Iris germanica Linn

Family ► Iridaceae.

Habitat ► Native of Italy and Morocco; cultivated in Kashmir, also found run wild on graves.

English ► Orris, Iridis Rhizome, German Iris.

Ayurvedic ► Paarseeka Vachaa, Haimavati, Shveta Vachaa (also considered as Pushkarmuula), Baal-bach.

Action ► Demulcent, antidiarrhoeal, expectorant. Extract of the leaf is used for the treatment of frozen feet.

Key application ► In irritable bowel, summer diarrhoea in children, in stubborn cases of respiratory congestion. (Folk medicine.) (Claims negatively evaluated by German Commission E: "blood-purifying," "stomach-strengthening" and "gland-stimulating.")

The rhizomes gave triterpenes, beta-sitosterol, alpha-and beta-amyrin and isoflavonoids; an essential oil, about 0.1-2%, known as "Orris butter," consisting of about 85% myristic acid, with irone, ionone, methyl myris-tate. Isoflavonoids include irisolidone, irigenin and iridin. In volatile oil, chief constituents are cis-alpha and cis-gamma-irones. Triterpenes include iridal and irigermanal. Rhizomes also gave xanthones C. glucosylxanthones (Orris root is the root of Iris germanica. In homoeopathy, Iris versicolor is used.)

Related species ► I. florentina Linn.; I. pallida Lam.

Iris kemaonensis Wall.

Isatis tinctoria Linn. BB7

Habitat ► The Himalayas from Garhwal to Arunachal Pradesh at 2,400-3,600 m.

Action ► Diuretic, spasmolytic, febrifuge; antidote for opium addiction.

The rhizomes contain isoflavones— iridin, iriskumaonin and its methyl ether, irisflorentin, junipegenin A and irigenin.

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