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1. A perennial herb (Acorus calamus) native to Eurasia and naturalized in North America, growing in marshy places and having grasslike leaves, minute greenish flowers borne on a thick spadix, and aromatic rhizomes used in medicine and perfumery. Also called calamus.
2. A similar plant (Acorus americanus) native to North America.
sweet flagA 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.
In traditional Chinese medicine, sweet flag has been used for deafness, seizures and vertigo.
In Western herbal medicine, sweet flag has been used for fever, gastrointestinal complaints (dyspepsia and flatulence), menstrual disorders, toothache and tobacco addiction.
Aserone, one of sweet flag’s volatile oils, is carcinogenic; the FDA has classified sweet flag as “unsafe”.