Gout Wort.

Botanical name: 

Plate 24. Padagrara herba gerrardi.

A common wild plant over-running our gardens, and when once it has taken root very difficult to be got out again; it grows two feet high. The leaves which rise from the roots are large, and they are composed each of several smaller, set on a divided rib, in the manner of those of angelica, of which they have some resemblance. They are of a pale green colour, and are oblong and indented at the edges. The stalks are round, upright, and a little branched, they are slender, striated, and green; the leaves on these are smaller, and consist of fewer parts than those that rise from the root. The flowers are little and white, and they stand in small round clusters; each is succeeded by two flat seeds. The root creeps.

The root and fresh buds of the leaves are both used, but only externally; they are excellent in fomentations, and pultices for pains; and the plant has obtained its name from their singular efficacy against the pain of the gout: but it is not adviseable to do any thing in that disorder; the warm applications of this kind are of all others the least dangerous. I have known a quantity of the roots and leaves boiled soft together, and applied to the hip in the sciatica, keeping a fresh quantity hot to renew the other, as it grew cold, and I have seen great good effect from it. Its use should not be confined to this pain alone, it will succeed in others.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.