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Iris versicolorIris versicolor (Iridaceae)

BLUE FLAG, LIVER LILY, SNAKE LILY

 

Learned of from North American Indians, the rhizome of blue flag is given by herbalists for biliousness and skin eruptions.

 

The American pharmacopoeia used to include this plant, a remedy for stomach complaints learned of from the North American Indians. It is native to North America, growing in moist swampy soil, but has been introduced elsewhere for medicinal and ornamental purposes. The thick rhizome supports a stem sheathed in sword-shaped leaves. Bright blue-violet flowers appear in early to midsummer.

 

PARTS USED

Rhizome.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil; iridin; salicylic and isophthalic acids; resin.

 

ACTIONS

Laxative; increases bile flow and urine production; circulatory and lymphatic stimulant.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Particularly used for skin eruptions, for which it is given both internally and as a poultice. It is also given for biliousness associated with constipation and liver disturbances.

 

PREPARATIONS

Decoction, tincture, tablets.

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