—Iris Foetidissima.—It is a wild plant of the Iris kind. Its leaves are very like a Flower-de-luce but sharp- edged on both sides, and thicker in the middle, of a deeper green colour, sharper pointed, and have a strong ill scent, if bruised. In the middle rises up a strong stalk, a yard high, bearing three or four flowers at the top, like the flower-de-luce, with three upright petals, of a dead purplish ash colour, with some veins discoloured in them; the other three do not fall down, nor are the three other small ones so arched, nor cover the lower leaves like the flower-de-luce, but stand loose from them. The root is like that of the flower-de-luce, but reddish on the outside, and whitish within, very hot in the taste, of a bad scent. It grows in high lands, in moist places, woods, and shadowy places, and by the sea-side, and is cultivated in gardens. It flowers in July, and the seed is ripe in August.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Gladwin:

It is used by country people to purge corrupt phlegm and choler, by drinking the decoction of the roots; or by infusing the sliced roots in ale; and some use the leaves. The juice snuffed up the nose, causes sneezing, and draws from the head much corruption; the powder has the same effect. The powder drank in wine, relieves cramps and convulsions, the gout and sciatica, and griping pains. It is given with much profit in fluxes which it stops, having first cleansed and purged them by its astringent qualities. Half a drachm of the seed beaten to powder, and taken in wine, promotes a flow of urine. Taken with vinegar, it removes the hardness of the spleen. The root is effectual in all wounds especially of the head; and to draw forth splinters, thorns, or broken bones, or any thing sticking in the flesh, without causing pains, being used with a little verdigrease and honey, and the great Centaury root. Boiled in vinegar, and laid upon any tumour or swelling, it removes them. It is a fine remedy for the king's evil. The juice of the leaves or roots heals the itch, and all running sores, blemishes, or scars in the skin.
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This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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