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It is confessed that Gentian, which is most used amongst us, is brought over from beyond sea, yet we have two sorts of it growing frequently in our nation, which, besides the reasons so frequently alledged why English herbs should be fittest for English bodies, has been proved by the experience of divers physicians, to be not a wit inferior in virtue to that which comes from beyond sea, therefore be pleased to take the description of them as follows.

Description. The greater of the two hath many small long roots thrust down deep into the ground, and abiding all the Winter. The stalks are sometimes more, sometimes fewer, of a brownish green colour, which is sometimes two feet high, if the ground be fruitful, having many long, narrow, dark green leaves, set by couples up to the top; the flowers are long and hollow, of a purple colour, ending in fine corners. The smaller sort which is to be found in our land, grows up with sundry stalks, not a foot high, parted into several small branches, whereon grow divers small leaves together, very like those of the lesser Centaury, of a whitish green colour; on the tops of these stalks grow divers perfect blue flowers, standing in long husks, but not so big as the other; the root is very small, and full of threads.

Place. The first grows in divers places of both the East and West counties, and as well in wet as in dry grounds; as near Longfield, by Gravesend, near Cobham in Kent, near Lillinstone in Kent, also in a chalk pit hard by a paper-mill not far from Dartford in Kent. The second grows also in divers places in Kent, as about Southfleet, and Longfield; upon Barton's hills in Bedfordshire; also not far from St. Albans, upon a piece of waste chalky ground, as you go out by Dunstable way towards Gorhambury.

Time. They flower in August.

Government and virtues. They are under the dominion of Mars, and one of the principal herbs he is ruler of. They resist putrefactions, poison, and a more sure remedy cannot be found to prevent the pestilence than it is; it strengthens the stomach exceedingly, helps digestion, comforts the heart, and preserves it against faintings and swoonings. The powder of the dry roots helps the biting of mad dogs and venomous beasts, open obstructions of the liver, and restores an appetite for their meat to such as have lost it. The herb steeped in wine, and the wine drank, refreshes such as be overweary with traveling, and grow lame in their joints, either by cold or evil lodgings; it helps stitches, and griping pains in the sides; is an excellent remedy for such as are bruised by falls; it provokes urine and the terms exceedingly, therefore let it not be given to women with child. The same is very profitable for such as are troubled with cramps and convulsions, to drink the decoction. Also they say it breaks the stone, and helps ruptures most certainly: it is excellent in all cold diseases, and such as are troubled with tough phlegm, scabs, itch, or any fretting sores and ulcers; it is an admirable remedy to kill the worms, by taking half a dram of the powder in a morning in any convenient liquor; the same is excellently good to be taken inwardly for the king's evil. It helps agues of all sorts, and the yellow jaundice, as also the bots in cattle; when kine are bitten on the udder by any venomous beast, do but stroke the place with the decoction of any of these, and it will instantly heal them.

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