Orris Root (Iris Pallida) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Orris Root (Iris Pallida) Overview
Orris Root (Iris Pallida) other names: Blue Flag, Daggers, Flag, Flaggon, Flag Lily, Fliggers, Florentine Iris, Gladyne, Iris, Iris d’Allemagne, Iris de Florence, Iris florentina, Iris germanica, Iris des Jardins, Iris junonia, Iris pallida, Jacob's Sword, Lirio Azul, Liver Lily, Myrtle Flower, Poison Flag, Rhizoma iridis, Segg, Sheggs, Snake Lily, Water Flag, White Dragon Flower, Wild Iris, Yellow Flag, Yellow Iris.
The term orris root is used to denote the roots of a number of species, including Iris germanica, Iris pallida and Iris florentina. They have a very sweet fragrance, which is more distinct in some bearded irises compared to others. The aroma of the flowers of a particular species known as Iris pallida, is considered to be the best. In fact, it is difficult for one to miss the characteristic fragrance of this flower, which blooms during spring. Just take a sniff of the aroma and you will surely admit that its smell is akin to that of grape soda.
The flowers of Iris pallida measure about four inches in diameter and appear in the later part of spring. Every branched stem of Iris pallida bears anything between two and six attractive pale bluish-purple blooms.
|Orris (Iris Pallida) flower|
Native to Croatia, Iris pallida is not only popular for the typical fragrance of its flowers. Gardeners look for this plant as well as grow it for its wonderful multi-colored foliage, which is equally attractive as its flowers. The Iris pallida normally grows up to a height of two feet and bears clusters of broad and stiff leaves. Clusters of these green and creamy yellow plants may be used to enhance the look of any woodland garden. A white-and-green variety of this plant is also available.
Like in the case of other iris species, there are numerous different ways in which you can use the Iris pallida plants in your garden. You can plant them with different bulbs with a view to create a vibrant, multicolored spring show. In fact, these plants accentuate the beauty of any perennial bed. The foliage alone of Iris pallida is so attractive that it enhances the eminence of the plants in your garden. The Iris pallida grow up to a moderate height and this makes it possible to grow them in pots and place them in appropriate locations to attract attention as well as augment the beauty of the place.
As it is not difficult to grow Iris pallida, it is possible to plant this species anywhere you wish to and enjoy their beauty perpetually. You only need to provide these plants with some nourishment during the flowering season and shade during the midday to ensure that they readily multiply their clumps. Among all varieties of bearded irises, this species is considered to be the hardiest plant. In fact, when grown in places having mild climatic conditions, the foliage of Iris pallida will remain almost throughout the year. Moreover, deer do not browse on this species, even if they do, the plants have the aptitude to resist the invasion. The Iris pallida also provide us aromatic cut flowers making them one of the most favoured bearded iris varieties.
This iris species is also called Dalmatian iris for the reason that it is indigenous to Croatia’s Dalmatia province, where it has been cultivated for several centuries. In fact, Iris pallida is a forerunner of the present-day bearded irises. Occasionally, people cultivate this species as an orris source, which is obtained from the plant’s rhizomes and used in the manufacture of perfumes and also breath fresheners.
Many botanists are of the view that although people cultivated Iris pallida since much before 1600, the species was named officially only in 1789. Iris pallida is a favourite of several gardeners owing to its endurance power and aroma. Iris pallida has broad bluish-green foliage that resembles a sword. Although the firm spikes of Iris pallida are poorly branched, each of them bears as many as eight lavender-blue aromatic blooms. It is easy to distinguish Iris pallida, as its flowers are papery and its large and colourful bracts (spathes) often cover the buds having yellowish beards. This species keeps growing in beautiful clumps, which do not divide for several months together.
Iris pallida is mainly cultivated for the essential oil contained in its roots, particularly in Italy. The flowers of Iris pallida have a sweet aroma that will possibly remind you of orange blossoms. Some people also compare the aroma of Iris pallida flowers to that of vanilla, grape or civet. This is a very vigorously growing species. The rhizome of Iris pallida should be placed slightly above the level of the soil. Plants belonging to this genus are seldom, if ever, disturbed by rabbits or browsing deer.
Orris Root (Iris Pallida) Health Benefits
|Orris Root (Iris Pallida) plant|
Iris pallida is a plant. The root is used to make medicine. Iris pallida root is generally used in combination with other herbs and can be found in homeopathic dilutions and tea preparations.
Iris pallida root is used for “blood-purifying,” “gland-stimulating,” increasing kidney activity, stimulating appetite and digestion, and increasing bile flow. Iris pallida root is also used for headache, toothache, muscle and joint pain, migraine, constipation, bloating, diabetes, and skin diseases.
Some people use Iris pallida root to treat bronchitis, colds, cancer, back pain caused by the sciatic nerve (sciatica), and swelling (inflammation) of the spleen. Iris pallida root is also used to cause vomiting, empty the bowels, and promote calmness.
Iris pallida root is sometimes applied directly to the affected area for bad breath, nasal polyps, teething, tumors, scars, muscle and joint pain, burns, and cuts.
Iris pallida root has numerous uses and supplies Orris powder, which has a high demand in perfumery industry. The dried up roots of the Iris pallida are pulverized to obtain Orris, whose aroma is akin to that of violets. In addition to being used in the form of a fixative in perfumes as well as potpourri, Iris pallida root is also used in the manufacture of breath fresheners, toothpastes and similar products. Iris pallida is also widely used in the form of a food essence.
It may take several years for Iris pallida roots to dry properly so as to develop the right fragrance. The flavour of the fresh root of Iris pallida is acrid and Iris pallida root is almost fragrance-free. The fresh Iris pallida roots yield an essential oil and Iris pallida root can be used for the same purposes for which the dried roots are used. The Iris pallida root also yields a black dye, while the flowers yield a blue dye. Besides growing the plants for its attractive, aromatic flowers and its roots, you may also cultivate Iris pallida for ground cover. The roots of Iris pallida are so densely matted that they do not allow any weed to grow.
Occasionally, the juice extracted from Iris pallida roots is employed in the form of a cosmetic and it also helps to get rid of freckles on the skin. The juice obtained from the fresh Iris pallida roots is a potent cleanser and can be used effectively for treating dropsy (a condition that was earlier known as edema).
The dried Iris pallida roots can be pounded into a powder and used to flavour foods. In fact, the fresh Iris pallida root is almost neutral and does not have any fragrance. It generally takes many years for the dried Iris pallida roots to develop their characteristic fragrance. The dried roots of Iris pallida yield an essential oil called the “Orris oil”, which is used to add essence to sweets, soft drinks, chewing gums and other food products.
Orris Root (Iris Pallida) Side effects
Iris pallida seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth. There are no known side effects if the root of Iris pallida is carefully peeled and dried. However, the fresh plant juice or root can cause severe irritation of the mouth, stomach pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.
There isn’t enough information to know if Iris pallida might be safe when applied directly to the skin. However, the fresh plant juice or root can cause severe skin irritation.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Iris pallida during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.