Chap. 080. Blites White.

Botanical name: 

Blite, Greater White. Blites, White Lesser. I. The Names. It is called in Greek *****: In Latin, Blitum: and in English, Blites. Yet Parkinson says, that none of the Ancients have made any mention of them.

II. The Kinds. There are two principal Kinds, viz.

  • 1. Blitum album, the White Blite and this is both Majus and Minus, of which we treat in this Chapter. (Amaranthus viridis. -Henriette.)
  • 2. Blitum Rubrum, The Red Blite, which is also Majus and Minus, of which in the next Chapter. (Amaranthus viridis. -Henriette.)

III. The Description. The Great White Blite has a Root very thick, and long, and very full of Threads or Strings; from whence rises up several Stalks,making a kind of bush, till it comes to be three or four Feet high; the Stalks are grayish, white, and round: the Leaves are plain and smooth almost like to those of Arach, but not so soft nor mealy: the flowers grow thrust together, like those of Arach: after which comes the Seed inclosed in round, flat, husky skins.

IV. The Lesser White Blite, which is called the Wild White Blite is very like unto the former, except that the Roots, Stalks, Leaves, Branches, and the whole Plant are altogether of a green color, and every way less than the former, growing upright, and not creeping at all.

V. The Places. The First is a Garden Herb, and grows chiefly there, but is in some places found Wild. The Second is as a Weed, growing Wild, tho' also in Gardens.

VI. The Times. They flourish and flower all the Summer long, their Seed is ripe in August and September; and grow very green even in the Winter time.

VII. The Qualities. The Blite, says Galen (lib.6. fac. Med. Simp.) is a Pot Herb, which serves for Meat, cold and moist (in the second Degree:) Hysterick, and Solutive. Yet Parkinson, will have them to be Cold, Dry, astringent or Binding.

VIII. The Specification. They are peculiar against Fluxes and Distempers of the Womb.

IX. The Preparations. You may have therefrom,

  • 1. A Liquid juice.
  • 2. An Essence.
  • 3. A Decoction in Wine.
  • 4. A Syrup.

The Virtues.

X. The Liquid Juice. Taken to five or fix ounces in a Glass of Wine, it purges by stool, makes the Belly soluble, and cools the Bowels; but sometimes it overturns the Stomach, and cleanses it by Vomiting.

XI. The Essence. It does the same thing with the Juice, but with less detriment to the Stomach; and being taken Morning and Evening from two ounces to three, or four, it stops the Whites in Women, and a Gonorrhoea in Men, Universals being premised.

XII. The Decoction in Wine. This is yet less troublesome to the Stomach, and has the Virtues of the Essence but not altogether so powerful and may be taken without any danger by a Woman with Child.

XIII. The Syrup. It is not only Hysterick, but Pectoral also: it cleanses the Womb, Breast, Stomach, and Lungs, of Slime, and Viscous or Tartarous Matter, eases Coughs, and taken for some time, helps Asthma's, and shortness of Breath.

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