Chap. 140. Of Cockle.
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I. The Names. It is called in Greek, ΑÏχνις2& X Ttf : In Latin, Lychnis Segetum, LychnOiJes Segetum h by Tragus, Githago, and makes it Rose marian<e genus fextum Anthemon foliofum Ruellij \ Nigellastrum p Anthemon Dodomei, Pseudomelan-thium Matthioli _·, Lychnis fegetum major, Bauhini ( because he rnikes the Alsine Comiculata Clufij, to' be his Lychnis fegetum minor:) In English, Cockle^ or Corn Wild Campion.
II. The Kinds. It is a singular Plant, and account ed to be one of the Wild Kinds of Campions. It is a kind of Wild or Bastard Nigella, as some Authors think _·, for which some Herbarist, from the found or likness of the word, thought it to be the true Gith, or Melanthium, but were absolutely deceived ; for it not only differs in Leaves from the true Gith, but also in other properties : if it has any resemblance to Nigella, it is more in the blackness of the Seed, than in the Flower, or in any thing else; and therefore Matthiolus called it as aforesaid, Pseudomelathium, as also divers others since him.
III. The Description. It has a small and woody Root, which perishes as soon as it has born Seed $ from whence springs up an upright hairy Stalk, shooting forth Branches on all sides, with two long hairy, or Jlft Woolly Leaves at the Joints. The flowers grow forth at the tops of the Branches, in hairy long Husks, whose ends or points are longer than any of the Campions, standing upright both before the flowers open, and after they are past, and laying them* selves between the five round pointed Leaves, when they are blown, which are of a bright reddish purple or crimson color: The Seed which follows ( which is in hard round heads ) is bigger and blacker than m any of the Wild Lychnides or Campions. Here is to be noted, that some have observed another Kind of Cockle, with white Flowers, but having no other material difference besides.
IV. The Places. Cockle grows too plentifully in most of our Corn-fields, ( chiefly in our Wheat-fields) throughout this whole Kingdom : for which cause Hippocrates calls it Melanthium ex Tritico.
V. The Times. It Flowers in the beginning of Summer, and the Seed is ripe in Harvest-time.
VI. The Qualities. It is hot and dry in the end of the second Degree _·, Aperitive, Cleansing, Narcotick, and Hysterick.
VII. The Specification. It is peculiar against Scabs and running Sores.
VIII. The Preparations. You may prepare therefrom, i. A Decoction of the Herb in Red Port Wine. 2. A liquid Juice. 3. A Decoction of the Flowers in Red Port Wine. 4. A Pouder of the Flowers. 5. A Decoction of the Seed in Wine. 6. A Pouder of the Seed. 7. A Pessary of the Seed. 8. A Balsam.
IX. The Decoction of the Herb in Red Port Wine. Being taken inwardly two or three ounces at a time, it is good to stop the Terms in Women, as also the Whites, and to stop any inward Bleeding _·, it is good also to open Obstructions of the Reins, Ureters and Bladder, and to provoke Urine, and expel Stones, Gravel, Sand, and other Tartarous Matter.
X. The Liquid Juice. It has the same Virtues, but is seldom given inwardly : but outwardly applied, it stops all forts of External Bleedings of Wounds _·, cleanses and heals Scabs and running Sores, Ulcers, Cankers, Fistula's, &c. by correcting the putrefaction, and drying up the moist Humors which offend them.
XI. The Decoction of the Flowers in Red Port Wine. It is good against all the Diseases against which the Decoction of the Herb is good 5 but is withal a more pleasant and delicate Medicine, and more powerful to stop the Terms in Women, and may be given three, four, or five 'ounces at a time, Morning and Evening. It is a peculiar opener of Obstructions in the Reins and Bladder : Used as a Gargle in the Mouth, it cleanses, drys up, and heals Cankers, running Sores, and Ulcers in the Throat, Mouth, and Gums, stops the Putridity, cleanses and heals them. It is good against Poison, stinging of Scorpions, and the bitings of Serpents, or other Venomous Beasts.
XII. The Pouder of the Flowers. It may be given to a dram in Red Port Wine, against all forts of Fluxes, ( and Bloody-fluxes in special) of the Belly, Reins, and Womb : outwardly applied to Sores and old Ulcers, it cleanses, drys and heals them. Inwardly given, it is good against the Plague, Malign and Pestilential Diseases, and the bitings of Serpents, or other Venomous Creatures. Outwardly applied to, 01 strewed upon Ulcerated Kibes, it effectually cleanses them, drys up the humidities, and heals them, tho' the Ulcer has penetrated to the Bone.
XIII. The Decoction of the Seed in Wine. It helps such as are stung by Scorpions, being inwardly taken to two or three ounces and the place outwardly bathed therewith. It has also an especial pro-petty to cure the Itch, as also Scabbineis, and running Sores _·, and to correct the putrid Humors flowing to any Wound, Ulcer, or Fistula.
XIV. The Pouder of the Seed. Being given from a dram to two drams, according to the age of the Person, and strength of the Constitution, it has been found to purge the Belly of Cholerick Humors, to expel Poison, and resist the malign force of the Plague: It is also of very good use in all forts of running Sores, old Ulcers, inveterate Cankers, putrid and malign Fistula's, and the like 5 for it refills the putridity, cleanses and dries up the Moisture, and heals beyond all imagination. Ottavius Horatianus gives the Seed parched, and beaten to pouder, to be drunk against the Yellow Jaundice.
XV. The Pessary. Made of the Seed with Honey. Being put up the Womb, it provokes the Tern 5, as Hippocrates testifies in his Book of Womens Diseases.
XVI. The Balsam. It is made of the Juice or green Leaves and ίlowers, by boiling in Oil Olive to crispness, ft raining out, and repeating the boiling three times, then mixing with every pound of that Oily Decoction, twelve ounces of Venice Turpentine, and six ounces of Wax, boiling to a thickness. It heals Wounds, Ulcers, old running Sores, Fistulas by digesting, cleansing, incarnating, drying,