Acorus calamus herb health benefit for blood sugar and neurological conditions
September 1 2017

The roots and rhizomes of Acorus calamus have been used in the ancient systems of medicine for the treatment of various neurological disorders. Acorus calamus is a native of Central Asia and Eastern Europe and also has widespread use in the traditional system of medicine for gastrointestinal disorders such as colic pain and diarrhea. Acorus calamus, sweet flag, is a well-known medicinal plant that grows worldwide wildly along swamps, rivers, and lakes.

Chemical composition, essential oils
Nat Prod Commun. 2013. Chemical compositions, phytotoxicity, and biological activities of Acorus calamus essential oils from Nepal. Four essential oils from the leaf and rhizomes of Acorus calamus, collected from various parts of Nepal, were obtained. From a total of 61 peaks, 57 compounds were identified among the four essential oils accounting for 94%, 96%, 97%, and 94% of the oils, respectively. All of the essential oils were dominated by (Z)-asarone (78.1%-86.9%). The essential oils also contained (E)-asarone (1.9%-9.9%) and small amounts of gamma-asarone, (Z)-methyl isoeugenol, and linalool. Allelopathic testing of the rhizome oil showed inhibition of seed germination of Lactuca sativa and Lolium perenne. The rhizome essential oil demonstrated stronger seedling growth inhibition of L. perenne than of L. sativa, however. The rhizome oil also showed notable brine shrimp lethality, cytotoxic activity, and antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger.

Blood sugar and diabetes
Insulin releasing and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity of ethyl acetate fraction of Acorus calamus in vitro and in vivo.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2010. Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Biochemical Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
The radix of Acorus calamus is widely used in the therapy of diabetes in traditional folk medicine of America and Indonesia, and we previously reported the insulin sensitizing activity of the ethyl acetate fraction of AC (ACE). To investigate the insulin releasing and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity of ACE in vitro and in vivo.Insulin releasing and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory effects of different fractions from AC were detected in vitro using HIT-T15 cell line and alpha-glucosidase enzyme. Furthermore, effects of ACE orally on serum glucose were detected in fasted and glucose/amylum challenged normal mice. AC and ACE increased insulin secretion in HIT-T15 cells as gliclazide did. As in vivo results, ACE significantly decreased fasting serum glucose, and suppressed the increase of blood glucose levels after 2g/kg glucose loading in normal mice. Acorus calamus extract may have hypoglycemic effects via mechanisms of insulin releasing and alpha-glucosidase inhibition, and thus improves postprandial hyperglycemia and cardiovascular complications.

Blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
Insulin sensitizing activity of ethyl acetate fraction of Acorus calamus in vitro and in vivo.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2009; Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Biochemical Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University,, Hangzhou, China.
Acorus calamus have been used in the Indian and Chinese systems of medicine for hundreds of years. The radix of AC is widely used in the therapy of diabetes in traditional folk medicine of America and Indonesia. To investigate the insulin sensitizing activity and antidiabetic effects. Glucose consumption mediated by insulin was detected in L6 rat skeletal muscle cells. Diabetes and its complications related indexes were monitored after orally administrating to genetically obese diabetic mice daily for 3 weeks. Owing to the ability of insulin sensitizing, ACE has the potential to be useful for the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular complications without body weight gain.

Cholesterol benefit
Artichoke leaf extract may have benefit in terms of cholesterol management.

Acorus calamus for seizure disorder
Inhibitory role of Acorus calamus in ferric chloride-induced epileptogenesis in rat.
Human & Experimental Toxicology 2007. Hazra R, Ray K, Guha D. S. N. Pradhan Centre for Neurosciences, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.
 The present study focuses on the effect of Acorus calamus on the behavioral, electroencephalographic, and antioxidant changes in FeCl(3)-induced rat epileptogenesis. Data presented in this study clearly show that Acorus calamus possesses the ability for preventing the development of epileptogenesis by modulating antioxidant enzymes, which in turn exhibit the potentiality of Acorus calamus to be developed as an effective anti-epileptic drug.

Anti-inflammatory activity of acorus calamus herb
Anti-inflammatory activity of a water extract of Acorus calamus leaves on keratinocyte HaCaT cells.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2009. Department of Biotechnology, BK21 Graduate Program for Biotechnology, Chonnam National University, Buk-Gu, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of Acorus calamus leaf extract and to explore its mechanism of action on human keratinocyte HaCaT cells.  HaCaT cells treated with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid and peptidoglycan induced the inflammatory reactions. The anti-inflammatory activities of Acorus calamus leaf extract were investigated using RT-PCR, ELISA assay, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence staining. These results suggest that Acorus calamus leaf extract inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines through multiple mechanisms and may be a novel and effective anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of skin diseases.

Origin of name
Calamus is thought to be from Greek mythological figure Kalamos, the son of Maiandros, god of the Meander River.