Agrimonia eupatoria (Family: Rosaceae)
This has divers long leaves? (some greater, some smaller) set upon a stalk, all of them dented about the edges, above, and grayish underneath, and a little hairy withal. Among which arises up usually but one strong, round, hairy, brown stalk, two or three feet high, with smaller leaves set here and there upon it. At the top thereof grow many small yellow flowers, one above another, in after which come rough heads of seed, hanging downwards, which will cleave to and stick upon garments, or any thing that shall rub against them. The knot is black, long, and somewhat woody, abiding many .years, and shooting afresh every Spring ; which , though small, hath a reasonable good scent.
It grows upon banks, near the sides of hedges.
It flowers in July and August, the seed being ripe shortly alter.
It is an herb under Jupiter, and the sign Cancer; and strengthens those parts under the planet and sign, and removes diseases in them by sympathy, and those under Saturn, Mercury by antipathy, if they happen in any part of the body governed by Jupiter, or under the signs Cancer, Sagilarius or Pisces, and therefore must needs be good for the gout, either used outwardly in oil or ointment, or inwardly in an electuary, or syrup, or concerted juice: for which see the latter and of this book.
It is of a cleansing and cutting faculty without any manifest heat, moderately drying and binding. It opens and cleanses the liver, helps the jaundice, and is very beneficial to the bowels, healing all inward wounds, bruises, hurts, and other distempers. The decoction of the herb made with wine, and drank, is good against the biting and stinging of serpents, and helps them that make foul, troubled or bloody water.
This herb also helps the cholic, cleanses the breast, and rids away the cough. A draught of the decoction taken warm before the fit, first removes, and in time rids away the tertain or quartan agues. The leaves and seeds taken in wine, strays the bloody flux; outwardly applied, being stamped with old swines’ grease, it helps old sores, cancers, and inveterate ulcers, and draws forth thorns and splinters of wood, nails, or any other such things gotten in the flesh. It helps to strengthen the members that be out at joint: and being bruised and applied, or the juice dropped in it, helps foul and imposthumed ears.
The distiller] water of the herb is good to all the said purposes, either inward or outward, but a great deal weaker.
It is a most admirable remedy for such whose livers are annoyed either by heat or cold. The liver is tlie former of blood, and blood the nourisher of the body, and Agrimony a strengthener of the liver.
I cannot stand to give you a reason in every herb why it cures such diseases; but if you please to pursue my judgment in the herb Wormwood, you shall find them there, and it will be well worth your while to consider it in every herb, you shall find them true throughout the hook.