A VERY common plant under our hedges, and more vulgarly called cuckowpint, and, by the children, lord and lady. The root is of the bigness and shape of a walnut, brown on the outside and white within, and this, as well as the whole plant, is of a sharp and acrid taste. This root lies deep. The leaves are large and shaped like the bearded head of an arrow, of a strong green colour, and sometimes spotted. In April and May rise among these thick stalks, supporting a very singular kind of flower, the pointal of which is long, thick, fleshy, and of a red or white colour, and the whole surrounded with a green membranaceous case. Afterwards this case and the pointal fall off, and there remains only the stem supporting a quantity of berries, which are ripe in autumn, and are then of a fine red colour.
The root is the part used. It is an excellent medicine in palsies. Half one of the roots, fresh gathered and bruised, will sometimes restore the speech at once; and a continued use of them goes a great way toward a cure. It is also good in scorbutic cases, and in all inward obstructions. Some dry and powder it, but it then loses almost all its virtue.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.