Chap. 104. Calamint Common and Small.

Calamintha communis. Calaminta Americana. Calamint small.

I. The Names. It is called in Greek, ********** (quasi bona vel utilis Mentha) in Latin, Calamintha: and in English, Calamint, or Mountain Mint.

II. The Kinds. It is chiefly twofold,
1.*********, Calamintha vulgaris, Common Calamint of which in this Chapter.
2. ********, Calamintha agrestis, Field or Wild Calamint; of which in the next Chapter.

III. The Common Calamint, of which we here treat, is three fold, viz.
1. Calamintha vulgaris magna, The Great Common Calamint. (Clinopodium vulgare. -Henriette.)
2. Calamintha Praestantior, The Greatest Calamint, which grows plentifully in our English Plantations in America. (Calamintha grandiflora. -Henriette.)
3. Calamintha minor, The Lesser Calamint. (Calamintha nepeta. -Henriette.)

IV. The Description. Our ordinary Calamint has a Root small and woody, with divers small twigs, or fibres, spreading within the ground, not dying Annually, but abiding many Years; from which Root rise up several square hoary and woody Stalks, about a foot high, seldom higher: The Stalks and Branches have two hoary Leaves set at a Joint, about the bigness of Marjoram, or not much bigger, a little dented about the edges, and of a very piercing and quick Scent, as the whole Herb is: The Flowers stand at several places of the Stalks, from the middle almost upwards, which are small and gaping, much like to those of Mint, and of a pale blush color. The Flowers being gone, there follows small, round, blackish Seed.

V. Calamintha Praestantior Americana, has a woody Root, which abideth, and sends forth new Branches every Year. It is a Sweet Herb, and rises up to be about a foot and half high, with square, hard, and hoary Stalks, which are many, and more slender than these of the Wild Mint; on which are set at every Joint, two small, and somewhat round Leaves, deeply dented about the edges, yet larger than these of the Wild Kind, being somewhat hairy, but not very hoary, rather of a sad green color, of a very sweet Scent, and not strong or heady as the other. The Flowers are gaping, and like the former, but larger, and of a purple color; which being gone, then comes the Seed, which is black, small, round, and something like unto Purslane Seed.

VI. The Small Calamint, is another sort of the first, and is like unto it in all thing, except the magnitude, being something less, and differing chiefly in the Flowers, which are not so large by one half, and therefore denotes it to differ from the same.

VII. The Places. The first grows, in many Gardens, and in Dry and Upland Grounds, and on Heaths in many places of England. The second grows in many places of English America, it having been found in several old Plantations, after they have been Hung up for rest, as also in the Borders of several Woods. It has also been found on the Euganaean Hills near Padua, on Hills near Vicenza in Italy; on rocky Cliffs of Sevena in Provence, as also in Germany: Lobel also found it growing in England. The Small Sort is found for the most part in those places where the first is also found, or not far off from them.

VIII. The Times. They all Flower about the latter end of June, and in July, and their Seed is ripe in some short time afterwards.

IX. The Qualities. It is hot and dry in the third Degree: Aftringent, Carminative, Digestive, Discussive and Sudorifick. It is also Cephalick, Neurotick, Stomatick, Pectoral, Cordial and Hysterick: Alexipharmick and Alterative.

X. The Specification. It powerfully provokes the Terms in Women, and facilitates the Delivery of Women in Labor.

1. A Pouder of the Leaves.
2. A liquid Juice.
3. A Decoction.
4. A Distilled Water from the Herb gathered in June or July.
5. A simple Syrup of the Juice.
6. A Spirituous Tincture.
7. An Acid Tincture.
8. An Oily Tincture.
9. A Saline Tincture.
10. A Spirit.
11. A distilled Oil.
12. A Balsam.
13. An Ointment.
14. A Pessary.
15. A Cataplasm.

The Virtues.

XIII. The liquid Juice. It provokes Urine and the Terms, eases shortness of Breathing, and Cholerick Torments of the Stomach and Bowels: It also facilitates the Delivery of Women in Travel, and expels the Dead Child, and therefore Women with Child ought to forbear the use of it. Dropped into the Ears, it kills Worms in them; and opens Obstructions of Lungs, Liver, Spleen and Womb. And the Body being first well purged, if it is given from two to four ounces, to such as are troubled with a Tertian Ague, it cures it.

XIV. A Decoction in Wine. It has all the Virtues of the Liquid Juice, but not full out so powerful; but as it is less in power, so it is much more pleasant to be taken, and therefore may be given in the larger Dose. It brings down Womens Courses, and provokes Urine, and is good for those who are Bursten, or are troubled with Convulsions, Cramps, or shortness of Breath. It helps the Yellow Jaundice, and stays Vomiting, and is good against the bitings of Vipers, or other Venomous Creatures: It provokes Sweat powerfully, and therefore is singular good against all malign Fevers, as Measles, Small Pox, Spotted Fever, and the Plague it self. Dose from four to six or eight ounces.

XV. The Distilled Water. It has all the Virtues of the Decoction, but much weaker, and therefore is chiefly used as a Vehicle to convey any of the other Preparations in.

XVI. The Syrup of the Juice. It is highly Pectoral, and therefore a molt excellent thing to open all Obstructions of the Lungs, and heal their Distempers, prevailing against Colds, Coughs, Hoarsness, Wheezing, shortness of Breath, difficulty of Breathing, hardness of the Spleen, and other Distempers of the Bowels. Dose two spoonfuls Morning and Evening, for some considerable time.

XVII. The Spirituous Tincture. It is a singular thing against all manner of Malignity, Poison, and Infection whatsoever: It powerfully cures Convulsions in the Bowels, Stomach, or in any other part of the Body it strengthens Nature, chears the Heart, revives the Spirits, and is an excellent thing against cold Sweats, Faintings, Swoonings, fits, and all sorts of Deliquiums of the Spirits or Heart, and other Bowels, proceeding from Cold, or a cold and moist Cause. Dose half an ounce in a Glass of Wine, Morning fasting, and Evening, or in the time of the Paroxysm.

XVIII. The Distilled Oil. It has all the Virtues of the Juice and Decoction, but much more efficacious than either of them: being dropt ten or fifteen drops into Sugar, and so drunk in a Glass of Wine, it gives immediate relief in the Cholick and so given to a Woman in Labour, it presently forces away the Child, either alive or dead; outwardly anointed upon parts Paralytick, or affected with the Cramp, it presently gives relief in the latter, and in some few times using helps the former.

XIX. The Acid Tincture. It is most admirable against the Plague, Spotted Fever, and all other sorts of Malignant Fevers; as also against the Poison of Serpents, as Vipers, Rattle Snakes, &c. bitings of Mad Dogs, or other Venomous Creatures, the Acid destroying all sorts of malignity and Poison whatsoever: It may be given inwardly from half an ounce to two ounces every six hours in some proper Vehicle; and outwardly bathed upon the Region of the Heart, or upon the place bitten or hurt, and Cloths dipt therein may be laid on, and this three, four, or five times a day.

XX. The Oily Tincture. Given inwardly to two drams, it gives ease in the Cholick presently, and opens Obstructions of the Reins and Womb, provoking Urine, and forcing away Sand, Gravel, and other Tartarous Matter obstructing those parts: Anointed upon Spasms, it cures them in a short time: and well rubbed in, Morning and Evening for several days, upon any part troubled with the Palsie, it restores them, comforting the Nerves, and warming and strengthening the Parts afflicted: It is also profitable against the Piles, proceeding from a cold cause, (if not broken) they being anointed therewith two or three times.

XXI. The Saline Tincture. It is good to wash such parts as break out with any sharp or salt Humor, as the Leprosie of the Greeks, Scurf, Morphew, Scald Heads, Dandruff, and the like: bathed upon parts troubled with the Gout or Sciatica, and continued for some time, Morning and Evening, it gives ease of the Pain, does much good, and in time removes the Disease.

XXII. The Spirit. It is Cephalick, Neurotick, Stomatick, Cordial, and Alexipharmick: It stops Vomiting, strengthens a weak Stomach, chears the Heart, revives the Spirits, and is good against Fainting and Swooning, Vapors, and Fits of the Mother, and preserves (being taken in a Morning fasting) from the Infection of the Plague, or of the Spotted, or any other Malign Fever. You may take a spoonful or two of it at a time (if Dulcified) and that twice a day, or upon the spot, if any Paroxysm is present: It is also good to bathe with, if any thing like a Gangrene is feared.

XXIII. The Balsam. Being applied to a cold Gout, it gives ease to the Pain, and anointed upon the Hemorrhoids, or Piles, it heals and cures them.

XXIV. The Ointment. It is good to anoint Womens Breasts, which are swoln and painful, proceeding either from Cold, or Curdled Milk, or some external Violence.

XXV. The Pessary. The green Herb made into a Pessary with Wooll, and put up the Vagina Uteri, it provokes the Terms, eases the pains of the Mother, resists Vapors and Hysterick Fits, and if it is near the time of Travel, hastens and facilitates the Birth.

XXVI. The Cataplasm. It is made of the green Herb, with Lard, Crumbs of Bread, or Pouder of Bay-berries: being applied to any part pained with the Gout, it eases the Pains, abates the Tumor or Swelling, and discusses or draws forth the Humors. It must be continued Morning and Evening for some considerable time, by which means it is said to perfect those Cures. Being applied upon places black and blew, or yellow, or otherwise discolored, it takes away the ill color, and cleanses the skin.

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