Chap. 036. Of Onion Asphodel.

Botanical name: 

Asphodel, Onion. I. The Names. It is called in Greek, 'Ασϕοδελιζ δολδωδηζ': in Latin, Asphodelus Bulbosus, by Dodonæus, Asphodelus Fæmina; by Lobel, Asphodelus Hyacinthinus, and Hyacintho Asphodelus; and that rightly, because the Root is like the Hyacinth or Jacinth, and the Flowers like the Asphodel: Clusius calls it Ornithogalum Majus the Greater Star of Bethlem, and that fitly enough: in English we call it, Onion Asphodel (Asphodelus fistulosus. -Henriette.), and Bulbous Asphodel (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum. -Henriette.), from the form of the Root.

II. The Kind. It is a singular Plant, having no particular Species under it.

III. The Description. It has a yellowish round Bulbous or Onion like Root, with some Fibres hanging thereat, from the which come many whitish green Grassy Leaves, long and narrow, not much unlike in shape to Leeks, and spread upon the Ground; these come forth at the beginning of the Year, and abide till May; and then they withering, amongst those Leaves, rises up a naked smooth Stalk, replenished towards the top with many Star like Flowers, of a whitish, or pale yellow green Color on the inside, and wholly Green without, consisting of six little Leaves, sharp pointed, with certain Chives or Threads in the Middle, and growing on short Foot Stalks, on a reasonable long Head spike fashon: after the Flowers are past, there succeeds a small Knop, or Head three square, in which lies the Seed which is roundish and black. It differs from Kings Spear, which is also a kind of Asphodel, in the pods, the which are round, but in this long and three square: from the Marsh or Lancashire Asphodel, in the Stalk, which is not wholly Naked: and the Common Asphodel in the Pods and Roots, which in those the Pods are round, and the Root multiform and knobby.

IV. The Places. It grows in the Corn-fields in the Upper Hungary: but with us, is only nourished up in Gardens.

V. The Times. It Flowers in May, June, and July: and the Seed is ripe in August, or not long after.

VI. The Qualities. It is hot and dry in the third Degree, having almost the same temperature with Aron. It is aperitive, inciding, attenuating, abstersive, discussive, and something Emetick. And are appropriated to the Stomach, Lungs, Womb, Reins and Joynts.

VII. The Specification. The Roots which are only used, open obstructions of the Lungs; and are peculiar against Asthma's, causing Expectoration.

VIII. The Preparations. You may have from the Root.
1. A Juice.
2. An Essence.
3. A Lohoch.
4. A Saline Tincture.
5. An Oily Tincture.
6. An Ointment.
7. A Balsam.
8. A Cataplasm.
9. A Syrup.
10. Ashes.

The Virtues.

IX. The Juice. Given from half an ounce more or less as the Patient is in age and strength in a Glass of White Wine, it opens obstructions of the Viscera, and is a singular good Medicine against the Yellow Jaundice.

X. The Essence. It is good against Pains and Aches of the Bowels, Pleurisies, Stitches, and other Diseases caused by Obstruction, whether in the Lungs or elsewhere: It prevails against Coughs, Colds, Asthma's, shortness of Breath, and difficulty of Breathing, and disposes wounds and Ulcers to a speedy healing. Dose from i. ounce to i. ounce and half in Wine or Mead.

XI. The Lohoch. It is made of the Juice Boiled up to a thickness with Honey, with a quarter part of the fine Pouder of Elecampane Root, it is a famous Pectoral: with this I once cured a supposed incurable Phthisis, in less than two Months time: at first it Vomited, and continued to do so, more or less for 10 or 12 Days, after which time the Patient took it very Pleasantly; it cleansed the Lungs, caused a great Expectoration, and in short time after healed them and performed the Cure pleasantly. It is good for Coughs, Colds, Asthmas, Wheezings, shortness of Breath, and other Distempers of the Lungs. Dose i. ounce in the morning Fasting, and as much at four in the afternoon.

XII. The Saline Tincture. It provokes Urine and is good against Gravel, Stone, and Tartarous Slime in the Reins and Bladder. It represses Vapors and Fits of the Mother, provokes the Terms, and prevails against the Gout. Dose from half a dram to ii. drams morning and evening in a Glass of Wine.

XIII. The Oily Tincture. It is good against an Oedema in the Knees, Traumatick Tumors in the Neck and Throat, and any other cold Swelling in any part whatsoever, being anointed thereon. It prevails against a cold Gout, and other like Pains and Aches. Inwardly taken from vi. drops to xvi. in a Glass of Wine, it Comforts the Head, Brain, Nerves, and Womb.

XIV. The Ointment. It is good to anoint Kernells and Scrophulous Tumors in the Throat, cleanse old Ulcers, and being put Scalding hot into Fistula's to remove the Callus and Heal them.

XV. The Balsam. It is prevalent against Oedematous Tumors, and the Gout, heals Wounds, cleanses old Sores, running Ulcers and Fistula's, makes the Flesh grow, and heals them. It also discusses hard and scirrhous Tumors.

XVI. The Cataplasm. It takes away black and blew marks of the Skin occasioned by Blows or Bruises, discusses or resolves Inflamations, and abates pain by its Anodine Property: It is good in Tumors of the Breasts and Cods.

XVII. The Syrup. It is Pectoral, good against all Diseases of the Brest, Lungs, and Womb; causes Expectoration, and a free Breath, and provokes the Terms. You may give it from i. ounce to ii. ounces, in a Glass of white Wine morning and evening.

XVIII. The Ashes of the whole Plant. Galen saith, That the Ashes of the Root mixed with Oil, or Hens Grease, cures the falling of the Hair in an Alopecia, and restores it where it was lost; and also cures a Scald Head. It is good against Scurff, Morphew, and other like vices of the Skin.

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