Chap. 011. Of All-Heal of Aesculapius.
I. THE Names. It is called in Greek Πάνακες Ασκλήπειον: in Latin, Panax & Panaces Asclepium: and in English, Æsculapius his All-heal.
II. The Kinds. Gerard says it is a Ferulaceous Plant; of which there are said to be five Kinds.
1. Panax Asclepium Lobelii, Lobel his Esculapius’s All-heal. (Ferulago campestris -Ian T.)
2. Panax Asclepium Matthioli that of Matthiolus.
3. Panax Asclepium Columnæ, That of Columna.
4. Panax Asclepium Dalechampii, That of Delechampius.
5. Panax Asclepium Anguilaræ & Camerarii, That of Anguilara and Camerarius.
These differ not much one from another, being all Ferulaceous Plants, except that of Dalechampius; and are much of a Nature, but not easily to be gotten except the first, and of that we shall only treat in this Chapter.
III. The Description. The Root is long, white, and of a strong smell, not growing deep, nor abiding after its giving Seed; From whence springs up a slender Stalk, of about a foot and a half high, crested and Joynted, and from these Joynts proceed leaves, bigger than those of Fennel, and also rougher, and of a strong smell: at the Tops of the Branches grow Umbles of Flowers; which are yellow, after which comes a broad and flattish Seed, not so small as that of Fennel, but more like to that of Ferula, and of a quick taste and smell.
IV. The Places. It was first found growing in Istria; but now is nourished in our Gardens in England, as also in Gardens in most places of Europe.
V. The Times. It Flowers in June, July and August; and the Seed is ripe not long after, or in September; after which the Stalk with its Leaves perish.
VI. The Qualities. It is hot and dry in the second Degree. Attenuating, inciding, abstersive, binding, strengthening, and Vulnerary; and by appropriation is Cephalick, Neurotick, Hysterick and Arthritick: It is also Alexipharmick and Alterative.
VII. The Specification. It resists Poyson, and is found by long experience to be a famous healer of Wounds.
VIII. The Preparations. The Shops keep nothing of it, but you may prepare from it,
1. A Juice.
2. An Essence.
3. A Saline Tincture.
4. An Oily Tincture.
5. A Decoction in Wine.
6. A Spirituous Tincture from Flowers and Seed.
7. An Oil.
8. A Balsam.
9. A Cataplasm.
10. An Emplaster or Cerot.
IX. The Juice. Inwardly taken and outwardly apply'd, it is a good Vulnerary, healing, conglutinating, and drying up Wounds.
X. The Essence. It not only heals and conglutinates Wounds, but cleanses old and running Sores, putrid Ulcers, and cacoethick or ill condition'd Fistula's. It may be given inwardly from ij. to iij. ounces; and Cloths wet in the same may be apply'd to the Sore or Ulcer: if it is a Fistula, it is to be injected in, pretty hot, twice a day with a Syring.
XI. The Saline Tincture. It cuts, makes thin, cleanses and carries off by Urine thick and tough humors cleansing the Brest and Lungs from all cold phlegmatick humors. Dose ij. drams or more.
XII. The Oily Tincture. Dropt into Wounds of the Nerves and Tendons,and plegets dipt in the same and apply'd upon the part; it heals them commonly at first dressing.
XIII. The Decoction in Wine. It is an Antidote against Poyson, and is profitably drank against biting of Serpents, as Vipers, Rattle-Snakes, &c. and other Poysonous Creatures. Dose vj. or viij. ounces.
XIV. The Spirituous Tincture from the Flowers and Seed. It restores the Habit of the Body, makes the Blood Balsamick, and gives it its due Crasis, inducing the healing of green Wounds, running Sores, old Ulcers, and other external breakings out in the Skin. Dose ij. drams, morning and evening in a draught of the Decoction.
XV. The Oil. It smooths the Skin, takes away Wheals, Pushes, Scurf, Morphew, and other breakings out, being anointed therewith heals Wounds, cleanses Ulcers, and brings them to a speedy cure.
XVI. The Balsam. It is made of the Juice inspissated to the thickness of New Honey, iv. ounces, mixed with Gum Elemi, Balsam Capivij, and Strasburg Turpentine, Oil of Ben, of each ij. Ounces. It heals Wounds of the Head, Joynts, Nerves, Tendons, &c. by the first Intention, cleanses Ulcers, Fistulas, &c. Incarnates, and suddenly cures them.
XVII. The Cataplasm. It is made of the green Herb bruised and beaten up with a little Honey. It cleanses Ulcers powerfully, and is good against fretting and running Sores, cankers in the Mouth, Pushes, &c. being apply'd.
XVIII. The Cerote or Emplaster. It is made of the Balsam, by adding to every vj. ounces, Frankincense and Bee's Wax, of each ij. ounces, mixing them over a gentle fire. It heals green Wound and incarnates Ulcers and heals them after cleansing.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Lisa Haller / Peppercat.
A note to the ID of this plant
Ian T. writes:
I found the following references that suggest that Panax Asclepium's Linnean name was Ferula Nodiflora and its modern name Ferulago Campestris.
"Ferule nodiflore, Ferula nodiflora... [...t. 15. f. I. Mala]. Panax asclepium, ferulæ facie. Lob. Ic. 783..." - Encyclopédie méthodique: Botanique, Volume 2, Part 2, page 456
"[...alle plante de] Teograsto e di Dioscoride di questo nome, fiaò avvertire, che il panaces asclepium apulum de lobelio, appartiene alla Ferula Nodiflora di Linneo..." - Giornale enciclopedico di Napoli, page 25
"Le panax asclepium de Pine et de Discoride, ou œsculapicum de Théophraste, sont-ils la même plante? C'est ce qu'on ne peut déciter. Șeroit-ce le ferula nodiflora." - Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, Vol 24, page 450.
Salmon's description seems to fit ferulago campestris pretty well: the flower blooms from June to August (Wikipedia says July to August), it's native to Istria (a Mediterranean area), it appears only in gardens in England (not in the wild as fennel does), and that shops do not keep or sell it (as they would have for fennel).
Thank you for that, Ian! -Henriette