(I don't know if this is Eryngium maritimum or Eryngium campestre. -Henriette)
A WILD plant, which grows with us by the sea side, and is kept also in gardens, because of its virtues. It is prickly like a thistle, and the whole plant appears not green, but whitish. The stalk is firm, woody, round, striated, and thick, not very upright, branched, and spread irregularly about. The leaves are small, and of a pale bluish green, approaching to white; they are broad, oblong, and jagged and prickly. The flowers grow in little heads at the tops of the stalks, and there stands a circle of small leaves under them. The flowers, separately taken, are small, and of a pale greenish white, but the head of them is tolerably large. The root is long and slender, and of a pleasant taste.
This is the part used; the best way is to take them candied; they are good against coughs, and weakness of all kinds. They have also caused noble virtues, as a diuretic, and are good against the jaundice; for this last purpose a decoction made from the fresh roots is best. They are balsamic as well as diuretic.