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Benefits and Uses of Orris Root

Benefits and Uses of Orris Root

Thanks to its fragrance component, the orris root is primarily used in cosmetics and the perfume industry. This Buzzle article elaborates more on some important orris root benefits and uses.
HolisticZine Staff
Caution
The orris root is chiefly used in its dried form. Avoid consuming the fresh juice or root of the orris plant, as it may lead to stomach aches, bloody diarrhea, and even vomiting.

Iris germanica, popularly known as German iris, or simply orris, refers to a species belonging to the 'iris' family of plants. The root of the orris plant is said to have high medicinal value, and has been used both, internally and externally for various medical purposes. However, nowadays, it is mainly used in personal care products. The following are some uses and purported benefits of the orris root.
Good for the Skin
The orris root is largely used in the cosmetic industry for its skin enhancing effect. It acts as a natural astringent, which can help cleanse and reduce oiliness from the skin. The powder of this root is often added in skin creams, face washes, and toners for firmer skin, and also to improve elasticity and moisture in the skin. It is also good for the hair. Quite a few hair care recipes contain this root as an active ingredient.
The orris root, the fragrance ingredient, is also found in quite a few natural toothpaste and aromatherapy bath products. Its pleasing fragrance gives a fresh feeling after using the product.
Perfumery
The root, in its dried form, produces a very nice smell that is akin to the scent of violets. The scent emanating from the root is a heavy woody fragrance, which makes it highly valued in the perfume industry. The oil extracted from this root acts as a perfect base note, and enhances other aromas in the perfume.
Imparts Fragrance to Laundry Products
You can also lend a pleasant fragrance to your clothes by adding small amounts of orris root powder in your washing detergent. This is how laundry is scented to add freshness and aroma to the clothes. It is also added in a variety of sachets to increase the longevity of the scent.
Removes Body Odor
The powder can be used as a deodorant. It is often added in body powders for its wonderful fragrance. The antiseptic action may also work to treat a wide range of skin problems, including burns.
Culinary
This root is commonly added in Ras el Hanout, a spice blend that acts as a flavor enhancer in North African cuisine. Ras el Hanout adds a pungent, warm flavor to a variety of dishes, including stews and tajines.
Relieves Teething Pain
Teething time can bring a lot of discomfort in babies. The orris root, known for its anti-inflammatory action, may help resolve the pain. Gently massage your baby's gums with the root to relieve the discomfort. Simply chewing the root too can also work in soothing the pain.
Lessens Joint Discomfort
A 2003 study reported in the Journal of Entopharmacology observed that 9 different chemicals separated from the root are possibly effective at alleviating inflammation. Moreover, it also contains quite a few anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Considering its composition, taking extracts of this root, such as tincture, may benefit in soothing inflammatory joint pain.
Relieves Lung Problems
It is said to have strong expectorant properties, which may help relieve chest congestion associated with a wide range of lung infections, including bronchitis. Its usage may also provide relief from dry cough and sore throat.
Alleviates Constipation
The root is said to have purgative properties, which means, its internal usage might be useful in the treatment of constipation. It can also help increase appetite, and relieve other digestion problems such as bloating and gas.
Detoxifying Agent
It acts as a natural diuretic; hence, can be helpful in clearing edema, as well as get rid of toxic waste from the body by increasing the urinary rate.
Other Purported Benefits
When taken internally, it is famous for its ability to purify blood. It also has a strong reputation as a gland stimulator. Historically, it has also been used to enhance the efficacy of renal functioning. The root is said to have anti-inflammatory activity, which may help treat inflammatory conditions of the liver and spleen.
Although traditionally the orris root has been used internally for various medical reasons, in today's times, its usage has been primarily concentrated in cosmetics. So, for its internal usage, such as in the form of tincture, decoction, or tea, you need to first consult with your health care provider or a qualified herbalist.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.