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Names. Called also one-berry.

Description. Ordinary Herb True-love has a small creeping root running under the uppermost crust of the ground, somewhat like couch grass root, but not so white, shooting forth stalks with leaves, some whereof carry no berries, the others do; every stalk smooth without joints, and blackish green, rising about half a foot high, if it bear berries, otherwise seldom so high, bearing at the top four leaves set directly one against another, in manner of a cross or ribband tied (as it is called in a true-loves knot,) which are each of them apart somewhat like unto a night-shade leaf, but somewhat broader, having sometimes three leaves, sometimes five, sometimes six, and those sometimes greater than in others, in the middle of the four leaves rise up one small slender stalk, about an inch high, bearing at the tops thereof one flower spread open like a star, consisting of four small and long narrow pointed leaves of a yellowish green colour, and four others lying between them lesser than they; in the middle whereof stands a round dark purplish button or head, compassed about with eight small yellow mealy threads with three colours, making it the more conspicuous, and lovely to behold. This button or head in the middle, when the other leaves are withered, becomes a blackish purple berry, full of juice, of the bigness of a reasonable grape, having within it many white seeds. The whole plant is without any manifest taste.

Place. It grows in woods and copses, and sometimes in the corners or borders of fields, and waste grounds in very many places of this land, and abundantly in the woods, copses, and other places about Chislehurst and Maidstone in Kent.

Time. They spring up in the middle of April or May, and are in flower soon after. The berries are ripe in the end of May, and in some places in June.

Government and virtues. Venus owns it; the leaves or berries hereof are effectual to expel poison of all sorts, especially that of the aconites; as also, the plague, and other pestilential disorders; Matthiolus saith, that some that have lain long in a lingering sickness, and others that by witchcraft (as it was thought) were become half foolish, by taking a dram of the seeds or berries hereof in powder every day for 20 days together, were restored to their former health. The roots in powder taken in wine eases the pains of the cholic speedily. The leaves are very effectual as well for green wounds, as to cleanse and heal up filthy old sores and ulcers; and is very powerful to discuss all tumours and swellings in the privy parts, the groin, or in any part of the body, and speedily to allay all inflammations. The juice of the leaves applied to felons, or those nails of the hands or toes that have imposthumes or sores gathered together at the roots of them, heals them in a short space. The herb is not to be described for the premises, but is fit to be nourished in every good woman's garden.

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