Down, or Cotton-Thistle

Descript : This has large leaves lying on the ground, somewhat cut in, and as it were crumpled on the edges, of a green colour on the upper side, but covered with long hairy wool, or Cotton Down, set with most sharp and cruel pricks, from the middle of whose head of flowers, thrust forth many purplish crimson threads, and sometimes (although very seldom) white ones. The seed that follows in the heads, lying in a great deal of white down, is somewhat large, long, and round, like the seed of ladies thistle, but paler. The root is great and thick, spreading much, yet it usually dies after seed time.

Place : It grows in divers ditches, banks, and in cornfields, and highways, generally everywhere throughout the land.

Time : It flowers and bears seed about the end of Summer, when other thistles do flower and seed.

Government and virtues : Mars owns the plant, and manifest to the world, that though it may hurt your finger, it will help your body; for I fancy it much for the ensuing virtues. Pliny and Dioscorides write, That the leaves and roots thereof taken in drink, help those that have a crick in their neck; whereby taken in drink, help those that have a crick in their neck; whereby they cannot turn their neck but their whole body must turn also (sure they do not mean those that have got a crick in their neck by being under the hangman's hand.) Galen saith, that the root and leaves hereof are of a healing quality, and good for such persons as have their bodies drawn together by some spasm or convulsion, as it is with children that have the rickets.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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