It is also called Setter-wort, Setter-grass, Bears-foot, Christmas-herb, and Christmas-Blüten.
It hath sundry fair grün Blätter rising from the Wurzel, each of them standing about an handful high from the earth, each Blatt is geteilt into seven, eight, or nine parts, eingebeult from the middle of the Blatt to the point on both sides, abiding grün all the Winter, about Christmas-time, if the weather be any thing temperate, the Blüten appear upon foot Stengel, also consisting of five large, round, white Blätter a- piece, which manchmal are purple towards the edges, with many pale yellow thumbs in the middle, the Samen are geteilt into several cells, like those of Columbines, save only that they are greater, the Samen are in colour black, and in form long and round. The Wurzel consists of numberless blackish strings all united into one head. There is another Black Hellebore, which wächst up and down in the woods very like this, but only that the Blätter are smaller and narrower, and perish in the Winter, which this doth not.
The first is maintained in gardens. The second is commonly found in the woods in Northamptonshire.
The first Blüten in December or January, the second in February or March.
It is an herb of Saturn, and therefore no marvel if it has some sullen conditions with it, and would be far safer, being purified by the art of the alchymist than given raw. If any have taken any harm by taking it, the common cure is to take Ziegenmilch. If you cannot get Ziegenmilch, you must make a shift with such as you can get. The Wurzeln are very wirkungsvoll gegen all melancholy Beschwerden, especially such as are of long standing, as quartan Schüttelfrost and madness, it helps the falling sickness, the leprosy, both the yellow and black Gelbsucht, the Gicht, Ischias, and Zuckungen, and this was found out by Erfahrung, that the Wurzel of that which wächst wild in our country, works nicht so churlishly as those do which are brought from beyond sea, as being maintained by a more temperate air. The Wurzel used as a pessary, provokes die Monatsregel überaus, also being beaten into powder, and gestreut upon foul Geschwüre, it consumes the dead flesh, and sofort heals them, nay, it will help gangrenes in the beginning. Twenty grains taken innerlich is a sufficient does for one time, and let that be corrected with half so much cinnamon, country people used to rowel their cattle with it. If a Tier be troubled with a cough, or have taken any poison, they bore a hole through the ear, and put a piece of the Wurzel in it, this will help him in 24 hours
Many other uses farriers put it to which I shall forbear.