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Chap. 086. Broom Rape.

Botanical name:

Broom Rape. Broome Rape. I. The Names. It is called in Greek ******: In Latin, Orobanche, Cauda Leonis; Clusius calls it Haemodoron, as Theophrastus, lib. 8. cap. 8. or Leimodoron, as others have it : and in English, it is called Broom-Rape.

II. The Kinds. Of this Broom-Rape there are several Kinds, as,

  • 1. That which proceeds from the Roots of the English-Broom. (Orobanche. -Henriette.)
  • 2. That which proceeds from the Roots of the Spanish Broom. (Orobanche. -Henriette.)
  • 3. That which proceeds from the Dyers Weed: all these have but one description, though arising from the Roots of those several Plants. (Orobanche. -Henriette.)

Lobel and Clusius make other Varieties,

  • 1. That which has longer and smaller Flowers than the other, or common sort has.
  • 2. That which has larger Flowers, and those of a blewish color, and is sometimes found among corn.
  • 3. That which is parted towards the Top into several Branches, whose Flowers are either Blew, Purplish or White, and is sometimes found amongst Hemp.

III. The Description. Broom-Rape has a bulbous Root, or a Root round and scaly, which adheres or grows unto the Roots of Broom, big or large below, and smaller above, covered with blackish Scales, and of a yellowish Pulp within: from this Root does rise up a Stalk of the bigness of a Finger or Thumb, and about a span long; sometimes a Foot, or two Feet high, which has a shew of Leaves on it, and many Flowers about the Top of it, somewhat whitish, almost like to those of dead Nettles or something resembling the Flowers of Orchis, but larger, and of a deadish yellow color, as the Stalks and Leaves also are, after which grow forth long, thick and round husks, in which are contained very many Seeds, yet good for nothing but Parkinson says, it perishes without Seed.

IV. The Places. Gerard says, that Broom-Rape is not to be found any where but where Broom grows. It may be found in a Broom-field at the foot of Shooters-hill next London; upon Hampstead-Heath, and in several other places. But Parkinson says, it grows more often where no Broom grows, viz. by Fields and Hedge sides, and upon Heaths and other Authors say, in Corn-fields and Hemp-lands.

V. The Times. It rises up, and appears, and is in its chief perfection in the Month of June.

VI. The Qualities. It is Temperate in respect to Heat or Cold, Dryness or Moisture, Aperitive, Abstersive, Diuretick, and Vulnerary Hepatick, Nephritick, and Alterative.

VII. The Specification. Its peculiar property is to provoke Urine, and help the Strangury.

VIII. The Preparations. You may make there from,

  • 1. A liquid Juice.
  • 2. An Essence.
  • 3. A Decoction.
  • 4. An Insolated Oil.
  • 5. A Balsam.
  • 6. A Cataplasm.

The Virtues.

IX. The liquid juice. It is an extraordinary thing to cure not only green Wounds, but also running Sores, old, filthy, running Ulcers, and malignant breakings out whatsoever.

X. The Essence. It is thought to be as effectual in opening Obstructions of the Reins, Ureters and Bladder, provoking Urine, and expelling Sand, Gravel, Stones, or any Viscous, Tartarous or Slimy Matter out of the Urinary passages, as Broom it self. Dose three or four ounces at a time, Morning and Evening, in a glass of White Wine.

XI. The Decoction. It has the Virtues of the Essence, but not all out so powerful.

XII. The Insolated Oil. It ought to be made of four or five repeated Infusions of the top Stalks with the Flowers, strained forth and cleared. It is said to cleanse the Skin of all manner of Spots, Freckles, Lentils, Sun-burning, Tanning, and other like deformities which rise through heat of the Sun, or superabundancy of malign Humors.

XIII. The Balsam. It is cleansing, incarnative,and healing, and therefore beneficial against all sorts of old, putrid, malign, and running Sores and Ulcers: It heals Wounds admirably, and conglutinates their Lips in a very short time.

XIV. The Cataplasm. It is good against Burnings and Scaldings, eases Pain, discusses Swellings and Contusions, where the Skin is not broken, and softens hard Tumors.


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



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