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Description. This water parsnep has large, deep, green leaves, consisting of several longish pinnæ, broad at the bottom, narrow and sharp at the end, pretty much cut in about the edges. The stalks are tall, hollow, and channelled, having several small leaves growing on them; and on the tops large umbels of white flowers, succeeded by small striated seed. The root is large, fastened in the mud by several long stringy fibres.

Place. It grows in rivers and large waters.

Time. It flowers in May and June. The leaves are used.

There are other varieties of growth, as that distinguished by the name creeping water parsnip, sium nodiflorum, with white flowers, which grows also in watery places, and flowers in June: and the great water parsnep, sium latifolium, common about ditches, with white flowers, blowing in July. Of these latter, the seeds only are used.

Virtues. They are accounted opening and attenuating, useful for obstructions of the liver and spleen, and the womb; help the stone and strangury, and scorbutic affections; outwardly applied, they are commended against cancerous tumours in the breasts. Reduced to powder and taken in doses of about a scruple, it stops purging and is good in all kinds of hæmmorhages, but more particularly in excessive menstrual discharges, and spitting of blood. Taken in larger doses, it will frequently cure intermitting fevers and agues. A strong decoction of it is good for sore mouths. The leaves infused in the manner of tea are much used by country people to allay the heat in burning fevers. The roots boiled in vinegar, and applied in form of a poultice, disperse swellings or inflammationsin any part of the body; and applied to old putrid sores, cleanse and dispose them for healing. The juice is good to bathe inflamed and sore eyes with, and drank to the amount of four ounces a day for several days together, is said to be almost a certain cure for the jaundice. It is likewise serviceable in the whites and other disorders of the sex.

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