Chap. 019. Of Love Apples.
II. The Kinds. There are but two sorts thereof, viz. The Greater kind and the Lesser kind: and of the Greater, there are also two sorts; but they differ in nothing but in the colour of the Fruit, the one being of a fair Reddish colour; the other of a pale Yellow.
III. The Description. The Root of the Greater Kind, which is Small and Thready, shoots forth into many small Strings, and larger Branches, under ground, which perishes at the first approach of our Winter, from whence springs forth very long round Stalks or Branches, fat and full of Juice, trailing upon the ground, not able to sustain it self upright, by reason of the weakness of its Stalks, and also of the great weight of its Leaves and Fruit wherewith it is loaded. The Leaves are many, long, and winged, viz. many Leaves set on both sides a middle Rib, some greater, others less, deeply jagged or dented about the edges, of a grayish, over-grown green Colour, somewhat rough and hairy in handling: From among these Leaves and Branches come forth long Stalks, with many Yellow Flowers set thereon; upon several short foot Stalks, clustering together in Bunches, consisting of Six, and sometimes of Eight small long yellow Leaves, with a kind of Prick in the middle: After the Flowers are fallen, there comes in place the Fruit, which is about the bigness of a Golden Pippin, very fair and pleasant, chamsred, uneven, and bunched out in many places, (there being scarcely any which are compleatly round without these Bunches) of a fair, or bright shining pale reddish colour, and sometimes deeper; and of the yellow kind, not much unlike to a pale Orange colour. The Pulp or Meat very full of Moisture, soft, reddish or yellowish, of the substance of a Wheaten Plum, in which the Seed lyes, which is small, white, roundish, flat, and somewhat rough. The whole Plant is of a rank smell.
IV. The Lesser Kind has a Root like the former which perishes in like manner every Year, from whence comes long trailing Branches, beset with such like Leaves as the Greater Kind, but smaller in every part; the Flowers also stand many together on a long Stalk, and yellow as the former, but much smaller; the Fruit are also small, viz. round, yellowish, red Berries, not much bigger than great Grapes; in which are contained white, round, flat Seed, like the former, but smaller. If you would have them every Year, you must new Sow them every Spring, or else let them Sow themselves, so will they rise without any further trouble.
V. The Places. They grow naturally in hot Countries, as in Ethiopia, Barbary, Aegypt, Syria, Spain, Italy, and other hot Countries: Some report they were first brought to us from Peru; and I have seen them grow in Carolina, which is the South-East part of Florida; but with us in England they grow only in Gardens, where being nourish'd up, they bring forth their Fruit to perfection.
VI. The Times. The Seed is sown in the beginning of April, in a Bed of hot Horse-dung, after the manner of Musk Melons, and such like cold Fruits; they Flower in June, July, and August, and the Fruit is ripe for the most part in the middle or end of September.
VII. The Qualities. The whole Plant and Apples are Cold and Moist, almost in the fourth Degree; but not so cold as Mandrakes. They are Cephalick, Stomatick, Nephritick, and Uterine; of an Attenuating, Cleansing, Repercussive, and Anodine Quality; and operate only as Alteratives.
VIII. The Specification. They are peculiar to allay the heat of Inflammations, but more especially of an Erysipelas.
IX. The Preparations. The Shops keep nothing of this Plant but you may have from it,
1. The Apples themselves.
2. The Juice.
3. An Essence.
4. A Cataplasm.
5. An Oil.
6. A Balsam for Wounds.
X. The Apples. In Spain, and those hot Countries, they use to eat the Apples prepared and boiled in Vinegar, with Pepper and Salt, and served up with Oil, and Juice of Limons: Likewise they eat them raw, with Oil, Vinegar and Pepper, for Sauce to their Meat, as we here do Cucumbers but they yield not much nourishment, but only please and cool or quench the Heat and Thirst of hot Stomachs.
XI. The Juice. Applied upon Inflammations, but especially bathed upon an Erysipelas, and Linen Cloths wet in the same, laid thereon, abate the Inflammation, and take away the preternatural heat.
XII. The Essence. It represses Vapors in Women, is good against Fits of the Mother, opens the Obstructions of the Urine, taking away the heat and scalding thereof; is good against Sand, Gravel, and the Stone, and gives ease in all Pains proceeding from a hot Cause. Dose from j. to ij. ounces.
XIII. The Cataplasm. It is good against the Head-ach, Megrim, Gout, Sciatica, and all Pains whatsoever proceeding from a hot and dry Cause: In outward Applications it ought to be renewed twice a Day.
XIV. The Oil. It Cures all manner of Burnings, and Scaldings, whether of Fire, Water, Oil, Lead, &c. and has the Virtues of the Cataplasm, and may be anointed upon those places where a Cataplasm cannot be applied.
XV. The Balsam. It is a singular good thing to cool Inflammations in Wounds and Ulcers, heal all sorts of Burnings and Scaldings, cleanse old Running Sores, and to give ease in the Gout, pain in the Back, or any other part proceeding from vehement hot and fiery humors: It admirably heals Wounds, and, when cleansed, Ulcers also, after the manner of Preparations from All-heals.
XVI. A special Note. It appears that this Plant abounds with a vast humidity; for in the hottest time in Summer, the superfluous Branches being cut off from the Mother Root, and carelesly cast away in the Allies of the Garden, though at a time when no Rain shall fall, yet will they grow as fresh, as if they had not been cut off; which shews indeed the exceeding Moisture of the Herb.
Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Peppercat and Lisa Haller.