Botanical name: Acorus calamus
Other names: Sweet flag, beewort, bitter pepper root, flag root, gladdon, myrtle flag, myrtle grass, myrtle root,
Acorus calamus is a semi-aquatic plant that likes to grow with “wet feet”, often alongside Irises, Cattails, and other water weeds. It is well known for its bitter taste, spiciness and it’s aromatic smell. Its aroma makes calamus essential oil valued in the perfume industry.
In Europe it was often added to wine and it is thought that calamus is one of the possible ingredients of absinthe. The English chewed on it when they were unable to acquire tobacco during the great depression. Ancient Indians believed in Calamus for memory improvement, prolongation of life span and sexual potency. Native Americans used it for headache, asthma, oral hygiene and to combat fatigue.
It has been used medicinally for a wide variety of ailments in many cultures for thousands of years. It is most effective for nausea and a “nervous” tummy associated with panic attacks and anxiety issues. Be mindful to not have too much though, as consuming large doses can easily overstimulate the stomach and provoke vomiting. Chewing Calamus can alleviate the nausea of car sickness and other types of motion sickness.
A two-inch piece chewed over some hours provides certain stimulation. A ten-inch piece chewed over some time is a mind alterant and supposed hallucinogen. When powdered, only a pinch at a time is used to avoid certain nausea and vomiting.
“In Australia, chewing on the root piece is prohibited because of its supposed similarity to mescaline. However because of calamus’ bitter ginger taste it is almost impossible to ingest the ten-inch piece supposedly required for a hallucinogenic trip. On a gruelling expedition up the back of Mount Warning in Northern New South Wales, the author managed to consume ten inches of the bitter root. There were no hallucinations but it did give incredible stamina and focus to enable the conquering of daunting feats with ‘superman’ agility.
Calamus is another beneficial herb that should not be denied us. It is also helpful for cannabis and nicotine detoxification, as well as addiction. Calamus is believed to be the only herb that will detoxify the brain of cannabis residue. Take it from the author’s mouth, you can really feel that detoxification! Calamus is legal to grow, please, please grow it, to prevent herbal genocide. The plant loves ‘getting its feet wet’ around ponds, dams and creeks.” – Ray Thorpe, Happy Herb Co Founder.
Preparation: Take 1-2g of the powdered herb in warm water or milk, 3 times daily.
Calamus Root Common Uses
Calamus Root Actions
Calamus Root Recipes
Calamus Root Precautions
Do not take when pregnant or lactating. Excessive use can cause vomiting. Do not take long-term (more than 1 month) without a break.