Chap. 101. Of Burnet.

Burnet, Small. Burnet, Large Common.

I. The Names. It is called in Greek by Nicolaus Myrepsus, *******, or as Gesner has it, ********: In Latin, Pimpinella, Sanguisorba, Bipennula, Peponella, Sorbastrella; and Sanguinaria, quod Sanguineos fluxus sistat: In English, Burnet.

1. Pimpinella vulgaris sive minor, The Common or Lesser Burnet. (Sanguisorba minor. -Henriette.)
2. Pimpinella inodora, Smelless Burnet. (No idea. -Henriette.)
3. Sanguisorba seu Pimpinella Major sive Sylvestris, Great or Wild Burnet. (Sanguisorba officinalis. -Henriette.)
4. Pimpinella Maxima Americana, The Greatest, or American Burnet. (Sanguisorba canadensis. -Henriette.)

Where Note, that some Authors think our Garden or Field Burnet to be the Sideritis secunda Dioscoridis but I think them to be mistaken, because this latter answers in the form of the Flowers to our Burnet.

III. The Description. The first of these has a Root which is small and long, and of a blackish brown on the out side, growing deep into the Earth, with some Fibres thereat; from whence comes forth many long ringed Leaves, spread upon the Ground, which consist of divers small roundish, or rather Oval leaves, green on the upper-side, and grayish underneath, finely dented about the edges, set on each side of a middle rib: amongst which rise up several crested brown Stalks a foot high or better, and in rank ground sometimes a foot and half high, with some smaller Leaves set in some places thereon, divided into several Branches. At the Tops grow small round loose heads, upon long Footstalks of a brownish color, from whence start forth small purplish Flowers, and after them cornered Seed. The whole Plant has a pleasant quick Smell and Taste, much like to the favor of a Smelt, and put into a Glass of Wine, gives it a pleasant Relish.

IV. The Inodorous Burnet in Roots, Stalks, Leaves, and Heads, is altogether like the former, save that the Leaves are not so round, but something longer, and have no manifest Smell or Taste in them.

V. The Great or Field Burnet, has a Root black, and long like the first kind, but greater, from whence springs up such like winged Leaves, but nothing so many, and each of those Ieaves on the Wings, are twice as large least as the other, and nicked about the edges in the same manner, of a grayish color on the under side: Stalks are greater, and rise higher, with many such like Leaves set thereon, and greater round heads on the Tops, of a brownish green color, out which come small dark purple Flowers: very much like the former, but greater: The Plant itself has very little of Smell or Taste in it, which can be perceived.

VI. The American great Burnet, has a Root much greater than the former, and woody, longer also, and blacker than the last; but in all its other parts, it is like our Field Burnet, but much greater: often times all its Leaves are of a blewish green on the upper side, and folded half way together inward, so that the under sides of the Leaves, which are greyish, shew themselves upwards; and they are dented somewhat deeply about the edges, with greater dents, which makes them shew the more comely and pleasant. The tops of the Stalks bear smaller, and much longer, whitish green spiked heads, set thick with Knaps, each of which when it flowers (beginning below, and so rising higher) shews to be four whitish green Leaves, having many small white long threads in the midst; after which come in their places cornered Seed like the other. The whole Plant has not much smell, but in its Taste, is much like the first.

VII. The Places. The first grows wild in several Counties of our Land, in dry sandy places, but is usually kept in Gardens.
The second, Bauhin saith is found in Spain, and I have found it in some Meadows in Norfolk, not far from Lyn Regis.
The third is found in several Counties of England, in the Meadows in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire; as also near London, by Pancras Church, in two or three Fields nigh Booby’s-Barn, and in the middle of a Field by Paddington: I have also found it in some Fields between London and Newington, as also going towards the Boarded River.
The last is found in the French Settlements in Canada, and in the North parts of Virginia, where it is Natural: from whence it has been transplanted to us, and is nourished up in Gardens.

VIII. The Times. They all flower in June, and beginning of July; and their Seed is ripe in August.

IX. The Qualities. They are generally hot and dry; the first of them in the Second Degree; the other three in the First Degree: They are Incarnative, Astringent, Styptick, Repercussive, and Traumatick, or Vulnerary: Cephalick, Neurotick, Stomatick, Cardiack, and Alterative: Alexipharmick, and Analeptick.

X. The Specification. Burnet is a peculiar Plant for stopping all sorts of Fluxes of Blood; whence came the names Sanguisorba, and Sanguinaria.

1. A liquid Juice.
2. A Decoction.
3. A Syrup.
4. A Wine.
5. A Vinegar.
6. A Spirituous Tincture.
7. An Acid Tincture.
8. A Pouder.
9. An Oil.
10. An Ointment.
11. A Balsam.
12. A Spirit.
13. The Seed.

The Virtues.

XIII. The Decoction. It has the Virtues of the liquid Juice, but is much weaker, yet very good to repress Vapors in Women. Dose six ounces Morning and Evening.

XIV. The Syrup. It is excellent against spitting of Blood, and heals Bloody-fluxes of the Bowels; and it is so much the more effectual with Steeled Water or Wine: If it is made of the Juice, it is good for healing all sorts of Wounds of Head and Body, inward or outward, for all old Ulcers, Ulcerated Cancers, and Running Sores, which are hard to be cured. Dose two or three ounces at a time.

XV. The Wine. It chears the Heart, revives the Spirits; and is good against Melancholly, drooping of the Mind, and fainting of the Heart.

XVI. The Vinegar. It is a special thing to preserve from, and cure the Plague or Pestilence, the Spotted Fever, or any other malign acute Disease of that kind; for it in a special manner defends the Heart from Poisonous and Noisom Vapors, and all contagious Diseases, being given mixed with the Juice in equal quantities, and the Patient laid to Sweat thereupon. Dose three ounces.

XVII. The Spirituous Tincture. It comforts and warms The Stomach and Bowels, strengthens Nature, and takes away the weakness of the Stomach and Intestines, thereby stopping Fluxes of the Belly of all kinds: It strengthens the Heart and Liver, and other principal Parts, and therefore is good against Faintings and Swoonings. Dose one spoonful at a time in a Glass of Wine.

XVIII. The Acid Tincture. This has all the Virtues of the Vinegar aforegoing, but is much more powerful than it, to all the purposes and intentions there specified: besides this is an extraordinary Stomatick, and therefore powerful in stopping Vomitings, and also spitting of Blood, being given in a Glass of Canary, or Red Port Wine. Dole thirty or forty drops, to fifty or sixty, two or three times a day.

XIX. The Pouder. Used outwardly to old Ulcers, moist and running Sores, it drys them up wonderfully, and prepares them for healing. It may be made of the whole Plant.

XX. The Oil. It is used to abate Inflammations, ease Pains, strengthen weak Parts, cure Burnings and Scaldings, and to draw malignity out of Wounds made by the bitings of Venomous Beasts.

XXI. The Ointment. It has the Virtues of the Oil, but penetrates not so much, yet is more effectual for the cure of Wounds, Ulcers, and other Running and Malignant Sores.

XXII. The Balsam. If it is made of the Juice, or green Herb, it is one of the best Vulneraries in the World: it digests, cleanses, drys, strengthens and heals all green Wounds, old Ulcers, running Sores, and other ill natured Diseases of that kind. It is certainly a most excellent Wound Balsam. If it is mixed with Pouder of Scammony, it takes away rotten Flesh, and destroys Putridity or Rottenness.

XXIII. The Spirit. It stops inward Bleedings, comforts the Heart and Bowels, and is an excellent thing against Fluxes of the Belly of all kinds, more especially the Bloody-flux, and the-overflowing of the Terms in Women: and this it does the more powerfully, if a little Catechu be dissolved in it. It prevails also against the Contagion of the Plague. Dose from one dram to half an ounce.

XXIV. The Seed made into a Pouder. This, says Parkinson, is no less effectual, both to stop Fluxes, and to dry up moist or running Sores, being given inwardly (to one dram) in steeled Water or Wine, that is, if Water in which hot Gadds of Steel have been quenched; or if Wine, in which old Nails have been infused for two or three Months beforehand: The pouder of the Seed may also be mixed with Ointments or Injections.

XXV. The American Burnet has all the same Preparations with our English, and the same Virtues, Uses, and Doses.

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