The sharp-edged calamus is a perennial semi-aquatic plant that grows in marshes and on muddy banks of streams. Although experts usually say the plant may have been used in herbal medicine as long as 4,000 years ago, the first mention of the plant as a medicine is in the Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica, a Chinese medical text dating even earlier, to about 2837 BCE.
The traditional use of calamus was to "open the orifices" to allow the inner spirit to reach out to the world. Chinese physicians of antiquity reported that calamus "vaporized phlegm," but the word they used refers to not just physical phlegm but also the "residues" of difficult emotions. Calamus was also employed to treat winter-time joint pain, wounds, and sores.
In the United States and Canada, calamus was used to make calamine lotion, used to relieve skin inflammation of all origins.
Bitters, asarone, calamene and related chemicals, eugenol and related chemicals.
The rhizome, dried and chopped or ground.
Traditionally used as a tea. The varieties of calamus available in the United States and Canada are best used as bath additives, gargles, lotions, or washes, unless they are used in combination with other herbs in Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine. In Chinese medicine, calamus is used with platycodon to treat laryngitis, turmeric to treat deafness, magnolia to treat any kind of chest congestion, and mixed with lychii fruit and chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be soled for use as an eyewash.
Seldom found as a capsule or extract.
For educational purposes only
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This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.