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Chap. 030. Of Arrow-Head.

Botanical name:

Arrowhead. I. THE Names. It is called in Greek, Πιςάνα: In Latin, Sagitta, Sagittaria, Sagittalis: And in English Arrow-head. (Sagittaria sagittifolia. -Henriette.)

II. The Kinds. It is threefold,

  • 1. Πιςάναμίγα: Magopistana, Pistana Magonis, Barba Sylvana Caesalpini, Sagittaria major latifolia, the greater broad Leav'd Arrow-head.
  • 2, Πιςάναμιυρφ, Sagittaria Minor latifolia, the lesser broad Leaved Arrowhead.
  • 3. Sagittaria Augustifolia, narrow Leav'd Arrowhead.

III. The Description. The Greater broad Leav'd Arrow-head, or Water Archer, as some call it, has a thick Bushy Root with many fibres or Strings, from whence comes forth several thick square and juicy Stalks, with great broad green Leaves on the tops of them, divided at the bottoms into two long and pointed parts, so that the whole form or shape of the Leaf, is not much unlike the forked Head of a Broad Arrow, or one of the points of an Anchor; save that the two points at the bottom are longer; which parts Grow but a little above the Waters wherein they Grow, whether deeper or shallower: from among these former Stalks, rise up other thick, round, spungy Stalks two or three feet long, and higher than the Leaves, bearing divers rows of Flowers at the Joynts, one above another, and for the most part three in a row, each of which is composed of three large white Leaves with several reddish Threads in the midst, after which come in, their places, round rough Burrs, which are green when they are ripe, much like to those of Sparganium, or the Burr Reed; in which Burrs are contained the Seed.

IV. The lesser Broad Leav'd sort has also a thick and bushy or stringy Root like the former, with broad Leaves standing upon large Foot Stalks near two Feet or more high, in shape like the former, but every way lesser; among which rises up a fat and thick Stalk, something higher than the Leaves, having at the top many pretty white Flowers, declining to a light Carnation, but yet less than the former, made also of three small Leaves, and in the middle of which are several Reddish Threads; which being past, there comes several Knobs or Burrs greater than the former, in which in like manner are contained the Seed.

V. The Narrow Leav'd Arrow-head has a small and thready Root, from whence rises up a tender Foot Stalk about Eighteen Inches high, at the top of which are Leaves shaped like the former, except in their length and narrowness, not being above half the breadth of the others, yet of their full length; and the two lower forked ones, are almost as long as the fore right Leaf; the Flowers and Burrs are also lesser.

VI. The Places. They grow sometimes altogether, sometimes apart in Watery Ditches, and standing Waters, in most places throughout this Kingdom, particularly in the Ditches near the Walls of Oxford; by Chelmsford in Essex; in the Ditch near St. Thomas's Waterings not far from London; and in some Ditches in St. George's-Fields, and not far from Lambeth: The Narrow Leaved grows on the Thames Shore by Lambeth Bridge, over against the Arch-bishop of Canterbury's Palace; plentifully before the Earl of Peterborough's house, above the Horse-Ferry on Westminster side, &c.

VII. The Times. They Flower generally in May and June; and the Burrs or Seed are ripe in the begining or middle of August.

VIII. The Qualities. They are Cold in the first Degree, and Temperate in respect to dryness or Moisture. They are also Alteratives, Astringents, Abstersives, Incarnatives, Glutinatives, and Traumaticks or Vulneraries; and appropriated to the Spleen, Reins and Joynts.

IX. The Specification. I have had great Experience of the Virtues and Use of this Herb, and have found it to be a peculiar Wound Herb, whether inwardly taken or outwardly apply'd; besides its signature bespeaks the very same thing.

X. The Preparations. I have used it in its,

  • 1. Decoction.
  • 2. Juice.
  • 3. Essence.
  • 4. A Spirituous Tincture.
  • 5. A Saline Tincture.
  • 6. An Oily Tincture.
  • 7. An Ointment.
  • 8. A Balsam.
  • 9. A Cerote or Emplaster.
  • 10. A Cataplasm.
  • 11. A Pouder of the Seed.

The Virtues.

XI. The Decoction made in Wine, or half Wine, half Water. It is a good Gargle for Sore Mouths, and if a little Alum and Honey is dissolved in it, is a singular Medicine, for a Thrush in Children, and to Gargle with for sore throats in Elder Persons: and used as an Injection into the Womb, it is of excellent use to cleanse the Womb, and stop the Flux of the Whites: Inwardly taken from iij. to vj. ounces, it is good to stop Fluxes of the Bowels and fluxes of Blood, whether by the Mouth, Urine or Stool: and used as a Diet Drink, it is good for Wounded Persons, and such as have running Ulcers, and Fistula's about them.

XII. The Juice. It stops spitting of Blood, and is good against the Bloody Flux taken from ij. Spoonfuls to vj. in a Glass of Red Wine or Claret twice or thrice a day: it contributes also to the healing of all sorts of Wounds, whether inward or outward: and bathed upon an Erysipelas abates its heat.

XIII. The Essence. It is a singular Traumatick taken from j. ounce to iij. ounces twice a day, in the Decoction, or a Glass of Wine: It not only causes Wounds suddenly to heal, but wonderfully promotes the healing of all running Sores, Cacoethick Ulcers and Fistula's where or whatsoever. It is drying, binding, and astringent, stops Fluxes, abates Inflamations, stops Fluxes of Blood, pissing Blood; Catarrhs, and Conumptions.

XIV. The Spirituous Tincture. It has the Virtues of the former, but is best to be exhibited in a cold habit of Body from j. to iij. drams, &c.

XV. The Saline Tincture. It powerfully opens Obstructions of the Spleen, Reins, Womb, and Urinary Passages, carries off the Faeculencies in Cacochymick habits of Body, and which supply old running Sores, putrid Ulcers, and Cacoethick Fistula's, with the evil and malign Matter which keeps them from Healing: it dissolves Gravel, and expels Sand and Tartarous Slime out of the Reins and Bladder. Dose from j. dram to ij. drams.

XVI. The Oily Tincture. It eases the Spleen, expels Wind, provokes Urine, and is good against Wounds or Ulcers of the Reins or Bladder: Outwardly poured upon Wounds of the Nerves it heals them. Dose from vj. drops to xvj. drops.

XVII. The Ointment. It allays Inflamations chiefly in Wounds, heals Green Wounds; and has an abstersive faculty in cleansing old Sores and foetid Ulcers.

XVIII. The Balsam. It cures Wounds by the first Intention, where they are simple. But where they are Contused, or Complex, it brings them to digest ion, and afterwards by its abstersive property cleanses the Ulcer, then incarnates, and heals after an admirable manner: it also discusses Inflamations In the beginning, and in time resolves them.

XIX. The Cataplasm. It is good to allay Pains proceeding from a hot Cause in what part of the Body soever; and I have often found it to give ease in the hot Gout, and other Joynt-Aches. It is somthing repercussive, more especially if it is apply'd cold, which is best to be done, when it is used to a Contusion or Blow upon a Bone, as the Forehead; it hinders the rising of the Tumor, repercusses the Juices which would flow thither, and prevents its blackness.

XX. The Cerote or Emplaster. It Cures Green Wounds, cleanses, and heals old Sores and Ulcers, and fills up Wounds and Ulcers with Flesh. It is drying, astringent and strengthning, good to be apply'd to weak Backs, or feeble Joynts, and places Afflicted with Pains and Aches, from a Flux of Humors, or over-straining of the Part through any Violence or Force put upon it.

XXI. The Pouder of the Seed. Being drunk in White Wine from j. dram to a dram and a half, it is said to cure the Falling-sickness, and help other Diseases of the Head and Brain: it is prevalent also against the Dropsie, carrying off the Morbifick Matter by Urine; and is found by experience to be good against Sand, Gravel and Tartarous Slime in the Reins, and Urinary Passages. Being strowed over Wounds, Sores or Ulcers Inflamed, it takes away the Inflamation, and so does the Pouder of the Leaves: and kills Worms in Children.


Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Peppercat.



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