calamus

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cal·a·mus

(kal'ă-mŭs),
1. The dried, unpeeled rhizome of Acorus calamus (family Araceae), cultivated in Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka, a carminative and anthelmintic.
2. A reed-shaped structure.
[L. reed, a pen]

calamus

(kăl′ə-məs)
n. pl. cala·mi (-mī′)
1.
b. The aromatic rhizome of the sweet flag, used for medicinal purposes and yielding an oil used in perfumery.
2. Any of various chiefly tropical Asian climbing palms of the genus Calamus, having strong flexible stems used as a source of rattan.
3. See quill.

sweet flag

A perennial herb, the rhizone of which contains mucilage, sesquiterpenes and volatile oils (azulene, camphor, cineole, eugenol, pinene and others); it is carminative, spasmolytic and mildly sedative.

Chinese medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine, sweet flag has been used for deafness, seizures and vertigo.

Herbal medicine
In Western herbal medicine, sweet flag has been used for fever, gastrointestinal complaints (dyspepsia and flatulence), menstrual disorders, toothache and tobacco addiction.
 
Toxicity
Aserone, one of sweet flag’s volatile oils, is carcinogenic; the FDA has classified sweet flag as “unsafe”.

cal·a·mus

(kal'ă-mŭs)
A reed-shaped structure.
[L. reed, a pen]

calamus

  1. the quill of a feather.
  2. any hollow, nodeless stem.
References in periodicals archive ?
By making the speaker's difference the result of a "conversation" with a calamus root, Whitman indicates that he knows about its capacity to derange normal mental activity.
This idea that death and love are synonymous in Whitman's poetry is useful when considering the causal relationship that the poetic speaker forges between death and the calamus root. Read against the background of Hunt's and Lawrence's interpretations, the "Death" that the roots deliver in "Scented Herbage of My Breast" is "beautiful," not because it refers to the body's decomposition, but because it refers to the diffusion of the self through love: "Death" is the series of psychic investments that characterize an expansive affection.
Nevertheless, the feeling of self-extension that the calamus root induces remains exclusive to the speaker.
(LG 374) Like the common psychological and physiological structures that facilitate drugged consciousness, the "germs" that make "a superb friendship" possible are present "in all men." This special friendship seems to be the same as the death-like affection that, earlier in the poems, he had claimed was the effect of the calamus root. In light of this causal relationship, it would seem that the intense fraternal quality that "waits, and has been always wait- / ing, latent in all men," waits only, to borrow the words of Ludlow, for "some instrument of intense insight," like the calamus root, "to bring [it] forth" (181).