Related entry: Iris (U. S. P.)—Iris
SYNONYMS: Oleoresin of blue flag, Iridin.
Preparation.—By percolation, exhaust moderately fine powder of the root of blue flag any quantity, with alcohol a sufficient quantity. Distill off about two-thirds of the alcohol, and add the residue to two or three times its volume of water. By distilling off the remaining alcohol, or by allowing the mixture to stand, the oleoresin precipitates, collect it, wash it in clear water, allow it to subside, and then separate it from the water by decantation and filtration.
History.—I had the pleasure of calling the attention of the profession to this article in 1844, about the same time I introduced podophyllin (to remarks on which I refer the reader), and again in 1846. I have used it extensively and find it to be an invaluable medicine. It is soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water (J. King). Iridin, or Irisin, in powder, is prepared by adding to the oleoresin about 10 per cent of magnesia or other absorbent; sometimes the extract of the root deprived of its oleoresin, has been dried, powdered, and sold under one of the above names.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This oleoresin is cathartic, alterative, sialagogue, diuretic and anthelmintic. I have used it more or less extensively for several years in combination with the resin of podophyllum, and in the form of pill, for dropsy, primary and secondary syphilis, chronic visceral affections, rheumatism, gonorrhoea, and many female affections. It is not as nauseating, when given alone, as the resin of podophyllum, and requires rather larger doses. One grain, triturated with 10 grains of sugar, may be given in 3-grain doses, every hour or two, until a cathartic effect is produced. I have long used the following as a sialagogue in those cases of glandular diseases which seemed to resist the action of other means, viz.: equal parts of oleoresins of iris, podophyllum, and xanthoxylum, given in grain doses ever hour or two until ptyalism was produced. By trituration with sugar or lactin, this combination becomes more active. Oleoresin of iris is not as prompt in its effects as resin of podophyllum, although it may be substituted for this in all instances; and its alterative influence, though slowly developed and without any immediate appreciable effect, is yet positive and certain. For several years I used it in preference to the resin of podophyllum, conjoined with resin of cimicifuga, in uterine diseases. The usual dose of oleoresin of iris ranges from ½ grain to 5 grains. Physicians will occasionally meet with patients upon whom resin of podophyllum, even in small doses, exerts a powerful and long-continued influence, sometimes not readily obviated; in such cases, oleoresin of iris seems to me to be more especially indicated. The addition of capsicum or resin of caulophyllum to oleoresin of iris, mitigates any harshness of action it may produce. A combination of oleoresins of iris and xanthoxylum, with resin of podophyllum, or extract of corydalis, is a most powerful and certain remedy for syphilis, either primary or secondary, and will be found very useful in scrofula. Oleoresin of iris, 3 grains, extract of leptandra, 6 grains, and bitartrate of potassium, 20 grains, made into one powder, forms a hydragogue cathartic of much value in some forms of dropsy. Oleoresin of iris may be used in all cases where iris is indicated (J. King).