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Acorus calamus L.

Acorus calamus L. var. americanus (Raf.) H.D. Wulff.
Acorus americanus (Raf.) Raf.

Duration: Perennial
Family: Acoraceae - Calamus family
Group: Monocot
Growth Habit: Herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Bach, Gharbach, Swetbach

Tribal Name: Langhi (Khumi), Langhing (Murang), Langkhei (Tripura).

English Name: Sweet Flag, Calamus.

Description of the Plant:

An aromatic marsh herb, with creeping, branching, rhizome. Leaves distichous, ensiform about 1 m high. Peduncle leaf-like; spathe the ensiform continuation of the peduncle; spadix sessile, 5-10 cm long, cylindric, dense-flowered; flowers minute. Fruits berries.

Acorus Calamus

Acorus Calamus L. All Rights Reserved.

Chemical Constituents:

Rhizome contains an essential oil with ß-asarone as major constituent and also calamenenol, isocalamendiol, ecgenol methyl ether, palmitic acid and sesquiterpene alcohols. It also contains asaryl aldehyde, choline, calacone, flavone, acoradin, 2,5-dimethoxy benzoquinone, galangin, telekin, isotelekin, 9-aristone and ß-gurjunene, saponins, a bitter principle (acorin), mucilage, sitosterol and sesquiterpens. Three monocyclic sesquiterpenes - shyobunone, epishyobunone and isoshyobunone and two selinane type sesquiterpenes - acolamone and isoacolamone have also been isolated from rhizomes.

Aerial parts contain the alkaloid, choline and luteolin and acorin glycosides. Fresh leaves contain oxalic acid and calcium. A new crystalline compound, calamene sesqui-terpenenol and a new phenylpropane have been isolated from the rhizome. New sesquiterpenes acoragermacrone, (+)calamusenone and isocalamusenone and a new tropone (I) have been isolated from the rhizome. A flavone diglycoside isolated and identified as luteolin-6,8-C-diglucoside (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Mode of Uses:

Paste prepared from leaf is applied to the forehead for the treatment of fever and headache (Khumi).

Paste prepared from leaves is applied to forehead to treat headache. Leaf extract is applied to affected areas of cattle to remove germ infection. It is planted as a protection from evil spirit (Murang).

Extract prepared from root and leaf, is taken two tea spoonful twice daily until cured, for the treatment of gastritis. Extract prepared from leaf. Some extract is taken two to three tea spoonfuls daily and applied in the belly until cured for the treatment of spleenomegaly in children and vomiting (Rakhaing).

Rhizome pinkish. Leaves asymmetric, apex very acute, midrib conspicuous. Flowers in straight or slightly curved spadix. Fruits berries (Tripura).


Rare; mostly cultivated in wet lands.

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