Amazing Benefits and Uses of Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus)

Sweet Flag

Many herbs around the world have a lot of benefits in our lives. Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) is one such herb that utilized mostly as a spice for culinary purposes across various parts of the world. 

Acorus Calamus (Calamus Root) is a wonderful spice, aromatic, and quite cinnamon-like fragrance that has existed and enjoyed for many years.

In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Calamus root is mentioned as an incense ingredient. Additionally, it’s also referenced in the Bible, Exodus 30:23 as one of the ingredients used in making the anointing oil.

As though that wasn’t enough, the Egyptians utilized it for the Kyphi recipes. It’s an amazing spice that has remained very popular in many parts of the world. Let’s know more about it below. 

Other Names of Acorus Calamus

Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) is known by different names around the world. Some of the names include:

  • AcoreCalame
  • Bach
  • Acore Roseau
  • Vayambu
  • Vach
  • Vadaja
  • Vasa.

Other names include:

  • Vaj
  • Vashambu
  • Acore Odorant
  • Sweet Flag
  • Sweet Myrtle
  • Sweet Rush
  • Sweet Root
  • Calamus Root
  • Bhutanashini
  • Shi Chang Pu
  • Acoregramineus
  • Sweet Sedg
  • Vekhand etc.  

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Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) Cultivation and Production

Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) is a distinctive member of the arum family, Araceae, which includes around two thousand species across the globe that mainly live in wet regions.

Its close relatives are jack-in-the-pulpit, arrow arum, green dragon, skunk cabbage, and golden club.

When Calamus isn’t in bloom it looks like a blue flag, and like the latter is has been a highly popular root medicine among Eastern Woodland Indians and other tribes across its broad range for a long time now.

The arum family, Araceae consists of over 100 genera, and several of its species are cultivated ornamentals from the tropics.

The native perennial Calamus is found in wetland, usually standing in water along riverbanks and streams throughout southern Canada from Nova Scotia to James Bay, west of Texas, south of North Carolina, and the Oregon coast.

It’s long with sword-like leaves that are pale glossy green, having a stiff midrib that runs the whole length. This plant may grow up to five feet tall.

Mature stalks may bear fruits halfway up an outward-jutting club-like spadix, a fleshy cylindrical bloom structure, between May and August that bears small clusters of yellowish-green flowers.

These ripen into tiny gelatinous berries that instantly dry up and disappear. All plant parts are fragrant when bruised or brushed, particularly the highly aromatic underground rootstalk so costly in Native American medicines.     

The long and creeping rootstocks with numerous tiny rootlets together with their lower half are normally dug from wet mud or sand, where they grow in dense colonies.

The old colonies of Calamus can take over a whole eco-niche in low and wet pasture or marsh areas, crowding out almost all other plants. Transplanted into the garden, it grows into a delightful and slow-maturing ornamental. 

To grow well, this Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) requires rainfall ranging between 70 and 250 cm. It can grow in a temperature range of 10 to 38 Degrees Celsius.

However, the sowing temperature has to be somewhere between 30 to 32 Degrees Celsius while the harvesting temperature is 15 to 20 Degrees Celsius.

As mentioned above, it can grow on sandy soils, alluvial soils, and along river banks. Soil acidity can be somewhere between 5 and 7.     

Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) Benefits

Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) is an important ingredient for treat bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. Additionally, Calamus is very effective in curing bronchioles and removing excess mucus and residual toxins in your lungs.

It also has stimulating properties that can give extra energy and stamina, particularly in the heights of the withdrawal symptoms. 


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Other Benefits and Uses of Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus)

Bitters and extracts from Calamus root are being taken to relieve stomach cramps and resolve indigestion issues.

Calamus has for a long time been considered as a flavoring agent and tonic, particularly in aromatic bitters, and as a stimulant and carminative.

Calamus continues to be a very essential addition to a lot of American Indian healing formulas, health care practices, ceremonies. 

Additionally, it’s still utilized, alone, in important ways of curing from tribe to tribe. Many American Indian traditional singers carry the dried root to chew on to enhance their singing.

Calamus is a valuable ingredient in Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic herbalism. The root is a valued cure for digestion and a tonic for the nervous system.

It stimulates the appetite and relieves colic and gas. It’s also formulated in decoctions and tinctures as well as powders. The aromatic qualities make the leaves a valuable insect repellent. 

The following are other illnesses and body health complications Acorus Calamus is used to cure:

  • Ulcers
  • Skin disorders
  • Memory problems
  • Increasing appetite
  • Headache
  • Strokes
  • Other conditions
  • Earache
  • Hemorrhoids

Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) Side Effects

There are several side effects associated with Acorus Calamus. It’s important to take note of them to ensure you’re always cautious when using it. They are as follows:

Heart Condition

Acorus Calamus can lower your blood pressure. It’s also known to lower the rate of the heartbeat. Theoretically, when you take Acorus Calamus in excess, it may worsen heart issues in people living with heart health problems.

Low blood pressure

Acorus Calamus may lower your blood pressure, especially in people suffering from low blood pressure.


Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) might affect your central nervous system. It might cause a lot of sleepiness when combined with medications utilized during and following surgery.

If you’re using Acorus Calamus, you’re advised to stop doing so at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Acorus Calamus might be unsafe when consumed by mouth if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. You’re advised to stop using it during this period. 

Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) Dosage

The right dose of Acorus Calamus depends on many factors, including the user’s health, age, and many other conditions. Currently, there’s not sufficient scientific evidence determining a suitable range of doses for Calamus.

Remember that organic products aren’t usually necessarily safe. So, consuming in moderation is always recommended.

Ensure that you’re following appropriate guidance on the product labels or consult a physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare personnel before using it.

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Hopefully, the above is all that you’re looking to find about Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus). It has many names depending on different regions across the globe.

The above names are just a few of them. Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) is an important ingredient in culinary purposes as we have noted above. Additionally, it an important medicinal natural product utilized to cure various health conditions.

There are side effects as well that you must be cautious about. You must, therefore, take Calamus in moderation to ensure that you enjoy the best out of this amazing natural product.  

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