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Acorus Calamus Dosage

Daily Dose of Acorus Calamus: 3g

Supplementing with Acorus Calamus

Acorus Calamus’ active ingredients are in the root.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/

Acorus Calamus, also known as Sweet Flag or just Calamus, is a plant native to Asia and India. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Indian Medicine (Ayurveda) as a medicinal herb for its cognitive properties. It is a greatly valued herb in Ayurveda and its aroma was used to stimulate and rejuvenate the brain and nervous system. Acorus Calamus improves circulation to the brain, improving memory and sharpening awareness. Botanist M. Daniel from the M.S. University of Baroda says that Acorus Calamus can also be used to treat mental disorders. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Calamus has been used in similar ways but it was also used to treat digestive problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

The root of Acorus Calamus has a strong and fragrant essential oil where most of its active ingredients are found. This root has sedative, anodyne, stimulant, hallucinogenic, hypotensive, and even expectorant properties. The root is used to make a type of tea that can soothe a sore throat, as well as treat bronchitis and sinusitis.  Due to the presence of alpha-asarone or beta-asarone in the root, chewing it can cause visual hallucinations. On the other hand, chewing the root has also been used to fight tobacco addition. The active ingredients in the root kill the desire for tobacco over time.

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Acorus Calamus should not be taken internally without the supervision of a qualified expert. The FDA banned Calamus oil as a food additives and medicine. The essential oil contains aserone which is highly toxic if taken in high doses. European varieties of Calamus have lower concentrations of aserone compared to varieties of Calamus from India, though it is still not recommended to take Calamus continuously for more than a month.

Sources:
http://examine.com/supplements/Acorus+calamus/
http://www.drugs.com/npp/calamus.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/362553-ayurvedic-herbs-for-memory-loss/
http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/calamus.html

References

  • Rana TS1, Mahar KS1, Pandey MM2, Srivastava SK2, Rawat AK2. Molecular and chemical profiling of ‘sweet flag’ (Acorus calamus L.) germplasm from India. Physiol Mol Biol Plants. 2013 Apr;19(2):231-7. PMID: 24431490.
  • Nandakumar S1, Menon S, Shailajan S. A rapid HPLC-ESI-MS/MS method for determination of β-asarone, a potential anti-epileptic agent, in plasma after oral administration of Acorus calamus extract to rats. Biomed Chromatogr. 2013 Mar;27(3):318-26. PMID: 22903588.
  • Oh MH1, Houghton PJ, Whang WK, Cho JH. Screening of Korean herbal medicines used to improve cognitive function for anti-cholinesterase activity. Phytomedicine. 2004 Sep;11(6):544-8. PMID: 15500267.
  • Shi GB1, Wang B2, Wu Q1, Wang TC1, Wang CL1, Sun XH1, Zong WT1, Yan M1, Zhao QC1, Chen YF1, Zhang W1. Evaluation of the wound-healing activity and anti-inflammatory activity of aqueous extracts from Acorus calamus L. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2014 Jan;27(1):91-5. PMID: 24374458.
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