A perennial herb known as sweet flag, also called acorus calamus, is extremely beneficial medically. It is a component of all Indian medical systems. It is a crucial component of the majority of Ayurvedic medications. Many of the great works of Greek classic literature on medicine make this claim. Greek doctors including Theophrastus and Dioscorides, as well as Hippocrates, known as the "Father of Medical Science," have discussed the applications of sweet flag.
Sweet flag, also known as vacha, is a monocotyledonous perennial plant. It is observed to grow close to water sources like rivers and streams. These plants have long, narrow leaves that can get up to two to four feet long. The vacha plant has tiny, pale blooms. This plant's roots and leaves give off a lovely perfume, and the greater the aroma, the higher the quality of the plant. The fruits are pulpy and loaded with seeds. Acorus Calamus is the vacha's botanical name.
Nutritional value of sweet flag:
Sweet flag plants contain a wealth of beneficial compounds. Beta-asarone, beta-gurjunene, (Z)-asarone, aristolene, sequesterpenes-norsequesterpine calamusin, dfv (E)-asarone, and beta-daucosterol are all present in the roots of the Sweet Flag plant.
Sweet flag is a marginal aquatic perennial herb that spreads and is semi-evergreen, deciduous, hairless, and grows to a height of 30–100 cm (12–39 in). The plant grows in marshes, ditches, riverbanks, ponds, small lakes, swamps, and wetlands where there are moist soils and shallow water. Typically, the plant prefers to thrive in alluvial, clayey, and sandy loam soils. Long, creeping roots from the plant extend barely below the soil's surface. Aromatic rhizome is cylindrical, up to 2.5 cm thick, purplish-brown to light brown on the outside and white on the inside. It is creeping and heavily branched. The sweet flag's fragrant leaves and rhizomes have long been employed in traditional medicine, and the dried, powdered rhizome's spicy flavour makes it a suitable substitute for ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. When injured, the foliage and rhizomes release a delicious fragrance, thus the common name.
Sweet Flag’s Leaves
The edges of the thick, upright leaves are crimped, although they otherwise resemble iris in appearance. A. calamus leaves have a single, noticeable midvein, two sides with slightly elevated secondary veins, and numerous, fine tertiary veins. Due of this, it may be easily distinguished from Acorus americanus. The average width of a leaf is 1 cm, ranging from 0.7 to 1.7 cm. The leaves of a calamus are free, alternating, green, and wavy, however they are a little shorter than the vegetative leaves. 1-3 are seeded, with a testa that is slender, cylindrical, and green in colour.
Sweet Flag’s Flower
This plant very rarely produces flowers, but when it does, they are typically 3- 8 cm long, cylindrical in shape, greenish brown in colour, and covered in a profusion of spherical spikes. Small, sessile, and closely clustered, with a spadix about 5–10 cm, are the blooms. When it expands, the spadix can grow to a length of 4.9 to 8.9 cm. Depending on the latitude, this plant blooms from early to late summer. It grows wild in marshy areas up to 2000 metres above sea level in the Himalayas, Manipur, the Naga Hills, and some regions of south India.
Sweet Flag’s Fruits
The fruit is a mucus-filled berry that ripens into the water and disperses there when it does. Few seeds are present in the fruits. In July, there is flowering and fruiting. It produces few fruits, even in Asia, and spreads mostly by the growth of its rhizome, which forms colonies.
Health benefits of sweet flag:
The top health advantages of Sweet Flag or Vacha powder are listed below.
- Sweet flag treats stomach disorder
There are many health advantages to maintaining a healthy stomach. It works effectively to treat newborn dyspepsia and is a great anti-flatulent. To feed the infants, vacha powder and milk can be combined. Additionally, it is possible to create teething bracelets that kids can bite and chew on. This will calm them down and assist you by giving the infant healthy anti-bacterial and anti-flatulent characteristics. Consume sweet flag to ward off colitis and gastrointestinal problems.
- Sweet Flag guards against head lice
Vacha oil is a natural insecticide, and because of this, it works well to get rid of lice. Applying it to the scalp has no negative effects because it is mild and safe for external usage. The most effective natural remedy to get rid of lice is the sweet flag. It is a good alternative for you because it has no negative effects.
- Sweet Flag is beneficial for speech and throat issues
Vacha is an excellent cold remedy. It cures sore throat and cough. These ailments can be relieved by sucking on a little piece of vacha. This miracle plant can also aid children with speech delays because it encourages speech and communication at the appropriate age.
- Sweet Flag combats Epilepsy, Depression, and Boosting Memory
Vacha is renowned for reducing anxiety and enhancing memory. It acts like a nerve tonic and aids in relaxation as well as the release of stress and despair. It has also been observed that pounded vacha root soaked in boiling hot water can benefit those who have epilepsy; as a result, it can be utilised as a support system for such situations.
- Sweet Flag prevents pain, inflammation, and infection
Vacha oil application aids in preventing skin infections. It also relieves pain and swelling brought on by arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. These disorders have the potential to become very severe, impair mobility, and alter lifestyle. This necessitates taking all preventative and curative measures that are available. When breathed, vacha also soothes the mind and relieves headaches.
- Sweet Flag is Helpful During Childbirth
Strong uterine contractions brought on by vacha aid in difficult or protracted labour. As the mother wears out or refuses to give birth, childbirth frequently progresses to a critical stage. Vasha powder aids in such circumstances, enabling the mother to give birth to the kid with ease. Dysmenorrhea can be effectively treated with this herb as well.
How to Use a Sweet Flag (Vacha)?
In order to create a natural binder, vacha is employed. It can be obtained by burning a piece of vacha churna and then rubbing it against a stone made of sandalwood. This is a decent substitute for the artificial ones. It is secure and suitable for use on kids.
Another usage for Sweet Flag (Vacha) is as a pesticide. They are safe to use around young children and help repel insects and cockroaches. In order to employ the vacha herb to repel insects, one must combine the herb's powder with water and sprinkle in the desired locations.