The ordinary Avens hath many long, rough, dark green, winged leaves, rising from the root, every one made of many leaves set on each side of the middle rib, the largest three where of grow at the end, and are snipped or dented round about the edges; the other being small pieces, sometimes two and sometimes four, standing on each side of the middle rib underneath them. Among which do rise up divers rough or hairy stalks about two feet high, branching forth with leaves at every joint not so long as those below, but almost as much cut in on the edges, some into three parts, some into more. On the tops of the branches stand small, pale, yellow flowers consisting of five leaves, like the flowers of Cinquefoil, but large, in the middle where of stand a small green herb, which when the flower is fallen, grows to be round, being made of many long greenish purple seeds, (like grains) which will stick upon your clothes. The root consists of many brownish strings or fibres, smelling some what like unto cloves, especially those which grow in the higher, hotter, and drier grounds, and in free and clear air.
They grow wild in many places under hedge’s sides, and by the pathways in fields; yet they rather delight to grow in shadowy than sunny places.
They flower in May or June for the most part, and their seed is ripe in July at the farthest.
Government and virtues.
It is governed by Jupiter, and that gives hopes of a whole some healthful herb. It is good for the diseases of the chest or breast, for pains, and stiches in the side, and to expel crude and raw humours from the belly and stomach, by the sweet savour and warming quality. It dissolves the inward congealed blood happening by falls or bruises, and the spitting of blood, if the roots, either green or dry, be boiled in wine and drank; as also all manner of inward wounds or outward, if washed or bathed there with. The decoction also being drank, comforts the heart, and strengthens the stomach and a cold brain, and therefore is good in the spring time to open obstructions of the liver, and helps the wind cholic; it also helps those that have fluxes, or are bursten, or have a rupture; it takes away spots or marks in the face, being washed there with. The juice of the fresh root, or powder of the dried root, has the same effect with the decoction. The root in the Spring-time steeped in wine, gives it a delicate savour and taste, and being drank fasting every morning, comforts the heart, and is a good preservative against the plague, or any other poison. It helps indigestion, and warms a cold stomach, and opens obstructions of the liver and spleen.
It is very safe: you need have no dose prescribed; and is very fit to be kept in every body’s house.