Botanical Name: Acorus calamus | Family: Araceae
Common name(s): Sweet Flag, Calamus, Sweet 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.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
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
- The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
- Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs, Steven Foster, James A. Duke
- Plants for a Future
- photo credit: Rusty Clark Sweet Flag – Hampton Ponds, Westfield MA via Flickr (license)
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.