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Sweet flag (Acorus calamus) , the brain tonic

Acorus Calamus
Ayurvedic Properties

Sweet flag is bitter and pungent in taste (rasa), pungent in post digestive effect (vipaka) and has hot potency (virya). It has a special effect (prabhava) as a nervine tonic (medhya). It alleviates kapha and vata doshas but aggravates pitta dosha. It is fragrant, emetic, appetising, deflatulent and anti epileptic in properties

Sweet flag is one of the most renowned herbs used for the rejuvenation of the brain and the nervous system. In Sanskrit, vacha, literally means speaking. Sweet flag (Botanical – Acorus calamus, Hindi – Bach) grows all over India in areas elevated upto 5.000 feet, in marshes and is also cultivated. It is a strongly aromatic, semi-aquatic perennial herb with a ginger-like stem, which spreads in the ground. This rhizome part of Sweet flag is of medicinal use.

Sweet flag has been described as bitter and pungent in taste and hot and light in effect. It alleviates kapha and vata but aggravates pitta. Dry rhizomes of Sweet flag contain a yellow aromatic oil that is volatile in nature. It also has a bitter glycocide, known as acorin.

In the ayurvedic system of medicine, Sweet flag is used as a nervine tonic and anti-stammering drug. Experimental studies have shown that it is a potent psycho-pharmacological agent, having a positive effect on the memory and the learning process. Many ancient texts have described Sweet flag as an anti-epileptic and anti-hysteric herb. It also known to possess carminative, digestive, diuretic and mildly sedative properties.

Sweet flag can be used as a household remedy for many ailments. Some of its common uses are as under:

Taken with warm water, half-a-pinch of Sweet flag powder works well in loss of appetite, flatulence, distaste, dull abdominal pain and worms. It is a herb of choice to be used in case of loud eructations also.

Combine the powders of Sweet flag, shankhpushpi and brahmi in equal amounts. Half-a-teaspoonful of this powder, mixed with one teaspoonful of honey, if taken daily, is a good adjunct in case of epilepsy and mental retardation.

Powder of Sweet flag and white sandal is a very effective face pack in the treatment of blemishes and pimples.

In many Indian homes, customarily Sweet flag is administered with honey in minute quantities to infants on the 11th and 21st day of birth. It is believed that this practice makes the child mentally active and talkative.

Some classic Ayurvedic formulation like sarswatarishta and sarswata churna, where Sweet flag is used as chief ingredient, are used for the promotion of memory and also in treatment of psychiatric problems. Taken by itself, an average dose of Sweet flag powder is usually 125 mg to 500 mg. Overdose can induce vomiting. In the market, two or three varieties of Sweet flag are available. The best variety is known as ghorha Sweet flag.

It is even observed that if Sweet flag(vacha) taken regularly with honey can have the ability to cure stammering/stuttering problem permanently.  

Dosage and method of administration
1-2 gms. twice a day with honey or water.

Sweet flag should be used sparingly by people with pitta constitution. Large doses of Sweet flag may induce vomiting.
Antidote Fresh lemon juice and fennel seeds act as antidotes against the emetic effects of Sweet flag.
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Note:-This is a blog about health, nutirtion, diet food, nutritional supplement, health problems, weed, medicinal plants, healthy living. In this health and wellness blog I am discussing the herbal uses, effects of weed, about herbs, food for vegetarians, medicinal plants like celery, dandelion, amla, milk thistle and all other natural healers for healthy living. The motive behind this blog is to bring awareness among people about its surrounding, the mother nature and its precious gifts. The Gifts that we have forgotten long back. Please consult your doctor or herbal practitioner before using any herbs.