Orris root (Iridis rhizoma)

Published November 25, 1993.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Iridis rhizoma, orris root.

Composition of Drug

Orris root consists of the carefully peeled and dried rhizome of Iris germanica L., I. pallida Lamarck (var. dalmatica), or I. florentina L. [Fam. Iridaceae], as well as preparations thereof.

Ed. note: The herb identified here as Iris florentina is more properly identified as the cultivar I. germanica var. florentina (L.) Dykes.] --> Pharmacological Properties, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology None known.

Clinical Data 1. Uses Uses as a result of evaluation:
None. Claimed uses that have been negatively evaluated:
Preparations of orris root are used as "blood-purifying," "stomach-strengthening" and "gland-stimulating" remedies, for increased activity of the kidneys, and for skin diseases. In combinations, preparations of orris root are used internally for headache, toothache, muscle and joint pain, migraine, neuralgia, acute and chronic catarrhs of the respiratory tract, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, cough, mucous congestion, nasal catarrh, hoarseness, for better blood supply of the bronchi and mucous membranes, smoker's catarrh, for interval therapy of asthmatics, for the care of heart, nerves and stomach, as a sedative, for nervous disturbances of cardiovascular function, for difficulties in falling asleep and sleep disorders, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal disturbances, sluggishness of the bowels, feeling of fullness, bloating, ailments of gallbladder, liver and pancreas, diabetes, for the relief of irritations caused by inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract, skin diseases, as well as topically for tumors, swelling of the lymph glands, uric acid sedimentation, kyphosis, keloid formation, for rheumatic discomforts, and for burns and cuts.

The effectiveness for the claimed applications is not documented.

2. Risks

None known.


Since the effectiveness for the claimed uses is not documented, a therapeutic application cannot be recommended. There is no objection to its use as an aroma or flavor corrigent.