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There are several sorts of Hawk-weed, but they are similar in virtues.

Description. It has many large leaves lying upon the ground, much rent or torn on the sides into gashes like Dandelion, but with greater parts, more like the smooth Sow Thistle, from among which rises a hollow, rough stalk, two or three feet high, branched from the middle upward, whereon are set at every joint longer leaves, little or nothing rent or cut, bearing on them sundry pale, yellow flowers, consisting of many small, narrow leaves, broad pointed, and nicked in at the ends, set in a double row or more, the outermost being larger than the inner, which form most of the Hawk-weeds (for there are many kinds of them) do hold, which turn into down, and with the small brownish seed is blown away with the wind. The root is long and somewhat great, with many small fibres thereat. The whole plant is full of bitter- milk.

Place. It grows in divers places about the field sides, and the path-ways in dry grounds.

Time. It flowers and flies away in the Summer months.

Government and virtues. Saturn owns it. Hawk-weed (saith Dioscorides) is cooling, somewhat drying and binding, and therefore good for the heat of the stomach, and gnawings therein; for inflammations and the hot fits of agues. The juice thereof in wine, helps digestion, discusses wind, hinders crudities abiding in the stomach, and helps the difficulty of making water, the biting of venomous serpents, and stinging of the scorpion, if the herb be also outwardly applied to the place, and is very good against all other poisons. A scruple of the dried root given in wine and vinegar, is profitable for those that have the dropsy. The decoction of the herb taken in honey, digests the phlegm in the chest or lungs, and with Hyssop helps the cough. The decoction thereof, and of wild Succory, made with wine, and taken, helps the wind cholic and hardness of the spleen; it procures rest and sleep, hinders venery and venerous dreams, cooling heats, purges the stomach, increases blood, and helps the diseases of the reins and bladder. Outwardly applied, it is singularly good for all the defects and diseases of the eyes, used with some women's milk; and used with good success in fretting or creeping ulcers, especially in the beginning. The green leaves bruised, and with a little salt applied to any place burnt with fire, before blisters do rise, helps them; as also inflammations, St. Anthony's fire, and all pushes and eruptions, hot and salt phlegm. The same applied with meal and fair water in manner of a poultice, to any place affected with convulsions, the cramp, and such as are out of joint, doth give help and ease. The distilled water cleanses the skin, and takes away freckles, spots, morphew, or wrinkles in the face.


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