Great Round-Leaved Dock, or Bastard Rhubarb

Descript : This has divers large, round thin yellowish green leaves rising from the root, a little waved about the edges, every one standing upon a reasonably thick and long brownish footstalk, from among which rises up a pretty big stalk, about two feet high, with some such high leaves growing thereon, but smaller; at the top whereof stand in a long spike many small brownish flowers, which turn into a hard three square shining brown seed, like the garden Patience before described. The root grows greater than that, with many branches or great fibres thereat, yellow on the outside, and somewhat pale; yellow within, with some discoloured veins like to the Rhubarb which is first described, but much less than it, especially when it is dry.

Place and Time : These also grow in gardens, and flower and seed at or near the same time that our true Rhubarb doth, viz. they flower in June, and the seed is ripe in July.

Government and virtues : Mars claims predominancy over all these wholesome herbs. You cry out upon him for an unfortunate, when God created him for your good (only he is angry with fools). What dishonour is this, not to Mars, but to God himself. A dram of the dried root of Monk's Rhubarb, with a scruple of Ginger made into powder, and taken fasting in a draught or mess of warm broth, purges choler and phlegm downwards very gently and safely without danger. The seed thereof contrary doth bind the belly, and helps to stay any sort of lasks or bloody-flux. The distilled water thereof is very profitably used to heal scabs; also foul ulcerous sores, and to allay the inflammation of them; the juice of the leaves or roots or the decoction of them in vinegar, is used as the most effectual remedy to heal scabs and running sores.

The Bastard Rhubarb hath all the properties of the Monk's Rhubarb, but more effectual for both inward and outward diseases. The decoction thereof without vinegar dropped into the ears, takes away the pains; gargled in the mouth, takes away the tooth ache; and being drank, heals the jaundice. The seed thereof taken, eases the gnawing and griping pains of the stomach, and takes away the loathing thereof unto meat. The root thereof helps the ruggedness of the nails, and being boiled in wine helps the swelling of the throat, commonly called the king's evil, as also the swellings of the kernels of the ears. It helps them that are troubled with the stone, provokes urine, and helps the dimness of the sight. The roots of this Bastard Rhubarb are used in opening and purging diet-drinks, with other things, to open the liver, and to cleanse and cool the blood.

The properties of that which is called the English Rhubarb are the same with the former, but much more effectual, and hath all the properties of the true Italian Rhubarbs, except the force in purging, wherein it is but of half the strength thereof, and therefore a double quantity must be used: it likewise hath not that bitterness and astriction; in other things it works almost in an equal quantity, which are these: It purges the body of choler and phlegm, being either taken of itself, made into powder, and drank in a draught of white wine, or steeped therein all night, and taken fasting, or put among other purges, as shall be thought convenient, cleansing the stomach, liver and blood, opening obstructions, and helping those griefs that come thereof, as the jaundice, dropsy, swelling of the spleen, tertian and daily agues, and pricking pains of the sides; and also stays spitting of blood. The powder taken with cassia dissolved, and washed Venice turpentine, cleanses the reins and strengthens them afterwards, and is very effectual to stay the gonorrhea. It is also given for the pains and swellings in the head, for those that are troubled with melancholy, and helps the sciatica, gout, and the cramp. The powder of the Rhubarb taken with a little mummia and madder roots in some red wine, dissolves clotted blood in the body, happening by any fall or bruise, and helps burstings and broken parts, as well inward as outward. The oil likewise wherein it hath been boiled, works the like effects being anointed. It is used to heal those ulcers that happen in the eyes or eyelids, being steeped and strained; as also to assuage the swellings and inflammations; and applied with honey, boiled in wine, it takes away all blue spots or marks that happen therein. Whey or white wine are the best liquors to steep it in, and thereby it works more effectual in opening obstructions, and purging the stomach and liver. Many do use a little Indian Spikenard as the best corrector thereof.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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