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Acorus Calamus

Acorus calamus or Sweet Flag is a perennial, aquatic monocot plant, which belong to Acorus genus. It is native to Asia and Europe. There are two species in this genus: Acorus Calamus and Acorus Gramineus. The plant is called sweet flag, because it bares resemblance with Iris species, which are known as flags in English since the fourteenth century and due to its sweet aroma. It looks like lush and thick grass. The medicinal value of this plant has been known since ancient times and was used in China, India and Egypt. In Aurveda, ancient Indian science of medicine and life, acorus calamus is known as an herb that possess useful medical properties.

The part of the herb, which is used, is its root. Perhaps you heard about beneficial properties of calamus oil. It is made from dried or fresh root. The key components of calamus oil are alpha calacorene, acorenone, alpha aselinene, beta asarone, beta gurjunene, calamendiol, camphone, calamusenone, shyobunone, iso shyobunine.

Calamus oil acts like:

  • anti- spasmodic;
  • anti-rheumatic;
  • anti-arthritic;
  • antibiotic;
  • memory booster;
  • nervine;
  • circulatory;
  • stimulant;
  • tranquilizing.

The root helps to treat:

  • asthma;
  • stomach disorders;
  • diarrhea;
  • dysentery;
  • intestinal worms;
  • colds;
  • whooping cough;
  • toothaches;
  • skin problems;
  • insect bites;
  • epilepsy;
  • insomnia;
  • nicotine dependence.

The root may be used as a main ingredient of tea. You can simply chew it to cure toothaches or nicotine dependence. Calamus powder may be mixed with honey. Calamus paste is also used (externally) for treating arthritis and can be heated. The powdered root may be mixed with different spices, oil with other essential oils(cinnamon, labdanum, cedar wood, tea tree, oregano, marjoram, ylang-ylang, lavender and others).  You can even add calamus to your bath!

Remember that calamus essential oil may be toxic, when used in high doses. Don’t use this oil in extract form. Pregnant women are not allowed to use it.

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