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ash tree


Description. This is so well known, that time will be misspent 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 Sun; and the young tender tops, with the leaves, taken inwardly, and some of them outwardly applied, are singularly good against the biting of viper, adder, or any other venomous beast; and the water distilled therefrom being taken a small quantity every morning fasting, is a singular medicine for those that are subject to dropsy, or to abate the greatness of those that 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 lee, and those heads bathed therewith, which are leprous, scabby, or scald, they are thereby cured. The kernals within the husks, commonly called ashen keys, prevail against stitches and pains in the sides, proceeding of wind, and voideth away the stone by provoking urine.

I can justly except against of all this, save only the first, viz. That ash-tree tops and leaves are good against the bitings of serpents and vipers. I suppose this had its rise from Gerrard or Pliny, both which hold, that there is such an antipathy between an adder and an ash-tree, that if an adder be encompassed round with ash-tree leaves, she will sooner run through the fire than through the leaves: The contrary to which is the truth, as both my eyes are witness. The rest are virtues something likely, only if it be in winter when you cannot get the leaves, you may safely use the bark instead of them. The keys you may easily keep all the year, gathering them when they are ripe.

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