Chap. 170. Of Cress Water.
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I. The Names. It is called in Greek, κί^-μη
JL vvfyt : in Latin, Nasturtium Aquaticum and in English, Water-Cresses.
II. The Kinds. Thete are four several sorts of this Plant, viz. 1. Nasturtium aquaticum vulgare, which is generally taken to be the Sisymbrium alterum Diofcohdis, and by Cesalpinus and Fabcrnmon* tanus, it is called Sisymbrium aquaticum : by Cordus, Gesner and Thalius, Sisymbrium alterum by Fuch-ftus and Lugdunensis, Sisymbrium Cardamine ; The Common or Vulgar Water-Crels. The second is called. Nasturtium aquaticum rotundifolium majus, Sisymbrium aquaticum Matthioli, Sisymbrii alterius Species secunda Thalii Nasturtium aquaticum alterum, & aquaticum amarum bauhini ; The Greater round-leav-'d Water-Crels. 3. Nasturtium Aquatic cum rotundifolium minus, Sifymorium Aquaticum minus Matthioli ; The Lesser round-leav'd Water-Cress. 4. Nasturtium Aquaticum erellum folio lon-giore Bauhini, Sium vulgare Matthioli _·, Sium Alat-thioli, Cf Sium Italorum LobeJii, Cf Lugdunensis; Matthiolus his Water-Crels, or the Italian Water-Cress.
III. The Descriptions. The first has a. long Root, which is filled with nothing but Knobs or Bunches of white Fibres or Threads; from whence spring forth many weak, hollow, sappy Stalks or Branches, trailing upon the Water and gravelly Earth where it grows, taking hold in several places as it creeps, by which means it spreads it self very much, shooting forth Fibres at the Joints. As the Stalks grow upwards, they are filled with long winged Leaves, having many small Leaves set upon a middle Rib, one against another, excepting the point Leaf, which stands by it self, as does that of the Ash-tree. The
upper tact of the whole Plant U of a brown green tn'or, and the leaves are green underneath, which, jays Gerard, κ the per fed mark to know the Phyfiat k'nd from the others. The Flowers ate many and white, standing on long Foot-stalks at the tops of the branches ? which being pajpdaway, are face ceded by j like number of small long Pods, like Horns, which cntvn within them small yellow Seed. The whose \ΊÎ±Μ abides green in the Winter, and tafies sharp and biting, somewhat like to other Cresses.
ν_· The froonf, or gren round-leav\L has a Root φ like ι he former, shooting forth many fibres at
the Joints; from whence rife one or more Stalks,which are hollow, weak and sappy, with a great number of long winged Leaves,which are made up of several broad, JaPpy, and almost round Leaves, of a reddish brown green color on toe top, and green underneath: when it runs up into Stalk, the higher Leaves are longer and more pointed, yet round pointed withal. The Flowers grow at the tops of the Branches, like the former, nor does the Pods and Seed differ much therefrom. Parkinson says, that it is so extreamly bitter, that it cannot be eaten till it is boiled in Water, and Jhifted again : I have seen it grow several times, and have gathered it, but never could find that bitter Tafie in it, but only a very sharp biting Tafie, like other Cresses; Matthiolus says, Nasturtio fimile quiddam guftu prxfert.
V. The third, or lesser round kind, has a white fibrous Root, from whence spring forth a great number of long winged Leaves, very like to the last, in their Substance and porm, being fat, broad and roundish like them, but very much less: from amidst these Leaves spring forth several long Stalks, when run up to Seed, which are almost naked, fave that here and there they have a single winged Leaf, cut into five long slender parts, almost to the middle Rib. The Stalks at their tops, abound with a great number of little Branches, Juled with small fine whitish Flowers, which in the very tops of all, appear exceeding small and diminutive, Jo as they are not easy to be seen asunder.
VI. The fourth, or Italian kind, has a long Root, which creeps not so much as any of the former, nor is it so full of Pibres : the Leaves grow many on a winged Stalk, and differ not much from the first, fa-ving that the Stalk is crested, and the Leaves are dented or snipt in a little round the edges, being in shape between the Garden-Cress and Cuckow-flower, the Stalks are crested, and divided into many Branches : the Flowers are white, which being pafsd away^tre succeeded by Cods, like the Ordinary or Common Water-Cress, and with like Seed. The Taste of both Herb and Seed is more mild and pleasant than that of the other Water-Creiles.
VII. The Places. They ail grow for the moil part in small standing Waters _·, and sometimes in small Rivulets of running Watet: but the last is sometimes foimd growing in Gardens.
VIII. The Times. They spring and grow green in March and April. That Water-Cress which is eaten in Sallets, is best in March and April: they flourish all the Summer, and flower in June and July, their Seed ripening in August.
IX. The Qualities. They are hot and dry in the third degree: are Diuretick, Cephalick, Neurotick, Stomatick, Hysterick, Nephritick, Alexipharmick and Antiscorbutick.
X. The Specification. They are peculiar against the Scurvy in a cold Habit of Body.
XL The Preparations. You may have, 1. A Sallet. 2. A liquid juice. 3. An Essence. 4. An Infusion. 5. A Lotion. 6. A distilled Water. 7. A Spirituous Tincture. 8. An Acid Tincture. 9. An Oily Tincture. 10. A Saline Tincture. 11. A Spirit. 12. A fixed Salt.
XII. 77* Sallet'. It is made of the green Herb, gathered in March and April, pickt and washt clean, and drefVd up with Salt, Vinegar and Oil, or Sugar, and so eaten raw : it is generally eaten in the Spring time, to cleanse and purifie the Blood, sweeten the Juices of the Body, and cure the Scurvy.
XIIL The liquid Juice. It is more powerful than that of Brooklime against the Scurvy in a cold 11 Habit
habit ol Body, lor it cleanses the Blood and Humors : it is also said to be good to break the Stone, and to expel it, as also Sand, Gravel, and other Tartarous Matter i it provokes Urine and the Terms, if given in a proper time. If ? parts ot the Juice is mixed with ι patt of the Juice of Oranges, it will be still more prevalent against the Scurvy. Dose of the Juice is from 1 ounce to 2 or twice or thrice a day, being mixed with any proper Vehicle.
XIV. The Essence. It has all the Virtues of the Juice, but much more Stomatick \ it strengthens the Stomack and warms it, creates an Appetite, and causes a good Digestion, and very powerfully provokes Urine and the Terms. Taken from 1 to 2 ounces or more, well sweetned with Honey, it opens Obstructions of the Lungs, and takes away Hoirse-ness, Wheezing, difficulty of Breathing, and shortness of Breath. Both the Juice and the Essence, being bathed on, or applied to the Face or othei parts ot the Skin, it takes away Freckles, Lentils, Pimples, Spots, Sun-burning, Tanning, Yellowness, and ocher Deformities thereof.
XV. The Infusion in Water or Wine, in a simmering or scalding heat. It has the Virtues of the Juice and Essence, but not lull out so powerful. It is
food to wash filthy foul Ulcers, Fistula's, running ores, Herpes, Scurf, Morphew, iffc. cleansing them, and making them much the more fit to be healed.
XVI. Toe Lotion. Take of the Juice 3 parts ^ of White-wine Vinegar 1 part, mix them. It is an excellent thing against almost all Deformities of the Skin, as Fteckles, Pimples, Scurft^ Leprosy, i$c. and it is good also to bath the fore part of the Head therewith,Morning and Evening, f 01 such as have the Lethargy, "or are dull, drowue, and very sleepy : but in this last cafe, the Patient ought to ihuff up the Juice of Water-Cresses every day for some time; both in the Morning, and at Night also, an hour before Bed time because as an Errhine, it purges the Head and Brain of all cold, moist and noxious Humors causing the Lethargy, and other the like Diseases of those Parts.
XVII. The distilled Water. It has much Spirit and volatile Salt in it, and may be used as a Vehicle, to convey any of the other Preparations into the Body. %
XVIII. The Spirituous Tincture. It cures the Scurvy in a cold Constitution, and is of excellent Use to reQifie the Distempers of the Stomach : it warms and comforts it, causes a good Appetite and Digestion, and prevails against Gripings, Colicks and Convulsions of the Bowels. It is a singular thing against cold and moist Distempers of the Head, Brain and Nerves and is good against Dullness^ Drousiness, Heaviness, Sleepiness,Apoplexy, Falling sickness, Convulsions, Palsies, and the like Diseases, being bathed outwardly upon the Parts affected, anc. taken inwardly Morning, Noon and Night from 1 dram to 3 drams, in any proper Vehicle. In Diseases of the Head, it will be also good to finell to it often, and sometimes to snuff it up the Nostrils, by which it eases Pains of the Head, and helps again! Vertigo's, and other cold and moist Distempers ο those Pans.
XIX. The Acid Tincture. It is more Stomatick than the former, and a powerful Refifter of the Scurvy, and all its Symptoms. It opens Obstruction °* ?V ice^ Pr°vokes the Terms, prevails against the Cachexia and Green-sickness in young Women, more especially if it is given with a proportional quantity of Tinctura Martis. It removes Laziness and Weariness of the Body, comforts the weak Bowels, and strengthens the whole universa. Frame. Dole so much as may make the Vehicle
pleasantly Iharp *, and may be taken three or tour times a day, according as the Occasion may require. Outwardly applied to the Skin, it is of singular good Use against Freckles, Lentils, Spots, Sun-burning, Tanning, Yellowness and Brownnels of the Skin, Scurff, Morphew, Leprosie, and other like Deformities thereof* being gently applied or laid thereupon.
XX. The Oily Tincture. It is a singular good thing against Palsies, Gouts, Lameness, Numbness, Coldness of any Part, Pains and Aches of the same as also Cramps and Convulsions, being daily taken inwardly Morning, Noon and Night in any proper Vehicle, from 20 drops to 60, according to the Oc-cafions and Neceilities for the same but it is also to be used outwardly at the same time, by anointing it well upon all the parts affected, twice a day, vie. Morning and Evening. Inwardly taken, it is also good ajrainlt the Stone, Gravel. Sand, or any Tartarous Matter in the Rews, Ureters and Bladder, opening Obstructions of those Parts, and causing irine to be plentifully evacuated.
XXL The Saline Tincture. It may be given inwardly against Obstructions of the Urinary Passages fom 40 to 80 drops, or more, in any Diuretick Vehicle ; but is used chiefly externally against all sorts of Defccdations of the Skin, as Scurf, Morphew, Leuce, Leprosy, Tettars, Ring-worms, Pufhes, Boils, Pimples, and other like DiiaffecFions. It is also laid to cure the Itch, being well rubbed in twice a day upon all the Parts affected.
XXII. The Spirit. How this Spirit is to be made see the Second Edition of our Pharmacopoeia hate ana, lib. 1. cap. i-JeQ. 67. It has all the Virtues of the Spirituous Tincture, with this Advantage, that it is a much finer and purer Medicine to fee to, and a much pleasanter Preparation to be taken. It mar be given from 20 drops to 60 in any proper Vehicle, two or three times a day. It prevails against the Scurvy, Dropsie, Jaundice, Stone and Gout.
XXIII. The fixed Salt. It is admirably Diuretick and Antiscorbutick, and carries off the Morbifick Cause of the Scurvy, Dropsie, Jaundice, Gout, Stone, Struma, Cachexia, Chlorosis, Rickets, &c. by Urine, opening all manner of Obstructions. Dose from 1 Scruple to 2 Scruples.