Chap. 109. Of Cammock, or Restharrow.
I. The Names. It is called in Greek by Dioscorides and Piny, ******· by Galen and Theophraftus, ***** In Latin, Anonis, and Ononis: also Aresta Bovis, Resta Bovis, Remorum Aratri: because that the Roots of it being very tough, and so deeply and strongly fastned in the Ground, it causes the Oxen which draw the Plough to be as it were at a stand for the first pull, and so stops the Plough Share, that it cannot so readily go on. In English it is called Cammock, or Rest Harrow.
II. The Kinds. Then are many kinds or it; but those which are Only Common with us, are these following five:
1. Anonis spinosa flore purpurea, Common Rest Harrow, with purplish flowers. (Ononis spinosa. -Henriette.)
2. Anonis spinosa flore albo. Rest Harrow, with white flowers, (Ononis spinosa. -Henriette.)
3. Anonis spinosa, lutea minor, Rest Harrow, with yellow flowers, the lesser. (No idea. -Henriette.)
4. Anonis non spinosa flore purpurea, Rest Harrow not thorny, with purple flowers. (Ononis repens. -Henriette.)
5. Anonis non spinosa lutea major, Rest Harrow not thorny, with yellow flowers the greater. (No idea. -Henriette.)
III. The Descriptions. The first and Common Rest Harrow, which is frequent, as well in Arable as Waste Grounds, and By-lands, has a Root which is blackish on the out side, and whitish within, very tough and hard to break, whilst it is fresh and green, and as hard and tough as a horn when it is dried, thrusting it self down very deep into the ground, and spreading it self likewise far about, every little piece, though cut off from the Stock, being apt to grow again, if it be left in the ground, From this Root it rises up, with divers tough woody twigs, two or three Feet high, set at the Joints without order, with little roundish Leaves, sometimes more than two or three at a place, of a dark green color, without thorns while they are young, but afterwards armed, or furnished with them in several places, the thorns being short but sharp. The Flowers come forth at the top of the Twigs and Branches, whereof it is full, in fashion much like to Pease or Broom-blossoms, but lesser, flatter, and somewhat closer, of a faint purplish color. They being past away, there succeed small Pods or Cods, containing within them small, flat, and round Seed.
IV. The second Rest Harrow differs not from the former in the Root, Stalks, Branches, Thorns, nor in the Leaves, save that these are of a little fresher green color; but the chief difference is in the flowers, which are very white in some places more than in others in all other things they are alike.
V. The third, which is the Lesser yellow prickly Rest Harrow with us (for the greater grows not in England) has Thorns or Prickles thereon as the others: But the Plant is lower, and smaller, not rising little above half a feet high, not differing in any other great matter from the last.
VI. The fourth, which is the Purplish Rest Harrow without Prickles, has no other difference in it from the first or Common Cammock, but in this, that it has no Thorns or Prickles upon the Sprigs or Branches, no not in the Autumn, or declining part of the Year, when the other will be full of them. Of this sort there is one also which beareth white Flowers, which makes all the difference.
VII. The fifth and last has a Root which is long, tough, rough, and blackish, spreading much about: from this Root spring forth several woody Twigs, very flexible and tough, branching forth on all sides, covered with a brownish red Bark, set pretty thick with Leaves, which are for the most part three standing together upon a long footstalk, not much unlike to Trefoil, but somewhat small, long, and narrow, with notches at the ends, much overspread with a strong Scented clamminess, which will stick so fast to the Hands of these which touch them, especially in the heat of the Year, and in hot Countries, that it is difficult to get off again. At Tops of the Branches or Twigs, stand many Pease-blossom-like flowers, of a fair yellow color, which being past away, there comes forth small and long Cods, with a crooked point at the end of each, in which is contained small flatish Seed: of this there is a lesser sort also another with a more reddish Flower.
VIII. The Places. The first, second, and fourth grow in many places of England, both in Arable Land, and Waste Grounds.
The third, Lobel saith he found growing both about London and Bristol; but Parkinson says, he never found it growing naturally.
The fifth and last I found in several places of Florida, as in the Southern Provinces of Carolina. It also grows about Narbone and Monpeliere in France; as also in Spain and Portugal.
IX. The Times. They all flower about the beginning or middle of July, and the Seed is ripe in August.
X. The Qualities. Galen says, that the Root of Rest Harrow is hot in the third Degree; it is also drying, but seems not to exceed the second Degree: It is Abstersive, Aperitive, Astringent, Diuretick, Traumatick, or Vulnerary; Nephritick, Arthritick, and Alterative.
IX. The Specification. It is peculiar to destroy Viscosity or Tartar in the Reins and Urinary parts, to open their Obstructions, and to cleanse them.
1. A Decoction in Wine from the Bark of the Root.
2. A Decoction in Vinegar from the same.
3. A Pouder of the said Bark.
4. A Distilled Water of the Roots.
5. A Spirituous Tincture.
6. An Acid Tincture.
7. An Oily Tincture.
8. A Saline Tincture.
The Bark of the Root is that in this Plant, which is chiefly used.
XIV. The Decoction in Vinegar. Being gargled in the Mouth, it eases the Tooth-ach, more especially when it proceeds from Rheum; it also heals Cankers in Childrens Mouths, and other Running Sores, and Ulcers in the Gums, Mouth, and Throat, if they be three or four times a day gargled, and washt therewith.
XV. The Pouder of the Bark of the Root. Parkinson says, it is good to provoke Urine when it is stopt, and to break and drive forth the Stone effectually, being taken to one or two drams in generous Wine. Matthiolus says, that he knew divers freed from those Diseases, that used the said Pouder in Wine for many Days together. The said Pouder is also good to help the Hernia Carnosa, or Fleshy Rupture, which Fleshy Carnosity it consumes by little and little, taking it constantly for some Months together: and this it has done when the Physicians and Chirurgions had given them over as desperate, or no other ways to be cured, but by Cutting, &c. being strewed upon the hard, callous brims or edges of Ulcers; or if the said Pouder be mixed with Honey, or with any proper Balsam, and applied, it consumes the hardness, and causes the Ulcer to heal.
XVI. The Distilled Water of the Roots. To every pound of the Roots sliced, put a quart of Canary: digest forty eight hours warm, then draw off the Water to dryness in a gentle Balneo. It is good for all the purposes aforesaid, and to cleanse the passages of the Urine, not suffering any Tartarous, Viscous or Clammy matter to gather together in those parts, so as to harden, or become a Stone.
XVII. The Spirituous Tincture. It is a very good Stomatick, and admirably strengthens the Bowels, stopping Vomiting, and all sorts of fluxes thereof, as Diarhaea’s, Dysenteria's, Lienteria’s, and the Hepatick flux: and although it purges, and cleanses the Urinary parts of any Preternatural Matter lodged in them, yet it stops and cures pissing of Blood, and speedily heals any Wound or Ulcer in those parts.
XVIII. The Acid Tincture. It is more Stomatick than the former, and an excellent Styptick; it stops spitting of Blood, and heals Ulcers of the Lungs, if given in a proper Vehicle; and by its or dissolves Gritty Stones in the Reins or Bladder. Dose sixty or eighty drops, in Ale, Beer, or Wine.
XIX. The Oily Tincture. This is more excellent, if there is any Wound or Ulcer in the Reins or Bladder for many of those parts being Nervous; this Homogene and Oily Body wonderfully comforts the Parts, gently cleanses them of all Foreign, Tartarous, Viscous, Clammy or Sharp Humors, palliates the Pain, and in some short time heals them. If there be no Wound or Ulcer, but only Obstructions, or a weakness in the Reins and Back, it effectually opens them, smoothly cleanses them, and makes the Patient Piss free and easie, and withal so strengthens the Back, and eases the Pains thereof, as if there had never been any such Weakness, or Disaffection there. Dose twenty drops in a Glass-of Wine.
XX. The Saline Tincture. Being bathed upon any parts affected with Pimples, Scurf, Morphew, Dandriff, or other like Preternatural Eruptions of the Skin, it cleanses it, and takes them away. I was informed by a Gentlewoman who had used it tor some time, that it had taken away Tawniness, Sun-burnings, and Freckles, and cleared the Skin to admiration. Inwardly it is given to one dram in White Wine against Stone, Gravel, Sand, and other Obstructions of the Reins.
XXI. It is reported, that in former times the young Shoots, and tender Stalks, before they become prickly, were pickled up, to be eaten as a Sawce for Meat: and that they were wonderfully commended against a stinking Breath, and to take away the smell of Wine in such who had drunk too much.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.