Descript : The ordinary English Scurvygrass hath many thick flat leaves, more long than broad, and sometimes longer and narrower; sometimes also smooth on the edges, and sometimes a little waved; sometimes plain, smooth and pointed, of a sad green, and sometimes a blueish colour, every one standing by itself upon a long foot-stalk, which is brownish or greenish also, from among which arise many slender stalks, bearing few leaves thereon like the other, but longer and less for the most part. At the tops whereof grow many whitish flowers, with yellow threads in the middle, standing about a green head, which becomes the seed vessel, which will be somewhat flat when it is ripe, wherein is contained reddish seed, tasting somewhat hot. The root is made of many white strings, which stick deeply into the mud, wherein it chiefly delights, yet it will well abide in the more upland and drier ground, and tastes a little brackish and salt even there, but not so much as where it hath the salt water to feed upon.

Place : It grows all along the Thames sides, both on the Essex and Kentish shores, from Woolwich round about the sea coasts to Dover, Portsmouth, and even to Bristol, where it is had in plenty; the other with round leaves grows in the marshes in Holland, in Lincolnshire, and other places of Lincolnshire by the sea side.

Descript : There is also another sort called Dutch Scurvygrass, which is most known, and frequent in gardens, which has fresh, green, and almost round leaves rising from the root, not so thick as the former, yet in some rich ground, very large, even twice as big as in others, not dented about the edges, or hollow in the middle, standing on a long foot-stalk; from among these rise long, slender stalks, higher than the former, with more white flowers at the tops of them, which turn into small pods, and smaller brownish seed than the former. The root is white, small and thready. The taste is nothing salt at all; it hath a hot, aromatical spicy taste.

Time : It flowers in April and May, and gives seed ripe quickly after.

Government and virtues : It is an herb of Jupiter. The English Scurvygrass is more used for the salt taste it bears, which doth somewhat open and cleanse; but the Dutch Scurvygrass is of better effect, and chiefly used (if it may be had) by those that have the scurvy, and is of singular good effect to cleanse the blood, liver, and spleen, taking the juice in the Spring every morning fasting in a cup of drink. The decoction is good for the same purpose, and opens obstructions, evacuating cold, clammy and phlegmatic humours both from the liver and the spleen, and bringing the body to a more lively colour. The juice also helps all foul ulcers and sores in the mouth, gargled therewith; and used outwardly, cleanses the skin from spots, marks, or scars that happen therein.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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