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Description. The great ordinary Hound's Tongue has many long and somewhat narrow, soft, hairy, darkish green leaves, lying on the ground, somewhat like unto Bugloss leaves, from among which rises up a rough hairy stalk about two feet high, with some smaller leaves thereon, and branched at the tops into divers parts, with a small leaf at the foot of every branch, which is somewhat long, with many flowers set along the same, which branch is crooked or turned inwards before it flowers, and opens by degrees as the flowers blow, which consist of small purplish red leaves of a dead colour, rising out of the husks wherein they stand with some threads in the middle. It has sometimes a white flower. After the flowers are past, there comes rough flat seed, with a small pointle in the middle, easily cleaving to any garment that it touches, and not so easily pulled off again. The root is black, thick, and long, hard to break, and full of clammy juice, smelling somewhat strong, of an evil scent, as the leaves also do.

Place. It grows in moist places of this land, in waste grounds, and untilled places, by highway sides, lanes, and hedge-sides.

Time. It flowers about May or June, and the seed is ripe shortly after.

Government and virtues. It is a plant under the dominion of Mercury. The root is very effectually used in pills, as well as the decoction, or otherwise, to stay all sharp and thin defluxions of rheum from the head into the eyes or nose, or upon the stomach or lungs, as also for coughs and shortness of breath. The leaves boiled in wine (saith Dioscorides, but others do rather appoint it to be made with water, and add thereto oil and salt) molifies or opens the belly downwards. It also helps to cure the biting of a mad dog, some of the leaves being also applied to the wound. The leaves bruised, or the juice of them boiled in hog's lard, and applied, helps falling away of the hair, which comes of hot and sharp humours; as also for any place that is scalded or burnt; the leaves bruised and laid to any green wound doth heal it up quickly: the root baked under the embers, wrapped in paste or wet paper, or in a wet double cloth, and thereof a suppository made, and put up into or applied to the fundament, doth very effectually help the painful piles or hæmorrhoids. The distilled water of the herbs and roots is very good to all the purposes aforesaid, to be used as well inwardly to drink, as outwardly to wash any sore place, for it heals all manner of wounds and punctures, and those foul ulcers that arise by the French pox. Mizaldus adds that the leaves laid under the feet, will keep the dogs from barking at you. It is called Hound's-tongue, because it ties the tongues of hounds; whether true, or not, I never tried, yet I cured the biting of a mad dog with this only medicine.

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