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Chap. 009. Of Clowns All-Heal.

Botanical name:

Alheale, Clownes. I. TΗE Names. It has no known Greek Name, but is called in Latin, Panax Coloni, Panax Heracleum Alterum: and in English, Clowns All-heal, and Clowns Wound-wort.

II. The Kinds. It is accounted one of the kinds of Sideritis, and is, with Parkinson, the fifteenth, called in Latin Sideritis Anglica Strumosa Radice, or English Iron-wort with a Tuberous Root.

III. The Description. The Root is composed of many long Strings, with some tuberous long knobs commonly growing among them, of a pale yellowish or whitish colour, from whence grows up four square, green, rough Stalks, half, a yard or two foot high, furrowed in, a little upon every square, the Joynts standing somewhat far asunder, with two very long and somewhat dark green Leaves, bluntly dented about the edges, and sharp pointed at the end: the Flowers stand towards the top, compassing the Stalks at the Joynts, as do those of Horehound, but end in spiked tops, which Horehound does not, having long and much gaping hoods of a purplish red colour, with whitish spots in them, standing in somewhat rough Husks, wherein afterwards stand blackish round Seeds. The whole Plant is of a strong Smell, not much unlike to stinking Horehound.

IV. The Places. It grows almost every where in England, by several Brooks and Ditch sides, and sometimes by the Path-ways, and borders of Fields, as in Middlesex near London, by the Path-sides, in Fields going to Chelsea and Kensington; by Hackney, in the Ditch-sides of a Field called The Shoulder of Mutton field; and in Surry in St. George’s fields; and in the Meadows by Lambeth, and near Standgate: in Kent by Southfleet; and on the back-side, of the Church-yard of Nettlesteed, and in some places near the foot of Shooters-hill: in Essex by the Ditch-sides, and on the Ditch-sides on the Left Hand of the Highway beyond Stratford Bow; as also in Cambridgshire, Huntingtonshire and Suffolk, in all which it grows plentifully.

V. The Times. It flowers in June and July, and sometimes in August, and its seed comes to ripeness soon after, viz. in August or September.

VI. The Qualities. It is hot in the second degree, and dry in the first: It is Agglutinative, Astringent and Vulnerary: and by appropriation, it is Nephritick and Arthritick; and of the kind of Alteratives.

VII. The Specification. It is absolute for healing of Wounds whether inward or outward, and that by the first intention.

VIII. The Preparations. The Shops keep nothing of it; but you may prepare from it,

  • 1. A Juice.
  • 2. An Essence.
  • 3. A Pouder.
  • 4. A Diet-drink.
  • 5. A Spirituous Tincture.
  • 6. A Saline Tincture.
  • 7. An Oil.
  • 8. A Balsam.
  • 9. A Cataplasm.
  • 10. An Emplaster.

The Virtues.

IX. The Juice. It is Traumatick and contributes to the Curing Wounds (whether outward or inward) being taken from ij. Ounces to iiij. in a Glass of Alicant: and so also it is good for Ruptures, Bloody-flux, Vomiting, Spitting and Pissing Blood.

X. The Essence. It has all the former Virtues, but much more effectual to all those Intentions; and taken inwardly to ij. Ounces, or more, it alters the habit of the Body, makes the blood Balsamick, and destroys the Cancerous humor, when spread over the whole Body.

XI. The Pouder. It is given in Ruptures of the Peritoneum, as also in spitting and vomiting of blood, for it stops the bleeding and consolidates the broken Veins. Dose from half a dram to j. in any fit Vehicle and outwardly being strewed upon Wounds it stops their bleeding, and many times heals at the first Intention: It is made of the dryed herb.

XII. The Diet-drink. It is made by boiling the Herb in half Wine half Water: or by Tunning it up with new drink, four large handfulls of the herb bruised to every Gallon of new Ale or Beer, put up into a bag with a stone in it to make it sink, and so to work with the Drink; which after 2 or 3 days may be drunk. It is an excellent thing to be taken a good draught of it at a time, morning, noon and night, by wounded people, and such as have inveterate running Sores, old Ulcers and rebellious Fistula’s upon them: it alters the whole habit of the Body, and disposes the Wounds, Ulcers, &c. to a speedy Healing, and a perfect Cure.

XIII. The Spirituous Tincture. It has all the Virtues of the former, but is much better for inward Wounds, broken Veins, and Ruptures, &c. because it more easily and speedily enters into the Mass of Blood, and brings it to a Balsamick Crasis. Dose j. dram to iij. drams in Alicant.

XIV. The Saline Tincture. This is better for the Cleansing, Healing and Curing of Wounds and Ulcers of the Reins, Ureters and Bladder, because the Menstruum more easily and readily conveys the virtue of the Medicine to those parts: It is also Abstersive, and Cleanses those parts of Sand, Gravel, or any Tartarous matter lodged in, or adhering to them. Dose from j. dram to ij. drams in Smallage or Parsley Water.

XV. The Oil, made of the Green Herb with Oil Olive and a ninth part of Oil of Turpentine; It is Vulnerary, and heals Wounds of the Nerves with much speed and facility.

XVI. The Balsam. It Cures Wounds and Ulcers: the first it does by the first intention: the latter, by Digesting them, Cleansing them, and then Healing them up as a Green Wound.

XVII. The Cataplasm. It is made of the Green Herb, by chopping and bruising it in a stone Mortar and then beating it up with a little Hogs-lard: This applied heals up Wounds by the first intention, closing up the tips of them, without bringing the Wound to matter. With this Cataplasm a Country-man, who had cut his Leg with a Sithe to the Bone, healed it perfectly in seven days.

XVIII. The Plaister, made of the Juice inspissate to the thickness of New Honey, the Pouder of the Herb, with Frankincense and a little Oil Olive: It is good against Ruptures of the Bowels, and is profitably applyed to both Aneurism and Varix, more especially if Comfrey root is also added to it.


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



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