Chap. 052. Balsam-Apple Female and Yellow.

Balsamine, Female.

1. The Names. It is also unknown to the Greeks: but is called in Latin by Matthiolus, Anguilla, Fuchsius, Gesner and Tragus, Balsamina altera : by Dodoneus, Balsaminum: by Lugdunensis, Balsamina: by Cordus, Balsamella: by Gesner ad Cordum, Balsamina amigdoloides: by Camerarius, Tabermontanus, and Gerard, Balsamina Foemina: by Lobel, Balsamina foemina perficifolia; and by Cesalpina, Catanance: and in English Balm Apple female. (Impatiens balsamina. -Henriette.)

II. The Kinds. It is the second kind of the Balm Apple, viz. the Female, differing very much from the former, both in the form and manner of growing. The Yellow Balsamine is the third kind, and by Lobel, Camerarius, Gerard, and others, is called Persicaria Siliquosa, in English, Codded Arsmart, by J Bauhin, Noli me tangere by Tragus, Mercurialis sylvestis altera: by Dodoneus, Impatiens Herba; and by Columna, Balsamita altera. (Impatiens noli-tangere. -Henriette.)

III. The Description. The Female Balm Apple does much differ from the former: It has a Root dispersed into manifold Arms, from whence proceeds many small strings spreading under the Earth: The Stalks arise from we main stock of the Root, which are thick, fat, full of Juice, in substance like the stalks of Purslane, of a reddish colour, and somewhat shining. The Leaves are long and narrow, much like those of the Willow or Peach tree, a little toothed about the edges: among which come forth the Flowers, of an incarnate colour, tending to blewness, with a little tail or four annexed thereto, like to Larks heels, of a faint, light crimson colour. These being gone, there comes up in their places the Fruit, or Apples, rough and hairy, round, and sharp at the point, and lesser than those of the Male, at first green, but afterwards yellowish when ripe, the which open of themselves when full ripe, and cast abroad their Seed, much like unto a Fetch says Dodoneus; or like to Lentils, as other Authors say. But that which Gerard had in his Garden cast forth the Seed like Cole-flower, or Mustard-seed, which made him to think that either the Clime had altered its shape, or that there was two kinds thereof.

IV. The yellow Balsamint (which Gerard places with the Arsmarts, and Parkinson with the Mercuries) has a black and thready Root, which perishes every year, from which spring forth Stalks about two foot high; tender, green, and somewhat purplish, hollow, smooth, juicy and transparent, with large and eminent Joints: From whence proceed Leaves like those of French Mercury, a little larger and broader towards their Stalks, and thereabouts also cut in with deeper Teeth or Notches. From the bosoms of each of these Leaves, come forth long Stalks hanging downwards, which are divided into three or four branches, upon which hang yellow flowers, much gaping, with crooked Spurs or Heels, and spotted also with red or crimson spots. The Flowers being gone, there succeeds Cods containing the Seed, wined are about two Inches long, slender, knotted, and of a whitish green, crested with greenish lines; which as soon as they begin to be ripe, are so impatient, that they will by no means be touched, but presently the Seed will fly out of them into your face (from whence came the name herba impatiens and for which reason Lobel, and others have called it, Noli me tangere.)

V. The Places. The first of these is only Nurs'd up with us in Gardens. The latter grows in shady Woods in France, Germany and Italy. It has also been found in shady Woods side, and shady sides of Mountains, and their Vallies in Wales; in Shropshire at Marington _·, on the Banks of the River Kemlet, and at Guerudee in the Parish of Cherstock, half a mile from the said River, in the Highway among great Alder-trees: but it will grow and abide in our Gardens very well, and every year sow it self, being set in a shady place.

VI. The Times. The first of these ( as also the former Male kind) must be sown in the beginning of April, and in a hot bed of Horse-dung, as you do Musk-Melons, Cucumbers, and such like cold Fruits: then they must be replanted abroad from the said beds, into a hot, moist, and fertile place, at such time as they have gotten three Leaves a piece. They flower in July and August, and their fruit comes to the greatest perfection our Country will give it in September following. The Noli me tangere flowers in its natural place, about the middle or end of August, and presently after Seeds; but that which grows with us in Gardens flowers in June or July.

VII. The Qualities. The first of these is cold in i° and dry in 2°; Cephalick, Neurotick, Vulnerary, and Alterative. The Noli me tangere, is hot and dry in the third degree; Nephretick, Diuretick and Emetick.

VIII. The Specification. The latter Specifically provokes Urine, even unto a wonder, as Gesner testifies.

IX. The Preparations. They may be the same with those of the Male kind, as,

1. Pouder.

2. Decoction.

3. Inspissate Juice.

4. Spiritous Tincture.

5. Oleaginous Tincture.

6. Oil by Infusion.

7. A Balsam.

From the Noli me tangere, there is,

1. A Pouder of the Herb.

2. An Inspissate Juice.

3. A Distilled Water.

The Virtues.

X. The Pouder. It dries up green Wounds, consolidates, and heals them.

XI. The Decoction. It cleanses old Ulcers, and rotten Sores, and disposes Fistula's (being injected into them) to a healing.

XII. The Inspissate Juice. Being reduced into a pouder, and strewed upon a green wound, it presently conglutinates it, and heals it.

XIII. The Spiritous Tincture. It is helpful to a Gangrene in beginning, and by its gentle styptick quality, restores and conserves the heat of the Part.

XIV. The Oleaginous Tincture. It has the same Virtues with the Spiritous Tincture, but much more powerful; bathed upon the Nerves, it comforts and strengthens them, helps Cramps, and eases Aches and Pains, and is good against punctures of the Sinews.

XV. The Oil by Infusion, heals Wounds, abates Inflamations, and cures fiery Pustules of the skin.

XVI. The Balsam. It cleanses and heals Ulcers, and gives ease in Punctures of the Nerves: being applied, it cures old rotten Ulcers, running Sores, and kibed Heels.

XVII. The Pouder of Noli me tangere. It is Emetick, and sometimes Cathartick, working (as some Authors say ) strongly; for which reason Dodoneus says, it has a pernicious faculty, and is deleterious : yet it may be given from a scruple to half a dram in some convenient Vehicle, in strong Bodies.

XVIII. The Inspissate Juice. It is Emetick like Cambogia, and sometimes it works downwards like Scammony, but its operations are not altogether so certain. It may be given from ten grains to a scruple, made up into a Bolus, and so swallowed.

XIX. The Distilled Water. It is of mighty power to provoke Urine; and if largely drunk, it is said to induce a Diabetes; and some magnifie it, as to expel the Stone in the Reins : but without doubt it powerfully cleanses the Reins and Urinary passages, expelling Sand, Gravel, Slime, and other things which obstruct the Passages of the Urine.

Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This page was proofread by Claudia Barton.