Calamus, Sweet Flag

Calamus, Sweet Flag

Common name Calamus, Sweet Flag

Latin name Acorus calamus

Parts used Roots

System affinities

Calamus is particularly sympathetic to the nervous and circulatory systems.

Energetics/characteristics/flower essence/dosha

Calamus is warming, and astringent.  It is an expectorant, carminative, and analgesic.  It is particularly indicated to the vata dosha. 

Taste and quality

It is pungent and astringent.


It is particularly indicated for disorders of the nervous system including, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, depression and Epilepsy.  As an expectorant it is good for treating excess phlegm, whooping cough and fever pain.  

Warnings and contraindications

Calamus should be avoided in persons with heart diseases.

It should be avoided during pregnancy.  

History and lore

Calamus root, commonly known as sweet flag, has been used by various cultures since biblical times. In the Orient, and in ancient Egypt, the rhizome was thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac, while the Turk’s carried the aromatic rhizome to thwart infectious disease.


It grows in the shallow, still recesses of streams and watery ditches in the Northern Hemisphere.

Dosing and formulas