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Orris Root Powder - Usage & Health Benefits

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Orris root powderOrris Root Powder is the   peeled, dried, and ground rhizome of a family of plants known for their magnificent blooms. Native to the Eastern Mediterranean region, they are now cultivated in Northern India, North Africa, and Southern Europe. The smell of this spice powder reminds one of violets. The unadulterated form of orris root powder is expensive, thus storing the powder carefully is important, as it attracts moisture rapidly. Read more about the uses and benefits of this spice powder in the following sections.


Uses of Orris Root Powder

1. Culinary

One does not think of Orris root powder when it comes to cooking, but you would be surprised to know it was quite a popular ingredient in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. It is still used as an ingredient in Moroccan cuisine, especially in the preparation of raz el hanout (a spice mixture).  

2. Cosmetic

Owing to its wonderful smell orris root powder is often used in preparation of a variety of products in the cosmetic industry. It helps in the maintenance of skin elasticity and moisture content. It also acts as a mild astringent - regulating moisture exchange, exfoliating, and removing toxins in the skin. Thus, it is used to make the base of body powders, such as face, hair, foot, underarm deodorants, blush, eye shadow, and baby powders. It is safe to be used on even sensitive skin. It is used as a base note, stabilizer, and fixative in perfumery to create a wide array of scents, deodorants, and skin care products.


2. Medicinal

Orris root powder is an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diuretic, purgative, and stomachic agent. Raw juice from the orris plant can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, stomach pain, mouth irritation, and ulceration, thus should not be consumed. More about the therapeutic properties of this powder in the health benefits section.


3. Miscellaneous

  • Used in the preparation of soaps
  • Used in the preparation of toothpastes and tooth powders
  • Used as an ingredient in many brands of gin
  • Used to impart fragrance in potpourris and sachets
  • Sprinkled domestically to impart a pleasant smell to sheets, clothing, and around the house
  • Used as a mouth freshener


Health Benefits of Orris Root Powder

  • Reduces inflammation when externally applied to deep wounds
  • Cures catarrh (disorder causing inflammation of the mucous membranes), bronchitis, sore throats, sinus headaches, and cough
  •  Reduces liver and spleen inflammation
  • Improves gastrointestinal health -promotes digestion, improves appetite, cures diarrhea and constipation
  • Treats kidney problems
  • It is used to treat cancer and congestive heart disease


Make your home smell like heaven! Try making your very own potpourri with orris root powder and some other spice powders commonly found at home.

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Orris Root Powder - Usage & Health Benefits