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Description. The winter cherry hath a running or creeping root in the ground, of the bigness many times of one's little finger, shooting forth at several joints in several places, whereby it quickly spreads over a great compass of ground. The stalk riseth not above a yard high, whereon are set many broad and long green leaves, somewhat like nightshade, but larger: at the joints whereof come forth whitish flowers made of five leaves a piece, which afterwards turn into green berries inclosed with thin skins, which change to be reddish when they grow ripe, the berry likewise being reddish, and as large as a cherry; wherein are contained many flat and yellowish seeds lying within the pulp, which being gathered and strung up, are kept all the year to be used upon occasion.

Place. They grow not naturally in this land, but are cherished in gardens for their virtues.

Time. They flower not until the middle or latter end of July; and the fruit is ripe about August, or the beginning of September.

Government and virtues. This also is a plant of Venus. They are of great use in physic. The leaves being cooling, may be used in inflammations, but not opening as the berries and fruit are: which by drawing down the urine, provoke it to be voided plentifully when it is stopped or grown hot, sharp, and painful in the passage; it is good also to expel the stone and gravel out of the reins, kidneys and bladder; helping to dissolve the stone, and voiding it by grit or gravel sent forth in the urine; it also helpeth much to cleanse inward imposthumes or ulcers in the reins of bladder, or in those that void a bloody or foul urine. The distilled water of the fruit, or the leaves together with them, or the berries, green or dry, distilled with a little milk and drank morning and evening with a little sugar, is effectual to all the purposes before specified, and especially against the heat and sharpness of the urine. I shall only mention one way, amongst many others, which might be used for ordering the berries, to be helpful for the urine and the stone, which is this; Take three or four good handfuls of the berries, either green or fresh, or dried, and having bruised them, put them into so many gallons of beer or ale when it is new tunned up; This drink taken daily, hath been found to do much good to many, both to ease the pains, and expel urine and the stone, and to cause the stone not to engender. The decoction of the berries in wine and water is the most usual way; but the powder of them taken in drink is more effectual.


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