Popular names: calamus marsh, calamus, Tatar potion, flat cake, javr, irny root, ir, kasatnik, tatarnik, squeaker.
AIR AIR (Acorus calamus L.)Coastal-aquatic perennial herbaceous plant of the aroid family (Araceae), up to 1 m or more in height. Rhizomes creeping, horizontal, branched, up to 3 cm in diameter, up to 1.5 m long, brownish or greenish-yellow on the outside, with numerous white, cord-like roots below, reaching a length of 50 cm, on top with large semilunar leaf traces. The rhizomes are located almost at the soil plane, less often at a depth of up to 10 cm. The leaves are basal, up to 3 cm wide, bright green, fleshy, xiphoid, pointed, located on the tops and lateral branches of the rhizomes. Leaves and rhizomes have a characteristic fragrant smell and bitter taste. Small roots have no smell. Flowering stems in small quantities, up to 80 cm high, flattened, having a groove on one side and a sharp rib on the other. Inflorescence – cylindrical, at the top, a slightly narrowed cob, 4-12 cm long and 1-2 cm thick, located in the upper part of the flowering stem. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, bisexual, densely crowded in an ear deviated to the side. Ovary superior, three-celled. The fruit is a leathery, oblong, multi-seeded red berry. It blooms from May to July. Propagated both by seeds and vegetatively, by the growth of rhizomes. Distributed in the European part of the CIS, Central Asia, Siberia and the Far East. Due to the drainage of wetlands, natural thickets are greatly reduced. It grows along the banks of slowly flowing rivers, streams, lakes, ditches, along quiet backwaters, river oxbows, rarely forms continuous thickets, pure or mixed with horsetails and sedges. The generic name comes from the Greek akoros – a plant with a creeping rhizome. The specific definition is derived from the Greek kalamos – reeds, reeds, due to the similarity with the latter. Calamus is native to China and India. From the East, it came in dried form to Ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates also wrote about the wonderful medicines from the hot root (calamus). In the Middle Ages, the fragrant root was brought through Turkey to Europe only in a candied form as an oriental sweet, and the Turks carefully kept the secret of this “incense cane”. Nevertheless, in 1574, the Austrian ambassador to Turkey managed to send the botanist Clausius, director of the Vienna Botanical Garden, a parcel with fragrant calamus rhizomes suitable for planting. It turned out that for Eastern Europe this is not an exotic plant at all, but a traditional one, known as “Tatar grass” or Tatar potion. It is believed that calamus was brought to Europe in the 13th century, during the Tatar-Mongol invasion. The Tatars considered calamus to be a plant that purifies water, and were convinced that where it grows, you can drink it without any risk to health. To do this, the Tatar horsemen carried pieces of living rhizomes with them and threw them into all the water bodies they met on the way. The rhizomes quickly took root, and soon the banks of the reservoirs were overgrown with a continuous belt of a fragrant plant. Therefore, as early as the 13th century, calamus was well known in Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland. The healing properties of calamus were known to ancient Indian healers long before our era. The plant was described in his writings by the scientist and physician of Ancient Rome Pliny the Elder. This plant was also used by Dioscorides from Ancient Greece, who recommended using it for diseases of the liver, spleen, respiratory tract, as well as a diuretic and tonic. Avicenna recommended it as a cleanser, for diseases of the stomach, liver, as a diuretic. In his opinion, calamus “thinns the thickening of the cornea and helps with thorns, but its squeezed juice is especially suitable in both cases.” In the Middle Ages, calamus was considered an excellent disinfectant. It was chewed for prophylaxis during epidemics of typhus, cholera, influenza, festering ulcers and wounds were sprinkled with calamus powder. The fragrant plant was used in rituals (in relation to our time), on the feast of the Trinity, floors and even yards were covered with its leaves. In the Middle Ages, calamus was considered an excellent disinfectant. It was chewed for prophylaxis during epidemics of typhus, cholera, influenza, festering ulcers and wounds were sprinkled with calamus powder. The fragrant plant was used in rituals (in relation to our time), on the feast of the Trinity, floors and even yards were covered with its leaves. In the Middle Ages, calamus was considered an excellent disinfectant. It was chewed for prophylaxis during epidemics of typhus, cholera, influenza, festering ulcers and wounds were sprinkled with calamus powder. The fragrant plant was used in rituals (in relation to our time), on the feast of the Trinity, floors and even yards were covered with its leaves.
COLLECTION AND DRYING OF RAW MATERIALS
For medicinal purposes, calamus rhizomes are used, which are harvested in autumn and early winter, when the water level drops. The collected rhizomes are washed in cold water, the roots and leaves are cut off; long rhizomes are cut into pieces 15-20 cm long, thick ones are split lengthwise and air-dried. You can also use heat drying, but at a temperature not higher than 25-30 ° C, since the essential oil contained in the rhizomes evaporates at a higher temperature. Well-dried pieces of rhizomes should not bend, but break. On a break they have a whitish-pink color (occasionally with a yellow or greenish tinge). The shelf life of raw materials is 2-3 years. The taste of raw materials is spicy-bitter, the smell is fragrant. Repeated harvesting at the same place can be carried out no earlier than after 10 years. The rhizomes of the iris iris (Iris pseudacorus L.) that look like calamus can be erroneously harvested. However, in iris, unlike calamus, the flowers are large, yellow, and the rhizomes and leaves are odorless.
The substances contained in the rhizomes of the plant, mainly essential oil and the bitter glycoside acorin, acting on the endings of taste buds, increase appetite, improve digestion, and reflexively increase the secretion of gastric juice. Calamus tones the heart, strengthens the blood vessels of the brain and thereby improves memory, enhances vision. It has been experimentally proven that calamus products have some antispasmodic effect and, due to the content of terpenoids (proazulene, azaron) in the rhizomes of the plant, have bacteriostatic, fungistic and anti-inflammatory properties. Galenic forms of calamus have a beneficial effect on the tone of the gallbladder, increase bile secretion and diuresis. There is evidence of a calming effect of the rhizomes of the plant and its weak analgesic effect.
APPLICATIONS IN MEDICINE
Rhizomes. Infusion, tincture (with other plants), powder are used as a bitter-spicy agent that increases appetite and improves digestion, as well as a carminative, gastric and disinfectant. The powder is an integral part of the Vikalin and Vikair products, which are used to treat chronic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers. Essential oil is an integral part of the Enatin product, used for gallstone and kidney stone diseases. In folk medicine, powder from rhizomes is used for heartburn, scurvy, for the healing of festering wounds, ulcers, for joint pain, dropsy, colds (sputum suffocation), inflammation of the renal pelvis, during epidemics as a prophylactic against cholera and typhoid. They chew the rhizome for heartburn, toothache, for the prevention of influenza, strengthen gums, protect teeth from decay. When chewing rhizomes, the gag reflex increases, which was previously used by those who wanted to get rid of the habit of smoking. Decoction, tincture – for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, bladder, nervous system, accompanied by convulsions; as an antiseptic and expectorant for abscesses and pneumonia; with rheumatism, sore joints are rubbed; in women’s diseases, douching with a decoction or sitz baths is done. They wash their hair with a decoction of rhizomes to strengthen the hair, or, in a mixture with the rhizome of the burdock and “cones” of hops, they are used for hair loss, they also drink with lichen and wash the affected areas. Infusion, decoction – with fever (instead of cinchona bark), flu. A decoction with milk is given to children with epilepsy. Juice – as a means of improving vision and memory. In Korean medicine – as a tonic and aromatic gastric remedy, also for dystonia, memory loss, visual impairment, chronic gastritis, abdominal pain, bloating, loss of appetite, indigestion, cardioneurosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and in the form of a powder – for furunculosis and abrasions. In Chinese medicine – for epilepsy, rheumatism, as an antipyretic and bactericidal for cholera; to improve and sharpen hearing. In Indian – as a bactericidal agent that kills tubercle bacilli. In Tibetan – as an effective remedy for ulcers in the throat and gastroenteritis. In Bulgarian folk medicine – for anemia, as a means of regulating menstruation, for diseases of the kidneys, liver and gallbladder; calamus oil – for hysteria and stomach cramps.
DOSAGE FORMS, METHOD OF APPLICATION AND DOSES
Infusion of rhizomes of calamus (Infusum rhizoma Acori Calami): 10 g (2 tablespoons) of the raw material is placed in an enamel bowl, poured into 200 ml of hot boiled water, covered with a lid and heated in boiling water (in a water bath) for 15 minutes, cooled at room temperature for for 45 minutes, filter, the remaining raw material is squeezed out. The volume of the resulting infusion is adjusted with boiled water to 200 ml. The prepared infusion is stored in a cool place for no more than 2 days. Take in the form of heat 1/4 cup 3-4 times every day 30 minutes before meals. Tincture of calamus rhizomes (Tinctura rhizoma Acori Calami). The tincture is prepared with 40% alcohol (1:5). The composition of the tincture – a transparent liquid of a brownish-yellow color, fragrant, bitter-spicy taste – includes centaury grass, gentian (4 parts each), calamus rhizomes (2 parts), three-leaf watch leaves, wormwood grass, mandarin peels (1 part each), 40% alcohol (up to 65 parts). Take a tincture of 20 drops 2 times every day before meals. A decoction of calamus rhizomes (Decoctum rhizoma Acori Calami) is prepared at the rate of 10 g of rhizomes per 200 ml of water. Calamus rhizome (Rhizoma Calami) is available in packs of 100 g. Store in a cool, dry place .Tablets “Vikalin” (Tabulettae Vicalinum) contain bismuth nitrate basic 0.35 g, magnesium carbonate basic 0.4 g, sodium bicarbonate 0.2 g, powder of calamus rhizomes and buckthorn bark 0.025 g each, rutin and kellin 0.005 g each. Vikalin has astringent, anti-acid and moderately laxative effect. The presence of rutin allows us to count on some anti-inflammatory effect, and Kellin – on an antispasmodic effect. The product is used for peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum and hyperacid gastritis. Assign inside 1-2 tablets 3 times every day after eating with 1/2 cup of warm water (it is better to crush the tablets). The course of treatment traditionally lasts 1-3 months; after a monthly break, the course is repeated. During treatment, you will need to follow a diet. Vicalin tablets traditionally do not cause side effects, sometimes there is an increase in stool, which stops when the dose is reduced. Feces while taking the tablets becomes dark green or black. Tablets “Roter” (Tabulettae Roter) made in Holland. The composition and action are similar to the product “Vikalin”. Tablets “Vikair” (Tabulettae Vicairum) contain bismuth nitrate basic 0.35 g, magnesium carbonate basic 0.4 g, sodium bicarbonate 0.2 g, powder of calamus rhizomes and buckthorn (finely crushed ) at 0.025 g. Assign after eating (after 1-1, 5 h) 3 times every day. Wash down with a small amount (1/4 cup) of water. The tablets are well tolerated, do not cause side effects. Calamus oil (Oleum Calami) is part of the complex product “Olimetin” – see below.Peppermint .♦ Calamus root powder is taken in 0.2-0.3 g (no more). CONTRAINDICATIONS AND POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Calamus dosage forms should not be used during pregnancy.
APPLICATIONS IN OTHER FIELDS
Fragrant calamus leaves cover the floors, decorate the walls of the premises. In Poland, the leaves are added to dough to flavor the bread. Rhizomes are used for washing and bathing. They make rivets for tubs, barrels. In the Caucasus, they are used for tanning leather. The essential oil of calamus rhizomes is used in perfumery (for flavoring soaps, toothpastes, creams and various lipsticks), alcoholic beverages (for making bitter vodkas, liqueurs, beer, fruit essences) and the fishing industry (to give fish a pleasant aroma and slightly bitter taste), culinary and confectionery industry. Dried rhizome is used as a spice instead of bay leaf, cinnamon, ginger. In Turkey, candied rhizomes are an expensive delicacy. Air is widely used in veterinary medicine. It is believed that calamus destroys fleas and other parasitic insects. Calamus serves as food for some forest animals. The plant can be used to decorate artificial reservoirs. Cultivated mainly in Western Europe, India, Burma, China, North America.
ELEMENTS OF AGROTECHNICAL CULTIVATION
Despite the fact that calamus vulgaris occurs in the wild in low, damp places, it grows well in culture on ordinary garden soils, without requiring excessive moisture. Easily propagated vegetatively – by segments of rhizomes 10-20 cm long. Planted in September – early October or April – May to a depth of 10-15 cm in holes or grooves at a distance of 15-20 cm.
Powder from rhizomes of calamus.
Thoroughly wash the rhizomes, cut into pieces, dry, grind in a coffee grinder and sift. Use as a spice for first, second courses, sauces, sauces, drinks, bakery products.
Sugar syrup with calamus rhizomes.
Dried, chopped rhizomes pour boiling water (500 ml), leave for 20-24 hours, strain, add citric acid (2 g). Dissolve sugar (500 g) in hot water (500 ml), mix with infusion, pour into glassware. Store in a cool place. Use for flavoring confectionery, sweet dishes. The storage period is up to one year.
Compote of calamus rhizomes with apples.
Boil apples (300 g fresh or 100 g dry) until tender in 1 liter of water, add rhizomes (2 tablespoons dry or 1 cup fresh), bring to a boil, let stand for 5-10 minutes. After that, put granulated sugar (6 tablespoons) and bring to a boil again. You can put the rhizomes in a gauze bag, which must be removed when serving compote on the table.
Jam from calamus rhizomes.
Pour dry rhizomes (1 cup) into boiling thin sugar syrup (3 l), cook for 5-10 minutes, then add 3 cups of apples (or plums, cherry plum, quince), cut into slices, and cook until tender.
Calamus leaf jam.
Parts of the leaves extending from the rhizomes (1 kg), cut into pieces 3-4 cm long, dip in 75% sugar syrup (250 ml of water, 750 g of sugar) and cook over low heat until tender.
Candied calamus rhizomes.
Place fresh rhizomes (pieces 2-3 cm long, split into 4 parts) into thick sugar syrup, bring to a boil, cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove from syrup, lay out to dry on a clean cheesecloth or cutting board. After the syrup on the rhizomes dries and hardens, put them in glass jars. Serve with tea.
Pancakes from calamus rhizomes.
In the dough prepared for baking pancakes, add powder from calamus rhizomes. Mix. Bake in vegetable oil.
Decoction of calamus rhizomes.
Dry rhizomes (20 g) pour boiling water (1 l), boil for 5 minutes, leave for a day. Use for flavoring bakery products, salads, first courses.
Kvass with calamus.
Add decoction of calamus (250 ml) to bread kvass (3 l).