Acorus calamus medicinal uses and pictures
Acorus calamus also known as Sweet flag is a perennial wetland monocot. It is creeping and branched with cylindrical rhizome. The leaves are strongly scented rhizomes and have been traditionally used since centuries. It is used as an important ingredient for medicines as a substitute for cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The roots are 2.5 cm thick with externally brown and internally white colour. The rhizome is used to make medicine. The plant rarely flowers and fruits, but when flowers, it fruits. The flowers are of 3-8cm long. The fruits are small and berry like. In India, it is being used for the past 2000 years.
Botanical name and family
Botanical name- Acorus calamus
Geological distribution of Acorus calamus
The plant is hardly seen growing in the tropical and sub-tropical region. To dry the rhizome, it requires a high degree of sunshine. It requires 70-250cm of rainfall annually. The herb grows well in Japan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Southern Canada, Europe, Northern America, USSR, Myanmar, China, India and Malayan Archipelago. In India, it is found in Manipur, Naga Hills, Himalayas, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
Medicinal value of Acorus calamus
The leaves, stems and rhizomes are of medicinal value. The rhizome has anodyne, aphrodisiac, carminative and aromatic value. It is used as a tranquilizer traditionally. Some of its medicinal properties are described below:
- Acorus calamus is believed of reducing fear and excitement.
- Because of its aroma, the essential oil is of great value in the perfume industry.
- It is used for digestive system and lungs.
- It is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The herb gives comfort for body pain.
- Acorus calamus is used as a sedative to induce sweating.
- It protects the cardiac system.
- Sweet flag is useful for the treatment of skin infections such as eczema and scabies.
- Ancient Chinese used the rhizome against swelling and constipation. They also use this to treat epilepsy, dizziness and deafness.
- It also cures fever, asthma, cold and bronchitis.
- The extract also cures insanity and epilepsy.
- It is also used as spice in food, stimulates the appetite and brings to normal condition.
- It also possesses anti-cancer activity.
- Sweet flag is helpful for muscle relaxation.
- It is used to sharpen memory, awareness and increases circulation to the brain.
- This is anti-helminthic and kills intestinal worms.
- It also strongly possesses antibacterial, antiviral properties.
- It is used for the treatment of piles and used in decoction enema.
- It cures colic pain and also very useful for schizophrenia.
- It is also useful for the treatment of paralysis.
- It is also useful for the treatment of eye problems and cataract. The name Acorus means pupil which means for the treatment of an eye. The plant is mentioned in Bible in the book of Exodus.
- The aromatic oil mixed with olive oil, cinnamon and myrrh is used for thousands of years.
- This is used as a mouth freshener and also removes the smell of tobacco.
As the plant induces a contraction in the uterus, it is not safe to use during pregnancy. It is also not good to use during lactation. So, before the use of this, an Ayurvedic doctor must be consulted.