Batman vppon Bartholome his booke De proprietatibus rerum, newly corrected, enlarged and amended: with such additions as are requisite, vnto euery seuerall booke: taken foorth of the most approued authors, the like heretofore not translated in English. Profitable for all estates, as well for the benefite of the mind as the bodie. 1582.
Bartholomaeus, Anglicus, 13th cent., Trevisa, John, d. 1402., Batman, Stephen, d. 1584.
Page  [unnumbered]

¶Of Croco. cap. 41.

OF Saffron is mention made. Eccl. 4 & Tren. vlt. And Saffron is called Crocus, and is an hearbe, and hath that name Crocus of the Citie Coricius, for there is most aboundaunce thereof, as Isidore sayeth libro. 17. And the hearbe with the Flower, hath that name Crocus, but the flower in the which is the most vertue, is called Crocum. And the freshest and newest is best, yt is with good smell, long & little, som what white, whole, and not broken in gobbets & in péeces, and smelleth well, and couloureth the hands that toucheth it, and is lyght and sharp, and if it be not such, it is kno∣wen that it is olde or wet, and is some∣time counterfaited with a thing that is called Crocomagina, for to increase the waight with foyle of siluer ground, but it is espied, if it be slow to grinding, or if it chaungeth his owne smell, when it is sod. Crocomagina is called the super∣fluitie of spicerie, of the which Saffron Oyntment is made. Huc. vs{que} Isid.

Dioscorides meaneth and speaketh of two manner Saffrons. One is called Hortensis, and hath that name of Gar∣dens, for it groweth therein. The other is called Orientalis, and hath also the name of the place that it groweth in, & is best, and shall not be put in vomitiue medicines, and it beareth a purple flow∣er with a head as a violet, & in the mid∣dle thereof thrée flowers or foure, & the best thereof be somwhat red, or all red, and the whitest shall be forsaken. Saf∣fron may be kept ten yeare, and is hot & drye in the first degrée, and temperate in his qualitie, and therefore it is comfor∣tatiue, and so it helpeth much against the féeblenesse of the stomack, and fayling of heart, and doth away rednesse of eyen, which commeth of bloud, or of defflyng, if it be ground with roses and the white of an Egge, and laid to the eye, as Dio. saith and Pla. also.

And Saffron hath another property, that it is gréene all the Winter long in leaues, be the Winter neuer so colde: & in Summer the leaues of it falleth and fadeth, and withereth altogether, & grow∣eth againe after the middle of Haruest, & then the floures breaketh out of small stalkes, and as Arist. sayth in li. vegita. Saffron is much lyke to an Onion, and to Ascolonia in roote, neuerthelesse it is diuers and varieth from either: For the roote of Saffron is continued to the body, and séedeth not as Ascolonia doth, but all the seminall vertue is in ye roote, and all the cloues of Saffron be leane, & the cloues thereof springeth not out at one side, as it fareth in Ascolonia, and in an Onion of Gardeines: but the cloues of Saffron springeth out of the place of generation of veynes of cloues.

And Saffron hath this propertie, as Arist. saith, it hath very rootes, and clea∣neth thereby to the earth, and sucketh nourishing and féeding, as Onions and Garlike and other such, & when the head of Saffron is great and ripe, it begin∣neth to be departed and to be dealed, and multiplyed in manye heades, with theyr fell and skins and rootes: and of euerye each groweth a plant, and thereby it is knowen, that in the head or roote is the vertue seminall, and the vertue of mul∣tiplication and preseruation of the kind therof. Plin. li. 20. sayth, that Saffron is not soone tempered with honye nor with swéete lycour: but it is tempred soonest with wine or with water, and it is best in medicine: for it destroyeth all swel∣lyng and boyling, and sore ache of the eyen, namely if it be medled with wine, and is best for the stomacke and lyuer.

He that drinketh Saffron first shall not be dronken, & garlands thereof letteth dronkennes, & letteth a man yt he may not be dronken, it causeth sléepe, & moueth the head, and exciteth Venus.

The flower thereof, done to the euill that is called the holy fire, helpeth and cureth it. Of Saffron is made an oynt∣ment, that is citrine or yeolow, which is called Clogomagon in Gréeke, and help∣eth against running of eyen. The best di∣eth the téeth and the spettle, and pour∣geth botches of the head, and abateth swelling: and cureth the biting of ser∣pents and of Spiders, and stinging of Scorpions. Huc vsque Plinius.

Page  287(*Crocus Hortensis, and Crocus Sa∣racenicus. The English Saffron is most best, both for colour and medicine.)