CLARY is a common plant in our gardens, not very beautiful, but kept for its virtues. It grows two feet and a half high; the leaves are rough, and the flowers of a whitish blue. The stalks are thick, fleshy, and upright; they are clammy to the touch, and a little hairy. The leaves are large, wrinkled, and of a dusky green, broad at the base, and smaller to the point, which is obtuse; the flowers stand in long loose spikes; they are disposed in circles round the upper parts of the stalks, and are gaping and large, the cups in which they stand are robust and in some degree prickly.
The whole herb is used fresh or dried. It is cordial, and in some degree astringent. It strengthens the stomach, is good against headachs, and stops the whites, but for this last purpose, it is necessary to take it a long time; and there are many remedies more powerful.
There is a kind of wild clary on our ditch banks, and in dry grounds, which is supposed to possess the same virtues with the garden kind. The seeds of this are put into the eyes to take out any little offensive substance fallen into them. As soon as they are put in, they gather a coat of mucilage about them, and this catches hold of any little thing it meets with in the eye. Dc. Parsons has perfectly explained this in his book of seeds.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.