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arrach wild


Names. Called also Vulvaria, from that part of the body, upon which the 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 cut, 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 seeds succeeding like the rest, perishing yearly, and rising again with its own sowing. It smells like rotten fish, or something worse.

Place. It grows usually upon dunghills.

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

Government and virtues. Stinking arrach is used as a remedy to women pained, and almost strangled with the mother by smelling to it; but inwardly taken there is no 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; it is common almost upon every dunghill. The works of God are given freely to man, his medicines are common and cheap, and easy to be found. ('Tis the medicines of the College of Physicians that are so dear and scarce to find.) I commend it 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 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 it another day, when the Lord shall come to make inquisition of blood.

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