Calamus Root and Powder Profile


Also known as- Acorus calamus, Sweet Flag, Cinnamon Sedge, Sweet Myrtle, Acorus, and Sweet Rush.


The sharp-edged calamus is a perennial semi-aquatic plant that grows in marshes and on muddy banks of streams. Although experts usually say the plant may have been used in herbal medicine as long as 4,000 years ago, the first mention of the plant as a medicine is in the Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica, a Chinese medical text dating even earlier, to about 2837 BCE.

The traditional use of calamus was to "open the orifices" to allow the inner spirit to reach out to the world. Chinese physicians of antiquity reported that calamus "vaporized phlegm," but the word they used refers to not just physical phlegm but also the "residues" of difficult emotions. Calamus was also employed to treat winter-time joint pain, wounds, and sores.

In the United States and Canada, calamus was used to make calamine lotion, used to relieve skin inflammation of all origins.


Bitters, asarone, calamene and related chemicals, eugenol and related chemicals.

Parts Used

The rhizome, dried and chopped or ground.

Typical Preparations

Traditionally used as a tea. The varieties of calamus available in the United States and Canada are best used as bath additives, gargles, lotions, or washes, unless they are used in combination with other herbs in Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine. In Chinese medicine, calamus is used with platycodon to treat laryngitis, turmeric to treat deafness, magnolia to treat any kind of chest congestion, and mixed with lychii fruit and chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be soled for use as an eyewash.
Seldom found as a capsule or extract.


Varieties of calamus traded in the United States (and all the varieties of calamus permitted for import by HealthCanada) are most effective when used externally. As a bath additive calamus helps with circulation and joint pain, and as a gargle calamus relieves sore throat. As a lotion, calamus relieves skin inflammation of all origins.


For external use only. Its internal use as a medicinal herbal product should only be administered by someone with experience in using this botanical. The FDA strictly prohibits the use of Calamus in food products.


This herb is sold by the ounce is Copyright © 2000-2023