Vach, Acorus Calamus or sweet flag is a semi-aquatic, all season herb having a strong, sweet aroma. Traditionally used in China and India for its memory enhancing property, it belongs to the family Acoraceae and grows in Nagaland, Manipur in India, Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China and U.S.A. It’s has a citrus like smell and possesses a spicy and bitter taste and small flowers thus known as sweet flag.

The essential oil obtained from unpeeled rhizomes of Vach, which is pale yellow or brown in colour, is used as a muscle relaxant and sedative. The roots are used to treat stomach ailments, cognitive disorders, psycho-neurosis, enhance memory, epilepsy and also for pain related to rheumatism and arthritis.

Calamus contains alkaloids, triterpenes, flavanoids, lectins, gums, phenols, saponins, tannins, calamenone, phenylpropane derivatives, acorenone, β-asarone and dehydroxy isocalamendiol. It is believed that β-asarone is mainly responsible for therapeutic mechanism of the herb; it works with neurotransmitters of the brain.

The main properties of the Vach or Acorus calamus are: it works as a uterine tonic, psychedelic, nervine, diuretic, sedative, carminative, emmenagogue, antioxidant, anti-rheumatic, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-biotic, tranquilizer, analgesic, abortifacient and many more.

Benefits of Vach

  • Brain and Nerves: Vach is useful for the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria, insomnia, neurosis etc. Prevents hysteric and epileptic fits. Provide relief from nervous spasms, brain fog, fatigue, depression, difficulty in concentrating, inattention, poor memory. Vach also prevents headaches, migraine, nervous spasms, depression, psychological disorders and insomnia.
  •  Prevents neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
  •  Helps with alcohol induced liver problems.
  •  It has anti-tumour properties.
  •  Prevents high cholesterol, diabetes and other heart related ailments.
  •  Prevent pain and swelling (inflammation) in gout, rheumatism and arthritis
  •  Cures sore throat, cold, flu, asthma and chest congestion.
  •  Useful herb for amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea and provides relief from strong uterine contractions.
  •  Cures speech problems such as speech delay or stammering.
  •  Helps in obesity, indigestion and the detoxification process.
  • Stimulates metabolism and blood circulation.
  • Other uses of Vach: extracted essential oil is mainly used in perfumes and as a flavourin agent in candies and in some beverages. It is used as an insecticide and as snake repellent. Fermented roots of vach are also used to prepare traditional liquor or beer in some remote and tribal areas.

Vach is the best herb known for mental ailments having numerous other health benefits. It has enormous potential to treat and prevent neurological disorders. It also improves the quality and clarity of voice hence the name Vach in Sanskrit since it affects the vocal cords of the throat.

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