The root continues a long time, having many long slender strings; the stalks grow up about two feet high, sometimes higher; they are of a dark purple color; the branches are many, growing at distances the one from the other, the one from the one side of the stalk, the other from the opposite point; the leaves are winged, and much indented at the edges ; the flowers grow at the tops of the branches, of a brown yellow colour, spotted with black spots, having a substance within the midst of them like that of a daisy; if you rub them between your fingers they smell like rosin, or cedar when it is burnt; the seeds are long, and easily stick to any woollen thing they touch.
Place. They delight not in heat, and therefore they are not so frequently found in the southern parts of England as in the north, where they grow frequently: you may look for them in cold grounds, by ponds and ditch-sides, as also by running waters; sometimes you shall find them grow in the midst of the waters.
Time. They all flower in July and August, and the seed is ripe presently after.
Government and virtues. It is a plant of Jupiter, as well as the other agrimony, only this belongs to the celestial sign Cancer. lt healeth and drieth, cutteth and cleanseth, thick and tough tumours of the breast: and for this 1 hold it inferior to but few herbs that grow. It helps the cachexia, or evil disposition of the body; also the dropsy and yellow jaundice.
It opens the obstructions of the liver; moliifies the hardness of the spleen; being applied outwardly, it breaks imposthumes; taken inwardly, it is an excellent remedy for the third-day ague ; it provokes urine and the terms : it kills worms, and cleanseth the body of sharp humours, which are the cause of itch, and scabs. The smoke of the herb, being burnt, drives away flies, wasps, and it strengthens the lungs exceedingly. Country people give it to their cattle when they are troubled with the cough, or broken-winded.
SOURCE: Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, and English Physician By Nicholas Culpeper
IMAGE SOURCE: By Sten Porse – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0