An East India plant, found also in other places, and very singular in its manner of growth. It produces two kinds of stalks, the one bearing the leaves, and the other only the flowers. The first grow two or three feet high, and are themselves composed in a manner of the lower parts of leaves; so that they seem to be only bundles of leaves rolled together at the bottom. These are long, narrow, and in some degree resemble the leaves of our common flags. The other stalks are tender, soft, and about a foot high: they have no leaves on them, but only a kind of films, and at the tops they produce the flowers, in a spike: these are small, in shape like those of our orchis, and of a mixed colour, purple, white, and yellow. The root spreads irregularly under the surface.
The root is the only part used: we have it dry at the grocers; but the best way of taking it, is as it comes over preserved from the East Indies. It is a warm and fine stomachic, and dispeller of wind. It assists digestion, and prevents or cures cholics. It is also an excellent addition to the rough purges, to prevent their griping in the operation.