CHAP. 83.—FORTY-ONE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE IRIS: TWO REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE SALIUNCA.
The red iris is better than the white one. It is very beneficial to attach this plant to the bodies of infants more particularly when they are cutting their teeth, or are suffering
from cough; it is equally good, too, to inject a few drops of it
when children are suffering from tape-worm. The other properties of it differ but very little from those of honey. It
cleanses ulcerous sores of the head, and inveterate abscesses
more particularly. Taken in doses of two drachmæ with honey,
it relaxes the bowels; and an infusion of it is good for cough,
gripings of the stomach, and flatulency: taken with vinegar,
too, it cures affections of the spleen. Mixed with oxycrate it
is good for the bites of serpents and spiders, and, in doses of
two drachmæ with bread or water, it is employed for the cure
of the stings of scorpions. It is applied also topically with oil
to the bites of dogs, and to parts that are excoriated: employed
in a similar manner, too, it is good for pains in the sinews, and
in combination with resin it is used as a liniment for lumbago
and sciatica. The properties of this plant are of a warming
nature. Inhaled at the nostrils, it produces sneezing and
cleanses the brain, and in cases of head-ache it is applied topically in combination with the quince or the strutheum.1
dispels the fumes of wine also, and difficulties of breathing2
and taken in doses of two oboli it acts as an emetic: applied
as a plaster with honey, it extracts splinters of broken bones.
Powdered iris is employed also for whitlows, and, mixed with
wine, for corns and warts, in which case it is left for three days
on the part affected.
Chewed, it is a corrective of bad breath and offensive exhalations of the arm-pits, and the juice of it softens all kinds of
indurations of the body. This plant acts as a soporific, but it
wastes the seminal fluids: it is used also for the treatment of
chaps of the fundament and condylomata, and it heals all sorts
of excrescences on the body.
Some persons give the name of "xyris"3
to the wild iris.
This plant disperses scrofulous sores, as well as tumours and
inguinal swellings; but it is generally recommended that when
wanted for these purposes it should be pulled up with the left
hand, the party gathering it mentioning the name of the pa-
tient and of the disease for which it is intended to be employed.
While speaking of this subject, I will take the opportunity of
disclosing the criminal practices of some herbalists—they
keep back a portion of the iris, and of some other plants as
well, the plantago for instance, and, if they think that they
have not been sufficiently well paid and wish to be employed
a second time, bury the part they have kept back in the same
place; their object being, I suppose,4
to revive the malady
which has just been cured.
The root of the saliunca5
boiled in wine, arrests vomiting
and strengthens the stomach.