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Names. Called also sow-fennel, hoar-strange, hoar-strong, sulphur-wort, and brimstone-wort.

Description. The common sow-Fennel has divers branched stalks of thick and somewhat long leaves, three for the most part joined together at a place, among which arises a crested straight stalk, less than fennel, with some joints thereon, and leaves growing thereat, and towards the tops some branches issuing from thence; likewise on the tops of the stalks and branches stand divers tufts of yellow flowers, whereafter grows somewhat flat, thin, and yellowish seed, bigger than fennel seed. The roots grow great and deep, with many other parts and fibres about them of a strong scent like hot brimstone, and yield forth a yellowish milk, or clammy juice, almost like a gum.

Place. It grows plentifully in the salt low marshes near Faversham in Kent.

Time. It flowers plentifully in July and August.

Government and virtues. This is also an herb of Mercury. The juice of sow-Fennel, says Dioscorides, and Galen, used with vinegar and rose-water, or the juice with a little euphorbium put to the nose, helps those that are troubled with the lethargy, phrenzy, giddiness of the head, the falling-sickness, long and inveterate head-ach, the palsy, sciatica, and the cramp, and generally all the diseases of the sinews, used with oil and vinegar. The juice dissolved in wine, or put into an egg, is good for a cough, or shortness of breath, and for those that are troubled with wind in the body. It purges the belly gently, expels the hardness of the spleen, gives ease to women that have sore travail in child-birth, and eases the pains of the reins and bladder, and also the womb. A little of the juice dissolved in wine, and dropped into the ears, eases much of the pains in them, and put into a hollow tooth, eases the pains thereof. The root is less effectual to all the aforesaid disorders; yet the powder of the root cleanses foul ulcers, being put into them, and takes out splinters of broken bones, or other things in the flesh, and heals them up perfectly; as also dries up old and inveterate running sores, and is of admirable virtue in all green wounds.

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