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Description. This is reckoned amongst the sorts of prickly Bindweeds, of which there are three sorts; one with red berries, another with black berries, and the third which was brought into Europe by the Spaniards about the year 1563, the leaves of which are large, of an oval figure, very entire on the edges, smooth and shining on the surface, of a dark green colour, and supported on shortish leaf-stalks. The flowers are small, and of a yellowish colour.

Place. The two first grow in Italy, Spain, and other warm countries, whether continents or isles throughout Europe and Asia. The third is found only in the West-Indies.

Time. It has ripe berries early in hot countries.

Government and virtues. These are all plants of Mars; of an healing quality howsoever used. Dioscorides says, that both leaves and berries, drank before or after any deadly poison, are an excellent antidote. It is also said, that if some of the juice of the berries be given to a new-born child, it shall never behurt by poison. It is good against all sorts of venomous things. Twelve or sixteen of the berries, beaten to powder, and given in wine, procure urine when it is stopped. The distilled waters, when drank, have the same effect, cleanses the reins and assuages inward inflammations. If the eyes be washed therewith, it heals them thoroughly. The true Sasparilla is held generally not to heat, but rather to dry the humours; yet it is easily perceived, that it does not only dry them but wastes them away by a secret property, chiefly that of sweating, which it greatly promotes. It is used in many kinds of diseases, particularly in cold fluxes from the head and brain, rheums, and catarchs, and cold griefs of the stomach, as it expels wins very powerfully. It helps not only the French disease but all manner of aches in the sinews or joints, all running sores in the legs, all phlegmatic swellings, tetters or ring-worms, and all manner of spots and foulness of the skin.

It is reckoned a great sweetner of the blood, and has been found of considerable service in venereal cases. Infants who have received infection from their nurses, though covered with pustulesand ulcers, may be cured by the use of this root without the help of mercurials; and the best way of administering it to them is to mix the powdered root with their food.

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