The Universal Herbal: Chaerophyllum Sylvestre; Wild Cicely, or Cow-weed: Common Cow Parsley, or Chervil.

The Universal Herbal;
or botanical, medical and agricultural dictonary.
Containing an account of All the known Plants in the World, arranged according to the Linnean system. Specifying the uses to which they are or may be applied, whether as food, as medicine, or in the arts and manufactures.
With the best methods of propagation, and the most recent agricultural improvements.
collected from indisputable Authorities.
Adapted to the use of the farmer - the gardener - the husbandman - the botanist - the florist - and country housekeepers in general.
By Thomas Green.
Vol. I
Printed at the Caxton Press by Henri Fisher.
Printer in Ordinary to His Majesty.
Stem two feet high and upward, hollow, grooved, generally villose, and purplish, much branched; branches suberect, less hoary than the stem; petals flat, obovate, whitish, at first yellowish-white; seeds columnar, glossy, grooved, blackish, without scent, and almost tasteless: it is very common in pastures, orchards, and under hedges, flowering in May, and in warm situations in April. - Linneus remarks, that this plant indicates a luxuriant soil; and informs us, that the flowers communicate a green and yellow dye to wool: he also says, that horses, sheep, and goats, are not fond of it. Mons. Villars declares, that horses will not eat it, even in the stable; and, according to Mr. Miller, there are few animals who care to eat it, except the ass. Mr. Ray, on the contrary, asserts, that it has the name of cow-weed, because it is grateful food, before it runs up to stalk, to cows, in the spring; and, in confirmation of this account, Mr. Wainwright says, that the cows like it so well, that when a pasture is overrun with it, which is often the case about Dudley, they always turn them in to eat it up. Rabbits are well known to be very fond of it; and Mr. Curtis relates, that in time of scarcity the young leaves have been used as a pot-herb. John Barhin, however, mentions instances of two families having been poisoned by eating a small quantity of the root. Haller says, that the Dutch use it in gangrenes. Meyrick and Hill both agree in stating, that the leaves operate by urine, and are good in obstructions of that viscera; they should be given in decoction, and in small doses of a wine glass each.

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