Iris domestica (L.) Goldblatt & Mabb.

Last updated: 26 Apr 2016

Scientific Name

Iris domestica (L.) Goldblatt & Mabb.


Belamcanda chinensis (L.) DC., Belamcanda chinensis var. curtata Makino, Belamcanda chinensis f. flava Makino, Belamcanda chinensis var. taiwanensis S.S.Ying, Belamcanda chinensis f. vulgaris Makino, Belamcanda flabellate Grey, Belamcanda pampaninii H.Lév., Belamcanda punctata Moench [Illegitimate], Bermudiana guttata Stokes, Epidendrum domesticum L., Ferraria crocea Salisb., Gemmingia chinensis (L.) Kuntze, Gemmingai chinensis f. aureoflora Makino, Gemmingai chinensis f. rubriflora Makino, Ixia chinensis L., Ixia ensifolia Noronha, Moraea chinensis (L.) Thunb., Moreae chinensis (L.) Collander in Thunb., Moreae guttata (Stokes) Stokes, Pardanthus chinensis (L.) Ker Gawl., Pardanthus nepalensis Sweet, Pardanthus sinensis Van Houtte, Vanilla domestica (L.) Druce. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Pokok kipas [2]
English Blackberry lily, dwarf tiger lily, leopard flower, leo[pard lily [2]
China She gan [2][3]
India Arti, chalkumra, dasbai, chandi, malakanda, tarwarephul, torobot [2], surajkaanti (Assam); dashaba, dasbichandi (Bengal) [4]
Indonesia Brojo lintang, semprit [2], suliga, jamaka (Sunda); wordi (Jawa); karimenga, kiris, katna (Sulawesi) [3]
Thailand Waan haangchaang, waan meetyap [2]
Philippines Abanico, abaniko, palma [2]
Vietnam Co quat phi, la cho, re quat, r[er] qu[aj]t, xa can, x[aj]can [2]
Japan Hi-ôgi, karasoji [2]

Geographical Distributions

No documentation.

Botanical Description

Iris domestica is a member of the Liliaceae family. It is erect, leafy, branched stem that grows up to 1.5 m tall when flowering. [1][5]

It grows from fleshy, knobby and usually orange or pale brown rhizome that creeps just below ground level. [5]

The erect, sword-like leaves are green in colour and glaucous. They measure 25 cm in length and are arranged in flattened fan with up to 14 per stem. [5]

The flowers are borne in flattened, fan-shaped cymes subtended by green spathes and terminating in forked, wiry stems of a pinacle-like inflorescence. The flowers are orange or yellow with red spots, 5 cm wide and with six sepals. [5]

The fruits are dry, ovoid, measuring 2.5 cm long. The capsules split to reveal black, shiny round fleshy seeds that are 5 mm wide. [5]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

I. domestica extract has been reported to contain belamcandin, iridin, mangiferin, tectoroidin, tectorigenin. [3]

I. domestica rhizome extract has been reported to contain isoflavones (e.g. irigenin, tectorigenin, tectoridin, iridin, irisflorentin). [6][7][8][9]

I. domestica extract has been reported to contain triterpenoids (e.g. 3-O-tetradecanoyl-16-O-acetylisoiridogermanal, 3-O-decanoyl-16-O-acetylisoiridogermanal, belachinal, anhydrobelachinal, epianhydrobelachinal, isoanhydrobelachinal, isoiridogermanal, 16-O-acetylisoiridogermanal, spiroiridal). [10]

Plant Part Used

Rhizomes [3][4][11][12]

Traditional Use

I. domestica has been traditionally used to treat cancer including those of thyroid, pancreas, cervix uteri, breast, lungs and leukemia. [3]

The rhizome of I. domestica is supposed to stimulate the pharynx to expel phlegm thus it is used in treating productive cough, wheezing, chronic accumulation of phlegm and asthma. It is also used in the treatment of tuberculous lymphadenitis. [3][4][11][12]

The rhizome is used to treat irregular menstrual cycle and can induce termination of pregnancy in the first trimester. [11][12]

It also can be used to treat inflammatory conditions like traumatic injuries, dermatitis, contusion, tonsillitis and rheumatism. [4][11][12]

Preclinical Data


Anti-inflammatory activity

Tectorigenin and tectoridin isolated from the rhizomes of I. domestica were found to suppress prostaglandin E2 production in rat peritoneal macrophage stimulated by protein kinase C activator, 12-O-tetradecaonylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) and at the same time they inhibited the activities of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2. Thus, proving the anti-inflammatory activities of these two compound substantiate the traditional used of the plant. [11] The same investigators further determined the structure-activity relationship of various isoflavones in the inhibition of PGE2 production and found that 6-methoxylation and 5-hydroxylation increase the potency to inhibition of PGE2 production and 7-O-glycosylation decreases the inhibitory activity. Other flavonoids isolated from the plant showed similar anti-inflammatory activity and this includes irigenin, irisolidone, genistein, tectorigenin-7-glucoside, glyciotein and daidzein. It was then determined that the presence of 6-methoxylation and 5-hydroxylation increase the potency of inhibition of PGE2 production and 7-O-glycosylation decreases the inhibitory activity. [13][14][15]16]

Oestrogenic modulatory activity

The isoflavone tectorigenin isolated from the rhizome of I. domestica was found to have a strong hypothalamotropic activity in the form of inhibition of pulsatile pituitary LH secretion; and osteotropic activity mimic oestrogenic effects in bone i.e. on bone mineral density of the metaphysis of tibia. It does not have any effects on the uterus nor the mammary gland. Another compound forming the major component of isoflavone from the rhizome of I. domestica, tectoridin, exhibit potent oestrogenic effects despite being poorly bounded to ER alpha. It was shown to have to ability to recover the population of cells in the S-phase after serum starvation, transactivate oestrogen response element and induce MCF-7 cell proliferation. It promoted phosphorylation of ERK 1/2  without affecting phosphorylation of ER alpha at Ser(11); it increase cellular accumulation of cAMP; thus implying that the oestrogenic effects was mainly via GPR30 and ERK-mediated rapid nongenomic oestrogen signaling pathway. [17][18]

Cytotoxic activity

Jung et al. [19] found that tectorigenin and tectoridin isolated from the rhizomes of I. domestica decreased angiogenesis of both chick embryosd in the chorioallantoic membrane assay and basic fibroblast growth factor-induced vessel formation in the mouse Matrigel plug assay. They also reduced proliferation of calf pulmonary arterial endothelial cells and found to possess relatively weak gelatinase/collagenase inhibitory activity in vitro. Tectorigenin is the more potent compound and is comparable to genistein. They were also found to inhibit murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) and sarcoma 180.

Phytoestrogen (tectorigenin and irigenin) isolated from rhizomes of I. domestica was found to have inhibited the proliferation of RWPE-1, LNCaP and PC-3 cells, causing G1 arrest and induction of p21WAF1 or p27 protein expression. Another study showed that Tectorigenin was able to downregulated PDEF, PSA and IGF-1 receptor mRNA expression in vitro. The PSA secretion and IGF-1 receptor protein expression were diminished and hTERT mRNA expression and telomerase activity decreased after treatment with tectorigenin. The downregulation of PDEF, PSA, hTERT and IGF-1 receptor demonstrates the antiproliferative potential of tectorigenin while the upregulated TIMP-3 gene expression found indicates its pro-apoptotic function. [20][21][22][23]

Aldose reductase inhibition activity

Tectorigenin, irigenin and glucosides isolated from I. domestica were found to show strong aldose reductase inhibition. When given to streptozocin-induced diabetic rats in the oral dose of 100 mg/kg for 10 days, they cause a significant inhibition of sorbitol accumulation in the tissues such as lens, sciatic nerves and red blood cells. Tectorigenins seem to have the strongest inhibitory activity amongst the four compounds. [24]

Antidiabetic activity

Wu et al. [25] found that extracts of the leaves of I. domestica could significantly lowered fasting blood glucose levels in both healthy and STZ-induced diabetic rats. There was an increase in serum insulin level and suppression of glucose level following administration of various carbohydrates in normal rats, while the oral glucose tolerance of STZ-induced diabetic rats was improved.  It was found that the isoflavone glycosides were responsible for this effect.

Antioxidative activity

Isorhapontigenin, a derivitive of stilbene with a chemical structure similar to resveratrol was isolated from I. domestica. Wang et al. [26] found that it could significantly inhibit MDA (malondialdehyde) formation in liver microsomes, bran mitochondria and synaptosomes induced by Fe2+-Cys and markedly prevented the decrease of GSH in mitochondria and synaptosomes induced by H2O2 while at the same time increase the ultra-weak chemiluminescence during lipid peroxidation induced by Vit C-ADP-Fe2+ as well as oxidative DNA damaged induced by CuSO4-Phen-VitC-H2O2. These results indicated the isorhapontigenin possessed potent antioxidant activity exceeding that of vitamin E. Fang et al. [27] further showed that isorhapontigenins inhibits respiratory burst of PMA-activated rat neutrophils by scavenging oxygen free radicals. Jung et al. [28] working on isoflavones of I. domestica found that tectorigenin and tectoridin both possess antioxidative and hepatoprotective activities in CCl4-intoxicated rats.

Antimicrobial activity

Tectorigenin isolated from I. domestica was found to have strong antifungal activity against dermatophytes of the genera Trichophyton with MIC ranging from 3.12-6.25 mg/mL. [29]

Clinical Data

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


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  15. Hong J, Shin KH, Lim SS, et al. Lead compounds for anti-inflammatory drugs isolated from the plants of the traditional oriental medicine in Korea. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2008;7(3):195-202.
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