Ladies Bed-Straw

BESIDES the common name above written, it is called Cheese-Rennet, because it performs the same office, as also Gailion, Pettimugget, and Maiden-hair; and by some Wild Rosemary.

Descript : This rises up with divers small brown, and square upright stalks, a yard high or more; sometimes branches forth into divers parts, full of joints and with divers very fine small leaves at every one of them, little or nothing rough at all; at the tops of the branches grow many long tufts or branches of yellow flowers very thick set together, from the several joints which consist of four leaves apiece, which smell somewhat strong, but not unpleasant. The seed is small and black like poppy seed, two for the most part joined together. The root is reddish, with many small threads fastened to it, which take strong hold of the ground, and creep a little: and the branches leaning a little down to the ground, take root at the joints thereof, whereby it is easily increased.

There is another sort of Ladies Bedstraw growing frequently in England, which bears white flowers as the other doth yellow; but the branches of this are so weak, that unless it be sustained by the hedges, or other things near which it grows, it will lie down on the ground; the leaves a little bigger than the former, and the flowers not so plentiful as these; and the root hereof is also thready and abiding.

Place : They grow in meadow and pastures both wet and dry, and by the hedges.

Time : They flower in May for the most part, and the seed is ripe in July and August.

Government and virtues : They are both herbs of Venus, and therefore strengthening the parts both internal and external, which she rules. The decoction of the former of those being drank, is good to fret and break the stone, provoke the urine, stays inward bleeding and heals inward wounds. The herb or flower bruised and put into the nostrils, stays their bleeding likewise. The flowers and herbs being made into an oil, by being set in the sun, and changed after it has stood ten or twelve days; or into an ointment being boiled in Axunga, or sallad oil, with some wax melted therein, after it is strained; either the oil made thereof, or the ointment, do help burnings with fire, or scalding with water. The same also, or the decoction of the herb and flower, is good to bathe the feet of travellers and lacquies, whose long running causes weariness and stiffness in the sinews and joints. If the decoction be used warm, and the joints afterwards anointed with ointment, it helps the dry scab, and the itch in children; and the herb with the white flower is also very good for the sinews, arteries, and joints, to comfort and strengthen them after travel, cold, and pains.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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