I. The Names. It is supposed to be called in Greek Ελξινη κισσαμπελος: In Latin, Helxine Cissampelos, Convolvulus minor niger; Lobel calls it Cissampelos altera atriplicis effigie: Dodonaeus calls it, Convolvulus niger: Thales calls it, Volubilis media sive nigra: Collumna calls it, Polygonum Hederaceum: Cordus on Dioscorides takes it to be Elatine: And Angulara will have it to be Centunculus Plinij: in English, Black Bindweed.
II. The Kinds. There is,
- 1. The Common Black Bindweed, which though it is one of the small Bindweeds, yet is the greater of the Black. (Fallopia convolvulus. -Henriette.)
- 2. Cissampelos altera Anglica minima, The smallest Black Bindweed, of English Growth. (Fallopia convolvulus. -Henriette.)
III. The Description. It has a Root small and slender, perishing every Year, and rising again from the Seed every Spring, unless it be weeded out of the Garden, from this Root rises up Branches, which if they meet not with upright tall Herbs, or other things whereon it may climb, it rises up but a little height, and leans down again to the ground; but otherwise if it meets with fit things, on which it may cling, it will wind it self with its long, slender, Reddish, thready Branches about them, to the height of three or four Feet, or more, shooting forth its Leaves singly at the Joints as the others do, either somewhat like to an Arrach leaf, or almost like the first small field Bindweed, or like the leaf of Black Briony, for of those kinds there are, but much smaller. The Flowers, Gerard says, are small, like those of the Arrach; and Parkinson says, they are very small, and many, standing together upon a small long Stalk, which comes from the Joint where the leaf stands, and are of a reddish green color, but so small, that they are oftentimes not taken notice of, and they so quickly fade, that they are scarcely regarded: The Flowers being gone, then comes the Seed, which is small, blackish, and three cornered, like, but less than that of Buck Wheat.
IV. The smallest kind of Black Bindweed, differs from the former only in the Magnitude, this rising not above a hand breadth high.
V. The Places. They grow in many places of this Kingdom, both in Fields and Gardens, where they grow as a Weed. The larger of them is not only a hurtful Weed, but of an ill smell, and too often found amongst Corn.
VI. The Times. They flower in May, June, July and August, and the Seed ripens in the mean Season, in a little time after the Flower is gone.
VII. The Qualities. They are hot and dry in the first Degree, Discussive, Vulnerary, Arthritick and Solutive.
VIII. The Preparations. You may make thereof,
- 1. A liquid Juice.
- 2. An Essence.
- 3. A Balsam.
- 4. A Cataplasm.
- 5. A Distilled Water.
IX. The liquid Juice. It is made of the Leaves only, and if it is taken inwardly 3 or 4 ounces at a time, it loosens and opens the Belly very much.
X. The Essence. It has the same Virtues to loosen the Belly; besides I have heard it confirmed from Experience, that it is prevalent against the King's Evil.
XI. The Balsam. It is very good for healing green Wounds, and to cleanse Old Ulcers, and Running Sores, and to cure Kibes in Childrens heels.
XII. The Cataplasm, made of the Green Leaves. It dissolves and discusses Tumors or Swellings, and hard Lumps in the Flesh, as Galen says: and if mixed with a little Nitre, it allays Inflammations.
XIII. The Distilled Water. It is good against Pimples, Scurf, Freckles, Tannings, Sun-burnings, and other deformities of the Skin; more especially if a little Vinegar, or Juice of Limons is mixed with it.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.