Botanical name: 

The root of Iris versicolor.—U.S.

Preparation.—Tincture of Iris.

Dose.—The dose of Iris will vary from the fraction of a drop to ʒss. For its specific use I add gtt. x. to gtt. xx., water ℥iv.; dose one teaspoonful.

Therapeutic Action.—The Iris is cathartic, emetic, diuretic, alterative, sialagogue, stimulant and astringent. As a cathartic, the recent root is active, and has been much used, especially in the South. Dr. Bigelow found it efficacious as a purgative, but the distressing nausea and prostration attending its operation, render it very unpleasant, unless combined with other agents to modify its action. Dr. Smith generally made use of the powder, giving it in twenty-grain doses, repeating if necessary. He reports its operation as powerful, certain and quick, sometimes taking effect in half an hour; he has also seen it move the bowels when Jalap, Gamboge, and other strong purgatives, had no effect; he also used it alone in cases of tape-worm with success. Thacker states that the expressed juice of the recent root, given in quantities of sixty or eighty drops every hour or two, and occasionally increased, has produced copious evacuations after Jalap, Gamboge, and other strong purgatives had proved ineffectual

The Iris is an important alterative, and its superior value for this purpose is far from being duly appreciated by the great body of the medical profession. In chronic hepatic affections, cachectic states of the system, mercurial cachexy, disordered states of the glandular system, syphiloid affections, etc., it is a favorite remedy. In the secondary or tertiary form of syphilis, after mercury in all its forms of administration had proven abortive, this agent has restored patients to perfect health.

Specific Indications.—Fullness of the thyroid gland is probably the most direct indication. Enlargement of the spleen, enlargement of the lymphatic glauds, they being soft and yielding to pressure, are indications.

Specific Uses.—It is the most certain remedy we have for enlargement of the thyroid, goitre, exophthalmia, and fullness of the thyroid body associated with wrong of menstruation. It is also a very valuable remedy in chronic disease of the pancreas with sodden lead colored tongue, and in scrofula and syphilis, with the condition of lymphatic glands named above.

The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.