Loosestrife, With Spiked Heads of Flowers

It is likewise called Grass-polly.

Descript : This grows with many woody square stalks, full of joints, about three feet high at least; at every one whereof stand two long leaves, shorter, narrower, and a greener colour than the former, and some brownish. The stalks are branched into many long stems of spiked flowers half a foot long, growing in bundles one above another, out of small husks, very like the spiked heads of Lavender, each of which flowers have five round-pointed leaves of a purple violet colour, or somewhat inclining to redness; in which husks stand small round heads after the flowers are fallen, wherein is contained small seed. The root creeps under ground like unto the yellow, but is greater than it, and so are the heads of the leaves when they first appear out of the ground, and more brown than the other.

Place : It grows usually by rivers, and ditch-sides in wet ground, as about the ditches at and near Lambeth, and in many places of this land.

Time : It flowers in the months of June and July.

Government and virtues : It is an herb of the Moon, and under the sign Cancer; neither do I know a better preserver of the sight when it is well, nor a better cure for sore eyes than Eyebright, taken inwardly, and this used outwardly; it is cold in quality. This herb is nothing inferior to the former, it having not only all the virtues which the former hath, but more peculiar virtues of its own, found out by experience; as, namely, The distilled water is a present remedy for hurts and blows on the eyes, and for blindness, so as the Christalline humours be not perished or hurt; and this hath been sufficiently proved true by the experience of a man of judgment, who kept it long to himself as a great secret. It clears the eyes of dust, or any thing gotten into them, and preserves the sight. It is also very available against wounds and thrusts, being made into an ointment in this manner: To every ounce of the water, add two drams of May butter without salt, and of sugar and wax, of each as much also; let them boil gently together. Let tents dipped into the liquor that remains after it is cold, be put into the wounds, and the place covered with a linen cloth doubled and anointed with the ointment; and this is also an approved medicine. It likewise cleanses and heals all foul ulcers, and sores whatsoever, and stays their inflammations by washing them with the water, and laying on them a green leaf or two in the Summer, or dry leaves in the Winter. This water, gargled warm in the mouth, and sometimes drank also, doth cure the quinsy, or king's evil in the throat. The said water applied warm, takes away all spots, marks, and scabs in the skin; and a little of it drank, quenches thirst when it is extreme.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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