Part 3 out of 6
a safe and mild laxative in cases where we wish to avoid irritation, as
in those of colic, calculus, gonorrhoea, &c. and some likewise use it as
a purgative in worm-cases. Half an ounce or an ounce commonly answers
with an adult, and a dram or two with an infant. The castor oil which is
imported is not so good as the expressed oil from the nut made in this
country. The disagreeable taste is from the coats of the seeds; the best
kind is pressed out after the seeds are decorticated.
259. ROSA centifolia. DAMASK ROSE. Petals. L. E. D.--In distillation
with water, it yields a small portion of a butyraceous oil, whose
flavour exactly resembles that of the roses. This oil, and the distilled
water, are very useful and agreeable cordials. Hoffmann strongly
recommends them as of singular efficacy for raising the strength,
cheering and recruiting the spirits, and allaying pain; which they
perform without raising any heat in the constitution, rather abating it
when inordinate. Although the damask rose is recommended by Dr.
Woodville, yet, having grown this article for sale, I find that the
preference is always given to the Provence rose by those who distil
260. ROSA gallica. RED OFFICINAL ROSE. Petals. L. E. D.-This has very
little of the fragrance of the foregoing sort; it is a mild and grateful
astringent, especially before the flower has opened: this is
considerably improved by hasty exsiccation, but both the astringency and
colour are impaired by slow drying. In the shops are prepared a conserve
and a tincture.
261. ROSA canina. DOG-ROSE. The Pulp of the Fruit. L. E.-The fruit,
called heps or hips, has a sourish taste, and obtains a place in the
London Pharmacopoeia in the form of a conserve: for this purpose, the
seeds and chaffy fibres are to be carefully removed; for, if these
prickly fibres are not entirely scraped off from the internal surface of
the hips, the conserve is liable to produce considerable irritation on
the primae viae.
262. ROSMARINUS officinalis. ROSEMARY. Tops. L. E. D.--Rosemary has a
fragrant smell and a warm pungent bitterish taste, approaching to those
of lavender: the leaves and tender tops are strongest; next to these the
cup of the flower; the flowers themselves are considerably the weakest,
but most pleasant. Aqueous liquors extract great share of the virtues of
rosemary leaves by infusion, and elevate them in distillation: along
with the water arises a considerable quantity of essential oil, of an
agreeable strong penetrating smell. Pure spirit extracts in great
perfection the whole aromatic flavour of the rosemary, and elevates very
little of it in distillation: hence the resinous mass left upon
abstracting the spirit, proves an elegant aromatic, very rich in the
peculiar qualities of the plant. The flowers of rosemary give over great
part of their flavour in distillation with pure spirit; by watery
liquors, their fragrance is much injured; by beating, destroyed.
263. RUBIA tinctorum. MADDER. Roots. L. E. D.--It has little or no
smell; a sweetish taste, mixed with a little bitterness. The virtues
attributed to it are those of a detergent and aperient; whence it has
been usually ranked among the opening roots, and recommended in
obstructions of the viscera, particularly of the kidneys, in
coagulations of the blood from falls or bruises, in the jaundice, and
It is observable, that this root, taken internally, tinges the urine of
a deep red colour; and in the Philosophical Transactions we have an
account of its producing a like effect upon the bones of animals which
had it mixed with their food: all the bones, particularly the more solid
ones, were changed, both externally and internally, to a deep red, but
neither the fleshy nor cartilaginous parts suffered any alteration: some
of these bones macerated in water for many weeks together, and
afterwards steeped and boiled in spirit of wine, lost none of their
colour, nor communicated any tinge to the liquors.
264. RUMEX Acetosa. SORREL. Leaves. L.--These have an agreeable acid
taste. They have the same medicinal qualities as the Oxalis Acetosella,
and are employed for the same purposes.
Sorrel taken in considerable quantities, or used prepared for food, will
be found of great advantage when a refrigerant and antiscorbutic regimen
is required.--Woodville's Med. Bot.
265. RUTA graveolens. RUE. Leaves. L. E. D.--These are powerfully
stimulating, attenuating, and detergent: and hence, in cold phlegmatic
habits, they quicken the circulation, dissolve tenacious juices, open
obstructions of the excretory glands, and promote the fluid secretions.
The writers on the Materia Medica in general have entertained a very
high opinion of the virtues of this pant. Boerhaave is full of its
praises; particularly of the essential oil, and the distilled water
cohobated or redistilled several times from fresh parcels of the herb:
after somewhat extravagantly commending other waters prepared in this
manner, he adds, with regard to that of rue, that the greatest
commendations he can bestow upon it fall short of its merit: "What
medicine (says he) can be more efficacious for promoting perspiration,
in cases of epilepsies, and for expelling poison?" Whatever service rue
may be of generally, it undoubtedly has its use in the two last cases:
the cohobated water, however, is not the most efficacious preparation.
266. SALIX fragilis. CRACK WILLOW. Bark. L. D.-The bark of the branches
of this tree manifests a considerable degree of bitterness to the taste,
and is also astringent; hence it has been thought a good substitute for
the Peruvian bark, and, upon trial, was found to stop the paroxysms of
intermittents: it is likewise recommended in other cases requiring tonic
or astringent remedies. Not only the bark of this species of Salix, but
that of several others, possess similar qualities, particularly of the
Salix alba pentandria, and capraea, all of which are recommended in
foreign Pharmacopoeias. But, in our opinion, the bark of the Salix
triandria is more effectual than that of any other of this genus; at
least, its sensible qualities give it a decided preference.--Woodville's
267. SALVIA officinalis. GREEN AND RED SAGE. Herb. E. D.--Its effects
are, to moderately warm and strengthen the vessels; and hence, in cold
phlegmatic habits, it excites appetite, and proves serviceable in
debilities of the nervous system.
The red sage, mixed with honey and vinegar, is used for a gargle in sore
throats. Aqueous infusions of the leaves, with the addition of a little
lemon juice, prove an useful diluting drink in febrile disorders, of an
elegant colour, and sufficiently acceptable to the palate.
268. SAMBUCUS nigra. COMMON ELDER. Flowers and Berries. L. E. D.--The
parts of the Sambucus which are proposed for medicinal use in the
Pharmacopoeias, are the inner bark, the flowers, and the berries. The
flowers have an agreeable flavour, which they give over in distillation
with water, and impart by infusion, both to water and rectified spirit:
on distilling a large quantitiy of them with water, a small portion of a
butyraceous essential oil separates. Infusions made from the fresh
flowers are gently laxative and aperient; when dry, they are said to
promote chiefly the cuticular excretion, and to be particularly
serviceable in erysipetalous and eruptive disorders.--Woodville's Med.
269. SCILLA maritima. SQUILL. Root. L. E. D.--This root is to the taste
very nauseous, intensely bitter and acrimonious; much handled, it
exulcerates the skin. With regard to its medical virtues, it powerfully
stimulates the solids, and attenuates viscid juices; and by these
qualities promotes expectoration, urine, and perspiration: if the dose
is considerable, it proves emetic, and sometimes purgative. The
principal use of this medicine is where the primae viae abound with mucous
matter, and the lungs are oppressed by tenacious phlegm.
270. SCROPHULARIA nodosa. KNOTTY FIGWORT. Herb. D.--The roots are of a
white colour, full of little knobs or protuberances on the surface: this
appearance gained it formerly some repute against scrophulous disorders
and the piles; and from hence it received its name: but modern
practitioners expect no such virtues from it. It has a faint unpleasant
smell, and a somewhat bitter disagreeable taste.
271. SINAPIS nigra. BLACK MUSTARD. Seeds. L. E. D.--By writers on the
Materia Medica, mustard is considered to promote appetite, assist
digestion, attenuate viscid juices, and, by stimulating the fibres, to
prove a general remedy in paralytic and rheumatic affections. Joined to
its stimulant qualities, it frequently, if taken in considerable
quantity, opens the body, and increases the urinary discharge; and hence
has been found useful in dropsical complaints.--Woodville's Med. Bot. p.
272. SINAPIS alba. WHITE MUSTARD. Seeds. L. E. D.--These have been
recommended to be taken whole in cases of rheumatism and have been known
to produce considerable relief.
273. SISYMBRIUM Nasturtium. WATER-CRESSES. Herb. E.-Hoffman recommends
this as of singular efficacy for accelerating the circulation,
strengthening the viscera, opening obstructions of the glands, promoting
the fluid secretions, and purifying the blood and humours: for these
purposes, the expressed juice, which contains the peculiar taste and
pungency of the herb, may be taken in doses of an ounce or two, and
continued for a considerable time.
274. SIUM nodiflorum. CREEPING WATER-PARSNEP. The Root. D.-This plant
has not been admitted into the Materia Medica of any of the
Pharmacopoeias which we have seen, except that of the London College,
into which it was received in the character of an antiscorbutic, or
rather as the corrector of acrid humours, especially when manifested by
cutaneous eruptions and tumours in the lymphatic system, for which we
have the testimony of Beirie and Ray; but the best proofs of its
efficacy are the following given by Dr. Withering: "A young lady, six
years old, was cured of an obstinate disease by taking three large
spoonfuls of the juice twice-a-day; and I have repeatedly given to
adults three or four ounces every morning in similar complaints with the
greatest advantage. It is not nauseous; and children take it readily if
mixed with milk. In the dose I have given, it neither affects the head,
the stomach, nor the bowels." Woodville's Med. Bot. 146.
275. SMILAX Sarsaparilla. SARSAPARILLA. Root. L. E. D.--This root was
first brought into Europe by the Spaniards, about the year 1565, with
the character of a specific for the cure of the lues venerea, which made
its appearance a little before that time, and likewise of several
obstinate chronic disorders. Whatever good effects it might have
produced in the warmer climates, it proved unsuccessful in this. It
appears, however, from experience, that though greatly unequal to the
character which it bore at first, it is in some cases of considerable
use as a sudorific, where more acrid medicines are improper.
276. SOLANUM Dulcamara. BITTERSWEET. Stalk. L. D.--The taste of the
twigs and roots, as the name of the plant expresses, is both bitter and
sweet; the bitterness being first perceived, and the sweet afterwards.
They are commended for resolving coagulated blood, and as a cathartic,
diuretic, and deobstruent.
277. SOLIDAGO Virga aurea. GOLDEN ROD. Flowers and Leaves. D.--The
leaves have a moderately astringent bitter taste, and hence prove
serviceable in debility and laxity of the viscera, and disorders
proceeding from that cause.
278. SPARTIUM scoparium. BROOM. Tops and Seeds. L. D.-These have a
nauseous bitter taste: decoctions of them loosen the belly, promote
urine, and stand recommended in hydropic cases. The flowers are said to
prove cathartic in decoction, and emetic in substance, though in some
places, as Lobel informs us, they are commonly used, and in large
quantity, in salads, without producing any effect of this kind. The
qualities of the seeds are little better determined: some report that
they purge almost as strongly as hellebore, in the dose of a dram and a
half; whilst the author above mentioned relates, that he has given a
decoction of two ounces of them as a gentle emetic.
279. SPIGELLA marylandica. WORM GRASS. Root. L. E. D.-About forty years
ago, the anthelmintic virtues of the root of this plant were discovered
by the Indians; since which time it has been much used here. I have
given it in hundreds of cases, and have been very attentive to its
effects. I never found it do much service, except when it proved gently
purgative. Its purgative quality naturally led me to give it in febrile
diseases which seem to arise from viscidity in the primae viae; and in
these cases it succeeded to admiration, even when the sick did not void
To a child of two years of age who had been taking ten grains of the
root twice a-day without having any other effect than making her dull
and giddy, I prescribed twenty-two grains morning and evening, which
purged her briskly, and brought away five large worms. [Communications
from Dr. Gardner.]-Woodville's Med. Bot.
280. TANACETUM vulgare. TANSY. Herb. E. D.--Considered as a medicine, it
is a moderately warm bitter, accompanied with a strong, not very
disagreeable flavour. Some have had a great opinion of it in hysteric
disorders, particularly those proceeding from a deficiency or
suppression of the usual course of nature.
281. TEUCRIUM Marum. CAT THYME. Herb. D.--The leaves have an aromatic
bitterish taste; and, when rubbed betwixt the fingers, a quick pungent
smell, which soon affects the head, and occasions sneezing: distilled
with water, they yield a very acrid, penetrating essential oil,
resembling one obtained by the same means from scurvy-grass. These
qualities sufficiently point out the uses to which this plant might be
applied; at present, it is little otherwise employed than in cephalic
282. TEUCRIUM Chamaedrys. GERMANDER. Herb. D.--The leaves, tops, and
seeds, have a bitter taste, with some degree of astringency and aromatic
flavour. They were recommended as sudorific, diuretic, and emmenagogue,
and for strengthening the stomach and viscera in general. With some they
have been in great esteem in intermittent fevers; as also in scrophulous
and other chronic disorders.
283. TORMENTILLA erecta. TORMENTIL, or UPRIGHT SEPTFOIL. Root. L. E. D.
--The root is the only part of this plant which is used medicinally; it
has a strong styptic taste, but imparts no peculiar sapid flavour. This
has been long held in great estimation as an astringent. Dr. Cullen has
used it with gentian with great effect in intermittent fevers. Lewis
recommends an ounce and a half of the powdered root to be boiled in
three pints of water to a quart, adding towards the end of the boiling a
dram of cinnamon. Of the strained liquor, sweetened with an ounce of any
agreeable syrup, two ounces or more may be taken four or five times a-day.
284. TUSSILAGO Farfara. COLTSFOOT. Herb. L. E. D.--Tussilago stands
recommended in coughs and other disorders of the breast and lungs: the
flowers were an ingredient in the pectoral decoction of the Edinburgh
285. VALERIANA officinalis. VALERIAN. Root. L. E. D.--Valerian is a
medicine of great use in nervous disorders, and is particularly
serviceable in epilepsies proceeding from a debility in the nervous
system. It was first brought into esteem in these cases by Fabius
Columna, who by taking the powdered root, in the dose of half a
spoonful, was cured of an inveterate epilepsy after many other medicines
had been tried in vain. Repeated experience has since confirmed its
efficacy in this disorder; and the present practice lays considerable
stress upon it.
286. VERATRUM album. WHITE HELLEBORE. Root. L. E. D.-The root has a
nauseous, bitterish, acrid taste, burning the mouth and fauces: wounded
when fresh, it emits an extremely acrimonious juice, which mixed with the
blood, by a wound, is said to prove very dangerous: the powder of the
dry root, applied to an issue, occasions violent purging: snuffed up the
nose, it proves a strong, and not always a safe, sternutatory. This
root, taken internally, acts with extreme violence as an emetic, and has
been observed, even in a small dose, to occasion convulsions and other
terrible disorders. The ancients sometimes employed it in very obstinate
cases, and always made this their last resource.
Similar Plant.--Gentiana lutea, which see.
287. VERONICA Beccabunga. BROOKLIME. Herb. L. D.--This plant was
formerly considered of great use in several diseases, and was applied
externally to wounds and ulcers; but if it have any peculiar efficacy,
it is to be derived from its antiscorbutic virtue.
As a mild refrigerant juice, it is preferred where an acrimonious state
of the fluids prevails, indicated by prurient eruptions upon the skin,
or in what has been called the hot scurvy.--Woodville's Med. Bot. 364.
288. VITIS vinifera. GRAPE VINE. Raisins and different Wines. L. E.--
These are to cheer the spirits, warm the habit, promote perspiration,
render the vessels full and turgid, raise the pulse, and quicken the
circulation. The effects of the full-bodied wines are much more durable
than those of the thinner; all sweet wines, as Canary, abound with a
glutinous nutritious substance; whilst the others are not nutrimental,
or only accidentally so by strengthening the organs employed in
digestion: sweet wines in general do not pass off freely by urine, and
heat the constitution more than an equal quantity of any other, though
containing full as much spirit: red port, and most of the red wines,
have an astringent quality, by which they strengthen the tone of the
stomach and intestines, and thus prove serviceable for restraining
immoderate secretions: those which are of an acid nature, as Renish,
pass freely by the kidneys, and gently loosen the belly: it is supposed
that these last exasperate, or occasion gout and calculous disorders,
and that new wines of every kind have this effect.
The ripe fruit of grapes, of which there are several kinds, properly
cured and dried, are the raisins and currants of the shops: the juice of
these also, by fermentation, affords wine as well as vinegar and tartar.
The medical use of raisins is, their imparting a very pleasant flavour
both to aqueous and spiritous menstrua. The seeds or stones are supposed
to give a disagreeable relish, and hence are generally directed to be
taken out: nevertheless I have not found that they have any disagreeable
taste.--Lewis's Mat. Med.
289. ULMUS campestris. ELM. Bark. L. E. D.--The leaves have a bitterish
astringent taste, and are recommended in powder, to the extent of at
least two drams a-day, in ulcerations of the urinary passages and
catarrhus vesicae. The powder has been used with opium, the latter being
gradually increased to a considerable quantity, in diabetes, and it is
said with advantage. Some use it for alleviating the dyspeptic symptoms
in nephritic calculous ailments.--Lewis's Mat. Med.
290. RHODODENDRON Chrysanthemum. YELLOW-FLOWERED RHO-DODENDRON. E. The
Leaves.--This species of Rhododendron has lately been introduced into
Britain: it is a native of Siberia, affecting mountainous situations,
and flowering in June and July.
Little attention was paid to this remedy till the year 1779, when it was
strongly recommended by Koelpin as an efficacious medicine, not only in
rheumatism and gout, but even in venereal cases; and it is now very
generally employed in chronic rheumatisms in various parts of Europe.
The leaves, which are the part directed for medicinal use, have a
bitterish subastringent taste, and, as well as the bark and young
branches, manifest a degree of acrimony. Taken in large doses they prove
a narcotic poison, producing those symptoms which we have described as
occasioned by many of the order Solanaceae.
Dr. Home, who tried it unsuccessfully in some cases of acute rheumatism,
says, it appears to be one of the most powerful sedatives which we have,
as in most of the trials it made the pulse remarkably slow, and, in one
patient, reduced it 38 beats. And in other cases in which the
Rhododendron has been used at Edinburgh, it has been productive of good
effects; and, accordingly, it is now introduced into the Edinburgh
The manner of using this plant by the Siberians was, by putting two
drams of the dried leaves in an earthen-pot with about ten ounces of
boiling-water, keeping it near a boiling heat for a night, and this they
took in the morning; and by repeating it three or four times it
generally affected a cure. It is said to occasion heat, thirst, a degree
of delirium, and a peculiar sensation of the parts affected.--
Woodville's Med. Bot. p. 239.
* * * * *
SECT. VIII.--MEDICINAL PLANTS not contained in either of the BRITISH
For the use of the Medical Student I selected in the foregoing section
such plants as are contained in the Pharmacopoeias of the present day:
but there are many mentioned in Woodville's Medical Botany, Lewis's
Dispensatory, &c. which, although discarded from the College list, are
nevertheless still used by medical practitioners and others.
It would be difficult to give a full history of all the plants that have
from time to time been recommended for medical uses. The old writers, as
Gerard, Parkinson, Lyte, &c. attributed medical virtues to all the
plants which came under their notice; and, on the other hand, as we
observed above, the vegetable department of the Pharmacopoeias has from
time to time been reduced so much, that, if we had confined ourselves to
that alone, we fear our little treatise on this head would, by many
persons, be thought defective. The following list is therefore given, as
containing what are used, though probably not so much by practitioners
in medicine, as by our good housewives in the country, who, without
disparagement to medical science, often relieve the distresses of their
families and neighbours by the judicious application of drugs of this
nature, and many of which are also sold for the same purposes in the
291. ACANTHUS mollis. SMOOTH BEARS-BREECH. The Leaves.--Are of a soft
sweetish taste, and abound with a mucilaginous juice: its virtues do not
seem to differ from those of Althea and other mucilaginous plants.
292. ACHILLA Ptarmica. SNEEZEWORT. The Root.--The roots have and acrid
smell, and a hot biting taste: chewed, they occasion a plentiful
discharge of saliva; and when powdered and snuffed up the nose, provoke
sneezing. These are sold at the herb-shops as a substitute for pellitory
293. ACHILLEA Ageratum. MAUDLIN. The Leaves and Flowers.--This has a
light agreeable smell; and a roughish, somewhat warm and bitterish
taste. These qualities point out its use as a mild corroborant; but it
has long been a stranger in practice, and is now omitted both by the
London and Edinburgh Colleges. It is however in use by the common
294. ACHILLEA Millefolium. YARROW. The Leaves.--The leaves have a rough
bitterish taste, and a faint aromatic smell. Their virtues are those of
a very mild astringent, and as such they stand recommended in
haemorrhages both internal and external, diarrhoeas, debility and laxity
of the fibres; and likewise in spasmodic hysterical affections.
295. AJUGA reptans. BUGLE. The Leaves.--These have at first a sweetish
taste, which gradually becomes bitterish and roughish. They are
recommended as vulnerary medicines, and in all cases where mild
astringents or corroborants are proper.
296. ALCHEMILLA vulgaris. LADY'S MANTLE. The Leaves.--These discover to
the taste a moderate astringency, and were formerly much esteemed in
some female weaknesses, and in fluxes of the belly. They are now rarely
made use of; though both the fresh leaves and roots might doubtless be
of service in cases where mild astringents are required.
297. AMMI majus. BISHOPS-WEED. The Seeds.--The seeds of common
bishops-weed are large and pale-coloured: their smell and taste are
weak, and without any thing of the origanum flavour of the true ammi,
which does not grow in this country. They are ranked among the four
lesser hot seeds, but are scarcely otherwise made use of than as an
ingredient in the theriaca.--Lewis's Mat. Med.
298. AMYGDALUS Persica. ALMONDS. Flowers.--They have a cathartic effect,
and especially to children have been successfully given in the character
of a vermifuge for this purpose; an infusion of a dram of the flowers
dried, or half an ounce in their recent state, is the requisite dose.
The expressed oil of almonds has been for a long time, and is at
present, in use for many purposes in medicine. The concentrated acid of
the bitter almond is a most dangerous poison to man and all other
299. ANAGALLIS arvensis. PIMPERNEL. The Leaves.--Many extraordinary
virtues have been attributed to them. Geoffroy esteems them cephalic,
sudorific, vulnerary, anti-maniacal, anti-epileptic, and alexiteral.
300. ANCHUSA angustifolia. BUGLOSS. The Roots, Leaves, and Flowers.--
Bugloss has a slimy sweetish taste, accompanied with a kind of coolness:
the roots are the most glutinous, and the flowers the least so. These
qualities point out its use in hot bilious or inflammatory distempers,
and a thin acrimonious state of the fluids. The flowers are one of the
four called cordial flowers: the only quality they have that can entitle
them to this appellation, is, that they moderately cool and soften,
without offending the palate or stomach; and thus in warm climates, or
in hot diseases, may in some measure refresh the patient.
301. ANEMONE Hepatica. HEPATICA. The Leaves.--It is a cooling gently
restringent herb; and hence recommended in a lax state of the fibres as
302. ANTIRRHINIUM Elatine. FLUELLIN. The Root, Bark, and Leaves.--They
were formerly accounted excellent vulneraries, and of great use for
cleansing and healing old ulcers and cancerous sores: some have
recommended them internally in leprous and scrophulous disorders; as
also in hydropic cases.
303. ANTIRRHINIUM Linaria. TOAD FLAX. The Flowers.--An infusion of them
is said to be very efficacious in cutaneous disorders; and Hammerin
gives an instance in which these flowers, with those of verbascum, used
as tea, cured an exanthematous disorder, which had resisted various
other remedies tried during the course of three years.--Woodville's Med.
Bot. p. 372.
304. AQUILEGIA vulgaris. COLUMBINE. The Leaves, Flowers, and Seeds.--It
has been looked upon as aperient; and was formerly in great esteem among
the common people for throwing out the small-pox and measles. A
distilled water, medicated vinegar, and conserve, were prepared from the
flowers; but they have long given place to medicines of greater
305. ARISTOLOCHIA longa. LONG BIRTHWORT. The Roots.--This is a tuberous
root, sometimes about the size of the finger, sometimes as thick as a
man's arm: great virtues used to be ascribed to this plant as a specific
in most uterine obstructions and gout: the outside is of a brownish
colour; the inside yellowish.
306. ARTEMISIA vulgaris. MUGWORT. The leaves.--These have a light
aromatic smell, and an herbaceous bitterish taste. They are principally
celebrated as uterine and anti-hysteric: an infusion of them is
sometimes drunk, either alone or in conjunction with other substances,
in suppressions of immoderate fluxes. This medicine is certainly a very
mild one, and considerably less hot than most others to which these
virtues are attributed.
307. ASCLEPIAS Vincetoxium. SWALLOW WORT. The Root.--This root is
esteemed sudorific, diuretic, and emmenagogue, and frequently employed
by the French and German physicians as an alexipharmic, sometimes as a
succedaneum to contrayerva; whence it has received the name of
Contrayerva Germanorum. Among us it is rarely made use of.
308. ASPERULA odorata. SWEET WOODROOF. The Flowers.--It has an
exceedingly pleasant smell, which is improved by moderate exsiccation;
the taste is sub-saline, and somewhat austere. It imparts its flavour to
vinous liquors. Asperula is supposed to attenuate viscid humours, and
strengthen the tone of the bowels: it was recommended in obstructions of
the liver and biliary ducts, and by some in epilepsies and palsies:
modern practice has nevertheless rejected it.
309. ASPLENIUM Ceterach. SPLEENWORT.--It is recommended as a pectoral,
and for promoting urine in nephritic cases. The virtue which it has been
most celebrated for, is that which it has the least title to, i. e.
diminish the spleen.
310. ASPLENIUM Scolophendrium. HARTS-TONGUE. The Leaves.--These have a
roughish, somewhat mucilaginous taste. They are recommended in
obstructions of the viscera, and for strengthening their tone; and have
sometimes been made use of for these intentions, either alone, or in
conjunction with maiden-hair, or the other plants of similar properties.
311. ATROPA Mandragora. MANDRAKE. The Leaves.--The qualities of this
plant are very doubtful: it has a strong disagreeable smell resembling
that of the narcotic herbs, to which class it is usually referred. It
has rarely been any otherwise made use of in medicine, than as an
ingredient in one of the old officinal unguents. Both that composition
and the plant itself are rejected from our Pharmacopoeias.
312. BALLOTA nigra. BASE HOREHOUND. The Leaves.--These are doubtless an
useful aperient and deobstruent; promote the fluid secretions in
general, and liberally taken loosen the belly. They are an ingredient
only in the theriaca.
313. BELLIS perennis. DAISIES. The Leaves.--They have a subtile subacrid
taste, and are recommended as vulneraries, and in asthmas and hectic
fevers, and such disorders as are occasioned by drinking cold liquors
when the body has been much heated.
214. BERBERIS vulgaris. BERBERRY. The Bark and Fruit.--The outward bark
of the branches and the leaves have an astringent acid taste; the inner
yellow bark, a bitter one: this last is said to be serviceable in the
jaundice; and by some, to be an useful purgative.
The berries, which to the taste are gratefully acid, and moderately
restringent, have been given with good success in bilious fluxes, and
diseases proceeding from heat, acrimony, or thinness of the juices.
315. BETONICA officinalis. WOOD BETONY. The Leaves.--These and the
flowers have an herbaceous, roughish, somewhat bitterish taste,
accompanied with a very weak aromatic flavour. This herb has long been a
favourite among writers on the Materia Medica, who have not been wanting
to attribute to it abundance of good qualities. Experience does not
discover any other virtue in betony than that of a mild corroborant: as
such, an infusion or light decoction of it may be drunk as tea, or a
saturated tincture in rectified spirit given in suitable doses, in
laxity and debility of the viscera, and disorders proceeding from
316. BETULA alba. BIRCH TREE. The bark and Sap.--Upon deeply wounding or
boring the trunk of the tree in the beginning of spring, a sweetish
juice issues forth, sometimes, as is said, in so large quantity, as to
equal in weigth to the whole tree and root: one branch will bleed a
gallon or more a day. This juice is chiefly recommended in scorbutic
disorders, and other foulnesses of the blood: its most sensible effect
is to promote the urinary discharge.
317. BORAGO officinalis. BORAGE. The Flowers.--An exhilarating virtue
has been attributed to the flowers of borage, which are hence ranked
among the so called cordial flowers: but they appear to have very little
claim to any virtue of this kind, and seem to be altogether
318. BRYONIA alba. WHITE BRYONY. The Roots.--This is a strong irritating
cathartic; and as such has sometimes been successfully exhibited in
maniacal cases, in some kinds of dropsies, and in several chronical
disorders, where a quick solution of viscid juices, and a sudden
stimulus on the solids, were required.
319. CALENDULA officinalis. MARIGOLD. The Flowers.--These are supposed
to be aperient and attenuating; as also cardiac, alexipharmic, and
sudorific: they are principally celebrated in uterine obstructions, the
jaundice, and for throwing out the small-pox. Their sensible qualities
give little foundation for these virtues: they have scarcely any taste,
and no considerable smell. The leaves of the plant discover a viscid
sweetishness, accompanied with a more durable saponaceous pungency and
warmth: these seem capable of answering some useful purposes, as a
stimulating, aperient, antiscorbutic medicine.
320. CANNABIS sativa. HEMP. The Seeds.--These have some smell of the
herb; their taste is unctuous and sweetish; on expression they yield a
considerable quantity of insipid oil: hence they are recommended (boiled
in milk, or triturated with water into an emulsion) against coughs, heat
of urine, and the like. They are also said to be useful in incontinence
of urine; but experience does not warrant their having any virtues of
321. CARTHAMUS tinctorius. SAFFLOWER. The Seeds.--These have been
celebrated as a cathartic: they operate very slowly, and for the most
part disorder the bowels, especially when given in substance; triturated
with aromatic distilled waters, they form an emulsion less offensive,
yet inferior in efficacy to more common purgatives.
322. CENTAUREA Cyanus. BLUE-BOTTLE. The Flowers.--As to their virtues,
notwithstanding the present practice expects not any from them, they
have been formerly celebrated against the bites of poisonous animals,
contagious diseases, palpitations of the heart, and many other
323. CENTAUREA rhapontica. GREATER CENTAURY. The Root.--It has a rough
somewhat acrid taste, and abounds with a red viscid juice; its rough
taste has gained it some esteem as an astringent; its acrimony as an
aperient; and its glutinous quality as a vulnerary: the present practice
takes little notice of it in any intention.
324. CHELIDONIUM majus. GREAT CELANDINE. The Leaves and Juice.--This is
an excellent medicine in the jaundice; it is also good against all
obstructions of the viscera, and, if continued a time, will do great
service against the scurvy. The juice also is used successfully for sore
eyes, removing warts, &c. It should be used fresh, for it loses the
greatest part of its virtue in drying.
325. CHENOPODIUM olidum. STINKING GOOSEFOOT. The Leaves.--Its smell has
gained it the character of an excellent anti-hysteric; and this is the
only use it is applied to. Tournefort recommends a spiritous tincture,
others a decoction in water, and others a conserve of the leaves, as of
wonderful efficacy in uterine disorders.
326. CHRYSANTHEMUM Leucanthemum. OX-EYE DAISY. The Leaves.--Geoffroy
relates that the herb, gathered before the flowers have come forth, and
boiled in water, imparts an acrid taste, penetrating and subtile like
pepper; and that this decoction is an excellent vulnerary and diuretic.
327. CISTUS ladanifetus. GUM CISTUS.--The gum labdanum is procured from
this shrub, and is its only produce used in medicine. This is an
exudation from the leaves and twigs in the manner of manna, more than of
any thing else. They get it off by drawing a parcel of leather thongs
over the shrubs. It is not much used, but it is a good cephalic.--Hill's
Herbal, p. 72.
328. CLEMATIS recta. UPRIGHT VIRGIN'S BOWER.--The whole plant is
extremely acrid. It was useful for Dr. Stoerck to employ the leaves and
flowers in ulcers and cancers, as well as an extract prepared from the
former; yet the preparation which he chiefly recommended was an infusion
of two or three drams of the leaves in a pint of boiling water, of which
he gave four ounces three times a-day, while the powdered leaves were
applied as an escharotic to the ulcers.--Wood-ville's Med. Bot. p. 481.
329. COCHLEARIA Coronopus. SWINES-CRESS.--This is an excellent diuretic,
safe and yet very powerful. The juice may be taken; and it is good for
the jaundice, and against all inward obstructions, and against the
scurvy: the leaves may also be eaten as sallet, or dried and given in
decoction.--Hill's Hebal, p. 105.
330. CONVALLARIA Polygonatum. SOLOMON'S SEAL. The Root.--The root has
several joints, with some flat circular depressions, supposed to
resemble the stamp of a seal. It has a sweetish mucilaginous taste. As
to its virtues, practitioners do not now expect any considerable ones
from it, and pay very little regard to the vulnerary qualities which it
was formerly celebrated for. It is used by pugilists to remove the black
appearance occasioned from extravasated blood, and for curing bruises on
the face, particularly black-eyes obtained by boxing.
331. CONVALLARIA majalis. MAY LILY. The Roots and Flowers.--The roots of
this abound with a soft mucilage, and hence they have been used
externally in emollient and maturating cataplasms: they were an
ingredient in the suppurating cataplasm of the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia.
Those of the wild plant are very bitter: dried, they are said to prove a
gentle errhine; as also are the flowers.
332. CONVOLVULUS sepium. BIND-WEED.--The poor people use the root of
this plant fresh gathered and boiled in ale as a cathartic; and it is
found generally to answer that purpose. It would, however, nauseate a
delicate stomach; but for people of strong constitutions there is not a
333. CUSCUTA europaea. DODDER. The whole plant gathered green is to be
boiled in water with a little ginger and allspice, and this decoction
operates as a cathartic; it also opens obstructions of the liver, and is
good in the jaundice and many other disorders arising from the like
334. CYNOGLOSSUM officinale. HOUNDS-TONGUE. The Root.--The virtues of
this root are very doubtful: it is generally supposed to be narcotic,
and by some to be virulently so: others declare that it has no virtue of
this kind, and look upon it as a mere glutinous astringent.
335. CYPERUS longus. LONG CYPERUS. The Root.--This is long, slender,
crooked, and full of knots: outwardly of a dark-brown or blackish
colour, inwardly whitish; of an aromatic smell, and an agreeable warm
taste: both the taste and smell are improved by moderate exsiccation.
Cyperus is accounted a good stomachic and carminative, but is at present
very little regarded.
336. DICTAMNUS albus. WHITE or BASTARD DITTANY. The Root.--The cortical
part of the root, dried and rolled up into quills, is sometimes brought
to us. This is of a white colour, a weak, not very agreeable smell; and
a durable bitter, lightly pungent taste. It is recommended as an
337. EQUISETUM palustre. HORSE-TAIL. The Herb.--It is said to be a very
strong astringent: it has indeed a manifest astringency, but in a very
338. ERYSIMUM officinale.--It is said to be attenuant, expectorant, and
diuretic; and has been strongly recommended in chronical coughs and
hoarseness. Rondeletius informs us that the last-mentioned complaint,
occasioned by loud speaking, was cured by this plant in three days.
Other testimonies of its good effects in this disorder are recorded by
writers on the Materia Medica, of whom we may mention Dr. Cullen; who
for this purpose recommends the juice of the Erysimum to be mixed with
an euqal quantity of honey and sugar; in this way also it is said to be
an useful remedy in ulcerations of the mouth and throat.--Woodville's
Med. Bot. p. 407.
339. ERYSIMUM Alliaria. SAUCE ALONE.--The leaves of this plant are very
acrimonious, and have a strong flavour of onions. It is considered as a
powerful diaphoretic, diuretic, and antiscorbutic.--Woodville's Med.
340. EUPATORIUM cannabinum. HEMP AGRIMONY, &c. Leaves.--They are greatly
recommended for strengthening the tone of the viscera, and as an
aperient; and said to have excellent effects in the dropsy, jaundice,
cachexies, and scorbutic disorders. Boerhaave informs us, that this is
the common medicine of the turf-diggers in Holland, against scurvies,
foul ulcers, and swellings in the feet, which they are subject to. The
roof of this plant is said to operate as a strong cathartic.
341. EUPHORBIA Esula. SPURGE FLAX. Its Berries.--These are useful in
removing warts and excrescences, if bruised and laid thereon. They are
so acrid in their nature as to be altogether unfit for internal use.
342. EUPHRASIA officinalis. EYEBRIGHT. Leaves.--It was formerly
celebrated as an ophtalmic, both taken internally and applied
externally. Hildanus says he has known old men of seventy, who had lost
their sight, recover it again by the use of this herb.
343. FRAGARIA vesca. THE STRAWBERRY. The Leaves and Fruit.--They are
somewhat styptic, and bitterish; and hence my be of some service in
debility and laxity of the viscera, and immoderate secretions, or a
suppression of the natural evacuations depending thereon: they are
recommended in haemorrhages and fluxes; and likewise as aperients, in
suppressions of urine, obstructions of the viscera, in the jaundice, &c.
The fruit is in general very grateful both to the palate and stomach:
like other fruits of the dulco-acid kind, they abate heat, quench
thirst, loosen the belly, and promote urine.
344. FUMARIA officinalis. FUMITORY. The Leaves.--The medical effects of
this herb are, to strengthen the tone of the bowels, gently loosen the
belly, and promote the urinary and other natural secretions. It is
principally recommended in melancholic, scorbutic, and cutaneous
disorders; for opening obstructions of the viscera, attenuating and
promoting the evacuations of viscid juices.
345. GALEGA officinalis. GOAT'S RUE. The Herb.--This is celebrated as an
alexipharmic; but its sensible qualities discover no foundation for any
virtues of this kind: the taste is merely leguminous; and in Italy
(where it grows wild) it is said to be used as food.
346. GALIUM Aparine. GOOSEGRASS, OR CLEAVERS. The Leaves.--It is
recommended as an aperient, and in chronic eruptions; but practice has
little regard to it.
347. GALIUM verum. LADIES BEDSTRAW, OR CHEESE-RENNET. The Herb.--This
herb has a subacid taste, with a very faint, not disagreeable smell: the
juice changes blue vegetable infusions to a red colour, and coagulates
milk, thus exhibiting marks of acidity. It stands recommended as a mild
styptic, and in epilepsy; but has never been much in use.
348. GERANIUM robertianum. HERB ROBERT. The leaves.--They have an
austere taste, and have hence been recommended as astringent: but they
have long been disregarded in practice.
349. GLECHOMA hederacea. GROUND-IVY. The Leaves.--This herb is an useful
corroborant, aperient, and detergent; and hence stands recommended
against laxity, debility, and obstructions of the viscera: some have had
a great opinion of it for cleansing and healing ulcers of the internal
parts, even of the lungs; and for purifying the blood. It is customary
to infuse the dried leaves in malt liquors, to which it readily imparts
its virtues; a practice not to be commended, unless it is for the
purpose of medicine.
350. HEDERA helix. IVY. The Leaves and Berries.--The leaves have very
rarely been given internally; notwithstanding they are recommended (in
the Ephem. natur. curios. vol. ii. obs. 120.) against the atrophy of
children; their taste is nauseous, acrid, and bitter. Externally they
have sometimes been employed for drying and healing ichorous sores, and
likewise for keeping issues open. The berries were supposed by the
ancients to have a purgative and emetic quality; later writers have
recommended them in small doses, as diaphoretics and alexipharmics; and
Mr. Boyle tells us, that in the London plague the powder of them was
given with vinegar, with good success, as a sudorific. It is probable
the virtue of the composition was rather owing to the vinegar than to
351. HERNIARIA glabra. RUPTUREWORT. The Leaves.--It is a very mild
restringent, and may, in some degree, be serviceable in disorders
proceeding from a weak flaccid state of the viscera: the virtue which it
has been most celebrated for, it has little title to, that of curing
352. HYPERICUM perforatum. ST. JOHN'S WORT. The Leaves and Flowers.--Its
taste is rough and bitterish; the smell disagreeable. Hypericum has long
been celebrated as a corroborant, diuretic, and vulnerary; but more
particularly in hysterical and maniacal disorders: it has been reckoned
of such efficacy in these last, as to have thence received the name of
353. JASMINUM officinale. JASMINE. The Flowers.--The flowers have a
strong smell, which is liked by most people, though to some
disagreeable: expressed oils extract their fragrance by infusion; and
water elevates somewhat of it in distillation, but scarcely any
essential oil can be obtained from them: the distilled water, kept for a
little time, loses its odour.
354. IRIS Pseudoacorus. FLOWER-DE-LUCE. The Root.--The roots, when
recent, have a bitter, acrid, nauseous taste, and taken into the stomach
prove strongly cathartic; and hence the juice is recommended in
dropsies, in the dose of three or four scruples. By drying they lose
this quality, yet still retain a somewhat pungent, bitterish taste:
their smell in this state is of the aromatic kind.
355. IRIS florentina. FLORENTINE IRIS, OR ORRIS-ROOT.--The roots grown
in this country have neither the odour nor the other qualities that
those possess which are grown in warmer climates: so that, for the
purposes of medicine, they are usually imported from Leghorn.
The root in its recent state is extremely acrid, and, when chewed,
excites a pungent heat in the mouth which continues several hours; but
on being dried, this acrimony is almost wholly dissipated, the taste
becomes slightly bitter, and the smell approaching to that of violets.
It is now chiefly used in its dried state, and ranked as a pectoral or
expectorant. The principal use of the roots is, however, for the
purposes of perfumery, for which it is in considerable demand.
356. LACTUCA sativa. GARDEN LETTUCE. The Leaves and Seeds.--It smells
strongly of opium, and resembles it in its effects; and its narcotic
power, like that of the poppy heads, resides in its milky juice. An
extract from the expressed juice is recommended in small doses in
dropsy. In those diseases of long standing proceeding from visceral
obstructions, it has been given to the extent of half an ounce a-day. It
is said to agree with the stomach, to quench thirst, to be greatly
laxative, powerfully diuretic, and somewhat diaphoretic.
357. LAMIUM album. WHITE ARCHANGEL, OR DEAD NETTLE. The Flowers.--The
flowers have been particularly celebrated in female weaknesses, as also
in disorders of the lungs; but they appear to be of very weak powers.
358. LAVENDULA Stoechas. ARABIAN STOECHAS, OR FRENCH LAVEN-DER. The
Flowers.--They have a very fragrant smell, and a warm, aromatic,
bitterish, subacrid taste: distilled with water, they yield a
considerable quantity of a fragrant essential oil; to rectified spirit
it imparts a strong tincture, which inspissated proves an elegant
aromatic extract, but is seldom used in medicine.
359. LEONURUS Cardiaca. MOTHERWORT. The Leaves.--These have a bitter
taste, and a pretty strong smell: they are supposed to be useful in
hysteric disorders, to strengthen the stomach, to promote urine; and
indeed it may be judged from their smell and taste, that their medical
virtues are considerable, though they are now rejected both from the
London and Edinburgh Pharmacopoeias.
360. LILIUM candidum. WHITE LILY. The Roots.--These are used in
poultices. The good housewife doctors cut the roots in slices and steep
them in brandy; and they are said to be an excellent remedy for all
bruises and green wounds: for which purposes it is applied by them with
361. LITHOSPERMUM officinale. GROMWELL. The Seeds.--These are roundish,
hard, and of a whitish colour, like little pearls. Powdered, they have
been supposed peculiarly serviceable in calculous disorders. Their taste
is merely farinaceous.
362. LYSIMACHIA Nummularia. MONEYWORT, OR HERB TWOPENCE. The Leaves.--
Their taste is subastringent, and very slightly acid: hence they stand
recommended by Boerhaave in the hot scurvy, and in uterine and other
haemorrhagies. But their effects are so inconsiderable, that common
practice takes no notice of them.
363. MALVA alcea. VERVAIN-MALLOW. The Leaves.--Alcea agrees in quality
with the Althaea and Malva vulgaris; but appears to be less mucilaginous
364. MATRICARIA Parthenium. COMMON WILD FEVERFEW. The Leaves and
Flowers.--Simon Pauli relates, that he has experienced most happy
effects from it in obstructions of the uterine evacuations. I have often
seen, says he, from the use of a decoction of Matricaria and chamomile
flowers with a little mugwort, hysteric complaints instantly relieved,
and the patient from a lethargic state, returned as it were into life
again. Matricaria is likewise recommended in sundry other disorders, as
a warm stimulating bitter: all that bitters and carminatives can do,
says Geoffroy, may be expected from this. It is undoubtedly a medicine
of some use in these cases, though not perhaps equal to chamomile
flowers alone, with which the Matricaria agrees in sensible qualities,
except in being weaker.
365. NEPETA Calamintha. FIELD CALAMINT. The Leaves.--This is a low
plant, growing wild about hedges and highways, and in dry sandy soils.
The leaves have a quick warm taste, and smell strongly of pennyroyal: as
medicines, they differ little otherwise from spearmint, than in being
somewhat hotter, and of a less pleasant odour; which last circumstance
has procured calamint the preference in hysteric cases.
366. NEPETA cataria. NEP, OR CATMINT. The Leaves.--This is a moderately
aromatic plant, of a strong smell, not ill resembling a mixture of mint
and pennyroyal; it is also recommended in hysteric cases.
367. NIGELLA romana. FENNEL-FLOWER. The Seeds.--They have a strong, not
unpleasant smell; and a subacrid, somewhat unctuous disagreeable taste.
They stand recommended as aperient, diuretic, &c. but being suspected to
have noxious qualities should be used with caution.
368. NYMPHAEA alba. WHITE WATER-LILY. The Root and Flowers.--These have a
rough, bitterish, glutinous taste, (the flowers are the least rough,)
and when fresh a disagreeable smell, which is in great measure lost by
drying: they are recommended in alvine fluxes, gleets, and the like. The
roots are supposed by some to be in an eminent degree narcotic.
369. OCYMUM Basilicum. BASIL. The Leaves.--These have a soft, somewhat
warm taste; and when rubbed, a strong unpleasant smell, which by
moderate drying becomes more agreeable. They are said to attenuate
viscid phlegm, promote expectoration, and the uterine secretions.
370. OPHIOGLOSSUM vulgatum. ADDERS-TONGUE. The Leaf.--An ointment is
made of the fresh leaves, and it is a good application to green wounds.
It is a very antient application, although now discarded from the
371. PAEONIA corolloides. MALE PEONY. The Seeds.--These are strong, and
worn round the neck to assist detention, and are probably as good as
other celebrated anodyne beads which have been so long recommended for
the same purpose.
372. PHELLANDRIUM aquaticum. WATER HEMLOCK.--The seeds of this plant,
according to Dr. Lange, when taken in large doses, produce a remarkable
sensation of weight in the head, accompanied with giddiness,
intoxication, &c. It may probably prove, however, an active medicine,
especially in wounds and inveterate ulcers of different kinds, and even
in cancers; also in phthisis pulmonalis, asthma, dyspepsia, intermittent
fevers, &c. About two scruples of the seed, two or three times a-day,
was the ordinary dose given. Medicines of this kind should be used with
great caution.--Woodville's Med. Bot. p. 91, 92.
373. PIMPINELLA saxifraga. BURNET SAXIFRAGE. The Root, Leaves, and
Seeds.--This root promises from its sensible qualities, to be a medicine
of considerable utility, though little regarded in common pratice.
Stahl, Hoffman, and other German physicians, are extremely fond of it,
and recommend it as an excellent stomachic, resolvent, detergent,
diuretic, diaphoretic, and alexipharmic.
374. PLANTAGO major. COMMON BROAD-LEAVED PLANTAIN.--The leaves are
slightly astringent, and the seeds said to be so; and hence they stand
recommended in haemorrhages, and other cases where medicines of this kind
are proper. The leaves bruised a little, are the usual application of
the common people to slight flesh wounds. The Edinburgh College used to
direct an extract to be made from the leaves.
375. POTENTILLA anserina. SILVERWEED. The Leaves.--The sensible
qualities of Anserina promise no great virtue of any kind, for to the
taste it discovers only a slight roughness, from whence it was thought
to be entitled to a place among the milder corroborants. As the
astringency of Tormentil is confined chiefly to its root, it might be
thought that the same circumstance would take place in this plant; but
the root is found to have no other than a pleasant sweetish taste, like
that of parsnip, but not so strong.
376. POTENTILLA reptans. CINQUEFOIL, OR FIVE-LEAVED GRASS. Root.--The
root is moderately astringent: and as such is sometimes given internally
against diarrhoeas and other fluxes; and employed in gargarisms for
strengthening the gums, &c. The cortical part of the root may be taken,
in substance, to the quantity of a dram: the internal part is
considerably weaker, and requires to be given in double the dose to
produce the same effect. It is scarcely otherwise made use of than as an
ingredient in Venice treacle.--Lewis's Mat. Med.
377. POPULUS niger. THE BLACK POPLAR. Its Buds.--The young buds or
rudiments of the leaves, which appear in the beginning of spring, abound
with a yellow, unctuous odorous juice. They have hitherto been employed
chiefly in an ointment, which received its name from them; though they
are certainly capable of being applied to other purposes: a tincture of
them made in rectified spirit, yields upon being isnpissated, a fragrant
resin superior to many of those brought from abroad.
378. PRIMULA officinalis. COWSLIP. The Flowers.--The flowers appear in
April; they have a pleasant sweet smell, and a subacrid, bitterish,
subastringent taste. An infusion of them, used as tea, is recommended as
a mild corroborant in nervous complaints. A strong infusion of them,
with a proper quantity of sugar, forms an agreeable syrup, which for a
long time maintained a place in the shops. By boiling, even for a little
time, their fine flavour is destroyed. A wine is also made of the
flowers, which is given as an opiate.
379. PRUNELLA vulgaris. SELFHEAL. The Leaves.--It has an herbaceous
roughish taste, and hence stands recommended in haemorrhages and alvine
fluxes. It has been principally celebrated as a vulnerary, whence its
name; and in gargarisms for aphthae and inflammations of the fauces.
380. PULMONARIA officinalis. SPOTTED LUNGWORT. The Leaves.--They stand
recommended against ulcers of the lungs, phthisis, and other like
disorders.--Lewis's Mat. Med.
381. RANUNCULUS Ficaria. PILEWORT. The Leaves and Root.--The roots
consist of slender fibres, with some little tubercles among them. These,
with the leaves, are considered of considerable eficacy in the cure of
haemorrhoids; for which purpose, considerable quantities are sold at
herb-shops in London.
382. RANUNCULUS Flammula. SMALL SPEARWORT.--It has been lately
discovered that this plant possesses very active powers as an emetic,
and it is supposed to be useful in some cases of vegetable poisons.
383. RHAMNUS Frangula. THE BLACK OR BERRY-BEARING ALDER. Its Bark.--The
internal bark of the trunk or root of the tree, given to the quantity of
a dram, purges violently, occasioning gripes, nausea, and vomiting.
These may be in good measure prevented by the addition of aromatics; but
we have plenty of safer and less precarious purgatives.
384. RHUS coriaria. ELM-LEAVED SUMACH.--Both the leaves and berries have
been employed in medicine; but the former are more astringent and tonic,
and have been long in common use, though at present discarded from the
385. RIBES nigrum.--The juice of black currants boiled up with sugar to
a jelly, is an excellent remedy against sore throats.
386. RUMEX Hydrolapathum. THE GREAT WATER DOCK.--The leaves of the docks
gently loosen the belly, and have sometimes been made ingredients in
decoctions for removing a costive habit. The roots, in conjunction with
other medicines, are celebrated for the cure of scorbutic and cutaneous
disorders, for which the following receipt is given by Lewis.
Six ounces of the roots of the water dock, with two of saffron; and of
mace, cinnamon, gentian root, liquorice root, and black pepper, each
three ounces, (or, where the pepper is improper, six ounces of
liquorice,) are to be reduced into coarse powder, and put into a mixture
of two gallons of wine, with half a gallon of strong vinegar, and the
yolks of three egs; and the whole digested, with a moderate warmth, for
three days, in a glazed vessel close stopped: from three to six ounces
of this liquor are to be taken every morning on an empty stomach, for
fourteen or twenty days, or longer.
387. SALVIA Sclarea. GARDEN CLARY. The Leaves and Seeds.--These have a
warm, bitterish, pungent taste; and a strong, not very agreeable smell:
the touch discovers in the leaves a large quantity of glutinous or
resinous matter. They are principally recommended in female weaknesses,
in hysteric disorders, and in flatulent colics.
388. SAMBUCUS Ebulus. DWARF ELDER, OR DANEWORT. The Root, Bark, and
Leaves.--These have a nauseous, sharp, bitter taste, and a kind of acrid
ungrateful smell: they are all strong cathartics, and as such are
recommended in dropsies, and other cases where medicines of that kind
are indicated. The bark of the root is said to be strongest: the leaves
the weakest. But they are all too churlish medicines for general use:
they sometimes evacuate violently upwards, almost always nauseate the
stomach, and occasion great uneasiness of the bowels. By boiling they
become (like the other drastics) milder, and more safe in operation.
Fernelius relates, that by long coction they entirely lose their
purgative virtue. The berries of this plant are likewise purgative, but
less virulent than the other parts. A rob prepared from them may be
given to the quantity of an ounce, as a cathartic; and in smaller ones
as an aperient and deobstruent in chronic disorders: in this last
intention, it is said by Haller to be frequently used in Switzerland, in
the dose of a dram.
389. SANICULA officinalis. SANICLE. The Leaves.--These have an
herbaceous, roughish taste: they have long been celebrated for sanative
virtues, both internally and externally; nevertheless their effects, in
any intention, are not considerable enough to gain them a place in the
390. SAPONARIA officinalis. SOAPWORT. The Herb and Root.--The roots
taste sweetish and somewhat pungent; and have a light smell like those
of liquorice: digested in rectified spirit they yield a strong tincture,
which loses nothing of its taste or flavour in being inspissated to the
consistence of an extract. This elegant root has not come much into
practice among us, though it promises, from its sensible qualities, to
be a medicine of considerable utility: it is greatly esteemed by the
German physicians as an aperient, corroborant, and sudorific; and
preferred by the College of Wirtemberg, by Stahl, Neumann, and others,
391. SAXIFRAGA granulata.--Linnaeus describes the taste of this plant to
be acrid and pungent, which we have not been able to discover. Neither
the tubercles of this root, nor the leaves, manifest to the organs of
taste any quality likely to be of medicinal use; and therefore, though
this species of Saxifraga has been long employed as a popular remedy in
nephritic and gravelly disorders, yet we do not find, either from its
sensible qualities or from any published instances of its efficacy, that
it deserves a place in the Materia Medica.--Woodville's Med. Bot. p.
392. SCABIOSA succisa. DEVIL'S BIT. The Leaves and Roots.--These stand
recommended as alexipharmics, but they have long given place to
medicines of greater efficacy.
393. SCANDIX Cerefolium. Chervil. The Leaves.--Geoffroy assures us, that
he has found it from experience to be of excellent service in dropsies:
that in this disorder it promotes the discharge of urine when
suppressed, renders it clear when feculent and turbid, and when high and
fiery of a paler colour; that it acts midly without irritation, and
tends rather to allay than excite inflammation. He goes so far as to
say, that dropsies which do not yield to this medicine are scarce
capable of being cured by any other. He directs the juice to be given in
the dose of three or four ounces every fourth hour, and continued for
some time, either alone, or in conjunction with nitre and syrup.
394. SEDUM Telephium. ORPINE. The Leaves.--This is a very thick-leaved
juicy plant, not unlike the houseleeks. It has a mucilaginous roughish
taste, and hence is recommended as emollient and astringent, but has
never been much regarded in practice.
395. SEMPERVIVUM tectorum. GREATER HOUSE-LEEK. The Leaves.--These are
principally applied in cases of erysipelatous and other hot eruptions of
the skin, in which they are of immediate service in allaying the pain
arising therefrom: great quantities are cultivated in Surrey, and
brought to the London markets. It is remarkable of this plant, that its
juice, when purified by filtration, appears of a dilute yellowish colour
upon the admixture of an equal quantity of rectified spirit of wine; but
forms a beautiful white, light coagulum, like the finer kinds of
pomatum: this proves extremely volatile; for when freed from the aqueous
phlegm, and exposed to the air, it altogether exhales in a very little
396. SENECIO Jacobaea. RAGWORT. The Leaves.--Their taste is roughish,
bitter, pungent, and extremely unpleasant: they stand strongly
recommended by Simon Pauli against dysenteries; but their forbidding
taste has prevented its coming into practice.
397. SOLANUM nigrum. COMMON NIGHTSHADE. The Leaves and Berries.--In the
year 1757, Mr. Gataker, surgeon to the Westminster Hospital, called the
attention of the Faculty to this plant, by a publication recommending
its internal use in old sores, srophulous and cancerous ulcers,
cutaneous eruptions, and even dropsies; all of which were much relieved
or completely cured of it.
398. SPIRAEA Ulmaria. MEADOW-SWEET. The Leaves and Flowers.--The flowers
have a very pleasant flavour, which water extracts from them by
infusion, and elevates in distillation.
399. SPIRAEA Filipendula. DROPWORT. The Root.--The root consists of a
number of tubercles, fastened together by slender strings; its taste is
rough and bitterish, with a slight degree of pungency. These qualities
point out its use in a flaccid state of the vessels, and a sluggishness
of the juices: the natural evacuations are in some measure restrained or
promoted by it, where the excess or deficiency proceeds from this cause.
Hence some have recommended it as an astringent in dysenteries, a
diuretic, and others as an aperient and deobstruent in scrophulous
400. SYMPHYTUM officinale. COMFREY. The Root.--The roots are very large,
black on the outside, white within, full of a viscid glutinous juice, of
no particular taste. They agree in quality with the roots of Althaea;
with this difference, that the mucilage of it is somewhat
stronger-bodied. Many ridiculous histories of the consolidating virtues
of this plant are related by authors.
401. TAMUS communis. BLACK BRYONY.--The root is one of the best
diuretics known in medicine. It is an excellent remedy in the gravel and
all obstructions of urine, and other disorders of the like nature.
402. TANACETUM vulgare. TANSY. The Leaves.--These have a bitterish warm
aromatic taste; and a very pleasant smell, approaching to that of mint
or a mixture of mint and maudlin. Water elevates their flavour in
distillation; and rectified spirit extracts it by infusion. They have
been recommended in hysteric cases.
403. TEUCRIUM Chamaepitys. GROUND PINE. The Leaves.--These are
recommended as aperient and vulnerary, as also in gouty and rheumatic
404. THYMUS vulgaris. THYME. The Leaves and Flowers.--A tea made of the
fresh tops of thyme is good in asthmas and diseases of the lungs. It is
recommended against nervous complaints; but for this purpose the wild
thyme is preferable. There is an oil made from thyme that cures the
tooth-ache, a drop or two of it being put upon lint and applied to the
tooth; this is commonly called oil of origanum.
405. TRIGONELLA Foenum-graecum. FOENUGREEK. The Seeds.--They are of a
yellow colour, a rhomboidal figure; have a disagreeable strong smell,
and a mucilaginous taste. Their principal use is in cataplasms,
fomentations, and the like, and in emollient glysters.
406. VERBASCUM Thapsus. MULLEIN. The Leaves and Flowers.--Their taste
discovers a glutinous quality; and hence they stand recommended as an
emollient, and is in some places held in great esteem in consumptions.
The flowers of mullein have an agreeable, honeylike sweetness: an
extract prepared from them by rectified spirit of wine tastes extremely
407. VERBENA officinalis. COMMON WILD VERVAIN. The Leaves and Root.--
This is one of the medicines which we owe to the superstition of former
ages; the virtue it has been celebrated for is as an amulet, on which a
pamphlet was some years ago published. It was recommended to wear the
root by a ribband tied round the neck for the cure of the scrophula, and
for which purpose, even now, much of the root is sold in London. As the
age of superstition is passing by, it will be needless to say more on
the subject at present.
408. VERONICA officinalis. MALE SPEEDWELL. The Leaves.--Hoffman and Joh.
Francus have written express treatises on this plant, recommending
infusions of it, drunk in the form of tea, as very salubrious in many
disorders, particularly those of the breast.
* * * * *
Observations on the Drying and Preserving of Herbs, &c. for Medicinal
The student who has paid attention to the subject described in the
foregoing sections, will be struck with the admirable contrivance of
Divine Wisdom; that has caused such astringent substances as are
contained in the oak and Peruvian bark, to be produced from the same
soil, and in a similar way to those mucilaginous and laxative ones which
we find in the juice of the marsh-mallow, and the olive oil. It is not
intended in this small elementary work to enter into any investigation
of the primitive parts of the vegetable creation, or how such different
particles are secreted. It may therefore suffice, that, although the
science of vegetable physiology admits of many very beautiful and
instructing illustrations, yet they only go so far as to prove to us,
that the first and grand principle of vegetable life and existence, as
well as of the formation of all organic substances, consists in a system
of attraction and combination of the different particles of nature, as
they exist and are imbibed from the soil and the surrounding atmosphere.
Thus, during their existence, we observe a continual series of
aggregation of substance; but no sooner does the principle of life
become extinct, than the agents of decomposition are at work, dividing
and selecting each different substance, and carrying it back from whence
it came:--"From dust thou comest, and to dust thou shalt return." This,
therefore, seems to be the sum total of existence; the explanation of
which, with all its interesting ramifications, is more fully explained
by the learned professors in what is called the science of chemistry.
As plants of all descriptions, and their several parts, form a link of
that chain by which the welfare of the universe is connected, the
industry of mankind is excited to preserve them for the different
purposes to which they are applicable, in the oeconomy of human
existence, to whose use the greater part of the animal and vegetable
creation appears to be subservient. As men, then, and rational beings,
it becomes our duty so to manage those things, when necessary, as to
counteract as much as possible the decomposition and corruption which
are natural to all organized bodies when deprived of the living
We find that some vegetables are used fresh, but the greater part are
preserved in a dry state; in which, by proper management, they can be
kept for a considerable time afterwards, both for our own use as well as
for that of others who reside at a distance from the place of their
In the preparation of the parts of plants for medicinal purposes, we
should always have in view the extreme volatility of many of those
substances, and how necessary it therefore is, that the mode of
preparation and drying should be done as quickly as possible, in order
to counteract the effects of the air and light, which continue to
dissipate, without intermission, these particles, during the whole time
that any vegetable, either fresh or dried, is left to its influence.
If we consider the nature of hops, which I shall take as an example, as
being prepared in this way on the largest scale, we shall find they
consist of three different principles; namely, an aroma, combined with
an agreeable bitter taste, and a yellow colour; all of which properties
are, by the consumers and dealers therein, expected to exist in the
article after drying.
The art of drying hops, therefore, has been a subject of speculation for
many years; and although we find the kiln apparatus for preserving them
differ in many places, from the various opinions of the projectors, yet
they are all intended for the same mode of action, i. e. the producing
of a proper degree of heat, which must be regulated according to the
state of the atmosphere at the gathering season, and the consequent
quantity of the watery extract that the hops contain at the time: thus
it is usual to have two kilns of different temperatures at work at the
same time. It should, however, be observed, that the principal art of
drying hops is in doing it as quickly as possible, so as not to injure
them in their colour. As soon as they are dried, it is considered
necessary to put them up into close and thick bags.
It should be observed, that all vegetables contain at every period of
their growth two distinct species of moiture: the one called by
naturalists the common juice, which is the ascending sap, and is replete
with watery particles: the other is termed the proper juice, which
having passed up through the leaves, and being there concocted and
deprived of the watery part, contains the principle on which various
properties and virtues of the plant depend. We therefore find that the
operations above described only go to this, that the watery particles in
the common juice should be evaporated, as being a part necessary to be
got rid of; and the proper juice being of a volatile nature, the less
time the plants are exposed for that purpose, the less of this precious
material will be lost: and as those parts are flying off continually
from all dried vegetables, there should be one general rule made with
regard to their peparation; for, if we instance mint, balm, pennyroyal,
&c., the longer these are kept in the open air, the weaker are they
found to be in their several parts.
From hence we may naturally infer, that the usual mode in which the
generality of herbs are dried, is not so good for the purpose, as one
would be if contrived on similar principles, as, during the length of
time necessary for the purpose, a great deal of the principal parts of
the plants must of course be evaporated and lost; for little else is
regarded than to dry them so as to prevent putrefaction. Although the
generality of herbs met with are prepared as above described, yet in
such articles as Digitalis, Hyoscyamus, Conium, Toxicodendron, &c.,
where the quantity necessary for a dose is so small, and so much depends
on its action, practitioners are often obliged to prepare it themselves.
I shall therefore relate the following mode as the best adapted to that
purpose. The Digitalis is prepared by collecting the leaves in the
summer, and stripping them off from the foot-stalks; these should be
then carefully exposed to a slow heat, and the watery extract slowly
thrown off; in which they should not be exposed to any great degree of
heat, which by its action will deprive them of their fine green colour.
When this is effected, the whole may be put in contact with a heat that
will enable the operator to reduce it to a fine powder. And in order to
keep it with its virtues perfect, it will be necessary to deprive it as
much as possible of the influence of air and light. Hence it is
preserved in close glass bottles which are coated, and also placed in a
dark part of the elaboratory. Now, it is necessary that all plants
intended to be used in a dried state, should be prepared and protected
in a similar manner; and although it may be considered as a superfluous
trouble, so far as regards the more common kinds, particular attention
should be paid to these, when a small quantity is a dose, and an
over-dose a certain poison.
Other kinds of vegetables require a certain degree of fermentation, as
Tobacco. The prinicpal art of preserving it consists in this operation
being duly performed; for which purpose, as soon as the leaves of the
herb are fit, the foot-stalks are broken, and the leaves left on, in
order for the moisture in part to be evaporated. Afterwards these are
gathered and tied in handfuls, and hung up in the shade to dry; and when
sufficiently divested of moisture, the bundles are collected together
and laid in large boxes or tubs, in which these are fermented, and
afterwards taken out again and dried; when it is found fit to pack up
for the market.
The properties of Stramonium, which has been so much recommended for
curing asthma, consist pricipally in the aroma, which is only to be
preserved in a similar manner: and I have found from experience, that if
the leaves are separated from the plant in a manner similar to that of
tobacco, and the rest of the plant, noth roots, stalks, and
seed-vessels, be slit and sufficiently dried in the sun or in an oven,
and the whole fermented together, a very different article is the
produce than what it is when dried in the usual way, and left entirely
to the chance influence of the atmosphere.
In the common operation of hay-making it may also be observed, that the
continued turning it over and admitting its parts to the action of the
sun and the air, is for the purpose of getting rid of the watery
particles contained in it; and the quicker this is done, the better it
is. And although this operation is so essentially necessary, yet care
should be taken at the same time, that it be not made too dry, so as to
prevent a due degree of fermentation being allowed to take place in the
rick. And it may be observed that the best grasses, or other plants used
for hay, if made too dry, so as to prevent the natural fermentation
which their proper juices will excite, can never make either palatable
or nutritive food for cattle. Neither can the same be effected if the
article is used in too small quantities. It should be observed, that
herbs of all kinds should be gathered for peserving when in full bloom;
but when roots or barks are recommended, these should be collected in
the autumn months. The principles laid down for preserving dried plants
generally, will apply to these parts also.
* * * * *
SECTION IX.--PLANTS USED FOR CULINARY PURPOSES.
"Man's first great ruling passion is to eat."
In the following section I have confined myself principally to such as
are in cultivation. There are many of our indigenous plants which, in
times of scarcity, and in other cases of necessity, are used as food by
the people in the neighbourhood where they grow. But of these I shall
make a separate list.
409. ARTICHOKE. Cynara Scolymus.--We have several varieties of this
plant in cultivation; but the most approved are the large green and the
globe. They are propagated by taking off the young suckers from the old
roots in May, and planting them in a piece of rich land. Artichokes have
been raised from seed, but they are seldom perfected in this country.
410. ARTICHOKE, JERUSALEM. Helianthus tuberosus.--Is cultivated for the
sake of its tubers, similar to the potatoe; but they are not generally
411. ASPARAGUS. Asparagus officinalis.--A very delicious vegetable in
the spring, and well known to all amateurs of gardening.
There is a variety called the Gravesend Asparagus, and another called
the Battersea; but it is the richness of the soil and manure that makes
the only difference.
412. BASIL, SWEET. Ocymum Basilicum.--A pot-herb of considerable use for
culinary purposes. It is an annual; and the seeds should be sown in a
hot-bed in March, and transplanted into the open ground. It is usually
dried as other pot-herbs.
413. BEANS. Vicia Faba.--The varieties of the garden-beans are as
The early Mazagan and Longpod are planted in November. These will
usually be fit for use in June.
The Sword Longpod.
The Green Toker.
These are sown usually in succession from January to March, and afford a
continuance of crop during the season.
414. BEANS, FRENCH OR KIDNEY. Phaseolus vulgaris.--The kidney beans are
of two kinds; such as run up sticks and flower on the tops. Of this
description we have in cultivation the following:--
The Scarlet Runner. The Dutch Runner.
Both these are much esteemed.
Of dwarf kinds we have many varieties. The pollen of these plants is
very apt to become mixed; and, consequently, hybrid kinds differing in
the colour of the seeds are often produced. The season for sowing these
is from April till June.
The Black, or Negro Beans. The Blue Dwarf. The Early Yellow. The Black
Speckled. The Red Speckled. The Magpie. The Canterbury.
All these varieties are good and early beans. The white Canterbury is
the kind most esteemed for pickling; the other sorts being all of them
more or less discoloured: and this kind is the sort generally sold for
such purpose in the London markets.
415. BEET, RED. Beta vulgaris v. rubra.--The roots of this variety are
used both in soups and for early spring salads: it is cultivated by
sowing the seeds in March; and the roots are usually kept all winter.
The white beet is only a variety of the other; and it is the tops that
are usually eaten of this kind as a substitute for spinach. Its culture
is the same as that of the red kind.
416. BORECOLE. Brassica Rapa.--Of borecole we have two varieties; the
purple, and green. The former is in much esteem amongst the Germans, who
make a number of excellent dishes from it in the winter.
The culture is the same as for winter cabbage of other kinds.
417. BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Brassica Rapa.--This is also a useful variety of
the cabbage species, which is very productive, forming a large number of
beautiful small close-headed cabbages on their high stalks in the winter
season. The seeds are sown in March.
418. BURNET. Poterium Sanguisorba.--The young leaves of this plant are
eaten with other tender herbs in the spring, and are considered a
wholesome addition to mustard, cress, corn-salad, &c.
419. CABBAGE. Brassica oleracea.--The varieties of cabbage are numerous.
The most esteemed are,
The Early York. The Early Sugar-loaf. The Early Battersea. The Early
They are all sown in August, and planted out for an early summer-crop,
and are usually in season in May and June.
The Large Battersea. The Red Cabbage. The Green Savoy. The White Savoy.
These are usually sown in March, and planted for a winter crop.
The use and qualities of the cabbage are too well known to need any
420. CAULIFLOWER. Brassica oleracea var.--The varieties are,
The Early. The Late.
The early cauliflower is sown in the first week in September, and
usually sheltered under bell or hand glasses during the winter. By this
means the crop is fit for table in the months of May and June.
The late sort is usually sown in the month of March, and planted out for
a succession to the first crop.
421. CAPERS. Capparis spinosa.--This is the flower-pod before it opens
of the above shrub, and is only kept as an ornamental plant here. I am
induced to notice this plant, as I have known some things used in
mistake for capers that are dangerous. I once saw an instance of this,
in the seed-vessels of the Euphorbia Lathyris (which is a poisonous
plant) being pickled by an ignorant person.
422. CAPSICUM. Capsicum annuum.--Cayenne pepper is made from a small
variety of this plant.
We have many varieties cultivated here in hot-beds; namely, yellow and
red, of various shapes, as long, round, and heart-shaped. All these are
very useful, either pickled by themselves, or mixed with any other
substances, as love-apple, radish pods, &c. to which they impart a very
fine warm flavour.
423. CARROT. Daucus Carota.--
The Orange Carrot.--For winter use.
The Early Horn ditto.--For summer use.--The former is usually sown in
March; the latter being smaller, and more early, is commonly raised on
hot-beds. The Early Horn Carrot may likewise be sown in August, and is
good all winter.
424. CELERY. Apium graveolens.--Celery is now so generally known as to
render a description of the plant useless; nor need it be told, that the
stalks blanched are eaten raw, stewed, &c. It should be used with great
caution, if grown in wet land, as it has been considered poisonous in
such cases. The season of sowing celery is in April. We have a variety
of this, which is red, and much esteemed.
425. CELERIAC. This is a variety of the Apium graveolens. It is hollow
in the stem, and the roots are particularly large: although this is much
used in Germany, it is not so much esteemed by us as the celery.
426. CHAMPIGNON. Agaricus pratensis.--This plant is equal in flavour to
the mushroom when boiled or stewed: it is rather dry, and has little or
no scent whatever.
427. CHARDOONS. Cynara Cardunculus.--The gardeners blanch the stalks as
they do celery; and they are eaten raw with oil, pepper, and vinegar;
or, if fancy directs, they are also either boiled or stewed.
428. CHERVIL. Scandix Cerefolium.--This plant is so much used by the
French and Dutch, that there is scarcely a soup or salad but what
chervil makes part of it: it is grateful to the taste. See article
oenanthe crocata in the Poisonous Plants.
429. CIVES. Allium Schoenoprasum.--This is an excellent herb for salads
in the spring: it is also useful for soups, &c. &c. It is perennial, and
propagated by its roots, which readily part at any season.
430. CLARY. Salvia Sclarea.--The seeds are sown in autumn. It is
biennial. The recent leaves dipped in milk, and then fried in butter,
were formerly used as a dainty dish; but now it is mostly used as a
pot-herb, and for making an useful beverage called Clary Wine, viz.--Put
four pounds of sugar to five gallons of water, and the albumen of three
eggs well beaten; boil these together for about sixteen minutes, then
skim the liquor; and when it is cool, add of the leaves and blossoms two
gallons, and also of yeast half a pint; and when this is completed, put
it all together into a vessel and stir it two or three times a-day till
it has done fermenting, and then stop it close for two months:
afterwards draw it into a clean vessel, adding to it a quart of good
brandy. In two months it will be fit to bottle.
431. COLEWORT. Brassica oleracea var.--This is a small variety of the
common cabbage, which is sown in June, and planted out for autumn and
winter use. These are often found to stand the severe frosts of our
winter when the large sort of cabbages are killed; but its principal use
with gardeners is, to have a crop that will occupy the land after the
beans and pease are over, and perhaps Colewort is the most advantageous
for such purposes.
432. CORN SALAD. Valeriana Locusta.--An annual, growing wild in
Battersea fields, and many other parts of this kingdom.
It is usually sown in August, and stands the winter perfectly well; it
is very similar to lettuce, and is a good substitute for it in the
spring and winter seasons.
433. COSTMARY Tanacetum Balsamita.--Is used as a herb in salad. This is
a perennial plant of easy culture.
434. CRESS. Lepidium sativum.--There are two varieties of cress, the
curled and common. This is an ingredient with mustard in early salads.
435. CRESS, AMERICAN. Erysimum Barbarea.--This is cultivated for salads,
and is much esteemed. It is increased by sowing the seeds in the spring.
This is only good in the winter and spring seasons.
436. CUCUMBERS. Cucumis sativus.--Many sorts of cucumbers are cultivated
by gardeners. The most esteemed are,
The Southgate Cucumber. The Long Prickly. The Long Turkey. The White
The early crop is usually sown in hot-beds in the spring, and is a crop
on which most gardeners have always prided themselves, each on his best
mode of management of this crop. They will also grow if sown in April,
and planted out in the open ground.
The short prickly cucumber is grown for gerkins.
437. DILL. Anethum graveolens.--This is similar to fennel, and used in
pickling. It is esteemed useful as a medicinal herb also; which see.
438. ENDIVE. Cichorium Endivia.--Of this we have three varieties in
The Green Curled. The White Curled. The Batavian, or Broad-leaved.
These are sown usually in June and July, and planted out for use in the
autumn and winter. Endive is well known as forming a principal part of
our winter salads; for which purpose, it is usual with gardeners to
blanch it, by tying the plants up together, and laying them in dry
439. ESCHALOT. Allium ascalonium.--This species of allium is very
pungent: its scent is not unpleasant, but is very strong, and, in
general, it is preferred to the onion for making soups and gravies. It
is propagated by planting the bulbs in September and October: they are
fit to take up in May and June, when they are dried and kept for use.
440. FENNEL. Anethum Foeniculum.--The use of this plant is so well knwon
in the kitchen, as to render an account of it useless. It is propagated
by sowing seeds in the spring.
441. GARLICK. Allium sativum.--This is used in the art of cookery in
various ways, for soups, pickles, &c. It is cultivated by planting the
small cloves or roots in the month of October. It is fit to pull up in
spring; and the roots are dried for use.
442. GOURD. Cucurbita Melopepo.--The inhabitants of North America boil
the squash or melon gourds when about the size of small oranges, and eat
them with their meat. The pulp is used with sour apples to make pies. In
scarcity it is a good substitute for fruit.