Acorus calamus is a Perennial, semi-aquatic and smelly plant, found in both temperate and subtemperate zones. It is upto 6 feet tall, aromatic, sword-shaped leaves and small, yellow/green flowers with branched rhizome.
Rhizome horizontal, jointed, somewhat vertically compressed, spongy within, 1.25-2.5 cm in thickness, pale to dark brown or ocassionally orange-brown in colour, leaves grass-like or sword shaped, long and slender flowers small, yellow-green, in spadix; berries green, angular,1-3 seeded; seeds oblong.
Traditional uses: It is a stimulating nervine antispasmodic, and a general tonic to the mind. As a rejuvenative for the brain and nervous system, it is used to promote cerebral circulation, to stimulate self-expression, and to help manage a wide range of symptoms in the head, including neuralgia, epilepsy, memory loss and shock.
It is used in the Phillipines for rheumatism and memory problems. In Korea, it is an ingredient in a type of moonshine called Immortals’ Booze.
Research in China has shown the essential oil in this rhizome to be sedating and neuroprotectant.
Scientific name: Acorus calamus
Sanskrit name: Vacha
Plant part used: Roots
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