Vach, Acorus Calamus or sweet flag is a semi-aquatic, all season herb having a strong, sweet aroma. Traditionally used in China and India for its memory enhancing property, it belongs to the family Acoraceae and grows in Nagaland, Manipur in India, Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China and U.S.A. It’s has a citrus like smell and possesses a spicy and bitter taste and small flowers thus known as sweet flag.
The essential oil obtained from unpeeled rhizomes of Vach, which is pale yellow or brown in colour, is used as a muscle relaxant and sedative. The roots are used to treat stomach ailments, cognitive disorders, psycho-neurosis, enhance memory, epilepsy and also for pain related to rheumatism and arthritis.
Calamus contains alkaloids, triterpenes, flavanoids, lectins, gums, phenols, saponins, tannins, calamenone, phenylpropane derivatives, acorenone, β-asarone and dehydroxy isocalamendiol. It is believed that β-asarone is mainly responsible for therapeutic mechanism of the herb; it works with neurotransmitters of the brain.
The main properties of the Vach or Acorus calamus are: it works as a uterine tonic, psychedelic, nervine, diuretic, sedative, carminative, emmenagogue, antioxidant, anti-rheumatic, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-biotic, tranquilizer, analgesic, abortifacient and many more.
Benefits of Vach
Vach is the best herb known for mental ailments having numerous other health benefits. It has enormous potential to treat and prevent neurological disorders. It also improves the quality and clarity of voice hence the name Vach in Sanskrit since it affects the vocal cords of the throat.