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 Acorus calamus (vacha) Medicinal uses, Morphology, Images,Side effects, Pharmacology


Botanical Name: Acorus calamus Linn.

Family: Araceae

 

 Introduction:

Vacha  improves the intelligence and speech of an individual. So it given to the babies. (Rajonyadi churna indicates that ‘sarwa rogeshu baleshu’).

Scientific classification: Blue flags belong to the family Iridaceae and are classified in the genus Iris. The sweet flag belongs to the family Araceae and is classified as Acorus calamus. The cattail flag belongs to the family Typhaceae and is classified as Typha latifolia.

 

 

Names in different Indian languages

 

English

Sweet Flag, Calamus.

Hindi

Bacc, gorbacc

Kannada

Baji

Malayalam

Vayambu

Sanskrit

Vaca, ugragandha

Tamil

Vasampu

Telugu

vasa

Unani

Waj-e-Turki, Waj

Folk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Ugraa, Golomi, Shadgranthaa,

Shataparvaa, Tikshnagandhaa,

Kshudra-patra, Maangalyaa, Ghorbach

 

Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata

 

Charaka

Lekhaniya, Arsoghna, Trptighna, Asthapanopaga, sirovirecana,Sañinãsthapana,sitaprasamana

Susrutha

Pippalyädi, Mustãdi, Vacãdi

Vagbhata

Mustãdi, Vacãdi, Vatsakãdi, Haridradi, Chardana, Nirühana

 

          
        

  

 

Varieties & adulterants - (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) 

  1. Vacha — A. calamus Linn.
  2. Pãraika vachã (Haimavati) I. germanica Linn.
  3. Kulanjana (Mahabhari vacá) — Alpinia galanga WiNd.
  4. Sthulagranthi (Mahãbhäri) — Zingiber zerumbet Rosc. ex. Smith
  5. Dvipãntara vachã — Smilax china Linn..
  6. Paris polyphylla [CV]
  7. Inula racemosa [AD]
  8. Iris germanica [AD]
  9. I. versiolor [CV]
  10. I. nepalensis [CV]
  11. I. ensata [CV]
  12. I. kumaonensis [CV]

 

 Acorus gramineus

 

 

 


Morphology

An aromatic marsh herb, with creeping root-stock.

Leaves— distichous,  base equitant. Peduncle leaf-like.

Flowers— green, densely crowded on a cylindric, sessile ,spadix. Sepals, 6;arbicuiar.

Fruits—few seeded berries.

Seeds— oblong

 


Distribution & Habitat

Cultivated in wet places in India

 

 

Chemical constituents:

 Alpha-asarone , acorine, eugenol, asarone, caffeine and little astringent matter. Acolamane, acorenone, acoramone, acorone, cis-& trans-asarone, beta  asarone azulene, cadalene, calacone, calacorene, calamene, calamenol, calamone, calamenone, calamenene, calarene, beta- gurjunene, camphene, eugenol, relekin, preisocalamendiol, acoric acid, calamen diol, calamenone

 

Properties:

Rasa Katu, Tikta

Guna Laghu, Tiksna

Virya Usna

Vipãka Katu

Karma Kapha-vatahara, Lekhaniya, Medhya

 

Srotogamitva:

Dosha : Vataghna. kaphaghna.

Dhafu Majja (brain tonic).

Mala : Purisha (anthelmintic), mutra.

Manovaha srotas : Epilepsy, mania.

Organs : Stomach, mouth, heart,

 

 Indication:

Unmãda, Apasmra, Jvara.

 

Part used:

  Rhizome

 

Dosage: 

Powder 2-4 g

 

 

Internal uses:

 

External uses Being analgesic and anti-inflammatory. its paste is useful in rheumatoid arthritis. osteoarthritis and hemiplegia. Its juice is used as ear drops for earache and tinnitus. The smoke is effective in painful piles. Pradhaman nasya of vacha is useful in heaviness of head, headache. Lassitude, lethargy and excessive sleep. Vacha is also effective as an antiseptic on wounds. It is widely used as an antiseptic in animals for application on wounds.


Internal uses


Nervous system
: It is very useful in diseases of the nervous system and hence it is a well known medicine for brain since ages. It is highly effective in mania, epilepsy and other brain disorders. Vacha alleviates the excessive kapha accumulated in the manovaha srotas which causes various psychological disorders. It is helpful in clearing the passage of air in rhinitis. It reduces convulsions and pain It's useful in spasmodic contraction of body and paralysis, It reduces bodily kapha and mental  dosha and restores consciousness, It is the best medicine for children having lower intellectual level, Vacha powder in small doses with honey is given daily to such children so that their body strength as well as intellectual level improves.

 

 

 
Digestive system : It acts as an appetizer and anti despotic due to its katu  and ushna veerya. Vacha reduces abdominal colic by acting on worms caused by kapha. It is the most suitable drug for inducing emesis for removal of kapha. Vacha can be used in both, vaman and asthapan. Its emetic property is very useful in indigestion, anorexia, constipation, piles and flatulence, It is a digestive and dears the mouth.


Circulatory system Vacha is used in heart diseases as it controls the heart rate.

 

 

 

Respiratory system : Since it is useful in alleviating kapha and vata of the respiratory tract, it is used extensively in cough, asthma, pharyngitis and laryngitis. In these diseases, keeping a piece of vacha in the mouth as a lozenge gives quick relief. When emesis is required in asthma caused by obstruction of kapha, 4 to 8 g. of fresh vacha powder + ‘10 g, of rock salt is given along with warm water. The patient is asked to drink 1oz. of warm water over it. This causes removal of kapha through emesis and the dyspnoea is reduced.


Urinary system
: Vacha is useful in dysuria caused by kapha: It is also useful as a lithottypsic.

Reproductive system : If is an oxytocic. A mixture of saffron, long pepper and vacha is used In painful labour, Vacha is also used in dysmenorrhoea. The most important action of vacha is to clear the obstruction caused by kapha. Vacha + saffron + long pepper should be used as a galactagogue in post partum conditions.

 
Skin Since vacha is a diaphoretic, medogami and tvachagami, it is used internally as well as externally in many skin diseases. A formulation called vachadi siddha taila is very useful in chronic skin diseases due to its stimulant action on the skin.

 

 

 
Satmikaran Since it has a curetting action, it reduces obesity by alleviating kapha dosha and meda dhatu. Regular use of vacha in small does acts as a rasayan on kapha and meda. It has been successfully, used since ages on disorders of speech.

 

 

Temperature : Since it is a diaphoretic. it is useful in fever caused by obstruction of sweat. It is also useful in alleviating symptoms like drowsiness and delirium associated with high fever, Vacha alone is an extremely useful medicine for teething problems in children.

 

Important Yogas  or  Formations:

   Saraswat churna, Medhya rasayan., rajanyadi churna

Vacãdi curna, Vacãdi ghrta, Bãla cãturbhadra cürna, Vacãvaleha           

              

 

 

Therapeutic Uses:

(1) Amlapitta— Vacã powder is taken with honey and jaggery (G.N.)

(2) Apasmära— Vacä powder (10 g) should be taken with honey and ghee for three days and milk is used in the diet (V.S.).

(3) kapha & Vriddhi-. The paste of Vacã  Sarsapa may be applied locally (V.M. &C.D.).

 

 

Descriptions on  Ayurveda books / Nighandu:

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