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Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
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Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
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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)



Bryony








English hedgerows exhibit Bryony of two distinct sorts--the white
and the black--which differ much, the one from the other, as to
medicinal properties, and which belong to separate orders of
plants. The White Bryony is botanically a cucumber, being of
common growth at our roadsides, and often called the White Vine;
it also bears the name of Tetterberry, from curing a disease of the
skin known as tetters. It climbs about with long straggling stalks,
which attach themselves by spiral tendrils, and which produce
rough, palmated leaves. Insignificant pale-green flowers spring in
small clusters from the bottom of these leaves. The round berries
are at first green, and afterwards brilliantly red. Chemically, the
plant contains bryonin, a medicinal substance which is intensely
bitter; also malate and phosphate of lime, with gum, starch, and
sugar.

A tincture is made (H.) from the fresh root collected before the
plant flowers, which is found to [66] be of superlative use for the
relief of chronic rheumatism (especially when aggravated by
moving), and for subduing active congestions of the serous
membranes which line the heart-bag, the ribs, the outer coat of the
brain, and which cover the bowels. In the treatment of pleurisy,
this tincture is invaluable. Four drops should be given in a
tablespoonful of cold water every three or four hours. Also for any
contused bruising of the skin, and especially for a black eye, to
promptly bathe the injured part with a decoction of White
Bryony root will speedily subdue the swelling, and will prevent
discoloration far better than a piece of raw beef applied outside as
the remedy most approved in the Ring.

In France, the White Bryony is deemed so potent and perilous, that
its root is named the devil's turnip--navet du diable.

Our English plant, the Bryonia dioica, purges as actively as
colocynth, if too freely administered.

The name Bryony is two thousand years old, and comes from a
Greek word bruein, to shoot forth rapidly.

From the incised root of the White Bryony exudes a milky juice
which is aperient of action, and which has been commended for
epilepsy, as well as for obstructed liver and dropsy; also its
tincture for chronic constipation.

The popular herbal drink known as Hop Bitters is said to owe
many of its supposed virtues to the bryony root, substituted for the
mandrake which it is alleged to contain. The true mandrake is a
gruesome herb, which was held in superstitious awe by the Greeks
and the Romans. Its root was forked, and bears some resemblance
to the legs of a man; for which reason the moneymakers [67] of
the past increased the likeness, and attributed supernatural powers
to the plant. It was said to grow only beneath a murderer's gibbet,
and when torn from the earth by its root to utter a shriek which
none might hear and live. From earliest times, in the East, a notion
prevailed that the mandrake would remove sterility. With which
purpose in view, Rachel said to Leah: Give me, I pray thee, of thy
son's mandrakes (Genesis xxx. v. 14). In later times the Bryony
has come into use instead of the true mandrake, and it has
continued to form a profitable spurious article with mountebank
doctors. In Henry the Eighth's day, ridiculous little images made
from Bryony roots, cut into the figure of a man, and with grains of
millet inserted into the face as eyes, the same being known as
pappettes or mammettes, were accredited with magical powers,
and fetched high prices with simple folk. Italian ladies have been
known to pay as much as thirty golden ducats for one of these
artificial mandrakes. Readers of Thalaba (Southey) will remember
the fine scene in which Khawla procures this plant to form part of
the waxen figure of the Destroyer. Unscrupulous vendors of the
fraudulent articles used to seek out a thriving young Bryony plant,
and to open the earth round it. Then being prepared with a mould
such as is used for making Plaster of Paris figures, they fixed it
close to the root, and fastened it with wire to keep it in place.
Afterwards, by filling the earth up to the root they left it to assume
the required shape, which was generally accomplished in a single
summer.

The medicinal tincture (H.) of White Bryony (Bryonia alba) is
of special service to persons of dark hair and complexion, with
firm fibre of flesh, and of a bilious cross-grained temperament.
Also it is of [68] particular use for relieving coughs, and colds of a
feverish bronchial sort, caught by exposure to the east wind. On
the contrary, the catarrhal troubles of sensitive females, and of
young children, are better met by Ipecacuanha:--

Coughing in a shady grove
Sat my Juliana,
Lozenges I gave my love,
Ipecacuanha--
Full twenty from the lozenge box
The greedy nymph did pick;
Then, sighing sadly, said to me--
My Damon, I am sick.
George Canning.

THYRSIS ET PHYLLIS.
In nemore umbroso Phyllis mea forte sedebat,
Cui mollem exhausit tussis anhela sinum:
Nec mora: de loculo deprompsi pyxida loevo,
Ipecacuaneos, exhibuique trochos:
Illa quidem imprudens medicatos leniter orbes
Absorpsit numero bisque quaterque decem:
Tum tenero ducens suspiria pectore dixit,
Thyrsi! Mihi stomachum nausea tristis habet.

The Black Bryony (Lady's-seal, or Oxberry), which likewise
grows freely in our hedges, is quite a different plant from its
nominal congener. It bears the name of Tamus Vulgaris, and
belongs to the natural order of Yams. It is also called the Wild
Hop, and Tetterberry or Tetterwort (in common with the greater
Celandine), because curing the skin disease known as tetters; and
further, Blackbindweed. It has smooth heart-shaped leaves, and
produces scarlet, elliptical berries larger than those of the White
Bryony. A tincture is made (H.) from the root-stock, with spirit of
wine, which proves a most useful application to unbroken
chilblains, when [69] made into a lotion with water, one part to
twenty. The plant is called Black Bryony (Bryonia nigra) from
its dark leaves and black root. It is not given at all internally, but
the acrid pulp of the root has been used as a stimulating plaster.





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