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English Mercury

English mercury is also called also good king henryaand english mercury, to distinguish it from french mercury. It grows a foot high; stalk round, thick, seldom erect; is greenish and purplish, and is covered with a kind of grey powder unctuous to the touch. Leaves large, broad, the shape of an arrow-head, stand on long stalks, pale green above, greenish underneath, covered with a grey powder. Flowers small, greenish yellow, in long spikes at the tops of the branches. The plant is common in farm-yards.
The young shoots are eaten as spinach. The juice of the whole plant works gently and well by urine; and the dried herb is used in decoctions for clysters.


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