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Description. Common eryngo has pretty large, white, and long roots, which spread much in the earth, and run deep in the same. The leaves are hard, stiff, and veiny, narrow at the bottom, and broad and roundish at the end, with several laciniæ terminating in sharp prickles; the stalk arises not to any great height, being smooth, crested, and channelled; the leaves on the stalks are less, and rather stiffer, set on without footstalks with prickly edges. At the ends of the branches come forth round, somewhat prickly heads, beset with stiff narrow leaves, growing like a star under them; the flowers are set in these heads, of a greenish white colour, each in a separate calyx, like the teasel, succeeded by flatish seed.

Place. It grows by the sea-side, in many places, in sandy ground.

Time. It flowers in June and July. The roots only are used.

Government and virtues. The plant is venereal, and breeds seed exceedingly, and strengthens the spirit procreative; it is hot and moist, and under the celestial balance. The decoction of the root hereof in wine, is very effectual to open obstructions of the spleen and liver, and helps yellow jaundice, dropsy, pains of the loins, wind cholic, provokes urine, expels the stone, and procures women's courses. The continued use of the decoction for fifteen days, taken fasting, and next to bedward, help the stranguary, the voiding of urine, and stone, and all defects of the reins and kidneys: if the said drink be continued longer, it is said that it cures the stone. It is found good against the venereal. The roots bruised and applied outwardly, help the kernels of the throat, commonly called the king's evil; or taken inwardly, and applied to the place stung or bitten by any serpent, heals it speedily. If the roots be bruised, and boiled in old hog's grease, or salted lard, and applied to broken bones, thorns, &c. remaining in the flesh, they not only draw them forth, but heal up the place again, gathering new flesh where it was consumed. The juice of the leaves dropped into the ear, helps imposthumes therein. The distilled water of the whole herb, when the leaves and stalks are young, is profitably drank for all the purpose aforesaid; and helps the melancholy of the heart, and is available in quartan and quotidian agues; as also for them that have their necks drawn awry, and cannot turn them without turning their whole body.


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