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Description. Meadow-rue rises up with a yellow stringy root, much spreading in the ground, shooting forth new sprouts round about, with many herby green stalks, two feet high, crested all the length of them, set with joints here and there, and many large leaves on them, above as well as below, being divided into smaller leaves, nicked or dented in the forepart of them, of a red green colour on the upper-side, and pale green underneath. Toward the top of the stalk there shoots forth divers short branches, on every one whereof stand two, three or four small heads, or buttons, which breaking the skin that incloses them, shoots forth a tuft of pale greenish yellow threads, which falling away, there come in their places small three-cornered cods, wherein is contained small, long and round seed. The whole plant has a strong unpleasant scent.

Place. It grows in many places of this land, in the borders of moist meadows, and ditch-sides.

Time. It flowers about July, or the beginning of August.

Government and virtues. Dioscorides saith, That this herb bruised and applied, perfectly heals old sores, and the distilled water of the herb and flowers doth the like. It is used by some among other pot-herbs to open the body, and make it soluble; but the roots washed clean, and boiled in ale and drank, provokes to stool more than the leaves, but yet very gently. The root boiled in water, and the places of the body most troubled with vermin and lice washed therewith while it is warm, destroys them utterly. In Italy it is used against the plague, and in Saxony against the jaundice, as Camerarius says. A poultice made of the leaves has been known to give ease in the sciatica; and the country people in Buckinghamshire boil the roots and young leaves in ale, and take it as a purge. In smaller doses it works by urine, and removes obstructions of the viscera.

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