Part used: Roots, rhizome.
Herbal action: Cathartic, alterative, anti-syphilitic, diaphoretic, mild diuretic, emetic, cholagogue and sialagogue
Indications: Enlarged, soft and yielding lymphatic enlargements; thyroid fullness; splenic fullness; chronic hepatic disorders, with sharp, cutting pain, aggravated by movement; clay-colored feces, with jaundice; nausea and vomiting of sour liquids, or regurgitation of food, especially after eating fats or rich pastry, or ice cream; watery, burning feces; rough, greasy skin, with disorders of the sebaceous follicles; abnormal dermal pigmentation.
Medicinal uses: Iris versicolor has a bitter, nauseous, and rather acrid taste, and in full doses often causes vomiting. It directly stimulates the entire glandular system, the lymphatics and the skin. For chronic persistent eczema, as well as of other pustule and open ulcerating or oozing skin diseases, iris ( 5-10 drops; every two or three hours) has been used for centuries. It appears to work better if the sebaceous glands are involved. Iris has been used (in small doses) for adolescent acne, especially if accompanied with rough, greasy skin.
It may be diluted and applied externally also in all the above cases. It has been used in the treatment of syphilitic and strumous afflictions. It is a specific treatment for syphilis cases in which the glandular organs are inactive. Here the effects of Iris are fast acting.