Chap. 055. Beans Garden and Bastard.

Botanical name: 

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I. The Names. The Bean is called in Arabick, Bachale, Bachele, Bakilla, and Hachille in Greek, κύαμοσ: and in Latin, Faba. The Cod is called in Greek by Aristotle θήχηοσ: by Nicander, λέποσ, λέμμα,πέσχοσ: by Heschius λόϐοσ, λέϐηειςοσ: and by Appollonius Κέλυφοσ: and in Latin, Theca.

II. The Kinds. There are many Kinds of Beans, but those which we shall chiefly take notice of, are
I. The Garden. (Phaseolus vulgaris -Henriette)
2. Kidney or French. (Phaseolus vulgaris -Henriette)
3. The Field or Horse Bean. (Vicia faba -Henriette)

Of the Garden Kind there are said to be two sorts,
1. The True.
2. The Bastard.

III. The Description. The True, Large, Sweet Garden Bean, has a Root thick, with many Fibres or Strings annexed to it; from which rises up One, Two, or Three Stalks (according to the goodness of the Ground) smooth and square, and sometimes Four or Five Feet high or more. Upon these Stalks are set the Leaves at certain distances upon a small Foot-Stalk, from the very bottom almost to the top, by Two and Two, which are fleshy, thick, of a light green, and long, a little pointed at the ends. Between these Leaves and Stalk come forth divers Flowers, all of them looking one way for the most part, which are close, a little turn'd up at the brims, White, and spotted with a blackish Spot in the middle, and somewhat purplish at the foot or bottom ; of the Form almost of Broom, or Pease Flowers, many of which, that grow upwards towards the top, do seldom bear Seed, and therefore are gathered by many to be Distilled and the tops also being cut off, it makes the rest of the Plant to thrive the better. The Flowers being gone, there grows forth long, great, smooth, green Cods, greater than in the other Kinds of Beans, which grow black when they are ripe, and contain within them, Two, Three, or Four, flat and somewhat roundish long Beans, either white or reddish, which latter when ripe grow many times black withall.

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IV. The Bastard Bean, Differs little or nothing in the Form and Shape of the Plant, or in the manner of its growing, from the former, save that it seldom grows full out so large as the True Garden one doth, nor are the Beans themselves altogether so large: but that which is the principal note of distinction, between this and the True Kind, is their want of that sweetness, pleasantness, and excellent Taste which the Right Garden sort has: and therefore by reason of the small difference which is between them in respect to their Form and growing, they are generally Sold in the Market the one for the other: tho at the same time the Gardener can distinguish between them.

V. The Places. These are both Sown in Gardens with us, but the latter are for the most part Sown abroad in large Fields, and Sold in Markets for the Former.

VI. The Times. They Flower in April and May, and that gradually, so that they are long in Flowering : and the Beans themselves are Ripe in July and August.

VII. The Qualities. They are Temperate as to heat or cold, and moist in the first Degree ; Nephritick, Lithontriptick, Spermatogenetick, Suppurative, and Alterative.

VIII. The Specification. They are peculiar against Gravel in Reins or Bladder, restore in Consumptions, for they nourish much, and being much Eaten cure a Diarrhoea.

IX. The Preparations. The Shops keep,
1. A Water from the flowers or the whole Plant.
2. A Meal or Flower from the Beans.

But you may make therefrom also,
3. A Decoction of the Beans in Water or Wine.
4. An Essence of the Leaves and Cods.
5. A Cataplasm of the Beans.
6. A Volatile Salt, Spirit and Oil from the Beans.
7. The Ashes of the Cods and Stalks.
8. A strong Broth.

The Virtues.

X. The Distilled water from the Flowers, or whole Plant when in Flower. They are chiefly used as Cosmeticks, to soften, whiten, cool, and beautify the Skin, it being often washed therewith, and suffered to dry on: but before it is applyed, the Face and Hands ought to be made purely clean with warm Water in which Wheat Bran or Bean Meal has been boiled: some Ladies have affirmed to me, that by a continued and long using this Wash, or Water Distilled from the Flowers, they have had Lentils, Freckles, and other Deformities of the Skin perfectly removed. This I believe, that if it is acuated with some small quantity of the Volatile Salt, and then used, it may do much in that Kind.

XI. The Meal or Flower. Being used with warm Water to wash the Face and Skin with, it cleanses it admirably, and is said to take away Deformities thereof, as Scurff, Spots, Wrinkles, Tanning, Sun-burning, and the like.

XII. The Decoction in Wine or Water. It is very good against the Stone and Gravel whether in the Reins or Bladder,and provokes Urine; so also a Decoction of the Green Cods, or a Water Distilled from the same.

XIII. The Essence from the Leaves and green Cods. It is Diuretick and Lithontriptick, removing the Matter causing the Strangury, whether it be Gravel, Sand, Slime or other Glutinous Matter. Mixed with Honey and taken, it prevails against Coughs Colds. Rheums Catarrhs, and other Distempers of the lungs.

XIV. The Cataplasm of Bean Flower or Meal. If it is made with Vinegar and Oil, and applied to Womens Breasts, swelled with abundance of Milk, so that they can scarcely hold, it will not only repress the Milk, but also discuss the Tumor or Swelling occasioned by Curdling thereof. If the Cataplasm be made with Fenugreek and honey, and applied to Felons, Biles, Bruises, Apostems, as also Kernels about the Ears, and Kings-Evil Swellings, it helps them all. If the Cataplasm is made with Wine, and applied to Watering Eyes, or Eyes having a Contusion by blows, it gives ease and does them good. If made with Whites of Eggs, Rose Leaves and Frankincense, and applied, it helps Eves which Swell or grow out. If it is made with White Wine, and with Vinegar and Oil, and applied to the Cods, it takes away their Pain and Swelling. If it is made with Wine only , and a little Oil, and Eaten, it is good against Impotency; and stirs up Lust in such as cannot use the Act of Generation, by reason of the coldness, sluggishness and weakness of their Members. If Fried in Oil with Garlick to the thickness of a Hasty Pudding, and eaten as daily Food, it helps inveterate Coughs, almost past cure, and the hoarseness of the Voice: and being for some time Eaten, it breaks Apostems of the Breast and Lungs.

XV. The Ashes from the Cods and Stalks, Being Infused in Ale or Wine, and the Liquor Drunk, they are very Diuretick, and open all Obstructions of the Reins and Bladder, and therefore are very good against Sand, Gravel, Stone, Dropsy, Jaundice and Gout. The Ashes made into a Cataplasm with Hogs Lard, and applied, are good against old Pains, Contusions, Wounds of the Nerves, Defluxions upon the Joynts, the Sciatica, and Gout, whether in Hands, Arms, Knees or Feet.

XVI. The Volatil Salt, Spirit and Oil of the Beans. Beans and Pease yield a vast Quantity of Volatil Salt, and in much larger Proportion than any other Vegetable Production. It is thus made. Rx Beans tb x. whole and dry, put them into a large Earthen Retort, or into a large Glass one well Luted; so large as that about a third part may remain Empty: put it into a close Furnace of Reverberation, luting to it a large Receiver or great Glass Ball: stop the Registers of the Cover of the Furnace, and make a small Fire in the Cinder or Ashes place, at first, only to warm the Retort, and heat the Matter within which keep so for an Hour; then kindle a fire in the Grate Place, gentle at first for an Hour more; after which increase it gradually from Hour to Hour, but not to an Excess: in the mean season, the Aqueous parts will come over in large quantity, then give a little Air to the Register of the Cover of the Furnace on the Receivers side, continually encreasing the Fire, till you see the Receiver to be filled with white Clouds, which will by degrees condense into Liquor; the Oleaginous and Salt parts sinking to the bottom of the Vessel; keep now an equal hire, for about two Hours, giving a little Air to the Register, after which open it for altogether, giving a more violent heat, and at length a flaming Fire, which continue till the Vapors cease, and the Receiver is clear: let then the Fire go out, and the Vessels cool. In the Receiver you will have much Flegm mixt with Oil, and Spirit, and Volatile Salt, so penetrating that you will not be able to hold your Nose and Eyes over the Mouths of the Vessels. Put all these Substances immediately into a Bolt Head with a long Keck, covered, with its Head well Luted, and fitted with a Beak end Receiver: place it in a Sand heat, in a cool Airy place, so may you see the Volatile Salt ascend by little and little,and coagulate it self in the Head (which you must often cool by double Cloths dip in cold Water, to hinder the Dissolution of the Salt): This salt with what speed may be take out of the Head, and keep it in a Glass Bottle close Stopped, and in a cool place, for it turns into Liquor or Spirit with the least heat, and sooner than any other Volatile Salt: but you must have another Head ready to put on in the place of the former, whole junctures being well Luted, continue the rectification, so will you have in the Recipient, the rest of the Volatile Salt Dissolved in a little of the Flegm (which is the Spirit) and the Volatile Oil, which you may separate and keep a part; the useless Flegm, and stinking part of the Oil remaining at bottom of the Matrass.

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XVII. This Volatile Salt of Beans, is a strong Sudorifick, and one of the most Subtil and Volatile Salts that is, being of the same use with all other Volatile Salts. It is good against Palsies, Cramps, Withered Limbs, Epilepsies, Apoplexies, Gouts, Rheumatisms, Colicks, and other diseases of the Head, Brain, Womb, Nerves, and Joints. It kills Worms, and is admirably good in Fits of the Mother. The Spirit is also of the same Virtue. The; Oil, is stronger, and therefore in outward applications, it may be mixt with Oil of Bitter Almonds, or Oil of Ben, and the Stomach and Navel anointed with it, for Fits of the Mother. In Diseases of the Brain, also of the Womb, you may put it up the Nostrils. Dose of the Salt, a gr. vj. ad xij. of the Spirit, from xv drops to xxx. or xl. and of the Oil a gut. ij. ad vj. all which are to be given in some proper Vehicle.

XVIII. The strong Broth of the Beans. It is Nutritive in the highest Sense so far as a Vegetable can be Nutritive ; It also stirs up Lust, and is of good use where there is an Impotency in the Male Kind, who have not the power to use the Act of Generation, by reason of a weakness in the Instruments of Generation, or defect of Seed, as it has respect either to Quantity or Quality. And by reason the Bean, (especially the Field Kind) has the Signature of the Glans of the Penis, Pythagoras and his Followers judged then to provoke Lust, which afterwards by multitudes of Experiments and Observations, has been confirm'd to us, even from that time to this day. This Broth strengthens the Bowels and restores Nature, stopping all sorts of Lasks and Fluxes of the Belly, inveterate Coughs and other Distempers of the Lungs: It is Nephritick and Diuretick, much provoking Urine, and therefore is good against all Obstructions of the Reins and Bladder. If this Broth is made for Nutriment sake, it will be necessary to boil the Beans till they are Broken, and the Flowery part of them mixed and as it were dissolved in the Liquor, which afterwards may be made savory with a little Salt, Juice of an Orange, and a bit of sweet Butter. Beans are indeed Flatulent (by which property they are said to stir up Lust,) yet accounted good Food. Nos Trago Subscribiums re-centes innoxias effe in Cibo, & bonum fuccum gignere. Ray, Hist. Plant, lib. 18. cap. 2.

Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter was proofread by Therese Richardson.