Acorus calamus Linn.
Family Araceae.
Habitat Wild and cultivated
throughout India in damp marshy places from 900 to 1,800 m; common in Manipur and Naga Hills.
English Sweet Flag, Calamus.
Ayurvedic Vachaa, Ugragandhaa, Ugraa, Golomi, Shadgranthaa, Shataparvaa, Tikshnagandhaa, Kshudra-patra, Maangalyaa, Ghorbach.
Unani Waj-e-Turki, Waj. Siddha/Tamil Vasambu.
Action Rhizome—nervine tonic, hyp otensive, tranquilizer, sedative (with neuroleptic and antianxiety properties), analgesic, spasmolytic, anticonvulsant; used for bronchial catarrh, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery.
Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of the dried rhizomes as a brain tonic in weak memory, psychoneurosis and epilepsy.
Four types of Calamus are used in herbal medicine: type I—Acorus
calamus L. var. americanus, a diploid American var.; type TI—var. vulgaris L. (var. calamus), a European triploid; type III and type IV—var. augustatus Bess. and var. versus L., subtropical tetraploids.
Beta-asarone is carcinogenic in animals. Volatile oil of types II, III and IV—major constituent is usually betaasarone (isoasarone), up to 96%. Indian calamus oil contains asarone up to 82% and its beta-isomer. In type I, beta-asarone and other phenylpropanoids are absent. It is superior in spasmolytic activity to the other types.
Indian practitioners mostly use A. calamus externally. Shveta Vachaa (Haimavati, equated with Acorus gramineus Scoland. Ex Ait., a diploid, is used internally. Unani physicians use Paris polyphylla Sim. as Khuraasaani Bach.
The essential oil-free alcoholic extract of A. calamus possesses sedative and analgesic properties.
Alpha- asarone p otentiates pentobarbital, accounts for some, but not all, neurodepressive activity. Beta- asarone is reportedly hallucinogenic. (Francis Brinker.)
The ethanolic extract of rhizomes show significant antisecretory and antiulcerogenic activity; also, protective effect against cytodestructive agents, experimentally.
Dosage Rhizome—60—120 mg powder. (API Vol. II.)


Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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