Related entry: Orris root
Iris consists of the dried rhizome and roots of Iris versicolor, Linn. (N.O. Irideae), a perennial herb, growing in marshy ground in eastern and central North America. It consists usually of the dried branches of the rhizome, from 5 to 10 centimetres long, and 1 to 2 centimetres thick, cylindrical in the lower portion, but becoming flattened towards the crown, where they give off numerous, long, slender roots. It is dark brown in colour, longitudinally wrinkled, and bears amplexicaul leaf scars. It breaks with a short fracture, exhibiting a dark purplish interior. The odour is characteristic; the taste pungent and acrid.
Constituents.—The drug contains isophthalic acid, a trace of salicylic acid, and a number of substances which do not appear to be active.
Action and Uses.—Iris is cathartic and diuretic, and is a common ingredient of anti-syphilitic and "blood-purifying" nostrums. Liquid and solid extracts have been prepared, but the powdered extract or resinoid (iridin) is preferred.
Dose.—3 to 12 decigrams (5 to 20 grains).
- Extractum Iridis, B.P.C.—EXTRACT OF IRIS. Syn.—Iridin; Extractum Iridis Siccum.
- This extract is a cholagogue purgative, used in the so-called "biliousness" due to intestinal fermentation. It is prescribed in pills with extract of henbane, sometimes with the addition of euonymin or other cholagogues. The extract is also given in the form of Liquor Euonymini et Iridini, and Liquor Papaini et Iridini. Dose.—½ to 2 decigrams (1 to 3 grains).