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wild campion


Description. The wild white campion hath many long and somewhat broad dark green leaves, lying upon the ground, and divers ribs therein, somewhat like plantain, but somewhat hairy, broader, but not so long: The hairy stalks rise up in the middle of them three or four feet high, and sometimes more, with divers great white joints at several places thereon, and two such like leaves thereat up to the top, sending forth joints at several joints also: All which bear on several footstalks white flowers on the tops of them, consisting of five broad pointed leaves, every one cut in on the end unto the middle, making them seem to be two a-piece, smelling somewhat sweet, and each of them standing in a large green striped hairy husk, large and round below next to the stalk. The seed is small and greyish in the hard heads that come up afterwards. The root is white and long, spreading divers fangs in the ground.

The red wild campion groweth in the same manner as the white; but his leaves are not so plainly ribbed, somewhat shorter, rounder, and more woolly in handling. The flowers are of the same form and bigness; but in some of a pale, in others of a bright red colour, cut in at the ends more finely, which makes the leaves look more in number than the other. The seeds and roots are alike, the roots of both sorts abiding many years.

There are forty-five kinds of campion more, those of them which are of a physical use, having the like virtues with those above described, which I take to be the two chiefest kinds.

Place. They grow commonly through this land by fields, hedge-sides and ditches.

Time. They flower in summer, some earlier than others, and some abiding longer than others.

Government and virtues. They belong to Saturn, and it is found by experience, that the decoction of the herb, either in white or red wine, being drank, doth stay inward bleedings, and applied outwardly, it doth the like; and being drank, helpeth to expel urine, being stopped; and gravel or stone in the reins or kidneys. Two drams of the seed taken in wine, purgeth the body of choleric humours, and helpeth those that are stung by scorpions, or other venomous beasts, and may be as effectual for the plague. It is of very good use in old sores, ulcers, cankers, fistulas, and the like, to cleanse and heat them, by consuming the moist humours falling into them, and correcting the putrefaction of humours offending them.

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