Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page




Description. This sow-thistle has a yellow, angular, channelled stalk, about two feet high, of a fine gren, having the lower leaves long, stiff, and pretty much cut in or indented about the edges, every indenting ending in a prickle; those which grow on the stalks, surround it as it were with two roundish aricles, and are less jagged than those below. The flowers are numerous, small, and yellow, and grow several together on the tops of the stalk, in shape like dandelion, but much less, and of a somewhat paler colour; the under part of th epetals is tinctured with pruple. The flower turn into down, envincing long thin flatish seeds. The root is thick, long, and whitish; and the whole plant, upon breaking yields a milky, bitter juice.

Place. This, like the rest of its kind, is an annual; native of our corn-fields and garden grounds; and flowers from July to November, in a repeated successin, until the cold kills them.

Government and virtues. Nature, that has given this plant such abundance, kindly considered her creatures in it. Numbers of the lesser animals live upon it. The innocent kind, like the hare and the rabbit, all in a manner live upon its tender shoots and leaves; innumerable birds feed upon its seeds, and myriads of summer insects find food and shelter inits branches. We frequently see on its leaves a white line, traced in various meanders and forms; the leaf resembles a piece of Egyption marble, when thus painted: in these hollows live worms, safe between the two skins, feeding upon the abundant juice, and, at length, hatching into an elegant fly. This and the preceeding posssess great medicinal virtues: they are cooling and good against obstructions, and the quantity which must at any time be taken, insures its effect, which is very mild and aperient. The young tops are good, eaten like a salad with oil and vinegar, for scalding of the water.

The smooth Sow-thistle has hollow channelled stalks, like the others and grows as tall: the leaves are smooth and free from prickles; those next the stalk are cut like dandelion, into several segments; that at the end being largest. Those which grow on the stalk seem to encompass it, and have fewer incisions, being somewhat triangular and pointed at the end. The flowers, seed, and root, are much alike. This grows in the same places with the former, and as frequent.

This and the former are under the influence of Venus. The leaves of both sorts are of the same nature as dandelion, aperitive, diuretic, and good for the gravel and stoppage of urine. country people boil it in posset-drink, and give it in fevers: some intermingle the young shoots among their salads like lettuce.

Home Index of Herbal Remedies Herbal Remedy Title Page