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Name. To put a gloss upon their practice, the physicians call an herb which country people vulgarly know by the name of dead nettle, archangel; whether they savour 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 so well known herb; which that I may not also be guilty of, take this short description first, of the red archangel.

Description. This has divers square stalks somewhat hairy, at the joints whereof grow two sad green leaves dented about the edges, opposite to one another to the lowermost upon long foot stalks, but without any toward the tops, which are somewhat 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 the seeds three or four in a husk. The root is smaller and thready, perishing every year; the whole plant hath a strong scent, but not stinking.

White archangel hath divers square stalks, none standing straight upward, but bending downward, whereon stand 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 stinking, yet hairy. At the joints, with the leaves stand larger and more open gaping white flowers, husks round about the stalks, but not with such a bush 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 so strong a scent as the former.

Yellow archangel is like the white in the stalks and leaves; but that the stalks 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 white, only they creep not so much under ground.

Place. They grow almost in very way (except it be in the middle of the street), the yellow most usually in the wet grounds of woods, and sometimes in the drier, 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 drier 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 into the region of the spleen as a plaister, or the decoction with spunges. 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. It makes the head merry, drives away melancholy, quickens the spirits, is good against quartan agues, stancheth bleeding at mouth and nose, if it be stamped and applied to the nape of the neck; the herb also bruised, and with some salt and vinegar, and hog-grease, laid upon an hard tumour or swelling, or that vulgarly called the king's evil, do help to dissolve or discuss them; and being in like manner applied, doth much allay the pains, and give ease to the gout, sciatica, and other pains of the joints and sinews. It is also very effectual to heal green wounds, and old ulcers; also to stay their fretting, gnawing and spreading. It draweth forth splinters, and such like things gotten into the flesh, and is very good against bruises and burnings. But the yellow archangel is most commended for old, filthy, corrupt sores and ulcers, yea, although they grow to be hollow, and to dissolve tumours.

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