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Names. It is called carduus benedictus, or blessed thistle, or holy thistle, I suppose the name was put upon it by some that had little holiness themselves.

I shall spare a labour in writing a description of this as almost every one that can but write at all, may describe them from his own knowledge.

Time. They flower in August, and seed not long after.

Government and virtues. It is an herb of Mars, and under the sign of Aries. Now, in handling this herb, I shall give you a rational pattern of all the rest; and if you please to view them throughout the book, you shall, to your content, find it true. It helps swimming and giddiness in the head, or the disease called vertigo, because Aries is in the house of Mars. It is an excellent remedy against the yellow jaundice and other infirmities of the gall, because Mars governs choler. It strengthens the attractive faculty in man, and clarifies the blood, because the one is ruled by Mars. The continually drinking the decoction of it, helps red faces, tetters, ring-worms, because Mars causeth them. It helps the plague, sores, boils, and itch, the bitings of mad dogs and venomous beasts, all which infirmities are under Mars; thus you see what it doth by sympathy.

By antipathy to other planets it cures the French-pox, by antipathy to Venus who governs it. It strengthens the memory, and cures deafness by antipathy to Saturn, who hath his fall in Aries, which rules the head. It cures quartan agues, and other diseases of melancholy, and adusts choler, by sympathy to Saturn, Mars being exalted in Capricorn. Also it provokes urine, the stopping of which is usually caused by Mars or the Moon.


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