Clown's Woods

Descript : It grows up sometimes to two or three feet high, but usually about two feet, with square green rough stalks, but slender, joined somewhat far asunder, and two very long, somewhat narrow, dark green leaves, bluntly dented about the edges thereof, ending in a long point. The flowers stand towards the tops, compassing the stalks at the joints with the leaves, and end likewise in a spiked top, having long and much gaping hoods of a purplish red colour, with whitish spots in them, standing in somewhat round husks, wherein afterwards stand blackish round seeds. The root is composed of many long strings, with some tuberous long knobs growing among them, of a pale yellowish or whitish colour, yet some times of the year these knobby roots in many places are not seen in this plant. This plant smells somewhat strong.

Place : It grows in sundry counties of this land, both north and west, and frequently by path-sides in the fields near about London, and within three or four miles distant about it, yet it usually grows in or near ditches.

Time : It flowers in June or July, and the seed is ripe soon after.

Government and virtues : It is under the dominion of the planet Saturn. It is singularly effectual in all fresh and green wounds, and therefore bears not this name for nought. And it is very available in staunching of blood and to dry up the fluxes of humours in old fretting ulcers, cankers, &c. that hinder the healing of them.

A syrup made of the juice of it, is inferior to none for inward wounds, ruptures of veins, bloody flux, vessels broken, spitting, urining, or vomiting blood. Ruptures are excellent and speedily, ever to admiration, cured by taking now and then a little of the syrup, and applying an ointment or plaister of this herb to the place. Also, if any vain be swelled or muscle, apply a plaister of this herb to it, and if you add a little Comfrey to it, it will not be amiss. I assure thee the herb deserves commendation, though it has gotten such a clownish name; and whosoever reads this, (if he try it, as I have done,) will commend it; only take notice that it is of a dry earthy quality.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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