Acorus calamus L.
Acorus calamus var. americanus Raf., Acorus calamus var. angustatus Besser.
English : The Sweet Flag, Calamus, Hindi : Bach, Gora-bach, Sanskrit : Ugragandha, Ugra, Sadgrantha, Urdu : Waja-e-Turki, Punjabi : Varch, Ghodavaca, Gujrati : Ghoduvaj, Ghodvach, Kannada : Athibaje, Baje, Baje gida, Dagade, Kavana, Naaru baeru, Vasa, Malayalam : Vayambu, Marathi : Vaca, Vekhandas, Tamil : Vasambu, Pillai maruntho, Telugu : Vasa.
Vach is globally distributed in all European countries, except Spain. In India, it has been recorded throughout, in marshes, wild or cultivated, ascending to an altitude of 2200 m in the Himalayas.
Vaca is a simple or rarely with thumb-like branches at nodes; sub cylindrical to slightly flattened, somewhat tortuous or rarely straight, cut pieces of 1-5 cm long, and 0.5-1.5 cm thick; upper side marked with alternately arranged, large, broadly, triangular, transverse leaf scars which almost encircle the rhizome; at nodes leaf sheath mostly having an appearence present; lower side shows elevated tubercular spots of root scars; light-brown with reddish-tinge to pinkish externally, buff coloured intemally; fracture short; odour aromatic; taste pungent and bitter.
Main chemical constituents of Vaca are Volatile Oil ( Asamyl alcohol, Eugenol and α & β Asarone), Glucoside (Acorin), Starch and Tannin. It is also contains Acorenone, Acolamone, Acoragermacrone, Acoramone, Acorone, Cis- & trans- asarone, B-& ofasarone, Azulena, Cadalene, Calamenone, Calamenene, Calamenol, Calamone, calamenone, Calamenenene, calarene, B- gurjune, Camphene, Telekin, Preisocalamendiol, Acoric acid, Calamen, Diol, Calamenone etc.
Rasa : Katu, Tikta, Guna : Laghu, Tiksna, Vipaka : Katu, Virya : Usna, Karma : Dipani, Krmihara, Kanthya, Kaphahara, Medhya, Mala Mutravisodhani, Vamak, Vatahara,
Apasmara, Adhmana, Kasa, Karna Srava, Smrti daurbalya, Sula, Svasa, Unmada, Vibandha.
Vach rhizome is used to treat diarrhoea, congestion, epilepsy, oedema, colds, asthma, Sexual disorders, scrotal enlargement, rejuvenation, skin diseases, headache/migraine, amenorrhea, alopecia, wound, eye diseases, colic, piles, indigestion, inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), intestinal gas, flatulence, acid gastritis, anorexia, heart diseases, rat-poisoning, diseases of mouth, sore throat. It is used as a calming medicine (sedative), to induce sweating, and to treat rheumatoid arthritis and stroke. It is also used to remove the smell of tobacco, to increase their sense of well-being, and as a psychoactive agent for changes in thought, perception, and mood.