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Iris versicolor

Iris versicolor                  Common name:  Blue flag iris

Family: Iridaceae

Parts used: Rhizome

Constituents:  Volatile oil (furfural), iridin glycoside (irisin), acids (salicylic and isophthalic), tannins, oleo-resin, beta-sitosterols, triterpenoids

Medicinal actions:  Alterative, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, alterative, anti-emetic (low dose), lymphatic, hepatic, laxative, cathartic, diuretic, stimulant, choleretic, cholagogue, pancreatic bitter, dermatological agent

Blue Flag

Medicinal use: This remedy has a wide application in the treatment of skin disease, apparently aiding the skin by working through the liver, the main detoxifying organ of the body. It may be used in skin eruption such as acne, spot and blemishes. For the more chronic skin disease such as eczema and psoriasis, it is valuable as a part of a wider treatment. It may be used wherever there is constipation associated with liver problems or the gall bladder. It has stimulating effects on the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and colon and promotes the production and secretion of bile along with other hepatic functions making it useful in many toxic conditions. It has also been reported to stimulate the motility of fat and has been used in weight loss. Has use in endocrine conditions and other glandular disorders including hypothyroidism (with thyroid enlargement), splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, menstrual irregularities (including uterine fibroids), and sebaceous gland disorders.


  • VO (furfural) is a mucous membrane irritant.
  • Irisin in high doses can cause nausea & vomiting, unclear if iridin has same effects.

Pharmacy: Decoction: 1 tsp/ cup water,  TID. Tincture: (1:5, 45%), 1-3ml, TID.

ContraindicationsUse caution in weakened constitutions.

Toxicity:  Fresh root can cause symptoms such as burning sensation in the mouth and throat, N/V, violent diarrhea, abdominal burning, difficult breathing, colic and rectal heat, and gastroenteritis resulting in death. Large doses will evacuate and exhaust the system, acting on the liver, and the alimentary canal throughout.  

Interactions: None reported. 


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