Iris germanica – precious natural product from Bavaria

Iris germanica is not only very popular because of its beauty. It adorns many gardens and settles on embankments and walls. Its designation as “Knight Sword Lily” has historical roots: it was often used to fortify castle walls. As a so-called “magic plant”, the iris was planted on castle rocks to ward off enemies, dug up during sieges and carried off to one’s own castle.
Various substances that are used in traditional herbal medicine can be found in particular in the rhizome. The plant not only has a distinctive appearance and healing ingredients – it also enriches the perfume and cosmetics industry and forms the basis for exquisite fragrance and perfume oils.

Botany of the Iris germanica

Botanically, the Iris germanica is one of the asparagus-like plants and belongs to the iris family. The perennial plant reaches heights of growth up to 80 cm. It spreads by dividing the strongly branched roots – only in warmer areas, such as the Mediterranean, it develops fruits.
Its striking petals can be admired in full glory in May / June and are reminiscent of an eye due to their special appearance.

A closer look at the ingredients:

The most valuable part of the plant sits in the rhizome. There are

  • essential oils
  • triterpenes
  • isoflavonoids
  • Irides
  • myristic acid
  • resins and waxes

Iris oil – precious essence from the rhizome

  • The rhizome of the iris gives off an intense smell, which is why it is often referred to as “violet root”. The so-called “violet root oil” is obtained by steam distillation of the peeled, dried rhizome. The main fragrances are Irone. However, these are not contained in the root stock, but only arise during the extraction process.
  • The versatile plant is also a blessing for babies – when the teeth begin to sprout, many parents resort to violet roots. Chewing the root releases essential oils that cool the affected area and relieve pain.
  • Iris germanica is popular in natural cosmetics because of its moisture-regulating effect – problem skin with alternating dry and oily phases can benefit from it.
  • Iris oil is a valuable and versatile natural product. It is not only used in high-priced perfumes and cosmetic products, but also gives liqueurs, sweets, baked goods and other foods a special touch thanks to its aromatic substances.

Gentle cultivation of Iris germanica in Bavaria

For years we have been working with a family business in Bavaria that cultivates several hectares of Iris germanica and Iris pallida.
Here, the plants are looked after by one hand right through to the end product (dried and / or aged iris rhizomes). Weed control is purely mechanical – the plants are free from fertilizers and pesticides.
The prevailing climate there, the gentle processing and the right choice of varieties enable high product quality.
Special drying and finishing processes favor the high iron content, unusual fragrance nuances and at the same time avoid infestation by mold or other harmful organisms.

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