Sweet flag is an ancient herb that is recorded by Emperor Shin-Nong (3700 BC.) and named Chang-Pu, reference “one who prolongs life,” was praised as the best remedy for the stomach. In Persian records VII century BC. n. e., as well as in Sanskrit and Veda Indians (III century BC. n. e.) sweet flag is often mentioned as a medicinal herb.
The plant originated in Asia, and in lowland areas often grows in large groups as distinct wetland plant along with standing or running water, then in shallow ponds and wetlands.
Sweet flag is a perennial plant with highly branched rhizome which is on the bottom side densely overgrown with roots. From its front end are protruding many flat saber leaves of up to 1 m. With stalk that bears flower clip in the middle, flowers are with conical shape 5-8 cm long, yellowish-green color. The fruits are red, and the plant reproduces by vegetative means, that is, corms.
We could write a book about how sweet flag was transferred to Europe. The first extensive description and seamless picture for European area provided Mattioli (1570 g.). Soon after that sweet flag in folk medicine gets an important role in the city and the countryside.
Harvest the rhizome cleared of fine roots and parts of living and numb leaves, and well washed (Rhizoma Calama). Harvesting of the rhizome is usually done in late summer or autumn when the habitat where the plant grows have no more water. The rhizome is cut around 7cm long pieces and is dried in the shade, preferably threaded on a strong thread and hunged on the airy place. In larger quantities, the rhizome of calamus can also be dried artificially, where the temperature must not exceed 35°C, otherwise the drug will lose the content of essential oil. The rhizome is also processed in the manner that it is peeled off the outer bark (Rhizoma Calama Decorticat). You should also dry the waster after stripping because it contains a lot of essential oil. With the complete rhizome by a distillation you get essential oil (Oleum Calama). The upper surface of the rhizome is brownish-green, while inside the rhizome is white, spongy and soft. The rhizome of calamus smells aromatically, it is with bitter and aromatic taste, and in dry condition is considerably milder.
Rhizome contains a bitter substance akorin, resinous akoretin further essential oil and calamine-choline. During the drying process, a small amount of tannin is created.
In official and prescribed use is the rhizome of calamus, the oil extract (extractum Calama) and tincture (Tinctura Calama). The rhizome of calamus is primarily used to treat catarrh of the stomach, intestinal catarrh, long-lasting stomach weakness, lack of appetite, to the feeling of hunger that at the lowest intake of food turns into disgust for food, for the appearance of fermentation in the stomach and with the inertia of stomach muscles. Also, increases the secretion of urine, eliminates shrinkage gas and normalizes the secretion of bile and its leakage. By removing all these diseases, the final obstacles in metabolism are eliminated, boosts blood circulation and significantly improves anemia. The rhizome of calamus is better than drug Cortex Condurango derived from plant Marsdenia Condurango Rchb. And imported from East Africa or South America. For all of these diseases or difficulties is taken calamus tea, which is prepared in a way that one full teaspoon of finely cut rhizome is put on wetting cold for 8 hours, respectively, as hot tea infusion which is allowed to stand for 5 minutes, or is taken 20 to 30 drops of tincture or 3 to 5 g of the powder of the roots. All of these are taken three times daily.
If the dried root is chewed, it creates in smokers slight urge to vomit, and with repeated use can lead to giving up smoking. Raw rhizome juice, instilled in the eye, works on strengthening the eyes. Massaging the back with the essence of sweet flag, which is best to get it ready-available in pharmacies, strengthens children who tend to rachitis or scrofulosis.
It also promotes healing if the essence is put on sores, to open erosion and pus of bones. For this purpose, dip flax cloth in essence and then put it on the affected area.
In addition to the baths rhizome calamus works very well and soothing at intense and deranged nerves, and with it helps with insomnia, with nervous weaknesses as well as with women’s diseases. For this purpose place 500 g of dried rhizome that you cut rough in 5 liters of water, once is boiled and left covered for about fifteen minutes, after which the composition is drained, and poured into a warm bath. Be warned that the rhizome calamus in any form should not be used for diarrhea!
Tea of calamus in folk medicine is praised as a means of strengthening the memory. For difficulties in the work of the stomach and kidney recommended is tea mixture of equal parts of the rhizome calamus and mugwort. Take one teaspoon to 2 cups of tea which are served daily in sips. Tea decoction of rhizome calamus is a means for hair growth because it strengthens the skin on the head.
The juice of fresh sweet flag rhizome is mixed with egg white and smear it over the eyes, leave it for 5 minutes to work and then wash it; it strengthens the eyes.
The leaves of calamus hanging in the room are chasing away insects.
For easy removal of sexual disorders at an early stage in men, place in 1 liter of pure apple cider 20 g of rhizome calamus, this potion drink in sips for ten days for a quarter of a liter per day.
To difficulties and disadvantages of the stomach and flatulence use: calamus extract, 5 to 10 drops on the sugar cubes, or as needed calamus essential oil 3 to 8 drops on the sugar cubes 1 times a day or a tincture 5 to 10 drops on sugar optionally, or calamus wine 1 dl drink in sips as needed.
With frequently cold hands or feet, i.e., with poor blood circulation in the hands and feet warm bath prepared of calamus work very well for arms and legs, and incomplete blood circulation leads again in motion.
To frostbites and with other freezes many times baths of calamus helped.
For a toothache or looseness of gums chew daily in the evening piece of sweet flag rhizome or prepare a tea of calamus for many mouthwashes. In folk medicine tea of calamus is used prepared as a bath or compress with ulcers, abscesses, and boils that are like cancer.
Fresh juice from just excavated roots is dropped to injury from vaccination to heal faster.
Finally, folk medicine recommends tea of calamus 1-2 cups with nervous heart problems.
The application in the treatment of animals: sweet flag root powder is sprinkled in small quantities to food or is mixed into cattle powder and is given to domestic animals that are eating poorly. Young animals, which are weak, gets into food mixed powder of calamus to strengthen. Essence from calamus is used in the form of compresses to heal wounds and ulcers.