Chap. 150. Of Consound Saracens.
I. The Names. It was unknown to the Greeks, X and therefore among them we have no name for it. The hat ins call it Consolida ( from Consolidare, to Soder, Close, or Glew up : ) Consolida Sa-racenica, ( because used by the Turks and Saracens in healing of Wounds: ) Herba sort is, from its strong Smell and Taste : Also Solidago, and Herba Vulneraria : In English, it is called Saracens Confound, alio Saracens Wound-wort.
II. The Kinds. Authors make four Kinds thereof viz. I. Solidago Saracenica vera falicis foliis, Consolida Saracenica vera, The true Saracens Confound, or Wound-Wort. 2. Solidago vel Consolida Saracenica major Lugdunensis, The greater Saracens Confound, or Wound-Wort. 3. Solidago vel Consolida Saracenica, vel Germanica Siliquofa, Codded Saracens, or German Confound, or Wound-Wort. 4. Solidago vel Consolida Saracenica, vel Germanica altera, Consolida Tenia Tragi, Herba Vulneraria Tragi, Tragus his third Saracens Confound, or second German, which he also calls Wound Wort: These Plants the Germans generally call Vulneraria Turcica, Turkish Wound Wort.
III. The Descriptions. The first ( which is the True Saracens Confound ) has a Root consisting of many Fibres or Strings, set together and growing from a Head, which perish not in Winter, but continue^ though the Stalks fade and dye away, without so much as a Leaf appearing in that Season : From this Root proceed several long and narrow green Leaves, snipt about the edges, like to those of the Almond or Peach Tree, or Willow Leaves, but not of such a whitish green color : From amidst these Leaves rises up a Stalk or Stalks, very high, growing sometimes to a Man's height, which are of a brownish, or brownish green color, and hollow, having many long and narrow green Leaves ( as before described ) set thereon. At the tops of the Stalks many pale yellow Star-like Flowers, standing
in green Heads ; which when they are fallen, and the Seed ripe ( which is of a somewhat long, small, and yellowish color, and wrapped in Down ) is carried away with the Wind. The Root and whole Plant is of a strong and unpleasant Smell and Taste.
IV. The second, or Greater Saracens Confound, has a Root composed of a great Bufl of white Fibres or Threads, growing very deep and strongly in the ground, and shoot ing forth firings on all sides, which produce new Plants, encreasing in a little time, and over-running a great quantity of ground. From this Root springs % forth a head of Leaves, which is somewhat brown at the first shooting out of the ground^ ( and so also is the head of the Root before the Spring,) which is of a -bitter Taste, and binding withal: This Plant differs not much from the former, and therefore from amidst this head of Leaves, there rise up upright, hard, round hollow Stalks, as high as the former, with many dark green Leaves at the first, set (as aforesaid ) at the head of the Root, which afterwards rise up with the Stalks, and are set there without any order, somewhat larger than the others, and a little dented about the edges. The Flowers are much greater than those of the first Kind, more in number, and with yellower long heaves, Star fashion, standing in green heads many together _·, wherein, after they are past, U contained the Seed, which with the Down thereof flies away with the Wind, in the same manner as the former does.
V. The third, or Codded Kind, has a Root which in time grows to be very great, even to the bigness of a Man's Arm, and runs very deep also into the ground ( as those who are acquainted with the Plant well know: ) It is of a strong unpleasant Smell and Taste, sharper than Cresses, and very like unto that of Flixweed, abiding many Years, but the Stalks-perish) Annually, springing forth afresh from thr June Root every Spring. These Stalks thus Ann:>j. -ly rising up, are great, rGund and woody, and' m height equal to any of the former, or rather ( when
they have attained to their height ) higher, but are so weak, by reason of the length and weight of the Leaves thereon, that they cannot stand upright, but fall down upon the ground, bearing many dark green Leaves thereon, long and narrow like to the first, with a white Rib in the middle, and snipt gently, or dented about the edges. At the tops of the Branches or Stalks, come forth many yellowish Flowers, but smaller than these of the other kinds, which being past away, there come forth very small and long round dark Rods or Cods, as small and long as those of Sophia Chirurgorum, or Flixweed, which contain within them small brownish Seed, of a hot and quick, sharp and unpleasant Taste, as the whole Herb it J elf is, but much more the Root.
VI. The fourth, or Tragus his German Confound, has a Root which creeps in the ground, and shoots up Branches round about it, which are somewhat like both in Stalks and Leaves unto the middle kind of Nep or Catmint, with long Leaves, and white as they are. The flowers come forth at the tops of the Stalks, many together, upon small, round, green heads, not unlike to the first sort, being small, and yellow. After that they are past, and the Heads, with the Seed, are ripe, they open themselves, and with the Down in them, the Seed is carried away with the Wind, after the manner of the first.
VII. The Places. These do all grow in moist and wet grounds, by Wood sides, and sometimes in the moist places of shadowy Groves, as also by Water sides. The first of these has been found growing in Shropshire, in the Hedge, by the way as one goes from Dudfon in Cherberry Parish, to Guarthlow. Gerard also says, that it grows by a Wood, as you go from Great Dunmow in Essex, unto Clare in the same County.
VIII. The Times. They Flower in July, and the Seed of the two first is soon after ripe and carried away with the Wind. The third has not its Pods and Seed ripe until the end of August, or beginning of September.
IX. The Qualities. Saracens Confound, ( under which singular name we comprehend all the kinds ) is temperate in respect to heat or cold, but dry in the third Degree _·, Astringent, Anodyn, Incarnative, and Vulnerary : It is Neurotick, Arthritick, Alterative and Analeptick.
X. The Specification. It is not inferior to any of the Wound-Herbs whatsoever, being inwardly given, and outwardly applied in fuitable Preparations,
XI. The Preparations. You may have therefrom, t. A liquid Juice. 2. An Essence. 3. A Decoction in Wine or Water. 4. A Gargarism. 5. An Oil by injolation cr boiling. 6. An Ointment, η. A Balsam. 8. A Cataplasm. 9. A Distilled Water, lo* A Spirit.
XII. The liquid Juice. It cures internal Ulcers of the Lungs : I suppose it was with the Juice thereof; that Gerard ( as he says ) cured one Cart-wright^ a Gentleman of Grays-Inn, who was grievously wounded into the Lungs; and that in a short time. In this case, it will be the best way to make it into a Syrup with Honey. It cleanses, drys, and T?f old ulcers, and foul running Sores, and Con-iolidates Wounds by warning them.
XIII. The Essence. It has all the Virtues of the liquid Juice exalted, and isan excellent thing to give inwardly, for the cure of those who have lain long languishing with old, running Fistula's, ill-natured Ulcers, and other stubborn and rebellious putrid Sores -, washing them also outwardly therewith or
injecting it with a Syringe. However the application of it to Green Wounds is a matter beyond all ixception. Inwardly taken, it opens Obstructions of both Liver and Spleen, and is profitable for the cure of the Yellow Jaundice.
XIV. The Decoction of the Leaves in Wine or Water. It has the Virtues of the former, but in a much lower Degree _·, and being made in Water, it is said to cure Agues or Fevers, even of a long continuance : Made with Wine, it opens Obstructions of the Gall Bladder, as also of the Liver and Spleen, and therefore is laid to be prevalent against the Dropsie in the beginning thereof, and heals all inward Ulcers of the Reins, Ureters, or Bladder, or else where : It cures also inward Wounds and Bruises.
XV. The Gargarism. Take of the Decoction in Wine a pint : of the Decoction in Water half a pint i Alum in fine Pouder a dram : mix and dissolve : then add choice Honey four ounces: dissolve, and just boil them up together. It is excellent to heal a fore Mouth or Throat, by gargling therewith and to wash Sores and Ulcers in the Privy Parts of Man or Woman : and to inject into Fistula's with a proper Syringe.
XVI. The Oil made with Oil Olive, &c. It is excellent against burnings and scaldings, and is proper against Pains and Aches in any part of the Body, arising from Cold : as also to anoint Nerves which are strained, or Joints which are weakned, by any extraordinary force, or by being put out of Joint. It is good also against dry Scabs or Scurf, to bring it oft, and clear the Skin.
XVII. The Ointment. It heals green Wounds admirably _·, digests, cleanses, incarnates and drys running Sores, and old Ulcers, and is prevalent against fractures of the Bones, inducing the Callus, and strengthning the p^rt aftected. It is good ( being mixt with a little Red Precipitate ) against Venereal Ulcers in the Privy Parts of Man or Woman, cleansing them from their putridity, and quickly afterwards healing them up.
XVIII. The Balsam. It cures simple green Wounds at the first Intention. But if they be compoied with Contusion, Fractures of the Bone, Cf c. It admirably digests them by a speedy maturation, then cleanses, and incarnates, afterwards dries and heals them: The same thing it does to old running Sores, putrid Ulcers, and Fistula's, ( being first laid open ) and then duly applied according to Art. I .have seen very few things more prevalent against Sores and Ulcers of - the King's Evil, which after a singular manner refills the malignity of the Disease, the Patient also taking the Juice or Essence thereof inwardly;
XIX. The Cataplasm. It ripens Phlegmons or Inflammations, as also other Tumors which Nature designs to have brought to Maturation, and to break them. Applied, it gives ease to Pains of the Gout, discusses Simple and Recent Contusions, strengthens Weak Parts, and cleanses Ulcers in any Part, be they never so foul or stinking.
XX. The Distilled Water. Whether it is Distilled from the green Herb, or the Liquid Juice, or the Essence, it is effectual to heal any green Wound, or old Sore or Ulcer whatsoever, cleansing, drying, and healing them as Nature requires ; but yet after all, the Juice or Ei-fence are much more effecFuai for the same purposes.
XXI. The Spirit. It is made by Infilling the Herb forty eight Hours in Wine, and then drawing it off in a gentle Balneo. It is singular good to heal inward Ulcers of the Reins, Ureters, or Bladder, inward Wounds or Bruises, and to rectifie the
Discrasie of the Liver and Spleen : It is good also to ease gnawings in the Stomach, Pains and Torments in the Bowels, .to expel Wind, and ease the Pains of the Mother. Dole one spoonful in a glass of Wine Morning and Night.