Latin: Acorus Calamus
Synonyms: Calamus Root, Vacha, Sweet Flag, Ugragandha, Bastard Calamus, Rat Root
SPECIFIC ACTION: Dipana, Pacana, Lekhaniya, Pramathi, Krminasaka, Unmadaghna, Apasmaraghna, Samjnasthapana, Manosrasayana, Sirovirecana, Sara, carminative, cephalic, nervous stimulant, anthelmintic, laxative, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiulcer, cytoprotective, anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial.
Calamus Root, also known as Vacha, Sweet Flag, Ugragandha, Bastard Calamus, and Rat Root, is an herb that has blessed human kind with its healing properties for centuries.
Ayurveda, the medical science and sister science of yoga, reveres Calamus Root for its ability to alleviate depression. According to Ayurveda, there are actually three types of depression. Calamus Root is specifically helpful with Kapha depression which expresses heavy, cold, and stagnant qualities. Similarly, Calamus Root is excellent for alleviating Kapha (mucous) from respiratory tract.
It is useful for diseases of the nervous system and speech disorders. It scrapes away mental grogginess and has an affinity for the throat chakra. It clears the subtle channels of toxins and obstructions. It promotes cerebral circulation, increases sensitivity, sharpens memory, and enhances awareness. It is sattvic and one of the best herbs for the mind. It feeds kundalini and helps transmute sexual energy.
Calamus Root is used for colds, cough, asthma, sinus headaches, sinusitis, arthritis,
epilepsy, shock, coma, loss of memory, deafness, hysteria, neuralgia, stammering, and stuttering.
CONTRA-INDICATIONS: Pregnancy, breastfeeding, bleeding disorders including epistaxis,
HERB DRUG INTERACTIONS: None known
PRECAUTIONS: Not for internal use. The FDA strictly prohibits the use of Calamus in food products.
Fun Facts about Calamus Root:
When eaten in crystallized form it’s known as “German ginger”
In Europe, calamus root was often added to wine and is a possible ingredient of absinthe.
In Lithuania, it’s added to home baked bread.
It’s used for perfumes and essential oils.
It was used as a sweet smelling floor covering and thatching material for cottages in England.
Teton-Dakota people chewed calamus root to a paste which they rubbed on their faces to prevent fear when facing an enemy.
Potawatomi people powdered the herb and put it up the nose to cure catarrh.
In Ayurveda, it’s used to counter side effects of all hallucinogens and used to offset the negative effects of smoking marijuana.
The Chiperiyan people called it “rat root.” Chewing the root can actually cause visual hallucinations itself
Since the FDA prohibits the internal use of Calamus Root, it is best used as a paste (with water, oil, or ghee), as a fumigation, additives, gargle, lotion, or wash. To learn more how calamus root can help you, reach out to an experienced Ayurvedic Doctor or Practitioner near you.
Vacha (Acorus calamus)- Improves memory, corrects stammering naturally Dr. Vikram Chauhan,
Textbook of Ayurveda: General Principles of Management and Treatment, Volume 3, Vasant
Lad, MASc The Ayurvedic Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico 2012
Yoga of Herbs, Dr. Vasant Lad & Dr. David Frawley, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin 2008
Ayurvedic Herbology Student Handbook, The Ayurvedic Institute, Albuquerque, NM 2014
Ayurvedic Medicine: the principles of traditional practice, Singing Dragon an imprint of Jessica
Kingsley Publishers, London, UK Sebastian Pole,
Acorus Calamus, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorus_calamus