The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes: Of Alkanet or wilde Buglosse. (Chap. 271.)

Teksti ilmestynyt kirjassa:
The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Gathered by John Gerarde of London Master in Chirvrgeria,

Imprinted at London by Iohn Norton. 1597

Of Alkanet or wilde Buglosse. (Chap. 271.)

The kindes.
There ne sundrie plants diuersly called, and yet euerie of them comprehended or conteined among the kindes of wilde Buglosses, whose figures to setsoorth particularly would both require cost and also much labour, and yet to small purpose; so that it shal suffice to set foorth the pictures of some and the bare descriptions of the rest: where of there be according to Dioscorides three kindes (besides the commong Buglosse and Landebeuf) that is to say, Onoclia, Alcibiadion, and the third without a name which we make to be Onosma. And first of
1. Anchusa Alcibiadion, Red Alkanet
2. Anchusa lutea, Yellow Alkanet

The description
These herbes comprehended under the name of Anchusa were so called of the Greeke word ---- i. illinere succo, vel pigmentis, that is to colour or paint any thing whereupon these plants were called Anchusa of that flourishing and bright red colour which is in the roote, euen as red as pure and cleere blood: for that is the onely note or marke whereby to distinguish these herbes from those which e called Echy, Lycopsis, and Buglossa, whereof they make a great resemblance: I haue therefore expressed sower differences of this plant Anchusa or Alkanet from the other kinds, by the leaues, flowers, and bignesse.

1. The first kinde of Alkanet hath many leaues like Echium, or small Buglosse, couered ouer with a prickly hoarines, hauing commonly but one stalk, which is round, rough, & a cubite high. The cups of the flowers are of a skie colour tending to purple, not unlike the flowers of Echium; the seede is small, somewhat long, and of a pale colour: the roote is a finger thicke, the pith or inner part therof is woodie substance, dying the hands or whatfoeuer thoucheth thesame, of a bloodie colour, or of the colour of saunders.

2. The second kinde of Anchisa or Alkanet, is of greater beutie and estimation than the first; the branches are lesle and more bushie in the top: it hath also greater plentie of leaues, and those more woolly or hairie: the stalke groweth to the height of two cubits: at the top growe flowers of a yellowe colour, farre different from the other: the roote is more shining, of an excellent delicate purplish colour, and more full of iuice then the first.

There is a small kinde of Alkanet, whose roote is greater and more full of iuice and substaunce then the rootes of the other kinds; in all other respects it is lesse, from the leaues are narrower, smaller, tenderer, and in number more, very greene like unto Borage, yeelding foorth many little tender stalks: the flowers are lesse then of the small Buglosse, and red of colour: the seede is of an ashe colour somewhat long and slender, hauing the taste of Buglosse.

There is also another kinde of Alkanet, which is as the others before mentioned, a kind of wilde Buglosse, notwithstanding for distionction sake, I haue separated and seuered them. This last Anchusa hath narrowe leaues, much like unto our common sommer Sauorie. The stalkes are two handfuls high, bearing very small flowers, and of a blewish or skie colour: the roote is of a darke brownish red colour, fying the hands little or nothing at all, and of a woodie substance.

The place
These plants do grow in the fieldes of Narbone, and about Montpelier, and many other parts of Fraunce: I found these plants growing in the Ile of Thanet neere unti the sea, bewixt the house sometime belonging to sir Henric Crispe, and Margate: where I founde some in their naturall ripenes, yet scarcely any that were come to that beautiful colour of Alkanet: but such as is solde for very good in out Apothecaries shops, I found there in great plentie.

The time.
The Alkanets flower and flourish in the sommer moneths: the rootes do yeelde their bloody iuice in haruest time, as Dioscorides writeth.

The names.
Alkanet is called in Greeke ---- in Latine also Anchusa, of diuers Fucus herba, and Onocleia, Buglossa Hispanica, or Spanish Buglosse: in Spanish Soagem: in French Orchanett: and in English likewise Orchanet, and Alkanet.

The temperature.
The rootes of Alkanet are cold and drie as Galen writeth, and binding, and bicause it is bitter it clenseth awaie cholericke humours, and leaues be not so forceable, yet do they likewise binde and drie.

The vertues.
Dioscorides saith, that the roote being made up into a cerote, or serecloth with oile, is very good for old uleers; that with parched barley meale it is good for the leprie, & for tetters or ring wormes.
That being used as a pessarie it bringeth foorth the dead birth.
The decoction being inwardly taken with meade or honied water, cureth the yellowe iaundise, diseases of the kidneies, the spleene and agues.
It is used in ointments for womens paintings: and the leaues drunke in wine is good against the laske.
Diuers of the later Phisitions do boile with the roote of Alkanet and wine, sweete butter, such as hath in it no salt at all, untill such time as it becommeth red, which they call red butter / give it not onely to those that haue fallen from some high place, but also report it to bee good to driue foorth the measels and small poxe, if it be drunke in the beginning with hot beere.
The rootes of these plants are used to colour sirups, waters, gellies, and such like confections, as Turnsoleis.
John of Arderne hath set downe, a composition called Sanguis veneris, which is most singular in deepe punctures or wounds made with thrufts, as followeth: Take of oile Oliue a pint, the rootes of Alkanet two ounces, earth woormes purged, in number of twentie, boile them togither and keepe it to the use aforesaid.
The gentlewomen of Fraunce fo paint their faces with these rootes, as it is said.

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