when the wind bloweth: Pliny is my author; if it be not So, blame him. The seed also, if it bears any at all, flies away with the wind.

Place and Time. They are sown usually in the gardens of the curious, and flower in the spring-time. As for the description, I shall pass it, they being well known to all those that sow them.

Government and Virtues. It is under the dominion of Mars, being supposed to be a kind of crow-foot. The leaves provoke the terms mightily, being boiled and the decoction drunk. The body being bathed with the decoction of them cures the leprosy. The leaves being stamped, and the juice snuffed up the nose, purgeth the head greatly : so doth the root being chewed in the mouth, for it causeth much spitting; and bringeth away many watery and phlegmatic humours, and is therefore excellent for the lethargy. And, when all is done, let physicians say what they please, all the pills in the dispensatory purge not the head like to hot things held in the mouth : being made into an ointment, and the eyelids anointed therewith, it helps inflammations of the eyes, whereby it is palpable that every stronger draweth its weaker light; the Same ointment is exceeding good to cleanse malignant and corroding ulcers.

 

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