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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 1, 2018

Acorus calamus: a bio-reserve of medicinal values

  • Amrita Devi Khwairakpam , Yengkhom Devi Damayenti , Anindita Deka , Javadi Monisha , Nand Kishor Roy , Ganesan Padmavathi and Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara EMAIL logo


Many plants are found to possess reliable pharmacological properties and have started to attract the attention of researchers. One such holistic plant is Acorus calamus, commonly known as sweet flag, belonging to the rhizomatous family Acoraceae. The different parts of this plant, such as the leaves and rhizomes, are used traditionally in different medicinal preparations for the treatment of various ailments including arthritis, neuralgia, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, kidney and liver troubles, eczema, sinusitis, asthma, fevers, bronchitis, hair loss, and other disorders. Many reports have also appeared in mainstream scientific journals confirming its nutritional and medicinal properties. Biochemical analysis of the plant has revealed a large number of secondary metabolites that may be responsible for its rich medicinal properties. Basic scientific research has uncovered the mechanisms by which itexerts its therapeutic effects. Medicinal herbs such as A. calamus are quite promising in the recent therapeutic scenario, with a large number of people favouring remedies and health approaches that are free from the side effects often associated with synthetic chemicals. In this review, we try to summarise the ethno-medicinal uses, botanical descriptions, phytochemical constituents, and biological activity of the plant parts, as well as the molecular targets of A. calamus, which we hope will serve as a good base for further work on this plant.


This work was supported by BT/P/SG/ABK/01, IIT Guwahati, awarded to Dr. Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2016-9-1
Accepted: 2017-10-25
Published Online: 2018-2-1
Published in Print: 2018-3-28

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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