Chap. 122. Of Cherry Winter.
I. The Names. It is called! in Greek, Χτ$ίχτ&9 L χ) -Στξνχνθ- ακικΛκαββ-: In Arabick, Keken-gi, iff Alkekengi : In Latin, Alkakengi, Halicaca-bum, Solanum Halicacabum Theopbrafti, Vesicarium Plinij, Saxijraga quart a rubra Brunfelfij, and Solanum Vesicarium : In English, Winter Cherries.
II. The Kinds. Parkinson says, it is one of the kinds of Solana, or Kight-Jhades, let forth and lpo-ken of by Dioscorides and Galen, and one of the two of Tl)eopbralius. We make two Kinds thereof, 1. Halicacabum five Alkakengi Vulgare, Our Common Winter Cherry. 2. Halicacabum five Alkakengi Virginienfe, The Virginian Winter Cherry. There is another Plant, which some Authors have joined with Winter Cherries, and called it, Helicacabum Percgrinum, Vesicaria Peregrina, and Helicacabum Repcns, Winter Cherries Creeping, as Tragus, Euchjius, Gefner, Mattbiolus, Dodo-noeus, and others but Cordus oppofes, and makes it another Plant : Bauhinits puts it among the Peafe, as a kind thereof; and calls it Pifum Vesicarium : Lobel thinks it to be the Ifopyum Diof-coridis, and calls it, Cor Indum, Pifum Indicum, and Pifum Cordatum; for all which Reafons, it being rather a Grain than a Berry, we have tor-born to put it in this place : and so much the more also, because it is no Kative or Den if on of our Ccuntrey, nor does it grow naturally, as some think, in any Part of Europe.
III. The description. Our Common Winter Cherry has a running or creeping Root in the Ground, long, and not much unlike to the Roots of Quitcb-grajs running very far abroad under the upper crust of the Earth causing it greatly to encrease 5 it is sometimes of the thickness of ones little Finger, floot-ing forth at several Joints, and in several places, by which means it quickly fills a great piece of Ground. From this Root rises up a Stalk tiw or three teet high, round, slender, smooth, and somewhat reddijh, reeling this way, and that way
by reason of its weakness : upon whichcome forth many broad and long green Leaves, not much unlike to those of Common Nightihade. but larger : at the Joints whereof, and among which Leaves come forth whitijh flowers, consisting of five small Leaves apiece : In the middle of which Flower comes forth a Berry, green at first, and red when it is ripe, like almost in color and bigness to our Common Red Cherries ( whence the Englilh name-,) These Berries are enclosed in Skins, or Bladders, of a pale reddish color. In the Berry is contained a reddish Pulp, and the Seed lying in the same, which are many, small, and fiat, and of a pale yellow color.
IV. The American kind, has a small Root fpreading under ground, but not so far as the former, and perishes every Lear. From this Root comes forth Branches with Leaves on the ground, scarcely rising upfo much as the other, seldom above eighteen or twenty Inches high, ( which I observed when in its pcrfetlion, and growing upon fertil ground ) but the Branches are greater, as also are the Leaves, and something more uneven about the edges, of a fad, or d§cp green, almost of a Sea-green color : at the Joints come forth the Flowers singly, to wit, one at a place, and more towards the bottom than up' wards ( this I observed not, for I always found each Plant very full of Fruit, almost from the bottom to the very top:) but as they grow to the height of the Branches, both Flowers and Fruit are rather smaller than those which are below : the Flowers are composed of five small whitish Leaves, with a Circle of red, or every Leaf is spotted Circle-wife towards their bottoms : the Flowers being past there follows the Fruit, enclosed in a thin Skm or Bladderx of λ whitijh, orpale greenish color h and not full cut so big as the-former. Within this Husk or Bladder is contained the Berry, which never.grows full out so large as our English Winter Cherrv, yet wbilft re-cent, fills almost the Bladder in which it is contained : when the G?erry or Berry comes to its perje* tfion, it is never red, but of a pale whitijh green
color, sometimes of an Amber color, or of a light paliffi yellow and sometimes those which the Sun looks full upon, may have jome small freaks of red, mixed ivith Amber-colored and pale yellowish green colored. The Berry contains a Pulp like the English, but whitifl) yellow, or green, in which Pulp is contained the Seed, which is small and flat, like the other, an1 of a ivhitifib color. ·
V. The Places. The first grows by Hedge sides, and old Walls, and about the Borders of Fields, in moist and shadowy places (this it may poffibly do, in several Southern Regions and Countries beyond Sea ). but with us it grows chiefly in Gardens. The other grows Wild in English Plantations in Virginia. I found it growing in a Plantation up Wadmalaw River in Carolina, and in fevetal other Plantations of that Country, where it grew fpontaneoufly, and that in vaft plenty. Parkinfom makes mention of a third kind of Weft India Alkakengi, which I take to be the same with that before described, and differs from it only in largeness, and strength of its Stalks, Branches and Berries, which I believe arises only from the differing goodness of the Soil, they
• being in all other refpecFs exactly the same. I have found them both growing on the same ground, but could not poffibly take them to be two differing Species of the same Genus.
VI. The Times. They Flower about the middle or latter end of July; and the Fruit is ripe about the latter end of August. In Carolina they flower something earlier.
VII. The Qualities. The Herb is cold and moist in the second Degree, not Aperitive : but the Berries are of the same Quality, and Opening Diuretick, Nephretick, Alterative, and Lithontriptick.
VIII. The Specification. They are peculiar against Obstructions of the Reins, Ureters, and Bladder, and to help in the Strangury, Stone, Gravel, Sand, and Tartarous matter, lodged in those Parts.
IX. The Preparations. You may have therefrom,
1. A Distilled Water from the Bruit or Leaves.
2. A Juice of the Fruit made with White Wine.
3. An Infusion or Decoction of the Berries. 4. A Diet Drink. A Pouder of the Berries. 6< An Oil of the Root. 7. A Cataplasm of the Leaves or Fruit.
X. The Difiilled Water. It is Cooling and Diuretick : It may be Distilled from the Fruit or Leaves with a little Milk. It may be drank from two ounces to five or fix, sweetned with a little Sugar, Morning and Evening, against the Strangury, heat of Urine, and all the Distempers of the Urinary Parts.
XI. The Juice of the Fruit. It may be given from one ounce to two, in a glass of White Port Wine, against Stone, Gravel, Sand, Tartarous Mucilage, or what ever stops the Urine in either Reins, Ureters, or Bladder: but it is not so powerful as the pouder.
XII. The Infusion or Decoction of the Berries in White Wine, or Water. It opens the Urinary Parts, and is an excellent thing against the Strangury, provoking the Urine plentifully when it is stopped, or grows hot, sharp, or painful in the Passage. It is good to expel the Stone and Gravel out of the Reins and Bladder, helping ( where it is composed of a gritty Substance) to diifolve it, and to expel and lend it forth by Urine in form of Sand or Gravel. It is good to cleanse inward Apoftemations, and Ulcers in the Urinary Parts, and to relieve such as make a foul, filthy, or stinking Urine, or that pi is Blood. It is profitable also against the Jaundice,
by carrying off the Morbifick Cause by Urine. Dole from tour to eight ounces, Morning, Noon, and Night: and to be continued as the Exigency of the DilEase requires. #
XIII. The Diet Drink. It is made of the Berries put up into new Wine, when it is new made, that working with the Berries therein, their Virtues may be drawn forth into the Wine. Or because our Country affords not new Wine in the Muft, yoti may put them into new Beer, or Ale, as you set them to Work, and also Tun them up therewith, that they may fully Work with the same. The proportion is two large handfuls, whilst green, to a Gallon of Wine or Ale : and one large handful well bruised when dry. This may be drank as ordinary drink, but at least a Pint of it Morning, Noon and Night. It has all the Virtues of the Infusion or Decoction.
XIV. The Pouder. It is made of the dried Berries, in which the Seeds themselves are reduced into a Pouder. The Dole is from fifteen grains to half a dram, Morning and Night, in a Glass of White Port Wine. Or you may Infufe it in the same Wine, two ounces of the Pouder to three Quarts of Wine, letting it stand in a cold Digestion a Month before hand, making the Bottle every day. When you drink it, fhake the Bottle, and pour it out thick and thin together, and let the Patient take a quarter of a Pint at a time, Pouder and all, Morning and Evening, and continue this courfe till he has found the defired relief. This Pouder, and thus taken, is much more efficacious than either the Infusion, Decoction, or Diet and ought to be very much valued of such as are troubled or afflicted with the Stone, Strangury, or stoppage of Urine.
XV. The Oil of the Root. It is good against the poifonous ftroke of the Scorpion : This Oil being applied, Parkinson says, it is powerful against their ftinging. Pliny says, that the Root hereof is so powerful to ftupifie the Venom of the Scorpion, that if it be put to them, they will utterly loose their strength.
XVI. The Cataplasm. It is cooling, and profitable to be applied to allay the heat of Inflammations, and to ease pains coming from a cold cause.