The plant from which Orris Root is obtained is a native of Italy and the south of Europe. It belongs to the natural order Iridaceae, of which there are three varieties of the species of Iris - Iris Rhizoma, Iris Florentina and Iris Germanica. The root, which is the officinal portion of the plant, is of various forms and sizes, often branched, usually knotty and flattened, white, heavy, and of the thickness of the finger. It has a pleasant odor, like that of violet, and a bitter, acrid taste.

Medical Properties And Action

Orris root is cathartic and diuretic, and in large doses emetic. It has beem employed with some benefit in dropsies, but is not often administered as an internal remedy at the present time. It is valued for its pleasant, violet odor.

Dental Uses

In dental practice it is employed as a very common ingredient of dentifrices, and also to correct an offensive breath.

Dental Formula


Dr. Sewell.

Pulv. radicis iridis................

Pulv. saponis cas................

Pulv. sodii boratis...............

Cretae preparatae.................

Flavor with a few drops of oil of cloves and lavender. Or, add a few drops of carbolic acid to each ounce of the powder, and flavor the whole with eucalyptus oil. (For other dentifrices see Prepared Chalk.)

Dental Formula 1145Dental Formula 1146