Monday, December 17, 2012

Calamus, Sweet Flag, Bach, बच, German Ginger

Calamus, Sweet Flag, Bach, बच, German Ginger
Acorus calamus commonly known as Sweet Flag or Calamus (बच). In crystallized form, it is called "German Ginger". Other names include beewort, bitter pepper root, calamus root, flag root, gladdon, myrtle flag, myrtle grass, myrtle root, myrtle sedge, pine root, sea sedge, sweet cane, sweet case, sweet cinnamon, sweet grass, sweet myrtle, sweet root, sweet rush, and sweet sedge.

Acorus calamus(बच) is used medicinally for a wide variety of ailments, and because of its aroma its essential oil valued in the perfume industry. The scented leaves and rhizomes have traditionally been used medicinally and to make fragrances. Dried and powdered rhizome is used as a substitute for ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweet flag has a very long history of medicinal use. Both roots and leaves of Acorus calamus have shown antioxidant, antimicrobial and insecticidal activities. It is widely employed in modern herbal medicine as stimulant, sedative, laxative, diuretic, and carminative properties.
It is considered as a powerful aphrodisiac and as a stimulant. It is believed by some that calamus is a hallucinogen. But in Ayurveda Acorus calamus is used to counter the side effects of all hallucinogens. It shows neuroprotective effect against stroke and chemically induced neurodegeneration in rats. Specifically, it has protective effect against acrylamide induced neurotoxicity.
Acorus calamus may prove to be an effective control measure against cattle tick.

Note: It should not be confused with diploid Acorus Americanus. Acorus calamus and products derived from acorus calamus (such as its oil) were banned in 1968 as food additives and medicines by the United States Food and Drug Administration.