Acorus calamus, Araceae. The other name for this plant is sweet flag. The dried rhizomes are the part of the plant used.

The rhizomes should be gathered in autumn. A hook may be needed to extract them from the muddy soil. Remove the leaves and roots from the rhizome and clean it thoroughly. Halve it along its length and dry it in the shade.

Functions of calamus


  • is an excellent tonic for the digestive system.
  • may be used in dyspepsia, gastritis and gastric ulcers.
  • will stimulate a poor appetite.
  • will help to ease exhaustion and weakness where there is digestive involvement.
  • is considered a specific in colic due to flatulence.

Notes on calamus

  • For flatulent colic it combines well with ginger and wild yam.
  • For gastric conditions it is best to combine it with meadowsweet and marshmallow.


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonsful of the dried leaves and let to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 1/2 cup before meals.

Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times per day.


Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Tyler, Y. E. 1993, The Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. Haworth.




The Health Gazette

Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Personal details used only by us and not given to others for any reason.