Botanical Name: Acorus calamus
Common Name: calamus, Sweet cane
Parts Used: Root (Rhizome)
Description: A perenniel plant, it matures to a tallness of 1m with a bedcover of 0.5m. The rootstalk is horizontal, cowering, tube-shaped, branching and up to 2m long, with a spicy aroma; the root is hard, branchless and flowering; the leaves are yellow green, vertical, pointed, with intact edges, radical and overlayer; the blossoms are light-green yellow, with a careened stalk and with a thickly thronged spike out; the fruit are greenish berries.
Active Compounds: Calamus (as various extracts of the rhizome) contains constituents such as alkaloids, flavonoids, gums, lectins, mucilage, phenols, quinone, saponins, sugars, tannins, and triterpenes (steroids). Calamenone (a tricyclic sesquiterpene) as well as calamendiol and isocalamendiol (both sesquiterpenes) also occur in the roots. The oil's constituents include acoramone and phenylpropane derivatives (α-asarone, β-asarone, γ-asarone, isoeugenol, and methyl ether. As a product of supercritical extraction from the rhizomes, the oil contained as major constituents acorenone (13.4%), iso-acorone (11.6%), Z-sesquilavandulol (11%), dehydroxy isocalamendiol (7.7%), and β-asarone (5.5%).
Medicinal Properties: Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiamebic.
Uses: In perfumes of the woody oriental type; in spice blends and flavors for alcoholic beverages and Medicinal & Aromatherapy use.