Orris

Other Name(s):

Blue Flag, Daggers, Flag, Flaggon, Flag Lily, Fliggers, Florentine Iris, Gladyne, Iris, Iris d'Allemagne, Iris de Florence, Iris florentina, Iris germanica, Iris des Jardins, Iris junonia, Iris pallida, Jacob's Sword, Lirio Azul, Liver Lily, Myrtle Flower, Poison Flag, Rhizoma iridis, Segg, Sheggs, Snake Lily, Water Flag, White Dragon Flower, Wild Iris, Yellow Flag, Yellow Iris.

Overview

Orris is a plant. The root is used to make medicine. Orris root is generally used in combination with other herbs and can be found in homeopathic dilutions and tea preparations.

Orris root is used for “blood-purifying,” “gland-stimulating,” increasing kidney activity, stimulating appetite and digestion, and increasing bile flow. It is also used for headache, toothache, muscle and joint pain, migraine, constipation, bloating, diabetes, and skin diseases.

Some people use orris root to treat bronchitis, colds, cancer, back pain caused by the sciatic nerve (sciatica), and swelling (inflammation) of the spleen. It is also used to cause vomiting, empty the bowels, and promote calmness.

Orris root is sometimes applied directly to the affected area for bad breath, nasal polyps, teething, tumors, scars, muscle and joint pain, burns, and cuts.

Historically, orris root was highly prized in the perfume industry. The root develops a pleasant violet-like scent when it dries. This scent continues to improve in storage, reaching its peak in about three years. Orris root was widely used in face powders and other cosmetics until people noticed it was causing allergic reactions. Orris root powder is still used extensively in potpourris, sachets, and pomanders. It even prolongs the scent of the other oils.

How does it work?

Orris contains many chemicals, including some that may loosen lung congestion and make it easier to cough up.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Skin diseases.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Cancer.
  • Inflammation of the spleen.
  • Liver problems.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Constipation.
  • Bad breath.
  • Teething pain.
  • Improving appetite and digestion.
  • “Purifying” blood.
  • Stimulating glands.
  • Causing vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of orris for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Side Effects

Orris seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth. There are no known side effects if the root is carefully peeled and dried. However, the fresh plant juice or root can cause severe irritation of the mouth, stomach pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

There isn't enough information to know if orris might be safe when applied directly to the skin. However, the fresh plant juice or root can cause severe skin irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of orris during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of orris depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for orris. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

SLIDESHOW

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 6/14/2021
References

Van Hevelingen A. The orris iris. The Herb Companion 1992;4:32-5.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors