Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page




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 corned 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 rots are somewhat red; the leaves are differently red, in some only with red strakes or veins, some of a fresh red, and others of a dark red. The root hereof is red, spungy, and not used to be eaten.

Government and Virtues. The government of these two sorts of beet 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 juce of it openeth obstructions, both of the liver and spleen, and is good for the head-ach 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 alum put to it, is good for St. Anthony's fire. 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 sneeesing; 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 ancients was much noticed for its insipid taste, MARTIAL reproaches it in the following distich.

Ut sapiant fatuœ faborum prandia betœ.
O quam sœpe petet vina piperque coquus?

Insipid beet may bid a tradesman dine;
But ask of thee abundant spice and wine.

The juice of this herb drawn up into the nostrils powerfully evacuates phlegmatic humours from the brain, and cures inveterate head-achs. 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 sheding 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 tooth-ach; the juice snuffed up the nose helps a stinking breath, if the cause lieth in the nose, as many times it doth, if any bruise have been there; as also want of smell coming that way.

Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page