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Names. Called also brown-wort, and in Yorkshire, bishop's leaves.

Description. First, of the water betony, which riseth up, with square, hard, greenish stalks, sometimes brown, set with broad dark green leaves, dented about the edges with notches somewhat resembling the leaves of the wood betony, but much larger too, for the most part set at a joint. The flowers are many, set at the tops of the stalks and branches, being round bellied and open at the brims, and divided into two parts, the uppermost being like a hood, and the lowermost like a hip hanging down, of a dark red colour, which passing, there comes in their places small round heads with small points at the ends, wherein lie small and brownish seeds; the root is a thick bush of strings and shreds growing from the head.

Place. It groweth by the ditch side, brooks, and other water-courses, generally through this land, and is seldom found far from the water-side.

Time. It flowereth about July, and the seed is ripe in August.

Government and virtues. Water betony is an herb of Jupiter in Cancer, and is appropriated more to wounds and hurts in the breast than wood-betony, which follows; it is an excellent remedy for sick hogs. It is of a cleansing quality: the leaves bruised and applied are effectual for all old and filthy ulcers: and especially if the juice of the leaves be boiled with a little honey, and dipped therein, and the sores dressed therewith; as also for bruises or hurts, whether inward or outward; the distilled water of the leaves is used for the same purpose; as also to bathe the face and hands spotted or blemished, or discoloured by sun burning.

I confess I do not much fancy distilled waters, I mean such waters as are distilled cold; some virtues of the herb they may haply have (it were a strange thing else;) but this I am confident of, that being distilled in a pewter still, as the vulgar and apish fashion is, both chemical oil and salt is left behind, unless you burn them, and then all is spoiled, water and all, which was good for as little as can be, by such a distillation in my translation of the London dispensatory.

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