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Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
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Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)



Flag (common)








Our English water Flags are true whigs of the old school, and get
their generic name because hanging out their banners respectively of
dark blue and yellow.

Each is also called Iris, as resembling the rainbow in beauty of
colour. The land Flag (Iris versicolor) is well known as growing
in swamps and moist meadows, with sword-shaped leaves, and large
purple heads of flowers, bearing petals chiefly dark blue, and veined
with green, yellow, or white. The water Flag (Iris pseudacorus) is
similar of growth, and equally well known by its brilliant heads of
yellow flowers, with blade-like leaves, being found in wet places
and water courses. The root of the Blue Flag, Dragon Flower, or
Dagger Flower, contains chemically an oleo-resin, which is
purgative to the liver in material doses, and specially alleviative
against bilious sickness when taken of much reduced strength by reason
of its acting as a similar. The official dose of this iridin is
from one to three grains. A liability to the formation of gall stones
may be remedied by giving one grain of the oleoresin (iridin) every
night for twelve nights.

A medicinal tincture (H.) is made which holds this Iris in solution;
and if three or four drops are taken immediately, with a spoonful of
water, and the same dose is repeated in half-an-hour if still
necessary, an attack of bilious vomiting, with sick headache, and a
[200] film before the eyes, will be prevented, or cut short. The
remedy is, under such circumstances, a trustworthy substitute for
calomel, or blue pill. Orris powder, which is so popular in the
nursery, and for the toilet table with ladies, on account of its fresh
violet scent, is made from the root of this Iris, being named from
the genitive ireos.

Louis VII. of France chose this Blue Flag as his heraldic emblem,
and hence its name, fleur de lys, has been subsequently borne on
the arms of France. The flower was said to have been figured on a
shield sent down from heaven to King Louis at Clovis, when
fighting against the Saracens. Fleur de Louis has become corrupted
to fleur de lys, or fleur de lis.

The Purple Flag was formerly dedicated to the Virgin Mary. A
certain knight more devout than learned could never remember
more than two words of the Latin prayer addressed to the Holy
Mother; these were Ave Maria, which the good old man repeated
day and night until he died. Then a plant of the blue Iris sprang up
over his grave, displaying on every flower in golden letters these
words, Ave Maria. When the monks opened the tomb they found
the root of the plant resting on the lips of the holy knight whose
body lay buried below.

The Yellow Flag, or Water Flag, is called in the north, Seggs. Its
flowers afford a beautiful yellow dye; and, its seeds, when roasted,
can be used instead of coffee. The juice of the root is very acrid
when sniffed up the nostrils, and causes a copious flow of water
therefrom, thus giving marked relief for obstinate congestive
headache of a dull, passive sort. The root is very astringent, and will
check diarrhoea by its infusion; also it is of service for making ink.
In the [201] south of England the plant is named Levers. It
contains much tannin.

The Stinking Flag, or Gladdon, or Roast Beef, because having
the odour of this viand, is another British species of Flag, abundant
in southern England, where it grows in woods and, shady places. Its
leaves, when bruised, emit a strong smell like that of carrion, which
is very loathsome. The plant bears the appellations, Iris
foetidissima, Spatual foetida, and Spurgewort, having long,
narrow leaves, which stink when rubbed. Country folk in Somersetshire
purge themselves to good purpose with a decoction made from
the root. The term glad, or smooth, refers to the surface
of the leaves, or to their sword-like shape, from gladiolus
(a small sword), and the plant bears flowers of a dull, livid purple,
smaller than those of the other flags.

Lastly, there is the Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus), though this is
not an Iris, but belongs botanically to the family of Arums. It
grows on the edges of lakes and streams allover Europe, as a highly
aromatic, reedy plant, with an erect flowering stem of yellowish
green colour. Its name comes from the Greek, koree, or pupil of
the eye, because of its being used in ailments of that organ.

Calamus was the Roman term for a reed; and formerly this sweet
Flag, by reason of its pleasant odour like that of violets, was freely
strewn on the floor of a cathedral at times of church festivals, and in
many private houses instead of rushes. The root is a powerful cordial
against flatulence, and passive indigestion, with headache. It contains
a volatile oil, and a bitter principle, acorin; so that a fluid
extract is made by the chemists, of which from thirty to forty drops
may be given as a dose, with a [202] tablespoonful, of water, every
half-hour for several consecutive times. The candied root is much
employed for like uses in Turkey and India. It is sold as a favourite
medicine in every Indian Bazaar; and Ainslie says it is reckoned so
valuable in the bowel complaints of children, that there is a penalty
incurred by every druggist who will not open his door in the middle
of the night to sell it if demanded.

The root stocks are brought to this country from Germany, being
used by mastication to cleat the urine when it is thick and loaded
with dyspeptic products; also for flavouring beer, and scenting
snuff.

Their ash contains potash, soda, zinc, phosphoric Acid, silica, and
peroxide of iron. In the Times April 24th, 1856, Dr. Graves wrote
commending for the soldiers when landing at Galipoli, and notable
to obtain costly quinine, the Sweet Flag--acorus calamas--as their
sheet anchor against ague and allied maladies arising from marsh
miasmata. The infusion of the root should be given, or the
powdered root in doses of from ten to sixty grains. (See RUSHES.)





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