Calamus essential oil, acorus calamus, is highly esteemed as an aromatic stimulant and tonic, often used for nervous complaints, vertigo, headaches, and dysentery. A fluid extract is an official preparation in the United States and some other Pharmacopceias, but it is not now official in the British Pharmacopceia, though it is much used in herbal medicine as an aromatic bitter. It also acts as a carminative, removing the discomfort caused by flatulence and checking the growth of the bacteria which give rise to this problem. It has been often used to increase the appetite and benefit digestion, given as a fluid extract, infusion or tincture. The tincture is, obtained by macerating the finely-cut rhizome in alcohol for seven days and filtering, is used as a stomachic and flavouring agent. The essential is used as an addition to, and included in inhalations blends.
Calamus is a red-like aquatic plant growing to about 1m high, with sword-shaped leaves and small greenish-yellow flowers. it grows on the margins of lakes and streams with a long-branched rhizome immersed in the mud. Its erect, sword-shaped leaves bear considerable resemblance to those of the Yellow Flag, hence its equally common popular name of 'Sweet Flag,' though it is not related botanically to the Iris. All parts of the plant have a peculiar, agreeable fragrance. Calamus was largely grown for its rhizomes in the East and the Indian rhizomes were imported extensively long after it was common in Europe. The Indian rhizome is said to have a stronger and more agreeable flavor than that obtained in Europe or the United States.
Calamus essential oil, acorus calamus, blends well with the following essential oils: cananga, cinnamon, labdanum, olibanum, oregano, patchouli, cedar wood, amyris, spice and other oriental bases.
Calamus oil cautions - Oral toxin, the essential is reported to have carcinogenic properties.
Calamus essential oil properties - Anticonvulsant, antiseptic, bactericidal, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypotensive, insecticide, spasmolytic, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vermifuge.