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HERBAL: Or, History of Plants. Con-
VIII. Their Preparations, "Galenick
Profit as Dele&tation. Adorned with Exquisite Icons or Figures, of the moft confideTable Species, representing to the Life" the true forms of those several Plants. The whole in an Alphabetical Order. By WiLIAM SALMON, M. D. London: Printed by J. Dawks, for H. Rhodes, at the Star, the Corner of Bride-Lane, in Fleetsteet ; And J. Taylor, at the Ship in Pater-nofterRow. M DCC XI. Two Volumes in Folio. Pagg. 1296.
R. SALMON never designed to publish an universal History of Plants, but to confine himself to those, that are most known and experimented, and moft Useful in Phylick. This Work, on which he has bestowed so many
Years, to render it as perfect as he could, will be of great Use to Physicians, Chirurgions, and Apothecaries, for whom, and the Publick Good, it was principally intended.
The Authors that have been moft consulted by Dr. Salmon in composing this Herbal, are Baubinu, Brunfelfius, Cæfalpinus, Camerarius, Clufius, Diofcorides, Dodonaus, Durantes, Fuchfius, Gerard, Fohnson, Lobel and Pena, Leonicerus, Lugdunensis, Matthiolus, Parkinson, Ruellius, Schroder, Tabernæmontanus, Theophrastus, and Tragus. Besides those Authors, many others have been made use of upon several Occasions, without the Help of which this Noble Work would not have been fo compleat as it is.
As for what concerns the Historical Part, Dr. Salsnon follows the most Celebrated Writers of Botanicks, in the Names of Plants, their Kinds, Descriptions, Places of Growth, and Times of Flowring and Seeding. He has all along inlerted the most usual Names, especially those by which Plants have been most known in
all Ages, whether Arabick, Greek, Latin, or English; and it will appear that he has rectified the Latin Nomenclature, which, even in all our Dictionaries, has hitherto been very Faulty and Imperfect.
As for the kinds of every Plant, our Author owns he has not given all that may be found in Parkinson, and many other Writers, having omitted those, which an English Reader can hardly know or see, because they grow in foreign and far diftant Countries. Besides, those Plants having no Virtues or Uses affigned to them, it would have been needless to insert their Names and Descriptions, considering that this Work was chiefly designed for the Use and Benefit of the Practical Physician.
The Descriptions of Dr. Salmon are much the same with those of the beft Authors; but he has almost e. very where reversed their Method of describing Plants. They frequently begin with the Top or upper Parts of a Plant, and so go downwards to the Root. The Author, on the contrary, generally begins with the Root; and so ascends upwards to the Stalks, Leaves, Branches, Flowers, Seeds or Fruit ; which is certainly the most natural Method.
The Places of the Growth of Plants (says Dr. Salmon) are very uncertain, because some are not to be found now, where they grew very plentifully in former Times. He observes that in fome Places, where he saw several Plants growing, when he was a Youth, there are no Remainders of them to be found at this present Time. The Egyptian Arum, or Pseudocolocasia, now call’d the Carolina Eddo, did formerly grow in Egypt, and was very plentiful ; but our late Travelers say, it has not for fome Ages been known to grow there at all. Our Author is of Opinion, that if it were carefully sought after, fome Remains of it might be found ftill.
The Readers will find every where the various Qua? lities of each Plant carefully mentioned; whereby one may judge of their Virtues, and to what Diseases they may be properly applied : Which must needs be of great Ulę to practical Physicians.
Dr. Salmon does not affirm, That every Herb is a Specifick for the Cure of all Diseases. He explains himself in the following Words : " He that reads me, “ Says he, ought to read me with a medical Mind, or “ Soul, and with a good Understanding. I will ex.,
emplify the Marter. Suppose it to be Rosemary. As " to its first Qualities, it is hot and dry in the Third “ Degree ; and it is Cephalick, Neurotick, Stomachick,
“ Alexipharmick. From these Qualities we conclude, -“ that it must be helpful against all cold and moist “ Diseases of the Head, Brain, Nerves, Stomach, and “ Poisont: Then, when we consider what Diseases are
apt to afflict those Parts, from a hot and dry Cause, we fix the Virtues to be such as may reĝft those Dis.
eases, not to be an absolute and specifick Cure for " the same, but to be very helpful in those Cases, “ and so may be drawn into Compositions, with other “ Ingredients for the same Purposes. And thus I de“ Gire every genuine Son of Art to understand me. " What I have said in this Paragraph, may be of " admirable Use, if it be rightly understood and
The Author gives in every Chapter the various Preparations of each Plant, both Galenick and Chymick; which was never performed by any other Author before. Thus he gives the whole Result of the Plant, and reaches in a few Words how it is to be used and applied, in all the Cases, and to all the Distem. pers, to which it may be appropriated. That the Rea. ders may the better understand this Part of his work, he exemplifies the whole in his Introduction, by giving several Forms, both Galenick and Chymick, adap. ted to the Capacity of such as are ignorant of the Medical Art.
Dr. Salmon, not contented to explain the Virtues of a Plant in general, shews in a particular manner, how all the several Preparations, mentioned by him, are to be used and applied in every Disease; which (says he) was never done before by any other Author; and is of universal Use in the Art and Practice of Physick. " It is performed (continues be) so as to answer every
particular and fingular Preparation, and in a Style “ lo full and plain, that the meanest Understanding
cannot easily mistake me; by which Means it is ac
commodated to the Use of the Vulgar, though they “ understand little or nothing of the Art of Phy
The Florists will find in this work a compleat Aci count of the choice Flowers, cultivated in England. They are not placed by themselves, but interspersed throughout the whole Book in an Alphabetical Order.
The Author treats of their Culture, and thews how many-Ways they may be managed and increased: A noble Subje&t, says he, but never brought into any Herbal before this.
A considerable Part of Dr. Salmon's Introduction runs upon the Qualities of Medicines. He does very much enlarge upon that Subject, and upon Galenick Internal, Topical or External, and Chymical Prepárations. In the next Place, he creats of the Virtues of Medicines, and of Doses, Oses and Applications. He appears a great Admirer of Paracelsu, and calls him a wonderful Spirit, and a great Man, “who not only “ shewed the Weakness of Empiricism, of Galenick Me.
dicines, and Medicasters, but unvailed and brought " the Arts of Medicine out of their Rubbish, and ser “ them in a true Light, for the general Good of
Here follows another Passage, whereby the Readers may see what Dr. Salmon thinks of the Ancient Phyficians. The Medical Art, (Says he') and all irs
Rules, even the Fabrick of the whole Art, was “ reared and built out of Empiricism, or Quackery;
and its Original or Foundation was laid by Empi. ricks or Quacks, (as the Learned are pleased to phrase it.)- and the first Physicians were no other than Em.
piricks, Quacks, or Tryers of skill; out of whose Tri"als, Observations and Practices, some Wise Men “ collected a Set of Precepts and Rules, which be “ ing reduced into Method, we now call the Art o Phyfick. But the Misfortane of the Art is, that: