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Acorus calamus is the
botanical name of the plant more commonly known as calamus. Other common
names of calamus include calamus root, flag root, muskrat root, sweet
calomel, sweet flag, sweet sedge, and many other names. The Acoraceae
family is comprised of a single genus called Acorus. Only Acorus calamus
and no more than one or two other species of Acorus are included in the
- The APG II system
(2003), recognizes the Acoraceae family and gives it its own Acorales
order. The oil of Acorus calamus is used as an ingredient in flavors,
particularly in liquors. It is used a great deal in the making of
alcoholic drinks and in perfume to give a bitter tang to the former and
those special nuances to the perfumes, it is also used in toothpaste
- Calamus is a
perennial herb of the family Araceae, commonly found in moist
habitats such as the banks of ponds or streams and in swamps
throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In appearance, it
resembles the iris. Subsequent investigations have now shown that
there are actually four different medication types of calamus, each
originating from a different variety of Acorus calamus growing in
different geographical areas of the world.
- Calamus prefers
wet soil and is found in ditches, beside lakes and rivers, and in
marshy places. Propagation is carried out in autumn or early spring
by dividing the clumps of rhizomes and replanting them in shallow
water. The rhizomes are harvested as needed.
- To get the
extract of Acorus calamus, following processes are done. Collection
of the healthy tubers (roots), purification to get rid of the
physical impurities if any, then making powder and followed by
suitable extractor to get the extract and aseptic package for
storage and transportation.
- The root of
Acorus calamus powder has a mild stimulating effect. It has a
positive effect on the stomach and digestion. It is strengthening
and can improve memory. Acorus calamus powder is a hallucinogen at
high doses, because calamus contains Asarone, which is transformed
to TMA-2 in the liver.
- India, one among
12 Bio-diverse countries of the world, is abode of 45000 floral
species, out of which 15000 are those of Medicinal Plants. Approx.
85% to 90% of these come from the wild. As per the report of State
Level Planning Committee, Meghalaya the State of Meghalaya has 850
species of Medicinal Plants, 377 of which are used by 70% to
80% of the State’s population for primary health care needs. Acorus
calamus is one of the medicinal plants
- Medicinal and
Aromatic Plant(MAPs) are mainly used in pharmaceutical industry for
their formulations such as tablet, capsules, powders and extracts.
Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicines extensively use
MAPs in their treatment. In addition they are used in pharmaceutical
research to find out
new drug components.
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