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Finocchio
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(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
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Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)



Barberry








The Common Barberry (Berberis), which gives its name to a
special order of plants, grows wild as a shrub in our English
copses and hedges, particularly about Essex, being so called from
Berberin, a pearl oyster, because the leaves are glossy like the
inside of an oyster shell. It is remarkable for the light colour of its
bark, which is yellow inside, and for its three-forked spines.
Provincially it is also termed Pipperidge-bush, from pepin, a pip,
and rouge, red, as descriptive of its small scarlet juiceless fruit,
of which the active chemical principles, as well as of the bark, are
berberin and oxyacanthin. The sparingly-produced juice of the
berries is cooling and astringent. It was formerly held in high
esteem by the Egyptians, when diluted as a drink, in pestilential
fevers. The inner, yellow bark, which has been long believed to
exercise a medicinal effect on the liver, because of its colour, is a
true biliary purgative. An infusion of this bark, made with boiling
water, is useful in jaundice from congestive liver, with furred
tongue, lowness of spirits, and yellow complexion; also for
swollen spleen from malarious exposure. A medicinal tincture (H.)
is made of the root-branches and the root-bark, with spirit of wine;
and if given three or four times a day in doses of five drops with
one tablespoonful of cold water, it will admirably rouse the liver to
healthy and more vigorous action. Conversely the tincture when of
reduced strength will stay bilious diarrhoea. British farmers dislike
the [43] Barberry shrub because, when it grows in cornfields, the
wheat near it is blighted, even to the distance of two or three
hundred yards. This is because of a special fungus which is
common to the Barberry, and being carried by the wind reproduces
itself by its spores destructively on the ears of wheat, the
AEcidium Berberidis, which generates Puccinia.

Clusius setteth it down as a wonderful secret which he had from a
friend, that if the yellow bark of Barberry be steeped in white
wine for three hours, and be afterwards drank, it will purge one
very marvellously.

The berries upon old Barberry shrubs are often stoneless, and this
is the best fruit for preserving or for making the jelly. They
contain malic and citric acids; and it is from these berries that the
delicious confitures d'epine vinette, for which Rouen is famous,
are commonly prepared. And the same berries are chosen in
England to furnish the kernel for a very nice sugar-plum. The
syrup of Barberries will make with water an excellent astringent
gargle for raw, irritable sore throat; likewise the jelly gives famous
relief for this catarrhal affection. It is prepared by boiling the
berries, when ripe, with an equal weight of sugar, and then
straining. For an attack of colic because of gravel in the kidneys,
five drops of the tincture on sugar every five minutes will
promptly relieve, as likewise when albumen is found by analysis
in the urine.

A noted modern nostrum belauds the virtues of the Barberry as
specific against bile, heartburn, and the black jaundice, this being
a remedy which was discovered after infinite pains by one who
had studied for thirty years by candle light for the good of his
countrymen. In Gerard's time at the village of Ivor, near
Colebrooke, most of the hedges consisted solely of Barberry
bushes.

[44] The following is a good old receipt for making Barberry
jam:--Pick the fruit from the stalks, and bake it in an earthen pan;
then press it through a sieve with a wooden spoon. Having mixed equal
weights of the prepared fruit, and of powdered sugar, put these
together in pots, and cover the mixture up, setting them in a dry
place, and having sifted some powdered sugar over the top of each
pot. Among the Italians the Barberry bears the name of Holy
Thorn, because thought to have formed part of the crown of thorns
made for our Saviour.





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