A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z

Biological Name: Acorus calamusCalamus

Family: Aroideae

Other Names: Bach, Baje, Calamus, Agri-turki, Vacha

Additional Info: Calamus can be met anywhere around the globe. But its predominant environment is damply areas in Burma and India. Can be seen in places with high moisture percentage, notably at the Naga Hills and in Manipur.

Flowers are small-sized and grow close to each other. The herb is notable for having no fruits. Its new generations come from the rootstock.

The stem can reach a height of 1 meter. It grows from a horizontal rhizome, which is round-shaped and thick. The flower grows at the upper part of the stem. Leaves have no scapes, grow long and have a form of a sword.

The rootstock is characterized by specific aroma and sharp taste.

Active Components:

  • Small quantities of tannin
  • Mucilage
  • Starch
  • Calamine (applied for treating dysentery). A crystalline substance, diluted in chloroform and alcoholic substances.
  • Choline (acoretin) – a bitter component. Similar to resins
  • Acorin – an essential oil. Similar to honey in its properties, this substance has a special aroma, dilutes in chloroform, alcohol, and is divided into a volatile oil and sugar.

The percentage of volatile oil contained in the dry rootstock is 2 percent on average. Its relative content in the stem, leaves, and flowers is around 0.15 percent. The volatile oil is found in abundance only in the roots, where its highest concentration is 3.5 percent.

Calamus contains a volatile oil of yellow color, which includes several active constituents, as follows: Calameone, Cilamenenol, Methyl Eugenol, inconsiderable phenol amounts, calamene, sesqui-terpene, camphene, pinene, esters produced of palmitic and acetic palmitic acids, eugenol, free normal palmitic and heptylic acid, and asaryl aldehyde.

The active components are defined according to the chemical origin (tri-, di-, tetraploid); ZZ-Deca-4,7-dienal (responsible for the odor); acorone (pungent), beta- gurjuns, gamma- and alpha-asarone, cis-isoasarone (beta-asarone), and so on.

Elements Applied: Dried rootstock is applied in herbal medicine.

Used For: Calamus, due to its pungent smell, produces a stimulative effect on the stomach, increasing the appetite and boosting metabolism. It fights flatulence, reduces spasms and calms the nervous system down.

The rootstock is also known for its stimulative properties. Additionally it can cause sickness and vomiting, induces expectoration, fights flatulence, reduces spasms and calms the nerves. It’s potency for causing expectoration is linked with volatile oil presence in it.

If taken in abnormal quantities the root can produce strong vomiting.

Root infusion is used for stimulating the digestive system, eliminating excess gas in the bowels and fighting recurrent fevers.

The volatile oil is characterized by strong aroma, and antiseptic properties.

The range of applications in herbal medicine is very wide. The plant is applied for indigestion, ulcers, and gastritis. Its topical application is suitable in case of angina, gum disease, and rheumatism. The list of conditions, to which calamus is applied, includes: ulcers, sinusitis, sinus headaches, shock, rheumatism, neuralgia, nasal congestion, decreased appetite, laryngitis, insanity, hysteria, gum disease, gastritis, flatulence, fever, epilepsy, dyspepsia, deafness, cough, colic pain, colds, diarrhea, asthma, arthritis, and angina.

According to Swami Thirtha, the plant belongs to the nature’s gifts which improve human mind. The plant is potent of eliminating marijuana traces from the brain and liver.

In case of asthma 10 grains of root extract is applied as a dose. The interval between the doses is two hours. Stop taking if the pain is relieved.

To treat arthritis symptoms and headaches the plant is used externally in form of an ointment.

To relieve gas accumulation in the bowels, the burnt root extract is combined with castor oil and coconut. The ointment is spread locally over the abdominal area.

To remove colic and diarrhea in children, the burnt rhizome is applied in a dose of 3 grains.

The plant is widely used in combination with other herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, and is a conventional treatment for recurrent diarrhea.

Preparation and Intake: The plant is used in form of paste, powder, water and milk decoction.

To drink as tea the herb is infused on hot water.

As a bath supplement the plant is taken in a dose from 250 to 500 mg.

Safety: Warning! Should be avoided in case of diseases accompanied with bleeding like hemorrhoids, nasal bleeding and so on. Can lead to rashes, vomiting, and nausea in case of overdose.

There is no evidence or reports with regard to negative consequences associated with herb application. If used in normal quantities, the European species of the herb (triploid content, about 15% beta-asarone content in volatile oil). Prolonged usage of the plant is not recommended. Tests conducted on the rats showed there is a possibility of tumor development in case of prolonged application (tetraploid type, more than 80% 13-asarone content in the volatile oil).

There is no additional data concerning the plant’s safety level. Exercise care. Plants applied in the Ayurvedic medicine are commonly mixed with other herbal remedies to reduce the harmful effect one of them may produce on the organism. Take only after having a consultation with a health-care professional.