Gladen, The Root of
Regarded as a remedy for a disease called the ‘‘elf cake,’’
which caused a hardness in the side. Thomas Lupton’s A Thousand
Notable Things (1595) gives the following prescription for
making up the medicine ‘‘Take a root of gladen, and make
powder thereof, and give the diseased party half a spoonful
thereof, to drink in white wine, and let him eat thereof so much
in his pottage at one time, and it will help him within awhile.’’
Gladen or Gladdon is an old name for both varieties of iris—the
garden flower (Iris pseudo-acorus) and the wild iris (Iris foetidissima).
The root of the former was reputed to be effective for
dropsy and the root of the latter for hysterical disorders.