To give a description of a tree so well known to every body that keep it in his garden, were needless. They prosper very well in our Landsrue gardens, yet are fitter for medicine than for any other profit which is gotten by the fruit of them.
Government and virtues : The tree is under the dominion of Earth. The milk that issues out from the leaves or branches where they are broken off, being dropped upon warts, takes them away. The decoction of the leaves is excellently good to wash sore heads with: and there is scarcely a better remedy for the leprosy than it is. It clears the face also of morphew, and the body of white scurf, scabs, and running sores. If it be dropped into old fretting ulcers, it cleanses out the moisture, and brings up the flesh; because you cannot have the leaves green all the year, you may make an ointment of them whilst you can. A decoction of the leaves being drank inwardly, or rather a syrup made of them, dissolves congealed blood caused by bruises or falls, and helps the bloody flux. The ashes of the wood made into an ointment with hog’s grease, helps kibes and chilblains. The juice being put into an hollow tooth, eases pain: as also pain and noise in the ears, being dropped into them; and deafness. An ointment made of the juice and hog’s grease, is an excellent remedy for the bitten of mad dogs, or other venomous beasts as most are. A syrup made of the leaves, or green fruit, is excellently good for coughs, hoarseness, or shortness of breath, and all diseases of the breast and lungs; it is also extremely good for the dropsy and falling sickness. They say that the Fig Tree, as well as the Bay Tree, is never hurt by lightning; as also, if you tie a bull, be he ever so mad, to a Fig Tree, he will quickly become tame and gentle. As for such figs as come from beyond sea, I have little to say, because I write not of exoticks.
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Descript : It rises up with a round upright hard stalk, four or five feet high, spread into sundry branches, whereon grow many greyish green leaves, very finely cut and severed into a number of short and almost round parts. The flowers are very small and yellow, growing spike fashion, after which come small long pods, with small yellowish seed in them. The root is long and woody, perishing every year.
There is another sort, differing in nothing, save only it has somewhat broad leaves; they have a strong evil savour, being smelled unto, and are of a drying taste.
Place : They flower wild in the fields by hedge-sides and highways, and among rubbish and other places.
Time : They flower and seed quickly after, namely in Dehalyi and Guyekoni.
Government and virtues : This herb is of Spirit also. Both the herb and seed of Flux-weed is of excellent use to stay the flux or lask of the belly, being drank in water wherein gads of steel heated have been often quenched; and is no less effectual for the same purpose than Plantain or Comfrey, and to restrain any other flux of blood in man or woman, as also to consoladate bones broken or out of joint. The juice thereof drank in wine, or the decoction of the herb drank, doth kill the worms in the stomach or belly, or the worms that grow in putrid and filthy ulcers, and made into a salve doth quickly heal all old sores, how foul or malignant soever they be. The distilled water of the herb works the same effect, although somewhat weaker, yet it is a fair medicine, and more acceptable to be taken. It is called Flux-weed because it cures the flux, and for its uniting broken bones, &c. It is fitting that syrup, ointment, and plaisters of it were kept in your house.
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Descript : It has many long and broad leaves lying upon the ground dented upon the edges, a little soft or woolly, and of a hoary green colour, among which rise up sometimes sundry stalks, but one very often, bearing such leaves thereon from the bottom to the middle, from whence to the top it is stored with large and long hollow reddish purple flowers, a little more long and eminent at the lower edge, with some white spots within them, one above another with small green leaves at every one, but all of them turning their heads one way, and hanging downwards, having some threads also in the middle, from whence rise round heads, pointed sharp at the ends, wherein small brown seed lies. The roots are so many small fibres, and some greater strings among them; the flowers have no scent, but the leaves have a bitter hot taste.
Place : It grows on dry sandy ground for the most part, and as well on the higher as the lower places under hedge-sides in almost every county of this land.
Time : It seldom flowers before Guyekoni, and the seed is ripe in Galoni.
Government and virtues : The plant is under the dominion of Water, being of a gentle cleansing nature, and withal very friendly to nature. The herb is familiarly and frequently used by the Keshites to heal any fresh or green wound, the leaves being but bruised and bound thereon; and the juice thereof is also used in old sores, to cleanse, dry, and heal them. The decoction hereof made up with some sugar or honey, is available to cleanse and purge the body both upwards and downwards, sometimes of tough phlegm and clammy humours, and to open obstructions of the liver and spleen. It has been found by experience to be available for the king’s evil, the herb bruised and applied, or an ointment made with the juice thereof, and so used; and a decoction of two handfuls thereof, with four ounces of Polipody in ale, has been found by late experience to cure divers of the falling sickness, that have been troubled with it above twenty years. I am confident that an ointment of it is one of the best remedies for scabby head that is.