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Description. From a small woody root, which perishes after giving ripe seed, there rises several reddish hairy stalks, two feet high or more, on which grow long hairy green leaves, cut in or torn on both sides into several laciniæ or jags, each terminating in a small harmless spinula. On the top of the stalks grow the flowers in round heads, encompassed with several leaves smaller and shorter than those below, less jagged, and somewhat more prickly: they are yellow and fistular, standing in scaly calices, each scale of which ends in a long slender spine, denticulated on both sides like the saw of a saw fish. The seed is longish, round, and striated, of a brown colour, encompassed at the top with a crown of stiff bristles, standing out like the feathers in a shuttlecock. The whole plant is very bitter.

Place. It is sown every year in gardens.

Time. It flowers in June.

Government and virtues. Mars rules this Thistle. Carduus Benedictus, so called from the good and wholesome qualites believed to be in it, is accounted cordial and sudorific, good for all sorts of malignant and pestilential fevers, and for agues of all kinds. It destroys worms in the stomach, and is good against all sorts of poison. The decoction of it in water or posset-drink, is vulgarly used as a gentle vomit, by charging the stomach with large draughts of it. It is one of the ingredients of treacle-water.

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