Acorus Calamus (Sweet Flag, Sweet Root, Bach)

Acorus Calamus (Sweet Flag, Sweet Root, Bach)Family Name: Araceae

Botanical Name: Acorus Calamus

Common Name: Calamus, Sweet Flag, Sweet Root, Bach

Part Used: Dried Rhizome

Habitat: North Temperate and subtropical regions upto 2200m altitude in Himalayas.

Uses: It is Nauseant, Stomachic, Anthelmentic, Stimulants, Emetic, Expectorant, Carminative, Antispasmodic and Nervine Sedative. Rhizome is used in the cure of host of diseases such as epilepsy, mental; ailments, chronic diarrhoea and dysentary. It is used in incense sticks and dhup and is widely used as insecticide for lice, bedbugs, worms etc.


Acorus CalamusAcorus Calamus is commonly known as sweet flag in India. The leaves of Acorus Calamus have a lemony scent as well as the roots have a sweet fragrance. Acorus Calamus has long been known for its medicinal value, and has been cultivated in Asia for this reason.

Plant Description

Acorus calamus is a Perrenial, 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.


Acorus calamus contains monoterpene hydrocarbons, sequestrine ketones, (trans- or Alpha) Asarone (2, 4, 5- trimethoxy-1- propenylbenzene) and Beta-asarone (cis- isomer).


Acorus calamus plant has a long history of usage in both Native and non-Native folk medicine traditions. Aromatic roots used medicinally and ritually by Algonquins, Cree and other NE tribes. Acorus calamus, a sterile triploid, was introduced to India and North America by early European settlers, who grew it for medicinal uses. Rhizomes propagate easily, and the species has spread throughout India and northeast and central United States.

Action & Uses of Acorus Calamus:

  • Acorus calamus is slightly tonic but forms a useful adjunct to other tonics and stimulants.
  • Acorus calamus is very popular for the remedies of cough and cold and also the other respiratory disorders like bronchitis. In raw form it is also used as cough lozenge.
  • Acorus calamus provides aid to the digestive system and acts against flatulent colic, Dyspepsia, and vomiting.
  • Acorus calamus depresses central nervous system, and a well known ingredient in formulation for psycho-somatic disorders like epilepsy.
  • The vapours of Acorus calamus from the roots do repel some insects.

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