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Iris Versicolor

Blue Flag

Known as blue flag, is a species of flowering plant native to North America. Iris versicolor is characterized by its striking blue to violet flowers, which have three upright petals (sepals) and three drooping petals.
Iris Versicolor


Blue flag, harlequin blue flag, larger blue flag, northern blue flag


Iridaceae (iris) family


Blue flag is an anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, alterative, anti-emetic, lymphatic, hepatic, laxative, cathartic, diuretic, stimulant, choleretic, cholagogue, pancreatic bitter, and dermatological agent.


Blue flag has many benefits including helping to treat digestive issues (bowel moments), urine production, and it can help treat skin conditions such as eczema.


    Iris versicolor (blue flag) has many benefits when used for medicinal purposes. The plant's rhizomes have been traditionally utilized for potential digestive benefits with suggestions of cathartic properties aiding bowel movements and diuretic properties increasing urine production. It can also be used to treat certain skin conditions such as eczema and used in skin eruption such as acne, spots, and blemishes.


    Blue flag (Iris versicolor) is traditionally used for medicinal purposes, particularly in Native American traditions. People commonly consume blue flag by preparing infusions or teas, where dried rhizomes are steeped in hot water, or by making decoctions through boiling the rhizomes for a longer period. Tinctures, which involve soaking the rhizomes in alcohol, are another method of preparation. Additionally, blue flag may be used externally through poultices or ointments for certain skin conditions. 


    The indigenous people in the northeastern United States traditionally utilized the rhizomes of blue flag in their herbal medicine practices addressing digestive and urinary concerns. In the 19th century, blue flag gained recognition in early American herbalism, finding its way into herbal remedies. Beyond its medicinal uses, blue flag holds cultural significance in Native American ceremonies. 

When Iris Versicolor Helps With