Chap. 163. Of Cress Garden.
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I. The Names. This Plant is called in Greek, A KdfJkfM, «π> tUs wiiai, Cardamon quod cor-datos faciat, vel quod Cor joveat, quia in fincope Cardiaca plurimum valet : And of this Herb, the Greeks had this Proverb, frd/i «ffJk«ais Ede Nasturtium, propterea quod Nasturtio inefie Credebant ant' mi vigorem excitandi. In Arabiek, Narf, vel Naf alchaf: In Latin, Nasturtium, λ narium tormento, as PUny faith : And in English, Cress.
II. The Kinds. They ate manifold, as, 1. Nasturtium Hortense, Garden Cress, of which in this Chapter. 2. Nasturtium Indicum, Indian Cress, of which in Chap. 164. 3. Nasturtium Pratenfe, Meadow Cress, of which in Chap. 16 j. and \66. 4. Nasturtium agreste. Wild Cress, of which in Chap. 167. 5. Nasturtium lfchiaduum, vel Jfchiacum, Sciatica Cress, of which in Chap. 168. 6. Nasturtium Hibernum, Winter Cress, of which in Chap. 169. 7. Nasturtiu?n Aquatic urn, Water Cress, of which in Chap. 170. following.
III. Of the Garden Kind, κ*ϊλ^ fat&v, there are these following, viz. 1. Nasturtium Sativum vulgare, The common Garden Cress. 2. Nasturtium Hortense Latifolium, and Nasturtium Latifolium Hispanicum, Broad Leav'd Garden Cress 3. Nasturtium Hortense Crispum Latifolium, and Angustifolium, Curled Cress, with Broader and Narrower Leaves. 4. Nasturtium impatiens, Stum minimum, Sium Nasturtij Silvestris jolio, Noli me tangere, The impatient Cress, being called a Cress, more from the form of its Leaf^ than any thing else. .,
IV. The Descriptions. The first has a long Root wtl> rome fibres adjoined to it, which perishes every Year
after the ripening of the Seed, or upon the approach of Winter from this Root the Stalks grow up Μ a yard, or two feet high, having many small, tender.
whitish, broad, indented] or torn Leaves set thereon, XII. Ibe Decoction. It has the Virtues of the growing together upon a middle rib next thegrcurt
but those which grow higher upon the Stalks are smaller and longer : The Leaves in general are so like to those of Garden Chervil, or Sweet Cicely, that it must be a very observant Eye which can distinguish them, and whilst young are scarcely to be differenced but by the taste. The tops of the Stalks are replenished with white flowers, which turn into flat Fods or Pouches, not much unlike to Shepherds Purie ; in which is contained flat reddish Seed the Smell of both Leaves and Seed is strong and spicey ; and their Taste is hot, sharp, and biting, almost like Pepper, for which reason some call it, Pepper-wort.
V. The second, or Broad Leav'd Garden Cress* has a Root which is small and long, persisting every year, and tl/errfore must be constantly Sown in the Spring _·, and for this reason also, because after it is Sown, it springs up quickly, and will not endure the cold of Winter. Its first Leaves are small like Baiil, among which rises up a Stalk about half a yard high. Jet with larger Leaves thereon, without any division, but smally dented about the edges, and pointed at the ends , every one standing upon a long Footstalk, branched from the middle to the Top with lesser and narrower Leaves, like to the Top Leaves 0/ Garden Cress : From whence break forth many white Flowers set in spikes, one above and her, after which come Pouches or Purses containing brownish Seed like to the other Cresses, but much more bitter, and yet not all out so fiery or sharp.
VI. The third, or Curled Cress, has a Root like to the former, which goes pretty deep into the Earth, and perishes every year after Seed time, as the other does. It grows like the first, or common Garden Cress, and differs therefrom only in the Leaves, which are of two sorts : the one with broad Leaves, cut, and roundly dented^ and curled about the edges, every one by it self, on a long Stalk. The other, consisting of many smaller Leaves, Jet one against another upon a middle rib, each part of which is in the same manner cut in, and curled as are the other. The Flowers are white, like the common Garden Kind _·, and the reddish Seed also like the same in Form and Magnitude.
VII. The fourth, or Impatient Cress, has a small Root spreading forth it self into many Branches _·, from whence arije many winged Leaves, not much unlike to the smaller Sium, which spread themselves at first upon the ground, not much above an Inch or two long, winch Jo abide from Autumn, when it springs up, all the Winter long. In the Spring of the year, they grow somewhat bigger, and the said Leaves are a little dented about the edges, the bottom of the Leaf being for the most part the tiggeft. From among these Leaves rises up a slender Stalk, about a foot and half high, which is divided into j fiver al Branches, from the middle thereof to the Top. On the extremities or tops of all which Branches grow many very small white Flowers, which being past away, as many slender long pointed Cods follow, in which is contained small yellowish Seed _·, when these Cods are ripe, they are so impatient of being touched, and the Seed is so hard to be gathered, that the Pod breaks it self, even of its own accord, upon the least touch of the hand, or any thing else, and so the Seed flies away, not being then possible to be gathered r This Seed ha* little or no heat in it.
VIII. An Observation. It is indeed the Nature of this Impatient Cress, that if you but touch the Cods when the Seed is ripe, though you do it never so gently, yet will the Seed fly all away with a great Violence, not suffering it self to be touched, from whence came the name, Noli me tangere, and Nasturtium Impatiens h as for the like quality, the Persicaria Siliquosa is named. The nature of this Plant is somewhat admirable, for if the Seed is fully ripe, though you put your hand but near the Cods, as profferring to touch them, though you touch them not, yet will the said Cods be apt to open, and the Seed to fly out upon you, when you may expe__f no such thing. Profper Alpnnus is the only Man who formerly wrote hereof, from whom our Parkinson and Johnson have taken their Discourses.
IX. The Places. These Plants are all of them nurs'd up with us in Gardens. The first matters not what Soil it grows in, for it likes any ground, especially if it is well watered : The second came
first out of Spain, but grows well with us in England, as does also the third. The fourth johnjon iound about Bath, and other Parts of our Land, which, says he, is now kept in divers of our London Gardens, in ibme of which I have seen it grow.
X. The Times. They may be Sown at any time of the Year, unless it be in Winter. They quickly spring up, after sown, flower in April and May, and the Seed is ripe in June, or not long after their flowering time after which they die every Year, and recover themselves, i. e. spring up again of the lhaken or fallen Seed.
XL The Qualities. All Cresses ( except the Noli-me tangere) are hot and dry in the fourth Degree, but more especially the Seed. They attenuate, in-cide, attract, digest, discuss ^ are Carminative, Diuretick, and in some measure Suppurative. They are Cephalick, Stomatick, Pectoral, Nephritick, Hysterick and Arthritick: Ptarmick, Emmenagogick, Lithontriptick and Alexipharmick.
XII. The Specification. They are peculiar against Poison, the Bitings of Venomous Beasts, and to purge the Head and Brain of cold and moist Humors.
XII. The Preparations. You may have therefrom, I. The green Herb. i. A liquid Juice. 3. An Ef Jence. 4. A Spirituous Tincture. 5. An Acid Tin-If ure. 6. An Oily Tincture. 7. A Saline Tincture. S. A Spirit. 9. A Cataplasm. 10. The Seed.
XIV. The Herb. Eaten as a Sallet with other Sallet Herbs, as Lcttice, tYc. it warms, comforts and pleases the Stomach : bruised and applied, it takes away Spots and Marks, eases the Pains of the Loins and Sciatica, and draws forth broken Bones, Thorns and Splinters; and puts a stop to the Corroding of putrid and creeping Ulcers: held or chewed in the Mouth, it cures the Tooth-ach.
XV. The Liquid juice. Used as an Errhine, it purges the Head and Brain of cold and viscous Humors, thereby easing all kinds of Head-aches proceeding therefrom, and for the same Reason prevails against Palsies, Lethargies, Apoplexies, Epilepsies, Vertigo's, Car us, Convulsions, and all other like Diseases afflicting those Parts. Given from half an ounce to two ounces, in a Glass of Generous Wine, it powerfully cuts grols and viscous Flegm, opens Obstructions, provokes the Terms in Women, and Urine obstructed, cleansing the Reins, Ureters and Bladder from Sand, Gravel, Stones, or any Tartarous Matter lodged in them. It powerfully provokes Venery, but is said to kill the Child in the: Womb.
XVI. The Essence. It has all the former Virtues exalted, besides which, it cuts and expectorates tough Flegm, out of the Brest and Lungs, and as Authors say, loosens the Belly, and cleanses it from Viscous Humors, opens Obstructions of both Liver and Spleen, heals all inward Wounds, and refills Poison, whether inwardly taken, or outwardly received from the biting or stinging of any venomous Creature. Dose from one ounce to two ounces in any proper Vehicle, Morning faffing, and at Night going to Bed.
XVII. The Spirituous Tincture. It is CordiaL1 provokes Urine, and expels Wind, and prevails against the Obitruaion of the Courses in Women, being given Morning, Noon and Night, in some pioper Vehicle, for a Week before the expeaed time ot their coming. Dose from half a Spoonful to a1 Spoonful. It expels W tnd, and prevails against the Cholick, and Griping of the Guts to Adxrjirati-cn.
XVIII. 1 he Acid Tincture. It wonderfully strengthens the Stomach, and is an admirable thing, as well to preserve from the Contagion and Inleaion of the Plague or Pestilence, as to cure the same, for which it is an approved thing. Ir cures the Scurvy in a cold Constitution or Habit of Body, being assiduously used, and so removes all the Symptoms of that troublesome Disease. Dose from 30 to 40,60, or more Drops in Ale, Wine or other Vehicle, according to the quantity the Patient drinks ar a time.
XIX. The Oily Tincture. It cures the Palsie, being anointed well Morning and Evening upon the Back-bone, and Parts affected. But that Part of the Spina Dorfi is to be chiefly bathed therewith, from whence the Nerves proceed, which replenish the Parts afflicted with that Disease. It is also good against Cramps, Convulsions and Gouts arising from a cold Cause; and gives ease in the most intolerable Pains of the Back, as also of the Reins, being outwardly anointed therewith, and inwardly given from 15 to 30 Drops, Morning and Evening in any Nephritick or Opiate Vehicle.
XX. The Saline Tincture. It powerfully opens Obstructions of the Womb, Reins, Ureters and Bladder, promotes the Secretion of Morbifick Humors by Urine _·, and provoking Urine, it expels Sand, Gravel, Stones, and Tartarous Marter out of the Mass of Blood, and cleanses all the Urinary Parts from the same. Dose from 40 to 60 drops in Wine.
XXI. The Spirit. How it is to be made, we have shewn at large in the Second Edition of our Pharmacopoei Bateana, lib. 1. cap. 2.feU.6j. This Spirit thus prepared, is very subtil and volatile, an admirable Antiscorbutick, and powerful against all Diseases arising from viscous Flegm, and other Tartarous Humors: it thins and rarifies the Blood, provokes Urine and the Terms, and cleanses the Womb. And as it is famous against the Scurvy, so it is excellent against the Dropsie, Jaundice, Stone and Gout: it is a good Nephritick, and cures most Diseases of the Reins, expels Sand, Gravel and Slime, and prevails against the Colick, and Virulent Diseases of the Bowels. It is said to be good also against the Green-sickness in Virgins, because it powerfully opens Obstructions, and purifies the Blood, for which Reason it is singularly good against the Kings-Evil : it warms the Instruments of Generation, provokes Lull, and is good against Impotency. The Dose of this Spirit is from 20 drops to a dram, in some proper Vehicle. The distilled Water of Cresses, which is made after the Distillation of the Spirit, by a stronger Heat in B. Al. will be much stronger and better than that which is made the vulgar way, it being impregnated with much of the Essential Salt, loosened by Fermentation, which yet remains behind, and does impregnate the Water. This Water may be given from one ounce to fix, its Virtues being the same with the Spirit, but much weaker in its Operation.
XXII. The Cataplasm. It is good against the Gout and Sciatica, as also itching Humors and Eruptions in the Skin. It draws forth Thorns, Splinters and other things gotten into the Flesh. If it is made with Vinegar, and applied, it is said to be good against the Kings-Evil, whether in the Throat or any other Part: If made with Hogs Lard, it cures fore, running and scabby Heads, ripens Plague Sores, and breaks them -, is good against Whitlbes and Fellons on the Fingers ends., and takes away the Deformity of the Nails.
XXIII. The Seed. If it chewed in the Mouth, and held for some time, it eases the Tooth-ach, (and so also does the Herb:) it also helps the Pal-iie of the Tongue, provoke* Sneezing, and is good
against Sleepiness, Drousiness, and such as are troubled with the Lethargy.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.