CALAMUS

OTHER NAME(S):

Acore Calame, Acore Odorant, Acore Olorant, Acore Roseau, Acorus americanus, Acorus asiaticus, Acorus calamus, Acorus gramineus, Acorus Roseau, Acorus tatarinowii, Acorus terrestris, Aruna, Bach, Bajai, Baje, Belle-Angélique, Bhutanashini, Cálamo, Calamo Aromatic, Calamus Root, Cinnamon Sedge, Flag Root, Flagroot, Gladdon, Golomi, Grass-Leaf Sweetflag, Grass Myrtle, Ikshuparni, Jatila, Kalmoeswortel, Kalmus, Lomasha, Myrtle Flag, Myrtle Sedge, Sadgrantha, Shadgrandha, Shatvarvika, Shi Chang Pu, Sweet Calomel, Sweet Calamus, Sweet Cane, Sweet Cinnamon, Sweet Flag, Sweet Grass, Sweet Myrtle, Sweet Root, Sweet Rush, Sweet Sedge, Ugragandha, Vach, Vacha, Vachha, Vadaja, Vaj, Vasa, Vash, Vashambu, Vayambu, Vayambur, Vekhand, Waan-Nam.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Calamus is a plant. The root (rhizome) is used to make medicine.

Despite safety concerns, calamus is commonly used by mouth for different stomach problems, including ulcers, inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), diarrhea, intestinal gas (flatulence), upset stomach, and many more.

Some people chew calamus to remove the smell of tobacco. Calamus is also applied to the skin and ears for different conditions.

Overall, there is limited scientific research to support any of these uses.

In foods, calamus is used as a spice.

How does it work?

It is thought that chemicals in calamus cause muscle relaxation and sleepiness. These chemicals might also reduce swelling, kill cancer cells, and kill insects.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Ulcers.
  • Gas.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Colic.
  • Increasing appetite.
  • Arthritis.
  • Headache.
  • Memory problems.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Earache.
  • Strokes.
  • Skin disorders.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of calamus for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Calamus is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. The FDA prohibits calamus use in food products because three of the four species of calamus found in the world contain a cancer–causing chemical called beta-asarone. However, the amount of beta-asarone can vary widely among species from 0% to 96%, so some products may be safer than others. The most common side effect to calamus is vomiting although fast heart rate and slowed intestinal movements have also been reported.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Calamus is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Avoid use.

Heart conditions: Calamus might lower blood pressure and heart rate. In theory, large amounts of calamus might worsen heart problems in some people with heart conditions.

Low blood pressure: Calamus might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking calamus might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Calamus can affect the central nervous system. It might cause too much sleepiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. If you are using calamus despite safety concerns, stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Medications for depression (MAOIs) interacts with CALAMUS

    Calamus contains a chemical that affects the body. This chemical might increase the side effects of some medications used for depression.<nb>Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with CALAMUS

    Calamus might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking calamus along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.<nb>Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Minor Interaction

Be watchful with this combination

!
  • Antacids interacts with CALAMUS

    Antacids are used to decrease stomach acid. Calamus may increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, calamus might decrease the effectiveness of antacids.<nb>Some antacids include calcium carbonate (Tums, others), dihydroxyaluminum sodium carbonate (Rolaids, others), magaldrate (Riopan), magnesium sulfate (Bilagog), aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel), and others.

  • Medications that decrease stomach acid (H2-Blockers) interacts with CALAMUS

    Calamus might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, calamus might decrease the effectiveness of some medications that decrease stomach acid, called H2-Blockers.<nb>Some medications that decrease stomach acid include cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid).

  • Medications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors) interacts with CALAMUS

    Calamus might increase stomach acid. By increasing stomach acid, calamus might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease stomach acid, called proton pump inhibitors.<nb>Some medications that decrease stomach acid include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium).

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of calamus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for calamus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

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More Resources for CALAMUS

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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