Orris Root (Iris germanica)
Morocco. Orris Root (Iris germanica), Organic
Common names: German Iris, Bearded Iris, Common Flag, Purple Flag, Fleur de Lis
Iris germanica is a common flowering perennial bulb, a European hybrid closely related to Iris pallida (the other species that is also known as Orris Root), native to sunny, rocky areas around the coast of Croatia. I. germanica can grow up to nearly 4 feet high. It is bred to produce flowers in many colors, from black to white. Iris is the Greek word for rainbow, and for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.
Long ago, Orris Root was given in small amounts as a medicine for bronchitis, chronic diarrhea, edema, and liver and spleen ailments. It has diuretic, emetic, and cathartic properties. Since the days of the ancient Greeks, its main uses have been as a fragrance, and a fixative for fragrances, in perfumes, skin and hair products, and potpourris, with a scent compared to violets, orange blossoms, vanilla, and grape soda; as a flavoring for gin, soft drinks, candies, breath fresheners, and toothpastes; and as an ingredient in spice mixes.
Experiments with extracts of Orris Root have shown effects in reducing serum cholesterol and triglycerides, modulating immune function, combating inflammation, as a cytotoxic agent against cancer cell cultures, acting directly against malaria plasmodium, and enhancing memory and cognitive function in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.