The Lesser Celandine or Pilewort or Fogwort

I wonder what ailed the ancients to give this the name Celandine, which resembles it neither in nature nor form; it acquired the name of Pilewort from its virtues, and it being no great matter where I set it down, so I set it down at all, I humoured Dr. Tradition so much, as to set him down here.

Descript : This Celandine or Pilewort (which you please) doth spread many round pale green leaves, set on weak and trailing branches which lie upon the ground, and are flat, smooth, and somewhat shining, and in some places (though seldom) marked with black spots, each standing on a long foot-stalk, among which rise small yellow flowers, consisting of nine or ten small narrow leaves, upon slender foot-stalks, very like unto Crowsfoot, whereunto the seed also is not unlike being many small kernels like a grain of corn sometimes twice as long as others, of a whitish colour, with fibres at the end of them.

Place : It grows for the most part in moist corners of fields and places that are near water sides, yet will abide in drier ground if they be a little shady.

Time : It flowers betimes, about March or April, is quite gone by May; so it cannot be found till it spring again.

Government and virtues : It is under the dominion of Mars, and behold here another verification of the learning of the ancients, viz. that the virtue of an herb may be known by its signature, as plainly appears in this; for if you dig up the root of it, you shall perceive the perfect image of the disease which they commonly call the piles. It is certain by good experience, that the decoction of the leaves and roots wonderfully helps piles and hæmorrhoids, also kernels by the ears and throat, called the king's evil, or any other hard wens or tumours.

Here's another secret for my countrymen and women, a couple of them together; Pilewort made into an oil, ointment, or plaister, readily cures both the piles, or hæmorrhoids, and the king's evil. The very herb borne about one's body next the skin helps in such diseases, though it never touch the place grieved; let poor people make use of it for those uses; with this I cured my own daughter of the king's evil, broke the sore, drew out a quarter of a pint of corruption, cured without any scar at all in one week's time.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.