Iris Versicolor. (Blue Flag)

Botanical name: 

We find the Iris described in our Dispensatory as among the most valuable of our medicinal plants, "termed the mercury of Eclectic practice," and yet I am safe in saying that there has not been a good article in the market for a dozen years. The dried root of the drug trade possesses no more medicinal property than sawdust, and preparations from it, whether in the form of fluid extract or Irisin, are an imposition.

We would prepare a tincture from the fresh root, using Alcohol of 76°. There are two varieties of it, and that should be selected which presents a bluish mottled color on incision.

When prepared as above, the Iris is one of our best remedies. It is directly stimulant to waste and excretion, and also influences the lymphatic system. It may, therefore, be employed in all diseases in which there is bad blood, and imperfect nutrition. I regard it as one of our most certain remedies in the treatment of secondary syphilis.

It exerts a specific influence in cases of enlargement of the thyroid gland, and has effected cures in very severe cases. Here, as in other cases, we employ it uncombined, giving it internally, and using it as a local application. The dose of the tincture of Iris will vary from five drops to ʒj.

Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.