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The Sweet Flag

This plant is commonly found in damp soils and shallow water of trenches, marshes, riverbanks, ponds, lakes and swamps. It is native to the United Kingdom.

Scientific Name: Acorus calamus

Synonyms: This plant is also called Calamus aromaticus.

Common Names: Its most widely used name is sweet flag. It is also known as Garsault & Calamus.

Family: It is a member of the family ACORACEAE.

Medicinal Uses

  • It causes abortion in 1st trimester of pregnancy. It causes uterine contraction leading to expulsion of fetus. There is excessive blood loss associated with it. This blood loss can be easily controlled. *This is a safe way of getting rid of unwanted pregnancy.
  • It has a very mild analgesic action. It is used as remedy for milder headaches and back pains and other mild pains.
  • It has anti-inflammatory actions which are more pronounced in joint disorders. They reduce inflammatory mediator production. It is one of the best known herbal remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • It has aphrodisiac actions. It increases sexual drive by causing vasodilatation in vasculature of phallus. It is sometimes used for recreational purposes.
  • It has aromatization actions. In combination with other drugs, it is used for reliving headache and anxiety. It is used for inhalational therapy of sinusitis, bronchitis, bronchiectasis and certain other pulmonary diseases.
  • It has a laxative effect. Oral solution made from dried leaves of the plant relives constipation. *This is an osmotic laxative effect.
  • It increases menstrual blood flow. For this reason, it is sometime used as an adjunct in treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.
  • It has an antipyretic action. It reduces the formation of Prostaglandin E2. This substance is an endogenous pyrogen which resets hypothalamic temperature control centre. When production of PGE2 is decreased, the fever settles down.
  • When taken in large does, it has a hallucinogenic effect. The hallucinations may be auditory or visual. This is a dose dependent effect and settles down as soon as the drug is stopped and is cleared by the system.
  • When its freshly picked leaves are crushed, they yield a juice. This juice has very good analgesic properties and local application of this juice to any bruise or wound produces moderate analgesia. But this paste may be irritant to the skin. If redness occurs after application of paste, the area should be thoroughly washed with water.
  • It has a sedative effect. This effect is only produced by fresh leaves. The sedation is deep.
  • It is a vermifuge for intestinal worms especially round worms and tape worms. Only 2 doses of this plant’s paste (made from dried leaves) dewroms the person.
  • The extract from this plant is a tonic for:

a. Central nervous system

  • Memory improvement
  • Prevents depressive spells

b. Liver c. Kidney

  • Protective effect against kidney stones
  • Protective effect against urinary tract infections
  • It is also used to treat common GI upsets like nauseas, vomiting, and acidity.

Category: Medicine

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