Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Acorus calamus Linn.

Family : Araceae

Synonym(s) : Acorus griffithii Schott., Acorus belangeii Schott, Acorus casia Bertol.

English Name : Sweetflag, Calamus, Grass myrtle, Myrtleflag, Rat root, Sweet grass, Sweet myrtle, Sweet rush and Cinnamon Sedge

Origin : Europe, Asia, North America

A strongly aromatic semi-aquatic perennial herb; rhizomes creeping, jointed, somewhat vertically compressed, 1.3 to 2.5 cm thick, pale to dark brown and spongy inside. Leaves narrow, up to 80 cm long, linear to narrowly ensiform, glossy bright green, apex acute, base amplexicaul; petioles sheathing for 20 to 50 cm. Flowers pale green, fragrant, arranged compactly on a sessile, cylindrical, stumpy spadix 5 to 7 cm long. Fruits (berries) green, angular, 3-celled, fleshy, containing 1 to 3 oblong seeds.

Wetlands of Europe, Asia, Asia Minor, India and North America.

Parts Used : Rhizome, leaves, shoot and fruit

Herb Effects
Analgesic, sedative, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, anticonvulsant, antidiarrheal, antirheumatic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, purifies the blood, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, reduces fever, hemostatic, laxative, kills fleas and lice.

Active Ingredients
1-8,Cineole, alpha-asarone, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, azulene, beta-asarone, beta-elemene, beta-pinene, camphene, camphor, choline, delta-cadinene, elemicin, ethanol, eugenol, furfural, isoeugenol, limonene, menthol, menthone, methyl-eugenol, methyl-isoeugenol, p-cymene, terpinen-4-ol, terpinolene (rhizome); alpha-humulene, acoric acid, alpha-terpinene, ascorbic acid, borneol, butyric acid, gamma-terpinene, methyl-chavicol, myrcene, ocimene, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, tannin, trans-anethole (plant).

Medicinal Use
Asthma, bronchitis, for burns, cancer, catarrh, colds, cough, sore throat, colic, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, epilepsy, fever, flatulence, gangrene poisoning, headache, hemorrhages, nerve problems, odontosis and in parturition.

Caution should be used with concomitant use of benzodiazepines, barbituates, MAO inhibitors and anticonvulsants (Opdyke 1977). Acorus is emetic in large doses. Avoid the use of the Asian (3n, 4n) species in clients with liver dysfunction due to the beta-asarone content (Weiss 1988). Acorus calamus should probably not be used in pregnancy.



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