Chap. 152. Of Coralwort.
I. The Names. Dioscorides nor Pliny, ncr any JL other of the Ancient Writers, knew any thing of this Plant, so fax as I can leatn _·, but it seems to be purely an invention of the Moderns. The Latins ( from the Form and Color of the Roots) call it Coraloides, Dent aria, Dentillaria, Dentillaria or Dentaria Corolloide Radice, Alaba-ffrites Lobelij, Viola Dentaria Dodonxi, ( from the Roots and Flowers, being like unto Stock-Gilliflowers: ) by Gesner, in Hortis, Sanicula alba, Ρ id-monaria, Saxifraga montana ( from its Virtues \) but Columna takes it to be the Ceratia Plinij, because it has all the Virtues which Pliny ascribes unto his Ceratia, but this is doubtful. Dalechampius in Lugdunensis took it to be an Aconitum, but this was wholly Error. In English it is called Coralwort. Toothwort, and Toothed Violets.
II. The Kinds. Matthiolus places this between Symphita and Consolida, it being wholly of their Nature and Qualities. Parkinson makes ieven Kinds thereof _·, some other Authors more ; but we shall only discourse of those which are to be had with us, either Wild in our Fields and Woods, or nursed up in our Gardens _·, and they are,
1. Dentaria Bulbifera, vel Baccifera, Bulbed, or Berrybearing Coralwort. 2. Dentaria minor, 01 minima, Alabaftrites, Small Coralwort. 3. Dentaria Pentaphyll^ Cinkfoil Coralwort. 4. Dentaria Pentaphyllos alter, The second Cinkfoil Coralwort. They are generally called Dentaria : and most of them from the number of their Leaves, as, Triphyllos, Pentaphyllos, and Heptaphyllos _·, but the Triphallos or Enneaphyllos Lobelij, and the Heptaphyllos, are ftrangers in our Countrey.
III. The Descriptions. The first of these has a Root very white, smooth, and shining, made of divets small round knobs set together, not growing d^n' wards, but lying along, and encreasing under the upper cruft of the Earth, having very few fibres l'-e'f at _·, its taste is somewhat bitter, hot and sharp-> "*f Radifh, as all the refi of the Kinds are. Prom W Root shoots forth one or two Winged Leaves, *ψη long brownish footstalks, which in their rising out 0/ the ground, are, as it ice re, doubled, or folded do®n' wards, and then open themselves, most commonly
into j eve/i Leaves, and sometimes into but five,each of which is something long, dented about the edges, and pointed, of a fad green color, and set on both sides of the middle Rib, one against. another. The Stalk, which beareth flowers, rises up in the same manner with the Leaves, and η bare or naked of Leaves, to the middle thereof, where it shoots forth a Leaf, and Jo one or two more up higher, each con-filling but of five Leaves, and sometimes but of three, having a/jo the uppermost single _·, at each whereof comes forth a small round Bulb, cloven, or as it were, divided into several parts or cloves, of a fad purplish green color, which being ripe, and put into the ground will grow to be a Root, and bear Leaves, like at the Bulbs of a red Bulbed Lilly _·, about which, at the very top, (land four or five Blowers in long Husks, upon short Footstalks, opening into four several Leaves, of a purplish color, and very like unto the Flowers 0/otock-gilliflowers, or Dames Violets. These being past away, small long horns, or Cods, pointed at the ends come forth in which Tods or Cods lyes fufh like Seed cut are in the Cods of Dames Violets ιώ'ιώ as soon as it is ripe, the Cod opens, and the Seed falls out: The Leaves, and indeed the whole Plant, is of a bitterish, hot, sharp, Radish-like Taste.
IV. The second, or Small Coralwort, has a Root small, and somewhat long, composed as it were, of many small, very shining, white thick scales, growing upwards, and having many white Fibres at the head of them, of a little sweetish bitter, sharp and astringent Taste. From this Root spring forth three or four slender pale green Stalks of Leaves somewhat divided on their edges, not half a foot high, and not of half that height in some places, very like onto those of the hollow Root, but smaller, and of a paler shining green color; from among which rife up one or two small Stalks, with two such like weaves thereon, but smaller, and a little above them,
a small round greenish yellow head, which spreads not into Leaves, but into four or five mossie heads of Threads, and so abides a while, (having no other Flower) which pass away leaving in their room many small kernelly Seed. The Leaves have a bitter sweet scent, somewhat like unto the Musked Cranes Bill, yet more sweet when it grows Wild in its natural places, than when it is transplanted out of them into Gardens. This Plant is referred by many unto the Ranunculi or Crowfeet, to which it has but a small resemblance, and ought rather to be incerted in this place, for the likeness of its Root sake.
V. V?e third Kind, which is the jM Cinkfoil Coralwort, has aRoot which is greater than the first,* and made as it were into Joints, not β white as that is, but with longer Fibres coming fern between the Joints. From this Root rises one cr two Leaves
upon long Footstalks, consisting of five Parts, heaves, each of them somewhat like the first, and dented about the edges, but they are longer, rougher and harder in feeling, and more closely set together, rising for the most part from one Joint\ like as the Cinkfoils do : upon the Stalks also are some such like heaves set one above another at the top four or five such like Flowers, but somewhat larger, of a purplish color, something deeper than the first, which turn into such like Pods, with the like Seeds in them, but has no Bulbs on the Stalks.
VI. Tho fourth, or second Cinkfoil Kind of Coralwort, has a Root very like the first, consisting of many round clear white Knobs, but more in number, set together by pieces, with divers long Fibres growing out of it : trom this Root shoots forth a lower and smaller Stalk than the former, being not above a foot high, with some heaves set thereon as also there is some of these very like the last, but nar rower more smooth and gentle, and also of a paler green color : the Flowers stand at the tap, like unto the other, and are of a purplish color, after which come the like Pods with Seed in them, as in the rest.
VII. The Places. The first and second are found Wild in England, the first at Mayfield in Suffex, in a Wood called Highreed and in another Wood there also, called Fox-holes as also in divers iha-dowy and dark Mountains, or Hills : the two last are only nurs'd up with us in Gardens.
VIII. The Times. They Flower about the middle of April, and beginning or middle of May, and the Seed is ripe in August, after which they quickly wither and periih _·, the Roots abiding fafe all the Winter.
IX. The Qualities. They seem to be Temperate in respect of heat or cold, but are drying in the first Degree. They cleanse, astringe, dry, bind, and streng-then.
X. The Specification. They are dedicated to the curing of Wounds.
XI. The Preparations. You may make therefrom, I. A liquid Juice. 2. An Essence. 3. A Decoction in Wine. 4. A Syrup. 5. A Pouder. 6. A Balsam.
XII. The liquid Juice. It strengthens the Bowels, and makes them able to perform their Offices, provokes Urine, and is said to expel the Stone and Gravel, being drunk, Morning and Evening, from three ounces to fix, in a Glass of Port Wine.
XIII. The Essence. It has the former Virtues, besides which it is said to cute any inward Wounds, especially those Wounds which have pierced into the hollowness of the Thorax. It is also good to ease the Griping Pains of the Bowels, and Sides, being taken to four or six ounces in a glass of Red PortWine, or old Malaga.
XIV. The Decoction in Wine. It has the former Virtues, but much weaker, and is good against Lasks or Fluxes which proceed from hot and cholerick Humors: you may give it to fix or eight ounces, Morning and Evening, for many Days together. ' 3
XV. The Syrup. It is made of the Juice or Essence, and is proper to be given to Children which have Ruptures, or are troubled with Gripings/Vomitings, or other Diseases of the Bowels
XVI. The Pouder of the Root. It has the Virtues of the Juice and Essence ; and heals Wounds of the Brest and Lungs, being given to a dram in Red Wine for some considerable time. It is also profitable against Burstenneft, being given in the Syrup afore&id. r
XV11. The Balsam. It is good to be applied to green Wounds, for it quickly coniblidates and hejls them ; it also digests, cleanses, incarnates, drys, and heals old, running, filthy and hollow Ulcers ; facilitating the cure after an admirable manner.