Acorus calamus, Vacha, Sweet flag

(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

Introduction

Vacha is major herb of Ayurveda that is used to clear speech.

Ancient verse about Acorus calamus

In Ayurveda this herb has been used from years for its various medicinal values. In ayurvedic text this herb is used for clearing nasal congestion, improving memory, clearing speech and it is good anti-inflammatory and sedative in nature. It is very effective tonic for nervous system that is good for treating mental related issues. It is highly aromatic plant and used in the preparation of perfumes.

Plant Description

Acorus calamus is herbaceous perennial herb that contains a rhizome and it is long branched, smooth and pale green in colour. Plant possesses slight slender roots and leave scars of the plant are sponge like and are pale green in colour. Leaves are about 2-4ft long and 1 inch broad. Flowers are white in colour and are small and dense in structure. Fruit of this plant are pulpy that contains numerous seeds inside it. Roots are brownish in colour covered with small hairs and resembles to rhizome of ginger. This plant have very strong aroma especially leaves and roots are highly aromatic.

Habitat

It is basically native to India and Sri Lanka and in both countries it is widely distributed throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is found in marshy places in India and Burma. In India it is abundantly found in Naga Hills and Manipur.

Names

  • Latin Name - Acorus Calamus
  • English Name - Sweet Flag, Myrtle Grass, Sweet Sedge
  • Hindi Name - Vach, Vacha, Safedvacha
  • Punjabi Name - Bariboj
  • Telugu Name - Vasa
  • Kannada Name - Baje
  • Tamil Name - Vasambu
  • Malayalam Name - Bavambu
  • Kashmiri Name - Vachi
  • Gujarati Name - Godavaj
  • Nepali Name - Bojho
  • Arabic Name - Odulvaj
  • Persian Name - Agar, Vasa
  • Urdu Name - Vach

According to Bhavprakash nighantu

Ancient verse about Acorus calamus

According to above mentioned verse of Bhavprakash nighantu vacha, ugargandha, shadgrantha, golomi, shatparvika, shudarpatri, manglaya, jatila, ugra and lomsha are the various synonyms of herb vacha. It is pungent and astringent in taste with very strong aroma. It is very effective emetic and stimulant and used to treat constipation, abdominal distention, bloating and to reduce severe abdominal pain. It is used to pacify vata-kapha dosha and effective herb to treat epilepsy and intestinal worms.

Reference:-

The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary of Padamshri Prof Krishna chander chunnekar and edited by Dr. Ganga sahay pandey: edition 2010; page number- 42 and verse number- 102 and 103.

Uses of Vacha (Acorus calamus)

  • According to Bhavprakash nighantu vacha is very effective herb for treating epilepsy and body paralysis. Regular use of this herb helps to improve memory. To improve memory vacha is used with honey and milk. Three beneficial herbs vacha, shankhpushpi and brahmi are taken in same quantities and this churna is dipped in brahmi swarasa for three times. Then ½-1gm of churna with ghee and honey are used to treat epilepsy, speech related problems and very effective for improving memory. It is also beneficial for treating delirium along with other herbs.
  • It is also used as emetic herb. It is used to induce vomiting in sufferers of cough and asthma. To induce vomiting vacha is used with salt and lukewarm water. It helps to expel out extra phlegm without any side effects.
  • It is also very effective remedy for children to treat cold, inflammation of throat, cough and inflammation of respiratory tract in small children. A crushed piece of vacha is very effective remedy to treat dry cough.
  • Tannin present in this herb works wonderfully for diarrhoea and dysentery. It is a good appetizer and used to treat abdominal pain and abdominal distention. Roasted vacha is given to children to treat stone and worm infestation.
  • Vacha along with other herbs is also beneficial for treating malaria and typhoid.
  • It is also used as antidote for jaypaal (Croton tiglium) poisoning.
  • Smoke of vacha, bhang and ajwain are used to reduce severe pain in case of piles.
  • External application of vacha is very beneficial for treating paralysis, gout, joint pain, abdominal distention and severe abdominal pain. It is also good for treating cough and asthma.
  • It is also used to kill flies and termites.

Health Benefits of Vacha (Acorus calamus)

  • Vamak - vacha is very effective emetic herb that is used to induce vomiting.
  • Kapha nisarak - this herb helps to excrete out extra congestion and phlegm and good to treat other respiratory tract related problems.
  • Vatanuloman - vatadosha is responsible for causing abdominal distention, flatus and bloating this beneficial herb is used to pacify vatadosha in body and give relief from problems associated with digestive system.
  • Deepan-pachan - vacha is also used as appetizer and stimulant. It is good for both amashaya and pakwashaya as it helps to stimulate digestive fire and helps in the easy digestion and metabolism in body. It also aid with problem of indigestion.
  • Medhya - it is also used to boost our nervous system and to improve our memory. It is also good for treating other problems that are associated with nervous system.
  • Sugandhit - it is very aromatic herb that have very strong and pleasant aroma due this this property this herb is used to flavour and fumigate other herbal medicines.
  • Krimighna - it is also used to kill harmful micro-organisms in gut that are responsible for causing serious problems of digestive tract.

Medicinal Properties of Vacha (Acorus calamus)

  • Vacha is very effective expectorant that is very effective for respiratory system. It is beneficial herb for the sufferers of asthma, bronchitis and cough. Its helps to clear congestion in respiratory tract.
  • Vacha powder is very effective remedy for small infants as it helps to relieve severe stomach ache and bloating in children.
  • It is used as best tonic for nervous system that helps to stimulate neurons and works effectively to boost memory and to aid with other nervous system related problems. Chewing of vacha roots helps to reduce the inflammation of throat and helps to improve the speech.
  • Calmative and anti-inflammatory properties of this beneficial herbs helps to treat severe headache.
  • It is also a natural detoxifier that helps to remove harmful toxins and free radicals and protect our body from various infections caused by these waste products.
  • It also helps to treat digestive tract related problems. It is good for treating bloating, abdominal pain, distention and constipation.
  • Due to its anti-epileptic nature this herb is also beneficial for the sufferers of epilepsy. It is also good for treating neuralgia and paralysis.
  • It is also good for treating Arthritis; its external paste is used to reduce pain and inflammation of joints.
  • It is also very effective herb that is used to treat chronic fever.
  • It contains various chemical compounds that are good for hair. It helps to nourish hair and helps to prevent hair fall.
  • It’s moisturizing properties helps to nourish skin and make skin more glowing.
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