Adders Tongue or Serpents Tongue


This herb has but one leaf, which grows with the stalk a finger's length above the ground, being flat and of a fresh green colour; broad like Water Plantain, but less, without any rib in it; from the bottom of which leaf, on the inside, rises up (ordinarily) one, sometimes two or three slender stalks, the upper half where of is somewhat bigger, and dented with small dents of a yellowish green colour, like the tongue of an adder serpent (only this is as useful as they are formidable). The roots continue all the year.


It grows in moist meadows, and such like places.


It is to be found in Mayor April, for it quickly perishes with a little heat.

Government and virtues.

It is an herb under the dominion of the Moon and Cancer, and therefore if the weakness of the retentive faculty be caused by an evil in influence of Saturn in any part of the body governed by the Moon, or under the dominion of Cancer, this herb cures it by sympathy. It cures these diseases after specified, in any part of the body under the influence of Saturn, by antipathy.

It is temperate in respect of heat, but dry in the second degree. The juice of the leaves, drank with the distilled water of Horse-tail, is a singular remedy for all manner of wounds in the breast, bowels, or other parts of the body, and is given with good success to those that are troubled with casting, vomiting, or bleeding at the mouth or nose, or otherwise downwards. The said juice given in the distilled water of Oaken-buds, is very good for women who have their usual courses, or the whites flowing down too abundantly. It helps sore eyes. Of the leaves infused or boiled in oil, omphacine or unripe olives, set in the sun four certain days, or the green leaves sufficiently boiled in the said oil, is made an excellent green balsam, not only for green and fresh wounds, but also for old and inveterate ulcers, especially if a little fine clear turpentine be dissolved therein. It also stays and refreshes all inflammations that arise upon pains by hurts and wounds.

What parts of the body are under each planet and sign, and also what disease may be found in my astrological judgment of diseases; and for the internal work of nature in the body of man; as vital, animal, natural and procreative spirits of man; the apprehension, judgment, memory; the external senses, viz. seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling; the virtuous, attractive, retentive, digestive, expulsive, &c. under the dominion of what planets they are, may be found in my Ephemeris for the year 1651. In both which you shall find the chaff of authors blown away by the fame of Dr. Reason, and nothing but rational truths left for the ingenious to feed upon.

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