Chap. 056. Beans Kidney and Scarlet.
I. The Names. This Plant is called by Hippocrates, Theophrastus , and most of the Ancient Writers φόλιχου: some from the Seed call it Λόϐου, & Λόϐιου others name it Φασέολου a diminitive from Φάσηλος: Dioscorides calleth it Σμίλαξ , χηχαία όχαϛπόϛ Λόϐια: in Latin, Smilax Hortensis, Siliqua, Phaseolus: Arabick, Lubia: in English, Kidney Bean, and Garden Kidney Bean. (Phaseolus vulgaris -Henriette)
II. The other is called in Greek Κύαμοσ μόχχινοσ & ωασΛολοσ χόχχιυοσ in Latin, Faba Coccinus, & Phaseolus Coccinus: and in English, the Scarlet Bean. (Phaseolus coccineus -Henriette)
III. The Kinds. The Species of the Kidney Bean are very many : whose chief differences consist most in the Colour of the Beans, which every Child is able to distinguish at Sight, as the White, the Black, the Red, the Purple, the various Coloured, the Great, the Small, Etc as for other Differences, as they would be superfluous and needless, so they would be almost endless.
IV. The Scarlet Bean is said to be of two Kinds; 1. That which Grows and is Common with us in England.
2. The Indian Downy or Hairy Bean, which is called Cow Itch, which see in the Exoticks lib. 3. chap. 73. following. (Mucuna pruriens -Henriette)
V. The Description. It has a long Root with many Fibres springing from it, which perishes every Year, from which rises up at first but one Stalk, which afterwards divides it self into many Arms or Branches, every one of them being so weak, that they cannot sustain themselves, but are upheld by Sticks or Poles, or other adjacent things, taking hold with its clasping tendrels thereupon, in like manner as does Bryony, Hops, and the Vine, otherwise they would lye fruitless upon the Ground, from these Branches grow forth at several places long foot Stalks, every one of which has three broad, round, pointed Leaves, of a green Colour, growing together by three's as in the Common Trefoil: Towards the Tops of the Branches come forth divers Flowers in form like to Pease Blossoms, which varie and differ in their Colours according to the Soil in which they Grow, sometimes White, Black, Red, Yellow, Purple, Pale and Various Coloured, for the most part of the same Colour the Beans will be of. After which come forth long and slender, flat, lightish green Cods, mostly crooked a little, and some strait, in which are contained the Beans, made almost in form of a Kidney, flat and much about the Magnitude of Horse Beans.
VI. The Scarlet Bean is a large Plant, but differs not much in its manner of growing from the former Kidney Bean: but the Flowers are large and many, and of an Elegant Scarlet Colour ; for which reason it is commonly called by our Florists, The Scarlet Bean.
VII. The Places. They Grow both of them, not only in England, but also in most parts of Europe, and with us they are nourish'd up in Gardens. The first or Common Garden Kidney Bean (which some call the French Bean) extend their Branches to very great length, having Poles or other like things to support and fatten themselves upon. The Scarlet Bean was first Brought to us by John Tradescant, and made to Grow in our Gardens, where it now very naturally nourishes.
VIII. The Times. They are sown in the Spring, chiefly about the middle of April, and not before, and the Beans themselves are ripe, about the latter end of the Year.
IX. The Qualities. The former are Hot and Moist in the first Degree: (as for the latter they are more for the Show and Beauty of the Flowers, than for any Physical use:) They are also Suppurative, Astringent as to the Bowels, Nephritick, Spermatogenetick, and Alterative.
X. The Specification. There is nothing Observable in this, saving that they have been found to provoke Urine.
XI. The Preparations. The Shops keep nothing of them, but you may make therefrom,
1. A Distilled Water from the green Cods, and whole Plant.
2. A Decoction of the green Cods, or whole Plant in Water or Wine.
3. An Essence of the Leaves and Cods.
4. A Volatile Spirit, Oil and Salt, from the dry'd Beans.
5. The Ahses of the Straw and Cods.
6. The green Cods to be eaten as a Sallet.
XII. The Distilled Water, May be used as a Vehicle to convey Nephritick, Diuretick, and Lythontriptick Medicaments in.
XIII. The Decoction in Wine or Water is very Diuretick; and as its Signature shews, powerfully opens Obstructions of the Reins, Ureters and Bladder : It may be Drank a Pint at a time morning, noon, and night a little sweetned with Hony, and be continued for some days.
XIV. The Essence. It has the Virtues of the Decoction, but much more Powerful, and is a singular sweetner of the Blood.
XV. The Volatile Spirit, Oil, and Salt. They are made from the dry'd Beans, exactly as we have Taught in the former Chapter, Sect. 16. and their several Virtues, Uses, and Doles are the same, so that we need lay no more of them in this place.
XVI. The Ashes of the Straw and Cods, being Infused a Night or two in a Bottle of Ale or Wine close stopt up; and that Liquor Drank Morning, Noon and Night, half a Pint at a time, or more, it powerfully provokes Urine, opens obstructions of the Reins and Ureters, and plentifully brings away Sand, Gravel, Slime, or other Tartarous Matter offending those Pans. You may put xvj, ounces of the Ashes to a Gallon of Ale or Wine.
XVII. The Green Cods. They have the Virtues of the other Beans, provoke Lust and breed Seed: boiled and eaten with sweet Butter and a little Salt, and Juice, of-Oranges, they loosen the Belly, provoke Urine, strengthen and please the Stomach, and make good Blood; but they ought to be eaten whilest they are green and tender (otherwise they will not be so Toothsom) and the Rib or String which runs along the Cod, being taken away, then to be boiled close Covered, till they are softish, and so drest up with Salt, melted fresh Butter and Juice of Sevil Oranges, as aforesaid; in which manner they are very wholsom, nourishing, restorative, and of a pleasant and grateful Taste, and not in the least inferior to the other large Garden Beans.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter was proofread by Therese Richardson.