Chap. 119. Of Centory the Lesser.
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I. The Names. It is called in Arabick, Kan-A tarion Sages, and Canturion Sege, or Segir : Ktv-nLveiov το (/jk&v : In Latin, Centaurium vnnus, Κ parvum : Of some, Centaurea, febrifuga.
from its Quality h Eel Tcrrx, from its exceihve bit-terness. Dioscorides says, it was called Limnefion-, and Rimy, Libadiok, because it loves to grow, in moist places. It is thought to be that Plant which Theophraftus called Leptophyllum : In English, Centory the lesser, and Lesser Centory.
II. T])e Kinds. It is no Species of the Greater Centory, nor claims any the least Kindred with it, having no Relation in any kind, but only in the name, and therefore is Genus or General it self It is fix fold, as growing with us, viz. 1. Centaurium minus vulgare flore rubente. The Common Red Small Centory. 2. Centaurium minus flore albo, White flowered Centory. 3. Centaurium minus lute urn, Small yellow Centory. 4. Centaurium minus luteum perfoliatum ramofum, Branched through-leav'd Small yellow Centory. $. Centaurium minus luteum non ramofum, Small yellow Centory, not Branched. 6. Centaurium minimum luteum, The very small, or smalleft yellow Centory.
III. The Descriptions. The first of these, which is our Common small Centory, has a Root small and hard, perishing every year, from whence J'prings up for the most part, but one round and crefted Stalk, about a foot high, or something more, branching out at the top into many Sprigs or Branches, and some also Jrom the Joints of the Stalks below. The Leaves are small, and a little roundifi, very like unto St, John'x Wort, but without any holes in them, as that has.. The Flowers stand at the tops, as it were in a Tuft or Umble, and are of a pale red color, tending to. a Carnation. They consist of jive, and sometimes of fix, small Leaves, very like unto those of Hype-ricon, opening them]elves in the Day time, ana clo-jing at Night, after which come Seed in little jhort Husks, and in form like unto Wheat Corns. The whole Plant is of an exceeding bitter Taste.
IV. The second, with the White Flower, differs nothing from the other, ftjs to the form, neither in Root, Stalk, Leaves, Height, Flowers or Seed,faving only in the color of the Flowers, which is White, as the other is Red; and the bitter taste is the same in its full Latitude.
V The third which is the Small Yellow Centory, is a little like to the second, and a little greater than it · the Leaves are also larger and broader, and broad at the bottom, but yet not so broad as to encompafs the Stalk, as the next does: the Flowers are also a little greater, and yellow, which is the princtpal thing m which it differs from the last; and withal the whole Plant is not altogether so bitter.
VI. The fourth, which is the Through-leav'd Centory, has a Root small and white, like the former, from ζώο nee comes some Leaves next the ground
like unto the former Centories, but somewhat greater, trom this Root comes fo>th a Stalk, which sometimes spreads it self forth into many long Branches, from every one of the Joints · and J metimes it spreads it self only at top : At the Joints β and two some-■hat broad and long pointed Leaves, so encompaffng the Stalk about the bottom, and making it feem as if it run through them, that they zcill hold the Rain, or any Water which falls upon them : Die Flowers which β and at the tops of the small Branches are a little larger than those of the Common Centory, composed of fix or eight Leaves, of a fine pale yellow color, and sometimes of a deeper yellow; after which comes larger Heads than those in the fir If, and Seed a little bigger. This Plant is net full out so bitter as the fir If.
VII. V>e fifth, which is a Small yellow Centory not Branched, and difiers not in Leaf or blower from the fourth: The Stalk bears perforated Leaves, but Jpread not themselves forth in Branches, as the former doth : It bears also but one only blower at the top, which thing, together with its net being branched, makes it to be different, and another Species of the perfoliated kind, the whole Plant is less bitter than the first.
VIII. The fixth, and smalleft of the Yellow Cen-tories difiers very little from the fifth, or lafl defer/-bed Through leav'd Centory, excepting in this, that it is wholly less in every part of it, and whereas the former bears but one blower at the top of it, this bears two or three, and sometimes more, small Flow-ers at the top of every of its Branches.
IX. The Places. The first grows m great plenty throughout ail England, in most Pastures and Graf fy Fields,: and indeed they are all of them found in many places of this Kingdom, but the first ot common sort almost every where, in Fields, Pastures and Woods, but that with the White flowers is more sparingly to be had than the first. The first I found
growing in the South parts of Carolina, in many Plantations, but particularly in that, formerly Captain Abbot's, up Wando River, about five Miles from Charles Town : The third of these enumerated in this Chapter, grows in many places in Kent, as in a Field next unto that which was formerly Sir Francis Carew's Houle, at Bedington near Croydon; and in a Field next beyond Southflect Church towards Gravefend, and in many other places, where also the other kinds are sometimes found.
X. The Times. They all Flower in July and August, and their Seed is ripe in about a Month after. They ought to be gathered in their blower-ing time : but some people out of a meer Superfti-tion, gather them between the two Lady-days.
XI. The Qualities. They are generally hot and dry in the second Degree : but Gerard says, that our third, which is the firfi yellow Centory, is hot and dry in the third Degree, and yet it is not so bitter as the first. They are all highly Stomatick, PeRoral, Hepatick, Splenetick, and Hysterick : they are noble Aperitives, and AbfteTfives,Vulneraries, Alteratives, and Emmenagogicks.
XII. The Specification. It is Antifebritick, and good against Distempers of the .Stomach.
XIII. The Preparations. You may have therefrom, I. A liquid Juice. 2. An Essence. 3· ^n Injujion. 4. A Decoction. Oil by Infolation or Boiling. Balsam.
. A Pouder. 6. Μ η. AnOintment. 8· Δ ίο. A Distilled Wafer. 12. AnAcidTmUure. A Saline Tincture.9. A Cataplasm. 11. A Spirituous Tincture. 13. An Oily Tincture. 14. 1?. A Spirit. 16. ACollyrium. 17. AEixedSalt from the Ashes. 18. An Effential Salt.
XIV. The liquid Juice. Being given from four to fix ounces two hours before the coming of the fit of an Ague (as aifo given in the same quanity Morning and Evening for some days ) it removes the fit, and perfectly cures the Ague. It evacuates and carries off Cholerick and Grofs Humors, and prevails against the Sciatica : And yet with Dodo-nxus, I do not perceive that it has any fenfible Purging, or Carthartick quality, though in the mean time, many things which are not purely Catharticks or Purging, are tbund to be very cleansing, and in palling oft themfeives, carry many other Humors along with them.
XV. The Essence: This has all the Virtues of the Juice it opens Obstructions of the Gall, Liver, Spleen, Reins and Womb, prevails against Hypo-chominack Melancholly, and the Yellow Jaundice; it eales Pains in the Sides, and hardness of the Spleen, making thin both Blood and Humors. It is of good use for those that have the Dropsie, or Green-sickness, because it strengthens the Stomach, and all the other Vijcera : I know some will not allow it to cure the Dropsie but this I know, that if the Hydropick Humors are carried oft by other means, and the parts affected are once emptied of their Water, that if this Essence be duly given, it so strengthens the Bowels, that that Disease returns no more. It kills Worms in the Belly, and drys up Rheums.
XVI. The Infusion in Wine. It cleanses gross Humors, and eases pains in the Hips, the Gout, and other like Diseases proceeding from Tartarous Humors : Ir is good in Agues, strengthens the Stomach, helps Digestion, and causes a good Appetite. It also prevails against Stitches, pains of the Sides, and other difaftecFions of the P/eura.
XVII. The Decoction. It has the Virtues of the Infusion, is good against Agues, Catarrhs, and the vehement pains of the Colick : It provokes the Terms in Women; and brings away the Birth, whether dead or alive, as also the After-birth, eafing the pains of Mother, and causing an effectual Cleanfing after Delivery. It is good against the Rickets in Children, evacuates Tartar out of the Urinary Paifages, and brings away Sand and Gravel, ftopping the passage of the Urine.
XVIII. The Pouder. Taken to one dram in Wine, it gives ease in the Colick, kills Worms in Children, and ( as Parkinson says ) is a wonderful good help against the biting and poifon of a Viper or Adder. Strewed upon moist and running Sores and Ulcers, it cleanses, drys, and heals them.
XIX. The Oil by Inflation or Boiling. It is Ano-dyn, eases the Spleen, and pains of the Mother, and is very effectual in all old pains of the Joints, and Limbs, as Gouts, Sciatica, Convulsions, Cramps, &c. proceeding from a Cold Cause. It is also a very good thing to anoint Womens Breasts which are fwoln, hard, or pained, through Cold, or Curdling of the Milk, or any other accident, as of a blow, ijfc
XX. The Ointment. It has the Virtues of the Oil, but is more lengthening and fanative : It cleanses, drys, and heals foul Ulcers, and other fpreading Scabs of the Head h and to anoint the Back-bone and Joints of such Children as have gotten the Rickets : It strengthens and gives ease in pains of the Back, by anointing therewith.
XXL The Balsam. It is an incomparable Vulnerary, and cures simple Green Wounds at the first intention. If they are composed^ by bruiting, and dilaceration of the fleih, it first digests, then clean-
ies, drys, and heals them : It also cleanses foul and foetid Ulcers, rills them up with fleih, and coniolf-dates their lips. It heals old running Sores, clean* fing, incarnating and drying, and perfectly curing them^tho1 Hollow, or Fiftulous.
XXII. The Cataplasm, made of the green Herb. It has the Virtues of the Balsam, but is Lin cfpeciaj thing for cleansing and healing putrid Ulcei's in what part soever, if duly applied thrice a an ν ? wafhing the hollowness or filtulous part also with an Expressed Juice of the Herb.
XXIII. The Distilled Water. It has the Virtues of the Infusion or Decoction, but is pleasanter, as being lels bitter h but by so much, it is the leis efficacious : and is many times used as a Vehicuium, to convey other Preparations of the Herb in : It js said to take away Tanning of the Skin, Sun-burning, and other the like difaffecFions.
XXIV. The Spirituous Tincture. It comforts all the Viscera after a singular manner; and therefore it it is taken from one dram to four drams, Morning, Noon, and Night, it ib strengthens the Bowels, as that it prevents the return of a Dropsie in those Persons where it has been lately cured. It also removes the Gout out of the Stomach, ( which many times is fatal) is good against the Jaundice, and Hypochondriack Melancholly : It is indeed a good remedy against the bitings of Vipers, Rattle-Snakes, and other Serpents, as also the Poison of Mad Dogs.
XXV. The Acid Tincture. It is excellent against Vapors, Fits of the Mother, and other dilaffections of the Womb. It strengthens a weak Stomach, resists Vomiting, causes a good Appetite and Digestion, removing faintness and sickness at heart. It is good against Poison, and the Plague, as also all Putrid, Malign, and pestilential Diseases, being taken in all that the fick drinks from twenty to sorty drops at a time, at least five or fix times a day ; it takes away the malignity of the Diitemper, and wonderfully abates the putrid heat of the Fever, whether Continent, Continual or Contermitting.
XXVI. The Oily Tincture. It carries off the yellow Jaundice, as also the Morbifick cause of Obstructions of the Reins and Ureters by Urine: being given from one dram to two drams, in a good draught of Carduus Poffet-drink, it has been known to cure Agues : more especially it the Spina Dorfi be effectually anointed therewith, from the Vertebra of the Neck almost to the Anus. Anointed on the sides, it eases their Pains : and given inwardly, gives ease in the Colick. Given to a Woman in Labor from fifteen to thirty or sorty drops, in some convenient Vehicle, it facilitates the Delivery, whether alive or dead, and effectually brings away the After-birth.
XXVII. The Saline Tincture: It is good against foul Ulcers, and fpreading Scabs of the Head, or other parts; takes away Cutaneous Deformities, as Tannings, Sun-burnings, Spots, Marks, Scurf, Dand-riff, Morphew, and other like defects of the skin: And being long applied, it is said to remove Freckles, tho' of great continuance.
XXVIII. The Spirit. It strengthens the Stomach wonderfully, chears the Heart, revives the Spirits, and sortifies the Univerfal Oeconomy of Nature: it is good against Vomiting, and Indigestiui, and causes a good Appetite to Food makes a freih and lively Countenance, and restores the Priftine ftate of the Bowels. It is a very good thing against Diarrheas, Dyjcntenas, Lientends, and the Hepatick Flux, and gives eaie in an exquifite Colick, when lometimes many other things will do nothing. Dose from one spoonful to two, in some proper
XXIX. The Collyrium. It is made of the Liquid face, or tjfnee, mixt with an equal quantity oj clarified Honey. Being put into the Eyes, four, five or fix times a day, it clears them frcm Dimness, Milts or Qouds, or any thing which obfuicates or hinders the fight : and" if a little Spirit of Wine ( about an eighth part ) be added to it, it becomes profitable for fore, inflamed and running Eyes ; it strengthens the weakned part, and powerfully Hops the fluxion. It also cleanses Ulcers in the Eyes, drys, and heals them: And I was was informed by a very skiltul Chirurgion, that he once cured a Fi-flulaLachrymalis therewith, by injecting it in, with a proper Syringe. This I am fure of, that it lingu-larly cleanses, and drys hollow Ulcers in other parts of the Body, and disposes them to an effectual hearing j and drys up moist Scabs, and other breakings out like Scurf or Morphew, though of long Handing, if it is aifiduouily used and applied for ibme time. Taken inwardly, from half an ounce to two ounces at a time, it prevails against Colds, Coughs, Hoarsness, Wheazings, Ihortness of Breath, difficulty of Breathing, and other difarfecFions of the Lungs. Being thus continued for some confi-derable time, I have known it to cure Ulcers of the Lungs >, the Patient drinking with it, new Mil warm, sweetned with double refined Suger, drink ing no orher Liquor, and wholly forbearing a' Wines, and Maulted Drinks.
XXX. The tixed Salt. It is highly Antifebritick and Diuretick. Diffolved to one dram in the Di Itilled Water, and so drank, it carries off the Mor bifick cause of ail Fevers by Urine, and cleanses al the Urinary parts of Gravel, Sand, and Tartar, lodg ed in them. It is also excellent good against the yellow Jaundice, and all Obstructions of the Liver, Spleen, Reins, and Womb. It diflblves Choler in the Body, and catts it out by Urine : Take of this Salt half an ounce : of the distilled Water a pint mix and dissolve. This cures Cutaneous Diseases, and takes off Freckles from the Face, if constantly used tor ibme time; and also removes other defbr mi ties of the Skin. t
XXXI. The Effential Salt. It has all the Virtues of the Liquid Juice and Essence, and may be given in all those Cases from one dram to two or three drams at a time, in a glass of generous Wine, Morn ing and Evening. It is a great Stomatick, anc Sweetner of the Blood ; a noble Antifebritick; anc kills Worms in Young or Old, being taken for some time. It is highly Traumatick, and therefore good to be taken Dietetically, by such as hare Wounds and Ulcers about them.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.