Parsley Piert

(Aphanes arvensis) Parsley (Piert) refers to the form of the leaves, not any relationship to parsley. The common name is from French perce-pierre, meaning breakstone (Prior) and it is actually called Parsley Breakstone (Grigson. 1955) (cf SAXIFRAGE). By sympathy, it was much used against stone in the bladder. Gypsies use an infusion of the dried herb for gravel and other bladder troubles (Vesey-Fitzgerald). It was well-known as a powerful diuretic in Camden's time, and it was in great demand during World War 11, being used for bladder and kidney troubles, and it is also valuable for jaundice (Brownlow). A decoction with sanicle was used for stomach complaints, but it was especially recommended, powdered and with a little cochineal, for bowel complaints, especially bowel-hive, an inflammation of the bowel, occurring in children. It was even called Bowel-hive, or Bowel-hive Grass (Britten & Holland), once. Colicwort is another relevant name, from Herefordshire (Grigson. 1955).

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