Biological Name: Iris versicolor
Other Names: Flag-lily, fleur-de-lis, flower-de-luce, iris, liver lily, poison flag, snake lily, water flag, wild iris, blue flag
Parts Used: Rhizome
• Volatile oil, containing furfural
• Iridin (or irisin), a glycoside
• Acids such as salicylic and isophthalic
• Miscellaneous; a monocyclic C3l triterpenoid, gum, resin, sterols,etc.
Historically, this herb had been used as a cathartic, diuretic, sialagogue. Blue flag is said to be good for chronic vomiting, heartburn, chronic gastritis and enteritis, liver and gallbladder ailments, and catarrhal sinus problems. It is highly recommended for migraine, especially when caused by stomach disorders. The Indians also used blue flag for dropsy. The bruised fresh leaves are also sometimes used externally for burns and sores.
Cholagogue, hepatic, alterative, laxative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory.
This herb is used in the treatment of skin diseases, apparently aiding the skin by working through the liver, the main detoxifying organ of the body. It may be used in skin eruptions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is valuable as part of a wider treatment. It may be used with value where there is constipation associated with liver problems or biliousness.
Blue flag is a wetlands perennial plant native to eastern North America and exported from here to Europe. Its stout stem grows from a thick, cylindrical, creeping rootstock and bears two ranks of sword shaped long, narrow leaves. Each stem has 2 or 3 large, blue or purplish flowers featuring three petal-like, spreading or recurved sepals below and three petals, smaller than the sepals, above.
Decoction: Put 1 teaspoonful of the dried herb into a cup of water and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Take this three times a day.
Tincture: take 1 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Combinations : Blue Flag combines well with Echinacea or Burdock and Yellow Dock.
CAUTION: Blue flag contains an acrid, resinous substance that acts on the gastro- intestinal tract, the liver, and the pancreas. It may also cause dermatitis in some people.