Botanical Name: Acorus calamus | Family: Araceae

Common name(s): Sweet Flag, CalamusSweet Sedge


  • Perennial | Zones 4-11 | 1-4 feet tall  | Cattail-like leaves, flowers angle out from a leaf-like stalk from May through August. Roots are jointed.
  • Full sun | Grows at edges of ponds and in moist meadows


Harvest fleshy and aromatic rhizomes September through October. Halve, lengthwise, and dry in the shade.


Infusion: Pour 1 cup of water over 2 tsp dried rhizome and let infuse for 10 -15 minutes. Drink a cup 1/2 hour before meals.

Tincture: 2-4 ml, 3x/day.


Constituents: Amino acids, bitter principles, essential oil, glycoside, mucilage, organic acid, sugars, tannin

Actions: Antispasmodic, carminative, demulcent, emetic,expectorant, stimulant

Uses: Gastro-intestinal tonic, dyspepsia, gastritis, gastric ulcers, colic due to flatulence, lack of mental focus, quitting tobacco and marijuana smoking

Combinations: Ginger and wild yam for flatulence-based colic, meadowsweet and marshmallow for gastric issues

Cautions: The European variety contains B-asarone, which is a carcinogen. The American variety does not. Avoid during pregnancy.


  • Acrid, slightly warm, aromatic


Interested in looking for this plant next year near some of the wetlands in town! There are some warnings against it, so I’m not going to rush into adding it to my herbal remedies.