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The xiphion1 or phasganion, on the other hand, is found growing in humid localities. On first leaving the ground it has the appearance of a sword; the stem of it is two cubits in length, and the root is fringed like a hazel nut.2

This root should always be taken up before harvest, and dried in the shade. The upper part of it, pounded with frankincense, and mixed with an equal quantity of wine, extracts fractured bones of the cranium, purulent matter in all parts of the body, and bones of serpents,3 when accidentally trodden upon; it is very efficacious, too, for poisons. In cases of head-ache, the head should be rubbed with hellebore, boiled and beaten up in olive oil, or oil of roses, or else with peucedanum steeped in olive oil or rose oil, and vinegar. This last plant, made lukewarm, is very good also for hemicrania4 and vertigo. It being of a heating nature, the body is rubbed with the root as a sudorific.

1 See Note 30 above. The medicinal properties here attributed to the Xiphion, or Gladiolus communis, our common Red corn-flag, are very doubtful, as Fée remarks.

2 With the outer coat on, of course.

3 Dalechamps is probably right in preferring the reading "carpentis" to "serpentis," in which case the meaning would be, "or bones when accidentally crushed by the wheels of vehicles."

4 Or "meagrim."

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