Sweet Flag (vacha) benefits and medicinal uses

Acorus calamus or Sweet Flag is a perineal herb that grows 1-3 feet in height with basal leaves around a rising rhizome. The leaves are erect yellowish green with pink sheathing at the base. They are flat and narrow with the shape of a sword and have smooth edges. The leaves give a fragrant odour when crushed.

Acorus calamus benefits, medicinal uses

The flower stems are triangular and come from the axils of the outer leaves. It has a solid, cylindrical spadix that tapers and is 5-10 cm in length. The flower contains six petals. The stamens are enclosed in the perianth that has six divisions. The flowers have a sweet fragrance. We will read here about the Acorus calamus benefits.

Common name of the plant

The common name of the plant is Sweet Flag. People also refer to it as the calamus oil, bach, or vacha.

Botanical name and family

The botanical name of the plant is Acorus calamus. It belongs to the Acoraceae family.

Geographical places where Acorus calamus plant grows

The Sweet Flag grows natively in India, southern Russia, Siberia, and parts of eastern Europe.

Acorus calamus medicinal uses for curing diseases

It has been used since the Biblical times for the making of anointing oils and perfumes. In Britain, the plant served as a sweet-smelling floor covering for houses with earth floors and in churches. It has been banned by the FDA possibly because it causes hallucinatory effects when one chews pieces of the rootstock of the plant. This is due to the presence of alpha-asarone and beta-asarone. It has also been used for a long time in Indian and Chinese herbal medicine.

Good for the voice: You can get cured of throat disorders by taking Sweet Flag. Further, powdered Sweet Flag rhizome and honey helps the person develop a clear voice. If you have a performance lined up where you need to have a clear voice, then you should have the decoction of Sweet Flag in the morning and night for a week before the show. This will ensure that your voice will be brilliant on the night of the performance.

Sweet Flag flowers, root and rhizome

Helps treat neurological diseases: It show modulatory effect on the nervous system and sublimates the brain. Vacha has a direct effect on the central nervous system. Vacha acts as a nervine tonic. You can get positive results for Alzheimer’s disease and similar diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. It also helps patients with schizophrenia to find a better frame of mind within a brief time.

You need to have the decoction for 3-4 months at least to get some result. Drink one glass of the decoction in the early morning, at 11ó clock and in the night before you go to bed. You are sure to find some positive brain activity within a few months.

Relives muscular spasm: The Sweet Flag has wonderful nature of relaxing the muscles of the body completely. It soothes the nervous system and helps regulate the overall metabolic activity. If you have Sariva decoction regularly, you will find that the entire nervous system is relaxed. If you suffer from muscular spasms, they will soon be cured.

Good for arthritis: Acorus calamus can cure inflammation in the joints. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties that help you deal with the arthritis effectively. Use the paste of the Acorus calamus root on the joints of the hands and knee. It will give good relief.

Good for the stomach: The herb find use in relieving abdominal colic pain. It relieves gaseous distension of the abdomen and bloating. Have the decoction of the herb early in the morning – 2 glasses on an empty stomach – to see the best results.

Anthelmintic action: When used in the appropriate doses, the herb shows good anthelmintic action. It will get rid of intestinal worms and make your body that much stronger.

Helps stop infection: It shows strong antimicrobial action and stops infections. You can use it regularly and stay free from all kinds of fevers and flus. This is one of the main medicinal uses and chemical constituents that help it is described here. Both the leaves and roots show antioxidant properties.

These antioxidants help fight the free radicals and thus prevent damage to the healthy body cells. This prevents infections and diseases. Further, it enhances wound healing so that you can recover fast from external injury.

Cure Chronic cold: If a person has chronic cold, then they must inhale the fumes of the rhizome to get an immediate cure. Again, the action is an antioxidant one with the antioxidants attacking the disease causing free radicals and destroying them.

Pain killer effect: You can use the Sweet Flag to get relief from pain. The vacha has a substance that acts as a painkiller so you will stop feeling the pain soon after drinking the decoction of the root of Acorus calamus.

Stress manager: Moderate amounts of Acorus calamus helps one adapt to the stress well. If you have a stressful period ahead, then you must take good amounts of vacha and you can get relief from the stress.

Cures disorders of the vata dosha: You can get relief from disorders of the vata dosha such as paralysis, neuralgia, bloating, constipation, and so on.

Emetic agent: You come across instances when you need to clean your stomach. Examples may include someone who has been poisoned and needs to vomit fast. Use the paste of the root as an emetic agent.

Helpful for Epileptic patients: The effect on epileptic patients is seen to be positive. One must powder the rhizome of the Sweet Flag and mix it with honey. Give this to the patient and you will observe a remarkable change over time.

Child tonic: In India, a small amount of processed sweet flag along with honey and gold is given to children to increase their intelligence and help them develop immunity. The herb is burnt before it is administered to the infant so it helps augment the oral hygiene. Even in adults, it improves the intelligence of the person.

Some side effects have been reported in rats which underwent testing for vacha. This is due to the B-asarone that did tiny amounts of organ damage and caused intestinal tumours. Therefore, it is advisable to be on the safe side when you start treatment with Sweet Sage.


  1. Wikipedia Acorus calamus https://en.wikipedia.org/
  1. TKN Siddha (Vacha) Acorus Calamus in Ayurveda: Medicinal uses, Chemical constituents, Properties by Dr Arya S Menon Jan 15, 2017 http://www.tknsiddha.com/
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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of www.medicinalplantsanduses.com. He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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