Monday, February 23, 2009

Iris germanica L.

English Name : Orris

Family : Iridaceae

A small perennial herb 40-90 cm in height with stout, branched stems. Leaves 30-70 cm x 20-35 mm. Somewhat glaucous; inflorescence, 4-flowered spathes; flowers on the stalk are bent in one over against another and have varied colours for they are white, pale, black, purple or azure. The roots underneath are knotty and strong. The best has a thick stumpy root, hard to break, of a faint yellow colour with an especially good scent and very bitter to the taste.

Roadsides, railroads, old homesites.

Parts Used : Leaf, rhizome and plant.

Herb Effects
The root is diuretic, emetic, expectorant and mildly purgative. Induces a decline in smooth muscle activity (in vitro) and alleviates spasms (aqueous plant extract); promotes nasal discharge and reduces fever (rhizome).

Active Ingredients
Iridin, irigenin, irisolidone, beta-sitosterol, alpha and beta-amyrin and acetovanillone (rhizome).

Medicinal Use
Frostbite (leaf extract); to babies to help in teething(dried roots); as a laxative, dropsy, expectorant, reducing fever and halitosis (rhizome). The juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy.

Powdered root: 5 to 15 grains.
Tincture: 6 to 12 drops under the tongue 1 to 3 times a day.

Ingesion of irisin, a resinous substance present in leaves especially rhizome can cause severe gastric disturbances.


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