Of Leaves of Herbs, or Trees


1. Of leaves, choose only such as are green, and full of juice; pick them carefully, and cast away such as are any way declining, for they will putrify the rest. So shall one handful be worth ten of those you buy at the physic herb shops.

2. Note what places they most delight to grow in, and gather them there; for Betony that grows in the shade, is far better than that which grows in the Sun, because it delights in the shade; so also such herbs as delight to grow near the water, shall be gathered near it, though happily you may find some of them upon dry ground. The Treatise will inform you where every herb delights to grow.

3. The leaves of such herbs as run up to seed, are not so good when they are in flower as before (some few excepted, the leaves of which are seldom or never used). In such cases, if through ignorance they were not known, or through negligence forgotten, you had better take the top and the flowers, then the leaf.

4. Dry them well in the Sun, and not in the shade, as the saying of physicians is; for if the sun draw away the virtues of the herb, it must need do the like by hay, by the same rule, which the experience of every country farmer will explode for a notable piece of nonsense.

5. Such as are artists in astrology, (and indeed none else are fit to make physicians) such I advise: Let the planet that governs the herb be angular, and the stronger the better; if they can, in herbs of Saturn, let Saturn be in the ascendant; in the herbs of Mars, let Mars be in the mid heaven, for in those houses they delight; let the Moon apply to them by good aspect, and let her not be in the houses of her enemies; if you cannot well stay till she apply to them, let her apply to a planet of the same triplicity; if you cannot wait that time neither, let her be with a fixed star of their nature.

6. Having well dried them, put them up in brown paper, sewing the paper up like a sack, and press them not too hard together, and keep them in a dry place near the fire.

7. As for the duration of dried herbs, a just time cannot be given, let authors prate their pleasure; for,

1st. Such as grow upon dry grounds will keep better than such as grow on moist.

2dly. Such herbs as are full of juice, will not keep so long as such as are drier.

3dly. Such herbs as are well dried, will keep longer than such as are slack dried. Yet you may know when they are corrupted, by their loss of colour, or smell, or both; and if they be corrupted, reason will tell you that they must needs corrupt the bodies of those people that take them.

4. Gather all leaves in the hour of that planet that governs them.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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