BLUE FLAG ROOTIris versicolor
The beautiful Iris conceals a powerful medicine in its roots. Traditionally a remedy of North American Indian tribes, the eclectics picked it up and applied it in their own forms of therapy.
While Native Americans mostly used it as an external remedy to treat ulcers and scrofulous skin conditions, psoriasis and the like, the eclectics also employed it internally, as a blood cleanser. Thus, mild doses were given to stimulate the liver and gall bladder to cleanse the blood, stimulate elimination and thus clear various forms of skin disorders, such as acne, pimples and psoriasis. It was said to be useful for biliousness and to stimulate glandular and lymphatic system, thus clearing obstructions and swellings. Cleansing the body of toxins is considered essential before any true healing can take place. However, Blue Flag is one of those remedies that are best administered by a professional or under professional supervision, as it is very strong and large doses can be toxic and extremely irritating to the gastro intestinal system. Some Native Americans used the root as a panacea, while others made much more moderate use of it, as an external application only.
The Penobscots used Blue Flag as a magical charm, steaming it in their dwellings to keep away all evil, especially the demons of disease. It was thought to dispel snakes, in particular rattlesnakes, and prevent snake bites so long as the scent of the root was detectable.