Chap. 157. Of Cowslips.
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I. The Names. Some doubt whether the X Greeks knew this Plant or no however later Authors have called it n^W, ^ IW™ ^ λϋ77χ3$ : In Latin, Paralysis, Herba Paralysis, Herba Paralytica, Alisma Dioscoridis, according to Fabius Lolumna, Alisma Pratorum, Arthritica, Herba Ar-™"Î_"Î±, Dodecatheon, Primula veris major : and in English, Cowslips, Oxlips, and Paigles.
η There are several sorts hereof,
as I. Porafyfis vulgaris pratensis fiore fiavo fimplici odorato, The Common Field Cowftip. 2. Paralysis altera odor at a flore pallido polyanthus, The Prim-rofe, or many flowered Cowftip. 3. Paralysis fiore
Viridante fimplici, The lingle green Cowslip. 4. Paralysis flore iSf Calice Oypo, The curled Cowslip.
Paralysis fiore geminato odorato, The double Cowslip, one within another. 6. Paralysis fiore Flarco fimplici inodoro fine Calicibus, Single Oxlips. 7. Paralysis fiore goumato inodora, Double Oxlips, hole in hofe. 8. Paralysis inodora caiiabtts dtffeUis, Oxlips with Jagged Husks. 9. Paralysis fiore fatuo, The fooliih Cowslips. ic. Paralysis hortensis flore pleno, Double Garden Cowslips. 11. Paralysis flore viridante pleno, Double green Cowslips. 12. Paralysis flore viridante, five Cilamtfirato, The Double green feathered Cowslip, or green Rose Cowslip.
III. There are several Plants called by the name of Primula veris, ( from their being the first flowers which appear in the Spring ) and to which that name is Genus, they being all various Species of the same, viz. I. Primula veris major, five Paralysis, The Cowslip ot Oxiip, of which we have before enumerated twelve several Kinds, whose Descriptions we shall give in this Chapter. 2. Primula veris minor, The Primrose, Single and Double, of which hereafter. 3. Primula viris Pachyphyllos, Auricula Vrfi, Bears Ears, three several Kinds of which we have treated in Chap. 59. pait. 4. Primula veris minor flore Rubro & Albo, The White and Red Birds Eye, of which in Chap. 7 2. aforegoing : this being faid, we come to the matter in hand.
IV. The Descriptions. The first, or Common Cowslip, has Roots like to the Primrose, with many Fibres annexed to the greater Root ; from tthieh spring up several green Leaves, very like unto the Wild Primrose, but Jhbrter, rounder, ft iffer, rougher, more crumpled about the edges, and of a J adder green color, every one standing upon its Stalk, rf an Inch or two long. From among these Leaves rife tip divers round naked Stalks* of a whitish color, a more or less, high, bearing at the top many fair single yellow Flowers, growing out of a long Husk^ *F on a short Footstalk, with spotr. of a deeper yell** I at the bottom of each Leaf, andfrneHrng very $*e**^
V. The second, which is the Primrose Cowslip. or many Flowred, has a Root like the former, from which spring forth Leaves, which are larger than the Common Field Cowslip, and of a dark yellowish green color _· from the midst of which spring up several Stalks like the other at the tops of which are the Flowers, which are manifold, and growing together in Husks like the former, sometimes to the number of thirty in one Head, at the top of one Stalk, and sometimes more, every one of them having a longer Footstalk than the Common Kind, which is rcquifite by reason of their great number : they are of a pale yellowish color, almost like those of the Field Primrose, with yellow spots at the bottom of the Leaves, as the Common Kind have, and of a sweet Smell.
VI. The third, or Single Green Cowslip, has a Root like the first, with many Fibres annexed, and from which there is but little difference either in ife Root, or Leaf; the chief difference in this Kind being, that the Leaves are somewhat greater ; the Flowers being in all respects like in form to the first Field Kind, but somewhat larger, and of the same color with the whitish yellowish green Husks, or rather a little yellower, and of very little Smell : In any other thing there is no diversity, but that it is much longer in flower, before it fades, especially if it grows out of the Sun.
VII. The fourth, or Curled Cowslip, differs chiefly in the Flowers, which are folded or crumpled at the edges, the Husks of the Flowers being larger than any of the former, more swelling out in the middle, as it were Ribs, and crumpled on the sides of the Husks.
VIII. The .^//ft, or Double Cowslip, one in another, which some call hofe in hofe, has each Single Flower growing out of another, which makes the same Double 5 fir which reason Pena calls it Geminata, for that the Flowers are brought forth like Twins: The Smell is the same with the common Field Cowslip, but something weaker.
IX. The sixth, or Single Oxflip, is a kind of Cowslip, which has Roots, and Leaves, and Stalks like the first Kind, but somewhat smaller : the Flowers are yellow like the first Cowslip, and smaller also, standing many upon a Stalk, but bare or naked, without any Husk to contain them, and having no other thing besides differing from the Common, or Field Cowslip.
X. The seventh, or Double Oxlip, called, Hofe in Hole, is almost like the former Double Cowslip, or Hole in Hofe, having its single Flowers one within another, saving that this has no Husks to contain them, no more than the firmer Oxlips, but stands bare or naked, and of the very same bigness each of them, and of the same deep yellow color with it, and with as little Smell as the Single. There is another of this Species whose Leaves are somewhat larger, as also the Flowers, but of a paler yellow color.
XI. The eighth, or Oxlip with Jagged Leaves, differs not from the first Single Oxlip in the small-ness of the green Leaves, but in the Flower, which standing many of them together on a reasonable high Stalk, are very small and yellow, and scarce open, or lay abroad them)elves, but appear only, as having a green Husk under each Flower, which is divided into fix several small long pieces.
XII. The ninth, or Foolifh Cowslip, differs not much in Leaves from the firmer Cowslip, but bears at the top of the Stalk a Tuft or Bush of small, long, green Leaves, with some yellow Leaves, as it were pieces of Flowers broken, and standing among the Zrcen Leaves. And sometimes some Stalks among tb(>fe green Leaves at the Tofi ( which are a little
larger than when it has but broken pieces of Flowers ) do carry whole Flowers in Husks like the Single Kind.
XIII. The tenth, or Double Garden Cowslip, has smaller and darker green Leaves, than the first Single Field Kind has, and longer Footstalks also, on which the Leaves do stand : J/ bears several Flowers upon a Stalk, but not so many as the Single Kind, every one of which is of a much deeper and fairer yellow color than any of the former, standing not much above the brims of the Husks which hold them, consisting each of two or three rsws of Leaves, set round together, which makes it very thick and double, of a pretty pleasant sweet Smell, but not Heady.
XIV. The eleventh, or Double green Cowslip, is so like to the single green kind, before described, that until it is near flowering, it can hardly be di~ (linguifled from the Single Kind : but when it is in flower, it has large Double Flowers, of the same yellowish green color, with the Single Green, and more laid open orspreading than the Flowers of the former Double Cowslip.
XV. The twelfth, or Double Green Feathered Cowslip has but little difference in the Leaves from the Double Green last described, but that they are not of so dark a Green. The principal difference consists in the Flowers, which are many, standing together at the tops of the Stalks, but far differing from all others of these kinds for every Flower standing upon its own Stalk, is composed of many very small and narrow Leaves, without any Husk to contain them, but spreading open like a little Rose, ( ivhence came the name of Role Cowslip ) of a pale yellowish green color, and without any Smell at all, abiding in Flower ( especially if it stands in a shadowy place out of the Sun ) above two Months, almost in as perfect beauty, as in the first Week.
XVI. The Places. All these Kinds have been found growing Wild in England, and from their natural places of growth, they have been tranfplanted into our Gardens,wheie they abide; and being in a richer Mould, grow larger and fairer than in their natural places.
XVII. The Times. They all Flower in the Spring of the Year, some earlier, and some later, according as they are defended from Cold and Frost, and as the mildness of the Season will permit. They Flower at the latter end of April and in May, ( later than Primrosesao) and the Single and Double green Cowslips the lateft, and continue flowering a pretty while after all the rest.
XVIII. The Qualities. They are all hot and dry in the first Degree, They are Aperitive, do Attenuate, are Digestive, Discussive, Incarnative, Traumatick or Vulnerary _·, Cephalick, Neurotick and Arthritick.
XIX. The Specification. They are singular for the cure of Palsies and Gouts.
XX. The Preparations. You may have therefrom, I. A liquid Juice. 1. An Essence. ?. A Wine of the Flowers. 4. A Pouder of the Leaves. 5. An Ointment of the Flowers. 6. A Cataplasm of the Whole Plant. 7. A Distilled Water of the mole.
8. A Spirituous Tincture of Leaves and Flowers.
9. An Oily Tincture of the same. to. A Saline Tincture. 11. A Spirit. 17. A Fixed Salt. 13. A Balsam.
XXI. The liquid Juice. Snufft up the Nostrils, it is an excellent Errhine to purge the Head and Brain of cold, gross, viscous Humors, which obstrucs the Roots of the Nerves, and parts adjacent, Given inwardly from two ounces to four, it eases
Pains in the Back and Bladder, and opens the passages of the Urine, causing a free and easie pissing.
XXII. The Essence. It has the former Virtues and as it is an admirable Neurotick, lo it helps all infirmities of the Head, Brain, and Nerves, coming ot Cold, Wind, or moist Humors, as the Vertigo, Epbja/tes or Night-mare, false Apparitions or Whimsies, Phrensies, Epilepsies, or Falling-sickness, Palsies, Convulsions, Cramps, and other Pains of the Nerves and Joints. Dose three ounces or more in a Glass of Wine, Morning and Night, bathing also twice a Day very well, the parts affected with the lame. _
XXIII. The Wine, of the Flowers. It is Cordial and Confortative, refreshes the Spirits, and is conducive to all the purposes aforementioned : The Patient may drmjc a Ghfs of it half an hour afore Dinner, or any other time of eating.
XXIV. A Fonder of the Leaves. It is a small kind of an f rrhinc, being ihuffc up the Nolfrils, and so purges the Head, but yet very gently. Being strewed upon old running Sores or Ulcers, it cleanses, dries, and heals them, and takes away the sharpness of Humors, Pain, or Inflammation therein, if present : it may be strewed on dry, or mixed with Unguent urn Nicotian*, and so applied.
XXV. The Ointment. If it is made of the Flowers, either by Infolation, or a boiling to Crispness, and a treble repetition of the lame, it is said by Authors to take away spots and wrinkles of the Skin, Sun-burnings, and Freckles, adding Beauty, and heightning the Complexion. If the Ointment is made of the Leaves, it is an excellent thing to heal simple Green Wounds, cleanse old Ulcers, dry up and heal inveterate running Sores, iff c.
XXVI. The Cataplasm. Applied upon the ijxrt, it discusses simple Contusions, and prevails against the Gout in the Hands or Feet, by comforting and strengthening the Nerves, and easing their pain, being often repeated as need requires.
XXVII. The Distilled Water of the whole Plant. It is used as a Vehicle for other Cephatick and Neurotick Preparations : In the mean Season it is said to be Cofmetick, and therewith the Face and Skin may be washed every Morning after the Ointment is rubbed off.
XXVIII. The Spirituous Tincture. It has all the Virtues of the Essence and is much more Cordial, and therefore better against Fainting and Swooning Fits, sickness at Heart, and other Distempers in which the Vitals are concerned. Dose half a spoonful or more in a Glass of Generous Wine.
XXIX. The Oily Tincture. It is peculiar against the Palsie and Gout, as also Convulsions, Cramps PunQures of the Nerves, &c. in all which cafes, it has scarcely any equal : In Palsies anoint with it Morning and Evening, all along the Back-bone, from the Vertebra of the Neck, almost to the Anus, as alto the Parts affeaed, rubbing it very well in . in __outs, (from a cold Cause ) Convulsions, Cramps, ruptures, Uc. you may only anoint the patts af-teaed _·, but in Convulsions, it will be good also to take it inwardly ( in some Neurotick Vehicle) Morning and Night, from sixteen drops to thirty or t0rvyCrv E^gency may require.
XXX The Saline Tincture. If it is daily taken twice a day, fromTialf a dram to one dram, in a good Ghis of White Port Wine ot CanarV, it powerfully opens ObstrucFbus of the Urmaryparts, and eases pains in the Reins, Ureters and Bladder and if any Sand, Gravel, Small Stones or Tartar ous Mucilage be lodged in those parts,'it cleanse* th,m thereof; and expells it ^ *
XXXI. The Fixed Salt. It is Neurotick and Diuretick, peculiarly dedicated to the Head, Brain, Nerves, Reins and Bladder: It is good against the Jaundice, and catries it off, as also Febritick Distempers by Urine, being given to half a dram in White Port Wine.
XXXII. The Balsam. It is an admirable Vulnerary, curing simple Green Wounds at the first intention : If they be composed, it digests them, or brings them to maruration, refills putrefaction, cleanses, incarnates, dries and heals them in a very short time. If it is mixt with equal parts of Unguent urn Nicotian*, it performs all these things the more admirably, and is a Medicament which every good Country man ought to keep always in his House.