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Re: SPEC: I. Foetidissima

Henryanner@aol.com wrote:
> Rick asked:
> <<
>  some part of this species worked well on
>  migraine headaches.  Has anyone heard of this treatment?  >>
>Our forefathers were a hardy (and trusting) lot! W. Percy King wrote a most interesting article on Iris in Medicine for the B.I.S. Yearbook, 
1962. Two excerpts:

>From distant times the iris has provided 'cures' for many and widely 
dissimilar diseases. The Doctrine of Signatures was invoked as a guide to 
the medical uses of the vegetable world. This doctrine was succinctly set 
out by Turner in the 16th century. "God hath imprinted upon the plants, 
herbs and flowers, as it were in Hyeroglyphics, the very Signature of 
their Vertues". Thus the iris bears the mark of the stomach, sharing this 
honour with such plebians as radishes, chives, parsnips and crowning 
indignity, earth-nuts.

Research in the Middle Ages came up with an iris cure. (for scofula, an 
obsolete term for tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands. Also called the 
'King's Evil'). A deep incision in the flesh was made and a bead of dried 
orris root thrust and bound into the wound. Presumably the patient then 
forgot about his scrofula.
	By virtue of the power derived from its stomaic Signature, iris 
provided remedies for spleen, coughs, bruises, fits, madness, dropsy, 
snake bites, and plain bad temper. Perhaps today also the irisarian finds 
in the evening contemplation of his irises a panacea for the ill-humour 
arising from a trying day at the office.

Paul Richardson, Upper Hutt, New Zealand

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