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Description. Ordinary Flea-wort rises up with a stalk two feet high or more, full of joints and branches on every side up to the top, and at every joint two small, long and narrow whitish green leaves somewhat hairy. At the top of every branch stand divers small, short scaly, or chaffy heads out of which come forth small whitish yellow threads, like to those of the Plantain herbs, which are the bloomings of flowers. The seed enclosed in these heads is small and shining while it is fresh, very like unto fleas both for colour and bigness, but turning black when it grows old. The root is not long, but white, hard and woody, perishing every year, and rising again of its own seed for divers years, if it be suffered to shed. The whole plant is somewhat whitish and hairy, smelling somewhat like rosin.

There is another sort hereof, differing not from the former in the manner of growing, but only that the stalk and branches being somewhat greater, do a little more bow down to the ground. The leaves are somewhat greater, the heads somewhat less, the seed alike; and the root and leaves abide all winter, and perish not as the former.

Place. The first grows only in gardens, the second plentifully in fields that are near the sea.

Time. They flower in July or thereabouts.

Government and virtues. The herb is cold, and dry, and saturnine. I suppose it obtained the name of Flea-wort, because the seeds are so like Fleas. The seeds fried, and taken, stays the flux or lask of the belly, and the corrosions that come by reason of hot choleric, or sharp and malignant humours, or by too much purging of any violent medicine, as Scammony, or the like. The mucilage of the seed made with Rose-water, and a little sugar-candy put thereto, is very good in all hot agues and burning fevers, and other inflammations, to cool the thirst, and lenify the dryness and roughness of the tongue and throat. It helps also hoarseness of the voice, and diseases of the breast and lungs, caused by heat, or sharp salt humours, and the pleurisy also. The mucilage of the seed made with Plantain water, whereunto the yoke of an egg or two, and a little Populeon are put, is a most safe and sure remedy to ease the sharpness, pricking, and pains of the hæmorrhoids or piles, if it be laid on cloth, and bound thereto. It helps all inflammations in any part of the body, and the pains that come thereby, as the headache and megrims, and all hot imposthumes, swellings, or breaking out of the skin, as blains, wheals, pushes, purples, and the like, as also the joints of those that are out of joint, the pains of the gout and sciatica, the burstings of young children, and the swellings of the navel, applied with oil of roses and vinegar. It is also good to heal the nipples and sore breasts of women, being often applied there-unto. The juice of the herb with a little honey put into the ears helps the running of them, and the worms breeding in them. The same also mixed with hog's grease, and applied to corrupt and filthy ulcers, cleanses them and heals them.

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