Pellitory of the Wall

Descript : It rises with brownish, red, tender, weak, clear, and almost transparent stalks, about two feet high, upon which grow at the joints two leaves somewhat broad and long, of a dark green colour, which afterwards turn brownish, smooth on the edges, but rough and hairy, as the stalks are also. At the joints with the leaves from the middle of the stalk upwards, where it spreads into branches, stand many small, pale, purplish flowers in hairy, rough heads, or husks, after which come small, black, rough seed, which will stick to any cloth or garment that shall touch it. The root is somewhat long, with small fibres thereat, of a dark reddish colour, which abides the Winter, although the stalks and leaves perish and spring every year.

Place : It grows wild generally through the land, about the borders of fields, and by the sides of walls, and among rubbish. It will endure well being brought up in gardens, and planted on the shady side, where it will spring of its own sowing.

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

Government and virtues : It is under the dominion of Mercury. The dried herb Pellitory made up into an electuary with honey, or the juices of the herb, or the decoction thereof made up with sugar or honey, is a singular remedy for an old or dry cough, the shortness of breath, and wheezing in the throat. Three ounces of the juice thereof taken at a time, doth wonderfully help stopping of the urine, and to expel the stone or gravel in the kidneys or bladder, and is therefore usually put among other herbs used in clysters to mitigate pains in the back, sides, or bowels, proceeding of wind, stopping of urine, the gravel or stone, as aforesaid. If the bruised herb, sprinkled with some Muskadel, be warmed upon a tile, or in a dish upon a few quick coals in a chafing-dish, and applied to the belly, it works the same effect. The decoction of the herb being drank, eases pains of the mother, and brings down women's courses. It also eases those griefs that arise from obstructions of the liver, spleen, and reins. The same decoction, with a little honey added thereto, is good to gargle a sore throat. The juice held a while in the mouth, eases pains in the teeth. The distilled water of the herb drank with some sugar, works the same effects, and cleanses the skin from spots, freckles, purples, wheals, sun-burn, morphew, &c. The juice dropped into the ears, eases the noise in them, and takes away the pricking and shooting pains therein. The same, or the distilled water, assuages hot and swelling imposthumes, burnings and scaldings by fire or water; as also all other hot tumours and inflammations, or breakings-out, of heat, being bathed often with wet cloths dipped therein. The said juice made into a liniment with ceruss, and oil of roses, and anointed therewith, cleanses foul rotten ulcers, and stays spreading or creeping ulcers, and running scabs or sores in children's heads; and helps to stay the hair from falling off the head. The said ointment, or the herb applied to the fundament, opens the piles, and eases their pains; and being mixed with goats' tallow, helps the gout. The juice is very effectual to cleanse fistulas, and to heal them up safely; or the herb itself bruised and applied with a little salt. It is likewise also effectual to heal any green wound; if it be bruised and bound thereto for three days, you shall need no other medicine to heal it further. A poultice made hereof with Mallows, and boiled in wine and wheat bran and bean flour, and some oil put thereto, and applied warm to any bruised sinews, tendon, or muscle, doth in a very short time restore them to their strength, taking away the pains of the bruises, and dissolves the congealed blood coming of blows, or falls from high places.

The juice of Pellitory of the Wall clarified and boiled in a syrup with honey, and a spoonful of it drank every morning by such as are subject to the dropsy; if continuing that course, though but once a week, they ever have the dropsy, let them but come to me, and I will cure them gratis.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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