More about Calamus
Calamus is a perennial plant that grows in marshy areas and on the edge of water. The green stems it produces can grow up to one and a half metres. Halfway through each stem there is a cylindrical flower stem with many small yellow-brown flowers.
Calamus occurs in different parts of the world. It has its origins in India and Central Asia, but also in the southern part of Siberia, Japan, China, Europe and North America.
The name kalamus (calamus) comes from the Greek calamos, which means 'reed'.
Around calamus hangs a great haze of mystery. Evidence has been found that Indians from northern Canada chewed the rhizome as a hallucinogen. They took calamus in large doses for strong visual effects. What exactly is the mechanism behind this is not known. It could be due to the substances a-asorone and b-asonrone, but the chemical composition of the plant is still insufficiently known.
Traditional medicine India
In India there is a long history of the use of calamus. According to Sir Whitelaw Ainslie, the plant has such a high reputation there in solving digestive problems in children that a pharmacy must open even at night when asked for calamus.
The Hindus consider calamus as a stimulant in low doses, in high doses it is used for various nerve disorders. The effects of the root were described as a tonic, which would have an effect in the long term. It can be combined with other stimulating tonics, for example hydrocotyle.
Calamus is highly scented and contains essential oil, resin, potassium, amylaceous substances, wood fibre and water.
Mix with a drink or yoghurt.