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Description. This rises up with a round, green, smooth stalk, about two feet high, set with divers long and somewhat narrow, smooth, dark green leaves, somewhat nipped about the edges, for the most part, being else all whole, and not divided at all, or but very seldom, even to the tops of the branches, which yet are smaller than those below, with one rib only in the middle. At the end of each branch standeth a round head of many flowers set together in the same manner, or more neatly than scabious, and of a blueish purple colour, which being past there followeth seed that falleth away. The root is somewhat thick, but short and blackish, with many strings, abiding after seed time many years. This root was longer, until the devil (as the friars say) bit away the rest of it for spite, envying its usefulness to mankind; for sure he was not troubled with any disease for which it is proper.

There are two other sorts hereof, in nothing unlike the former, save that the one beareth white, and the other blush-coloured flowers.

Place. The first groweth as well in dry meadows and fields as moist, in many places of this land. But the other two are more rare, and hard to be met with, yet they are both found growing wild about Appledore, near Rye in Kent.

Time. They flower not usually until August.

Government and virtues. The plant is venereal, pleasing and harmless. The herb or the root (all that the devil hath left of it) being boiled in wine and drank, is very powerful against the plague, and all pestilential diseases or fevers, poisons also, and the bitings of venemous beasts: It helpeth also those that are inwardly bruised by any casuality, or outwardly by falls or blows, dissolving the clotted blood; and the herb or root beaten and outwardly applied, taketh away the black and blue marks that remain in the skin. The decoction of the herb, with honey of roses put therein, is very effectual to help the inveterate tumours and swellings of the almonds and throat, by often gargling the mouth therewith. It helpeth also to procure women's courses, and easeth all pains of the mother, and to break and discuss wind therein, and in the bowels. The powder of the root taken in drink, driveth forth the worms in the body. The juice, or distilled water of the herb, is effectual for green wounds, or old sores, and cleanseth the body inwardly, and the seed outwardly, from sores, scurf, itch, pimples, freckles, morphew, or other deformities thereof, especially if a little vitriol be dissolved therein.


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