Sweet Flag

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Acorus Calamus, Sweet Flag, Sway, Muskrat Root


In quiet backwaters, closer to the shore, in shallower places, you can see bunches of narrow long xiphoid leaves. This is Acorus Calamus or Tatar potion. Distributed in the European part. Central Asia, Siberia, Far East. The water where calamus grows is drinkable.


It is a perennial herbaceous plant of the aroid family, reaching a height of 60-120 cm, with a horizontal creeping sinuous rhizome (up to 1.5 m long and up to 3 cm thick) with numerous white stringy roots.


Rhizome-covered remnants of leaf sheaths, yellowish-green, almost brown, inside is white with a pink tinge. Leaves are alternate, two-row, bright green, collected in bunches at the ends of branches rhizomes.


The leaves and especially the rhizome have a strong pleasant smell. Inflorescence – fleshy apical cylindrical-conical, deviated to the side, the ear is long 4-12 cm. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, and bisexual. Fruit – oblong multi-seeded berry. Blooms quite rarely, from the end of May to July.


Medicinal raw materials are rhizomes without small roots. They are harvested in summer and autumn (from July to September), when swamps dry up and the groundwater level drops. The rhizome calamus is dug up and pulled out with a rake in damp places.


The collected and cleaned raw materials are dried in the open air, then cut into pieces 20-30 cm long and dried in a well-ventilated room at a temperature not higher than 30-33 “C.
When harvesting calamus roots, it is necessary to restore the raw bases that leave half of the shoots of the plant. Reworks in this place can be conducted no earlier than 10 years. Shelf life raw materials – up to 3 years.


The raw material contains fragrant calamus oil, vitamin C, acorin glycoside, calamen alkaloid, choline, resin and starch. Calamus preparations have analgesic, expectorant, and disinfectant effects, increase the tone of the central nervous system, and slightly lower blood pressure.


Applied inside with stomach ulcers, vomiting, jaundice, malaria, inflammation of the bladder, externally for rinsing with bad breath, toothache, in the form of lotions on festering wounds.


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