Acorus calamus Linn.

Acorus calamus Linn.Acorus calamus Linn.

Botanical Name:                 Acoruscalamus Linn.

Synonyms:                           AcorusangustatusRaf.

Kingdom:                              Plantae

Order:                                     Acorales

Family:                                  Acoraceae

Genus:                                   Acorus

Species:                                 A. calamus

Local Name:                        Bach, kull

Sindhi Name:                       Kini kat

English Name:                      Sweet sedge, Pine root

Part Used:                             Leaves, roots, rhizome, and stem


A. calamus is a perennial herb. Rootstock is broad, stout, and creeping with long fibrous roots from the lower surface. Stem are erect, glabrous, and grooved at one side, and ribbed at the opposite. Leaves are ensiform or in linear form. Tepals are long, oblong-obovate, somewhat curved, and margin membranous. Filaments are long and flat. Anthers are orbicular. Seeds are obconical and about 2 mm long.


A. calamus is widely distributed in America, Canada, Europe, southern Russia, northern Asia Minor, southern Siberia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Sweet flag’ is mostly found in marshy places and along river banks from (600-) 1000-2000 m.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases (Sindh):


Cocosnucifera L. (Coconut) oil, Brassica rapa L. (Mustard) oil, SyzgiumcuminiL. (Black pulm) oil, and ground A. calamus are mixed together in equal quantities, and applied on scalp to get rid of dandruff in District Jamshoro (Sindh).

Chemical Constituents:

1β, 4β, 7α-trihydroxyeudesmane, bullatantriol, teuclatriol, erythro-1′, 2′-dihydroxyasarone, (+)-eudesmin, (+)-magnolin and beta-sitosterolwere isolated fromA. calamus2.

β-Asarone (isoasarone) is the major constituent. α- asarone, sitosterolelemicine, cis-isoelemicine, cis- and trans- isoeugenol and their methyl ethers, β-gurjunene, α- selinene, β-cadineneα-calacorene, acoragermacrone, acoradin, acorone, acorenone, calamendiol, 2-deca- 4,7-dienol,shyobunones, galagin, 2,4,5-trimethoxy benzaldehyde, isohyobunones, 2,5- dimethoxybenzoquinone, calamusenone, and pre-isocalamendiolwere also isolated from different parts of plant3.

Chemical Structure:

Acorus calamus

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies:

A. calamusalong withpolygala root is used for maintaing mental and intellectual health. Its powder is recommended in depressed psychosis and dementia3.A. calamus is burnt and its smoke is taken orally through a funnel for relieving from cough.Small piece of plant is chewed when feeling tired4.Calamus is employed in digestive problems and headaches. Small doses of the herb are thought to be effective in reducing stomach acidity, while its larger doses could increase production of deficient acid5. Their rhizomes can be used as toothache. Powdered rhizome is used for congestion. Rhizome is also prescribed for the treatment of asthma and bronchitis6.

A. calamus is widely used and reported for numerous pharmacological activities. Leaf and rhizome possessed antibacterial activity. Crude methanolic extract rhizomes have β-asarone as an important component that possessed antifungal activity. Phenolic compounds are known for antioxidant activity. Ethyl acetate fraction found to be hypoglycemic and hypolipidemia. Methanolic extract showed antimutagenic activity. Alcoholic extract has hyperlipidemia due to the presence of saponins. Ethanolic extract of rhizome has been found to possess anticellular and immunosuppressive potential, and also antiulcer agent. Rhizomes possess insecticidal properties against a variety of insect pests6.


  2. Qiao, D., Gan, L. S., Mo, J. X., and Zhou, C. X. (2012). Chemical Constituents of China journal of Chinese materia medica37(22), 3430-3433.
  3. Kumar, A. (2013). Medicinal properties of Acorus calamus.Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics3(3), 143-144.
  5. Balakumbahan, R., Rajamani, K., andKumanan, K. (2010). Acorus calamus: An overview.J Med Plants Res4(25), 2740.
  6. Divya, G., Gajalakshmi, S., Mythili,S., and Sathiavelu, A. (2011). Pharmacological Activities of Acoruscalamus: A Review.Asian Journal of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 1(4), 57-64.