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Description. Common Nightshade hath an upright, round green, hollow stalk, about a foot or half a yard high, bushing forth in many branches, whereon grow many green leaves, somewhat broad, and pointed at the ends, soft and full of juice, somewhat like unto Bazil, but longer and a little unevenly dented about the edges. At the tops of the stalks and branches come forth three or four more white flowers made of five small pointed leaves a-piece, standing on a stalk together, one above another, with yellow pointels in the middle, composed of four or five yellow threads set together, which afterwards run into so many pendulous green berries, of the bigness of small pease, full of green juice, and small whitish round flat seed lying within it. The root is white, and a little woody when it hath given flower and fruit, with many small fibres at it. The whole plant is of a waterish insipid taste, but the juice within the berries is somewhat viscous, and of a cooling and binding quality.

Place. It grows wild with us under our walls, and in rubbish, the common paths, and sides of hedges and fields, as also in our gardens here in England, without any planting.

Time. It lies down every year, and rises up again of its own sowing, but springs not until the latter end of April at the soonest.

Government and virtues. It is a cold Saturnine plant. The common Nightshade is wholly used to cool hot inflammations either inwardly or outwardly, being no ways dangerous to any that use it, as most of the rest of the Nightshades are; yet it must be used moderately. The distilled water only of the whole herb is fittest and safest to be taken inwardly. The juice also clarified and taken, being mingled with a little vinegar, is good to wash the mouth and throat that is inflamed. But outwardly the juice of the herb or berries, with oil of roses and a little vinegar and ceruse laboured together in a leaden mortar, is very good to anoint all hot inflammations in the eyes. It also doth much good for the shingles, ringworms, and in all running, fretting and corroding ulcers, applied thereunto. The juice dropped into the ears, eases pains thereof that arise of heat of inflammations. And Pliny saith, it is good for hot swellings under the throat. Have a care you mistake not the deadly Nightshade for this; if you know it not, you may let them both alone, and take no harm, having other medicines sufficient in the book.

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