Chap. 098. Of Burdock Great.

Burre Dock, Great. The Names. It is called in Greek, *********: In Latin, Arcium, Pro-sopium, Prosopis, Personata, Lappa and Bardana, in Shops: In English, Burdock, and Clot Bur.

II. The Kinds. There are several Kinds hereof,
1. *********, Lappa major, Bardana major vulgaris, The Common Burdock.
2. Lappa Virginiana, The Virginian Burdock.
3. Lappa seu Bardana languinosis capitulis, The woolly headed Bur.
4. Bardana major Rosea, The Rose Bur:
Of all Which we shall treat in this Chapter.

5. Lappa minor sive Xanthium, The small Burdock.
6. Petasites, The Butter Bur, of which two last; in the two following Chapters.

III. The Description. The Common Greater Burdock, has a Root great and thick, black on the outside, and whitish within, sweet and pleasant in taste at first, but something bitter afterwards: from whence spring forth many large, hard, green Leaves, somewhat like to the Butter-Bur, or Wild Dock, but more crumpled, and of a darker green color on the upper side, but greyish underneath: among which rise up hard and rough green Stalks, two or three feet high, with many Branches from them, having many the like, but lesser Leaves on them, bearing at their Tops several rough heads or burs, with crooked pointed Prickles, apt to stick on Cloths, or other things which they touch , out of the tops of each of which come forth many hard purplish threads, which are the flowers, which being faded and past, turn to Down in the Heads, and opening themselves, shed their Seed, which is grayish, something like to the Knap-weeds, which together with the Wind, is often carried away, and many times falls down to the ground, in the place where it grows, by which it multiplies it self. (Arctium lappa. -Henriette.)

IV. The Virginian Kind, is a kind of the former, having like Roots; but its Leaves are rounder and smaller: the Burrs are also smaller and harder, and furnished with very sharp, crooked points, which stick very fast to every thing they lay hold on.

V. The woolly headed Bur. It differs little from the first, but only that the Leaves grow not altogether so great; and the heads being smaller, are woolly all over, and the prickles not so sharp or sticking. Gerard says, that the Leaves and whole Plant are somewhat less than the first or common kind, and that the Heads are hairy or downy, but other wise like to it. Lobel calls this Arction Montanum, and Lappa minor Galeni; but it is indeed the Lappa minor altera Matthioli. (Arctium tomentosum. -Henriette.)

VI. The Rose Bur, differs little or nothing from the first kind, but in the head, which instead of the prickly Burs, has many small green Leaves, set together like a small Rose Plantane, and not much prickly at their ends. )No idea. -Henriette.)

VII. The Places. The first of these grows plentifully with us every where, by Ditch sides, Water sides, Wast places, and High ways. The Virginian is found in Virginia, Maryland, New England, and in other Provinces upon that Coast. The third is not so frequent with us, as is the first, yet I have found it in several places of England; Lobel found it growing in Somerset-shire, about three Miles from Bath, near the then House of Mr. John Colt: also in the High way leading from Draiton to Iver, two Miles from Colebrook. The last grows not with us, but near Lipswick in Germany.

VIII. The Times. They Head, Flower, and Seed in June, July and August; the Seed being ripe in a few Weeks after the Flowers are gone.

IX. The Qualities. They are all cooling and drying in the first Degree; yet Gerard says, that the Roots are moderately hot: They are Astringent, Discussive, Digestive, and Traumatick , Cephalick, Neurotick, Nephritick, and Hysterick; and Alterative, and Alexipharmick.

X. The Specification. The Burdock is peculiar against the Poison of Serpents; and Obstructions of the Reins, Bladder and Womb.

XI. The Preparations: You may have hereof,

  • 1. The Leaves.
  • 2. The Juice.
  • 3. The Essence.
  • 4. The Saline Tincture.
  • 5. The Oily Tincture.
  • 6. The Decoction.
  • 7. A Pouder of the Root.
  • 8. A Pouder of the Seed.
  • 9. A Conserve of the Roots.
  • 10. A mixture.
  • 11. A Cataplasm.
  • 12. A Salt.

The Virtues.

XIII. The Juice. The Juice of the Leaves mixt with Honey, provokes Urine, and takes away the Pains of the Bladder; and mixt with Wine, it is wonderfully good against the bitings of Serpents, Mad Dogs, and other Venomous Beasts. The Juice of the Root taken to the quantity of three or four ounces, and drank with a good draught of Ale, is an excellent thing against Wind, and coldness of the Stomach.

XIV. The Essence. It has all the Virtues of the Juice, besides which it is excellent against Poison inwardly taken, and is good, being given Dietetically, against Venereal Diseases, as the Pox: Gonorrhaea &c. It heals inward Ulcers of the Lungs, and is good to cure spitting of Blood. It is good against Gravel, Sand, Slime and Tartarous Matter, Obstructing the Reins, Ureters and Bladder, and prevail against Vapors in Women, Obstructions of the Womb, and Hysterick fits. Dose from one spoonful to four, or six, mixt with any proper Vehicle.

XV. The Saline Tincture of Seeds, or Leaves. It powerfully opens Obstructions of the Womb, Reins, and Bladder, bringing away the Matter causing the Obstruction: Outwardly, it is good to wash the part bitten by a Mad Dog, for it draws out the malignity and Poison. Dose inwardly j. or ij drams in Arsmart or Parsly Water, or any other proper Vehicle.

XVI. The Oily Tincture. It is an excellent thing against Punctures, and other Wounds of the Nerves, prevails against Cramps and Convulsions, inwardly given from twenty to thirty Drops, and outwardly applied.

XVII. The Decoction of the Root. Drank liberally for some time, it has been found very good to exterminate the Reliques of the French Disease: The Decoction of the Root, as also of the Seed, is commended by Dioscorides against the Tooth-ach, being held in the Mouth. It is also good to foment withal against Burnings and Kibed heels: and made with Wine, and drank, it prevails against the Strangury.

XVIII. The Pouder of the Root. It is good against spitting Blood, helpful in Consumptions, and expels Sand, Gravel, and Tartarous Matter out of the Reins, Ureters and Bladder. Dose one or two drams in White or Red Wine, &c.

XIX. The Pouder of the Seed. Taken to one dram, in a proper Vehicle, it is an excellent thing against Sand, Gravel, or Tartarous Matter in Reins or Bladder, and gives ease in the Strangury, and other like Diseases of those parts: and drank with Wine for forty days together, it wonderfully helps the Sciatica.

XX. The Conserve of the Roots. It is helpful in Consumptions, and good for such as are troubled' with the Stone, or any Flux of the Bowels.

XXI. The Mixture. Take Juice of the Root, which make with Alicant two pounds: Old Tent, a pint and half: mix them. Four ounces of this being drank Morning, Noon and Night, (after due purging) is good against the Running of the Reins in Men, and the Whites in Women. Or thus: Take Juice of the Root, made as aforesaid, twelve ounces: old Tent eight ounces: Yolks of new laid Eggs, n° iiij: pouder of Acorns, an ounce and half: Nutmegs in pouder half an ounce: mix them. It has the Virtues of the former, besides which, it eases pain in the Reins, and wonderfully strengthens a weak Back.

XXII. The Cataplasm. Made of the Leaves Bruised, with the White of an Egg, and laid on any place burnt with fire, it takes the fire out, gives sudden ease, and afterwards heals it. The Roots made into a Cataplasm by being beaten with Salt, and applied (as Apuleius says) to the biting of a Mad Dog, cures it, and so speedily frees the Patient from all danger. Columella says, the Cataplasm made of the Leaves beaten up with Salt, being laid upon the biting of a Viper (the part being first scarrified with a Lancet) draws out the Poison. The former Cataplasm of the Roots with Salt is more available than the former against the Poison of Serpents; and being applied, is also good against the Kings-Evil.

XXIII. The Salt from the Ashes. Taken in White Wine, Arsmart, or Parsley Water, from a scruple to half a dram, it is good to provoke Urine, cleanse the Urinary Passages, and to carry off the Watry Humor in Dropsies.

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