THE asparagus plant is one whose root is useful in medicine, although a different part of it be eaten at the table. Its virtues are not unlike those of the artichoke root but greater.
The asparagus is a wild plant in many parts of England about the sea-coasts; and its root, in this wild state, is better than that of the cultivated plants, but its shoots have not that fine fleshy fulness. The plant, when full grown, is three feet high, and very much branched, and the leaves are fine and of a pale green; the flowers are small and greenish, but the berries which succeed them, are as big as pease and red.
The root is a powerful diuretic, and is good in all obstructions of the viscera. It has been known singly to perform cures in jaundices and dropsies. It is best given in decoction.