Meadow Sweet or Mead Sweet

Descript : The stalks of these are reddish, rising to be three feet high, sometimes four or five feet, having at the joints thereof large winged leaves, standing one above another at distances, consisting of many and somewhat broad leaves, set on each side of a middle rib, being hard, rough, or rugged, crumpled much like unto elm leaves, having also some smaller leaves with them (as Agrimony hath) somewhat deeply dented about the edges, of a sad green colour on the upper side, and greyish underneath, of a pretty sharp scent and taste, somewhat like unto the Burnet, and a leaf hereof put into a cup of claret wine, gives also a fine relish to it. At the tops of the stalks and branches stand many tufts of small white flowers thrust thick together, which smell much sweeter than the leaves; and in their places, being fallen, come crooked and cornered seed. The root is somewhat woody, and blackish on the outside, and brownish within, with divers great strings, and lesser fibres set thereat, of a strong scent, but nothing so pleasant as the flowers and leaves, and perishes not, but abides many years, shooting forth a-new every Spring.

Place : It grows in moist meadows that lie mostly wet, or near the courses of water.

Time : It flowers in some places or other all the three Summer months, that is, June, July, and August, and the seed is ripe soon after.

Government and virtues : Venus claims dominion over the herb. It is used to stay all manner of bleedings, fluxes, vomitings, and women's courses, also their whites. It is said to alter and take away the fits of the quartan agues, and to make a merry heart for which purpose some use the flowers, and some the leaves. It helps speedily those that are troubled with the cholic; being boiled in wine, and with a little honey, taken warm, it opens the belly; but boiled in red wine, and drank, it stays the flux of the belly. Outwardly applied, it helps old ulcers that are cankerous, or hollow fistulous, for which it is by many much commended, as also for the sores in the mouth or secret parts. The leaves when they are full grown, being laid on the skin, will, in a short time, raise blisters thereon, as Tragus saith. The water thereof helps the heat and inflammation in the eyes.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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