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Description. Our common flax-weed hath divers stalks full fraught with long and narrow ash-coloured leaves, and from the middle of them almost upward, stored with a number of pale yellow flowers, of a strong unpleasant scent, with deeper yellow mouths, and blackish flat seed in round heads. The root is somewhat woody and white, especially the main downright one, with many fibres, abiding many years, shooting forth roots every way round about, and new branches every year.

Place. This grows throughout this land, both by the way sides and in meadows, as also by hedge- sides, and upon the sides of banks, and borders of fields.

Time. It flowers in Summer, and the seed is ripe usually before the end of August.

Government and virtues. Mars owns the herb. In Sussex we call it Gallwort, and lay it in our chicken's water to cure them of the gall; it relieves them when they are drooping. This is frequently used to spend the abundance of those watery humours by urine which cause the dropsy. The decoction of the herb, both leaves and flowers, in wine, taken and drank, doth somewhat move the belly downwards, opens obstructions of the liver, and helps the yellow jaundice; expels poison, provokes women's courses, drives forth the dead child, and after-birth. The distilled water of the herb and flowers is effectual for all the same purposes; being drank with a dram of the powder of the seeds of bark or the roots of Wall-wort, and a little Cinnamon, for certain days together, it is held a singular remedy for the dropsy. The juice of the herb, or the distilled water, dropped into the eyes, is a certain remedy for all heat, inflammation, and redness in them. The juice or water put into foul ulcers, whether they be cancerous or fistulous, with tents rolled therein, or parts washed and injected therewith, cleanses them thoroughly from the bottom, and heals them up safely. The same juice or water also cleanses the skin wonderfully of all sorts of deformity, as leprosy, morphew, scurf, wheals, pimples, or spots, applied of itself, or used with some powder of Lupines.

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