How To Make Acorus Calamus Root Tea & Benefits Of It

Yashasvi SaxenaAug 27 . 7 min read

Have you guys heard of ‘Leaves of Grass’? This poetry collection by Walt Whitman, often considered obscene, uses Calamus as a symbol of homoeroticism. I wonder what is the significance of this symbolization. All the literature lovers hit me up!

Though, today we aren’t concerned about that. We’re here to discuss its herbalism, instead of its eroticism. So, why wait any longer? Let us start!

What Is Acorus Calamus?

The first and most obvious question is, what’s Calamus? Why are we even talking about it? So, as you know, I’ll talk science first (habits, can’t control ’em, sorry). 

Acorus Calamus, also known as Sweet Flag, Sway, Vacha, Baje, or Muskrat Root, is a flowering plant with Psychoactive Chemicals. This plant spreads from a rhizome, that is, it has a modified stem whose node is the point of bulging of its roots and shoot. 

These plants are found widely in India, southern Russia, Siberia, Central Asia, Europe, and North America. This plant flowers in late fall or early summer for no longer than a month. Its fruit is a mucus-filled berry that falls into the water when ripe and disperses. 

Each flower has six petals and a sweet fragrance, due to which it was used to make perfumes by Ancient Egyptians.

Nutritional And Chemical Composition Of Calamus

Vacha is composed of 68% water or moisture, 17% ash, and 16% protein content. Its total calorie or energy count is estimated to be 121.65 kcal per 100 grams. It has minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous and nutrients like carbohydrates in considerable amounts.

Distinguishing Sweet Flag From Iris

Vacha resembles plants of the Iris family. Its leaves are always mistaken to be that of an Iris plant. Its leaves are tall, flat, and narrow, and greenish-yellow in color with a pink tint at the base. 

To differentiate Calamus from Iris, look closely at the leaf edge. If the leaves are wavey or crimped, then you are looking at Calamus. Some other identification features are the presence of Spandex and the sweet fragrance that Calamus releases when crushed. 

You find things contradicting the ones aforementioned, then, that must be Iris you are holding on to.

Health Benefits of Acorus Calamus

The medicinal effectiveness of Calamus does not have much research evidence, but it does have mentions in Ancient texts. The current day medicinal uses of Calamus are always in doubt, but it is still used as a grandma’s remedy by many. Some of the issues where Calamus is helpful are:

  1. Ulcers
  2. Gas
  3. Upset Stomach
  4. Arthritis
  5. Strokes
  6. Skin Disorders
  7. Appetite Stimulation
  8. Loss of Appetite (Anorexia)

Is Acorus Calamus Toxic?

Vigorous clinical research still lacks in the area of the medicinal usage of Calamus, as mentioned above. It is observed that Acorus Calamus proves to be toxic when ingested. It results in nausea and prolonged vomiting in many following ingestions. 

The toxicity of Calamus is believed to emerge from the compound named 𝜷-asarone. Due to these factors, Calmus is banned in the United States.

Uses of Acorus Calamus

Its toxicity does not stop its users from utilizing Calamus in a variety of traditional and modern ways. Lemme list down a few uses, just for your information. Make sure you’re cautious when dealing with Calamus.

  1. The inner stem of the Calamus is often consumed raw.
  2. Baje root is used to make syrup, which is further transformed into candy. The root is peeled, washed, cut, and simmered in water until it turns into a syrup.
  3. Being a water plant, Calamus is used in Horticulture. It is usually known as ‘Variegatus’ or preferably ‘Argenteostriatus’.
  4. It can also be used as an Insecticide. All you have to do is dry its root and pulverize it
  5. It is used as a medicinal herb in Ayurveda. It is extensively used by the Northeastern Indians, the Chinese, the Nepalese, and the Chipewyan people in their traditional medicinal concoctions. 
  6. It can also be used to treat Sinus Congestion.
  7. Baje root also acts as an antidote for marijuana buzz.
  8. It can also act as a memory rejuvenation concoction. Have a tablespoon of Vacha Powder with milk and honey to keep your brain fresh and healthy.
  9. It is also used as a sedative.
  10. This can also be your secret tool against hair loss!

Calamus Tea

Calamus is also known as Sweet Cinnamon. It has a gingery, sweet, bitter, and spicy flavor, due to which it is used as a replacement for cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg. I know it’s a bit out of place, but I’ll hit you up with a Calamus Trivia anyway. It was used in ancient times to keep the voice of the reciter stable while reciting the Upanishads. 

Okay, now coming back to Calamus Tea, you can treat it as a concoction that is made to extract the good of the Calamus and release it into our bodies. Follow the article further to reach the much-awaited recipe card.

List of Ingredients

Okay, let us gather the essentials:

  1. Dried Calamus or fresh Calamus Root - 1 Tablespoon
  2. Water - 1500 ml
  3. Honey (optional, as per taste)

Short and sweet, ain’t it?

Recipe Card

Now, we’re all set to start our Calamus-sweet venture!

  • Step-1: Wash your Calamus root thoroughly.
  • Step-2: Take a saucepan and boil your water on a high flame.
  • Step-3: Drop your root into the water and let it simmer on low to medium heat for some time.
  • Once done, swirl some honey into it. You can skip it if you want to.

Your memory rejuvenator is ready!

Benefits of Calamus Tea

Vasambu benefits us in a variety of ways, and, so does its tea. Here’s a list of some of my favorite perks that Calamus tea offers. 

  1. It is extremely useful in fighting against tobacco addiction. 
  2. It helps in fighting a fever.
  3. It helps with chest congestions
  4. It keeps voice clear and keeps sluggishness while speaking at bay.
  5. Want a new eyewash? Mix it with Chrysanthemum flowers - the best organic eyewash you can ever encounter.

Despite the lack of detailed research on Calamus, it is used extensively for medical reasons based on ancient medicinal and Ayurvedic beliefs. But one must still be cautious and consult a medical practitioner before using or consuming Calamus in any way.

With this note, I take a leave from you guys. See you soon!

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