Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page




Description. The common great Hemlock grows up with a green stalk, four or five feet high, or more, full of red spots sometimes, and at the joints very large winged leaves set at them, which are divided into many other winged leaves, one set against the other, dented about the edges, of a sad green colour, branched towards the top, where it is full of umbels of white flowers, and afterwards with whitish flat seed. The root is long, white, and sometimes crooked, and hollow within. The whole plant, and every part, has a strong, heady, and ill-savoured scent, much offending the senses.

Place. It grows in all counties of this land, by walls and hedgesides, in waste grounds and untilled places.

Time. It flowers and seeds in July, or thereabouts.

Government and virtues. Saturn claims dominion over this herb, yet I wonder why it may not be applied to the privities in a Priapism, or continual standing of the yard, it being very beneficial to that disease. I suppose, my author's judgment was first upon the opposite disposition of Saturn to Venus in those faculties, and therefore he forbade the applying of it to those parts, that it might not cause barrenness, or spoil the spirit procreative; which if it do, yet applied to the privities, it stops its lustful thoughts. Hemlock is exceedingly cold, and very dangerous, especially to be taken inwardly. It may safely be applied to inflammations, tumours, and swellings in any part of the body (save the privy parts) as also to St. Anthony's fire, wheals, pushes, and creeping ulcers that arise of hot sharp humours, by cooling and repelling the heat; the leaves bruised and laid to the brow or forehead are good for their eyes that are red and swollen; as also to take away a pin and web growing in the eye; this is a tried medicine: Take a small handful of this herb, and half so much bay salt, beaten together, and applied to the contrary wrist of the hand, for 24 hours, doth remove it in thrice dressing. If the root thereof be roasted under the embers, wrapped in double wet paper, until it be soft and tender, and then applied to the gout in the hands or fingers, it will quickly help this evil. If any through mistake eat the herb Hemlock instead of Parsley, or the roots instead of a Parsnip (both of which it is very like) whereby happens a kind of frenzy, or perturbation of the senses, as if they were stupid and drunk, the remedy is (as Pliny saith) to drink of the best and strongest pure wine, before it strikes to the heart, or Gentian put in wine, or a draught of vinegar, wherewith Tragus doth affirm, that he cured a woman that had eaten the root.


Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page