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Names. It is called ruscus and bruscus, knee-holm, knee-holly, knee-hulver, and pettigree.

Description. The first shoots that sprout from the root of butcher's broom are thick, whitish, and short, somewhat like those of asparagus, but greater; they rising up to be a foot and half high, are spread into divers branches, green, and somewhat crested with the roundness, tough and flexible, whereon are set somewhat broad and almost round hard leaves, and prickly, pointed at the ends, of a dark green colour, two for the most part set at a place, very close and near together; about the middle of the leaf, on the back and lower side from the middle rib, breaketh forth a small whitish green flower, consisting of four small round-pointed leaves, standing upon little or no footstalk, and in the place whereof cometh a small round berry, green at the first, and red when it is ripe, wherein are two or three white, hard, round seeds contained: the root is thick, white and great at the head, and from thence sendeth forth divers thick, white, long, tough strings.

Place. It groweth in copses, and on heaths and waste-grounds, and oftentimes under or near the holly-bushes.

Time. It shooteth forth its young buds in the spring, and the berries are ripe in or about September: the branches or leaves abiding green all the winter.

Government and virtues. It is a plant of Mars, being of a gallant cleansing and opening quality: the decoction of the roots, made with wine, openeth obstructions, provoketh urine, helpeth to expel gravel, and the stone, the stranguary, and women's courses, as also the yellow jaundice, and the head-ach; and, with some honey or sugar put therein cleanseth the breast of phlegm, and the chest of much clammy humours gathered therein; the decoction of the root drunk, and a poultice made of the berries and leaves being applied, are effectual in knitting and consolidating broken bones, or parts out of joint. The common way of using it, is to boil the root of it and parsley, and fennel, and smallage, in white wine, and drink the decoction, adding the like quantity of grass roots to them; the more of the roots you boil, the stronger will the decoction be; it works no ill effects, yet I hope you have wit enough to give the strongest decoction to the strongest bodies.

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