Calamus, with the botanical name Acorus Calamus, is a wetland monocot of the genus Acorus. The flowering plants, which are usually very tall, are also widely known as the Sweet Flag and Vacha.
This herbaceous perennial vine can grow up to about 79 inches, and the leaves of this plant resemble the shape of the leaves of the iris family. The Sweet Flag has tufts of basal leaves that form from a growing rhizome.
The leaves are yellowish-brown, with parallel veins, with a pink sheath on their bases, and their shape is flattened, narrow, and elongated.
These tiny leaves have tiny spots. The leaves of the delicate Sweet Flag have wavy-shaped edges, and the aroma that emerges when these leaves are crushed creates a freshness.
The uniqueness of this Vacha is that they can be grown in a variety of conditions, such as high water terrain and subtropical regions. That way, only plants that grow in water regions can produce flowers, and the triangular flower-stems of this plant arise from the axils of solid outer leaves.
A semi-erect spadix is found on either side of the flower stalks, these cylindrical spadices are solid and about 5 cm to 10 cm long.
The spadix produces dense greenish-yellow flowers, each with pollen and six petals, all of which are covered in a perianth with six segments.
These flowers also emit a unique and subtle fragrance. These flowers, which are of no use, bloom for about a month in early summer and late spring. The berries on this Sweet Flag are well succulent that fall off and scatter spontaneously when ripe.
Calamus plants that grow in Asian lands produce very low fruit, although its rhizome is widely used by people because of its high medicinal properties. Its rhizome, the thickness of a human finger, has cylindrical bubbles, and coarse fibrous roots beneath it.
The rhizome, which is white on the inside and brown on the outside, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat abdominal pain, digestive disorders, and muscle cramps.
Calamus have been used by Rishis and Sages since ancient times due to its various medicinal properties. Since the time of Hippocrates, sweet flags have been used as a remedy for memory, voice clarity, nasal congestion, skin and hair care, and asthma.
The Sanskrit word Calamus means “To Make Speech Clear“. The fertile Vacha plant needs moist soil to grow. In Italy, Holland, Austria, Hunger, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Norway, and Germany, Vacha is used as an approved medicinal ingredient.
Other Common Names
|Botanical Name||: Acorus calamus|
|English Name||: Sweet flag, Calamus Powder|
|Tamil Name||: வசம்பு / Vasambu|
|Malayalam Name||: వాము / Vashanapa, vayambhu, vayambu, vayampu|
|Hindi Name||: कैलमेस / vacha,akaraveci, akkitam, arpakeci, arpakecu|
|Sanskrit Name||: Vacha, Vach, Bhutanashini|
|Telugu Name||: వాము /vadaja, vasa, wasa|
|Kannada Name||: Baje Gida, Athibaje|
Acore Odorant, Acore Roseau, Acorus calamus, Acorus gramineus, Acorus Roseau, Bach, Belle-Angélique, Cálamo, Cinnamon Sedge, Flagroot, Gladdon, Grass-Leaf Sweetflag, Grass Myrtle, Kalmus, Myrtle Flag, Myrtle Sedge, Sadgrantha, Sweet Cane, Sweet Cinnamon, Sweet Grass, Sweet Myrtle, Sweet Root, Sweet Rush, Sweet Sedge, Ugragandha, Vaj, Vayambur.
Medicinal Properties of Calamus / Vasambhu
The Calamus plant has various medicinal properties, each of which individually protects the body from various infections and provides stability.
- Vacha has Thermogenic, Emetic, Aromatic, Anthelmintic properties.
- Besides, it can effectively act as a Diuretic, Carminative, Laxative.
- This Sweet Flag contains Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Anti-convulsant, Antipyretic, Antispasmodic traits.
- It has the ability to promote Aphrodisiac, Expectorant.
- Calamus stimulates aroma that makes the brain and nervous system rejuvenate. It also works against digestive disorders.
- As well as, it possesses chemical agents such as Expectorant, Emmenagogue.
- Acorus Calamus has the properties of Anodyne drug that soothe the pain by reducing the sensitivity of the nervous system and brain.
- The Sudorific is a chemical agent that causes sweating, this agent is present in the Vasambu herb.
- To kill the dangerous virus and bacteria in the human body Calamus has Insecticidal which is a type of pesticide.
- Furthermore, this herbal plant has Tranquilizing, Sedative, Nervine tonic, Tonic, and Lekhanya properties to provide a calming effect.
20 Health Benefits of Calamus (Sweet Flag)
The perennial herb Acorus Calamus has various amazing health benefits and medicinal values. From ancient times till today the Sweet Flag has been used in all the medical systems like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, especially in India it is very much in use.
Calamus is one of the most popular home remedies and is used for newborns as it has no side effects. These are added as the main ingredient in most Ayurvedic medicines.
In addition, the use of Calamus was widespread in Greece during the time of Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medical Science“.
Besides, statements made by famous Greek physicians such as Dioscorides and Theophrastus about the uses of the sweet flag are still found in classical Greek literature today.
Here are some of the benefits of such a popular herb:
1. Helps in Clarity of Voice
Sluggishness in the nerves of the tongue can lead to slurred speech or poor voice. Although this is a temporary problem, marketers, administrators, educators, researchers, and other professionals need good voice resources so they expect immediate relief.
In such a situation, Calamus gives the best relief and soothes the throat. Indians usually grind a well-dried Calamus tuber with a few drops of water and rub it on the child’s tongue, so that the children can speak quickly and clearly.
In addition, it is used in combination with honey to improve speech and voice.
2. Treats Stomach Disorders
Sweet Flag is used to treat all stomach related ailments like abdominal pain, muscle cramps, persistent diarrhea, bloated stomach. Calamus is effective in relieving discomfort and headaches caused by digestive disorders.
The thin and long root of this plant is fried in coconut oil and then finely ground until it becomes a paste. Applying this paste on the stomach for abdominal pain caused by indigestion and digestive disorders will give relief in a short time.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Calamus is used as an excellent medicine to treat gastric ulcers, gastritis, and anorexia. Indigestion is most common in newborns and the elderly, and Vacha is recommended for both to treat this problem.
Giving children a pinch of Sweet Flag Powder in the morning and evening can easily destroy the harmful worms in their gut.
3. Effectively Cures Asthma
They fight chronic bronchitis and asthma due to the diverse medicinal properties found in calamus. This dried herb relieves respiratory ailments by efficiently treating chest decongestion and acting as a bronchodilator.
Patients with respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders can excrete contaminants in the lungs and stomach by ingesting the preparation made by Vacha, which gives a comfortable feel.
Therefore people with respiratory tract and stomach disorders are advised to drink two glasses of Calamus tea daily.
Also Read: 10 Best Herbs for Asthma
4. Stimulates Blood Circulation
The root of the Calamus plant has numerous medicinal properties that stimulate static blood flow. It is also used to soften the nerves and regulate blood flow as the oil extracted from the well-dried roots has a warming effect. Calamus is widely used to treat problems such as arthritis, rheumatism, inflammation, and pain associated with arthritis.
Also Read: Best Herbs to Improve Blood Circulation
5. Cures Cough & Fever
Both the Licorice root and Calamus root should be boiled well in water and then filtered. Giving children this filtered water instead of tablets can easily cure fever, cough, cold, colitis, stomach ulcers, etc.
They also have a positive impact on the body. People with a dry cough and rough cough can chew calamus root well and it will soothe the throat and cure the cough. A small piece of dried calamus root treats a sore throat.
The Sweet Flag destroys germs in the airways and helps to regulate the respiratory process, thereby you can get normal respiratory function.
6. Combats Tobacco Addiction
People with tobacco chewing and smoking habits find it very challenging to avoid that habit, but with the help of Calamus root, it is much easier to forget the sense of smoking.
In addition, its juice is used to flush out the waste accumulated in the lungs due to smoking. To get rid of this unhealthy addiction put a piece of Calamus root in the mouth and chew it whenever that feeling comes.
Smoking is one of the illegal activities that can affect the airways and cause complex diseases including shortness of breath, and Vacha helps to cure these conditions. You can easily quit the tobacco habit by chewing or consuming this fragrant root.
7. Dilates Blood Vessels
The high concentration of blood vessels can have very bad effects, in such cases diluting the blood vessels will protect the body from any kind of functional disorder.
Brain blood vessel disorders can cause a transient ischemic attack, cerebral palsy, coma, cerebral palsy, etc. The Calamus plant greatly contributes to the dilution of the blood vessels in the brain, thereby greatly stimulating the blood flow to the brain.
8. Relieves Mouth Disorders
Sweet Flag is very effective in treating bad breath, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, tooth decay, and loss of enamel. Vacha is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a strong anesthetic for toothache.
They are also the best treatment for the rawness of the tongue. A small piece of well-dried calamus can be chewed well, or its extract can be rubbed on the tongue, or brushed with finely powdered calamus root powder to treat mouth-related problems.
9. Helps in Protective Skin Care
The paste made by finely grinding the roots of Calamus is used externally to treat skin-related ailments like rash, scabies, ringworm, eczema, white patches, red patches, sunburn.
The use of Sweet Flag paste kills germs that accumulated on the skin and improves the health of the skin. Calamus is widely used in paranormal medicine to treat vaginal infections and genital infections.
Besides, they are considered as a natural disinfectant as they are rich in anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-convulsant, antipyretic, and antispasmodic properties.
Calamus is used to treat severe discharge in men and to prevent genital infections in women after childbirth. The extract of Vacha and Lactose is incorporated as the main ingredient in various skincare products as this herb has a moisturizing effect on the skin.
Also Read: 10 Best Herbs for Skin
10. Relieves Insomnia
It is highly recommended to treat insomnia as the aroma emanating from the fresh calamus root causes a calming sensation in the brain, besides, this calming effect relieves depression, stress, frustration, etc.
This anesthetic effect helps to calm both the mind and the body simultaneously and leads to quality and deep sleep.
11. Acting as Natural Sedative
Asarone oil extracted from the roots of the plant Calamus carries out activities that have neuro-pharmacological effects. Moreover, this oil has the property of a calming effect on the nerves and they also act as a natural anesthetic.
This asarone oil alleviates occasional stress by reducing certain processes that occur spontaneously, and studies have shown that these have long-lasting calming effects on mice.
12. Drastically Cures Impotency
These are very useful for both men and women as they have aphrodisiac properties that can arouse aphrodisiacs in Calamus roots. Usually, in most families, sexual intercourse is broken down for various reasons including physical ailments.
Although various medications are prescribed for these disorders, they do not provide complete satisfaction, but rather cause side effects. But Calamus improves sexual life as it produces natural effects without any side effects.
Take Piper Longum, Acorus Calamus, Saussurea Lappa, Datura Seeds, and Withania Somnifera in equal proportions and grind well without adding water. Grind to a fine powder and sift through a sieve.
Take 10 g of this mixture and mix it with ghee or milk and apply it on the male genitals for 21 to 41 days. You can get the best result in the end.
13. Used for Hair-Related Problems
Calamus root extract is used to treat hair and scalp related problems such as hair loss, rough hair, dull hair, gray hair, thin hair, baldness. This is why this juice is an important ingredient in various hair care products.
Take a teaspoon of Calamus root powder and mix it with 2 teaspoons of cold coconut milk to make a paste. Apply this paste on areas with heavy hair loss, leave it to dry for 25 to 30 minutes, and then wash it off. Doing this procedure once a week can solve the problem of hair loss.
Also Read: 10 Best Herbs for Hair Growth
14. Prevent Virus/Bacterial Infections
Calamus root has high antiseptic properties, so using it internally or externally can effectively prevent infections in the body. Furthermore, the antibiotic nature of these does not allow any harmful biological growth in the body.
15. Improve the Quality of Memory
Various human studies have shown that the firm root of the calamus plant improves the quality of memory. Memory loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, aging, brain injury, and cerebral hemorrhage.
Calamus root is recommended in important medical practices including Ayurveda to improve memory. Mix a pinch of calamus root powder, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 teaspoon honey well.
If you take this mixture regularly in the morning and evening for a month, your memory, wisdom, and intelligence will gradually improve.
16. Enhance Appetite
Current research shows that Calamus root has appetite-enhancing properties. The drug, which is made by combining both maitake mushroom and Calamus root, helps to cure anorexia. The root of this perennial plant helps to increase appetite and also helps to reduce some of the problems by controlling the acidity that develops in the gut.
17. Aids in Treating Sinus Congestion
The roots of this plant are recommended for the treatment of sinus congestion (formation of mucus contents in the airbags), sinus cold, and sinus headaches. The powder of Calamus root causes sneezing when applied to the nose, thereby expelling all the dust in the trachea and cleansing it.
18. Gives Respiratory Reliefs
Respiratory disorders such as sinusitis and bronchitis can have a major impact on a person’s normal life, and these disorders can occur naturally or as a side effect of certain other diseases in the body.
Most people are highly advised to use Calamus root for respiratory issues. Inhaling the aroma of calamus root clears toxins in the airways also cleanses the circulatory and respiratory systems.
Also Read: Best Herbs for Lung and Respiratory Health
19. Treats Arthritis & Epilepsy
Finely grind the dried root of Calamus to become a paste and then heat it slightly. Applying this warm paste on the painful areas reduces pain and cramping. This paste is especially used to treat arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation caused by blood clots.
Calamus has been used extensively in paranormal medicine to treat mental disorders and epilepsy. Take equal amounts of dried calamus root, haritaki, asafetida, long pepper, black pepper, and ginger and grind it into a good paste and use it as a medicine for epilepsy.
20. Acts as the Best Antidote
The spontaneous processes of the body can be affected due to various adverse effects. To regulate these processes, you can utilize the root of Calamus because it acts as the best Antidote. Some animal and test-tube study evidence that using this alternative can neutralize the side effects of all psychedelics.
How To Utilize Calamus Both Internally & Externally
Consume Vasambu (Calamus) Internally
- Mix about 5 g of Vasambu Powder in about 100 ml of water and boil it for a few minutes. Once the water is heated, the contents should be filtered and taken separately. Drink this water before breakfast and after dinner.
- Mix the Calamus paste with honey and give to the baby. It is an effective remedy for loose motions.
- The Calamus root beads are tied like a bangle that is used for babies. It cures indigestion and vomiting problems when the babies smell the roots. Moreover, the smell of the Vasambu helps the babies to speak earlier and cures speechless problems.
Apply Vasambu (Calamus) Externally
- Mix the Calamus powder with turmeric powder and apply them to your face that cures pimple problems.
- Vasambu is used in the treatment of dandruff in Ayurvedic.
- Burn the Vasambu until it turns to black in color, then swipe it in water, and make a paste-like consistency of kajal. Apply this as binding on cheeks, foreheads, and feet. Applying this paste on the baby’s navel relieves stomach problems.