Cheese Rennet, is a native plant growing on the 5 of fields and roads. It has a firm, erect, square stem ; short branches, terminating in spikes of small yellow blossoms, appearing in July and August.
The flowers of this plant coagulate boiling milk ; and it is, weapprehend erroneously, supposed that the best Cheshire cheese is prepared by their influence. When boiled in alum-water, says Dr. Withering, they tinge wool yellow. The roots dye a very fine red, not inferior to madder. They also impart a similar colour to the bones of animals fed upon them. Ac-cording to the experiments related by Succow, the German chemist, a deco6tion of the whole plant, when in blossom, on adding vitriol of iron and spirit of salt, produced a fine green colour, which was likewise imparted to wool and silk.
Sheep and goats eat the yellow bed-straw ; but it is refused by horses, swine, and cows. In France, the flowers are prescribed in hys-teric cases. The juice of the plant has been successfully used in Britain ; and, from an account given in the Edinburgh Medical Com-mentraries, it appears to be an efficacious remedy for the cure of scorbutic complaints.
Labels: cheese rennet