Archives for May 20, 2021

Sweet Flag (Vacha)

Sweet Flag Scientific Name

Acorus calamus Linn

Sweet Flag Other Names

English: Sweet Flag, Calamus, Rat root, German ginger, Myrtle grass
Hindi: Bach, Ghorbach, Safed bach
Sanskrit: Golomi, Ugragandha, Shadgrantha, Lomasha, Jatila, Hemavati

What is Sweet Flag?

Sweet Flag is known to stimulate intelligence and expression. In Ayurveda, Sweet Flag is known as a rejuvenating herb because of its positive effect on the nervous system. It is bitter in taste and is used in the dried form. It is slightly tonic and carminative, and goes well with other tonics and stimulants when taken simultaneously. It may be used in cases of flatulent colic, atonic dyspepsia, and feebleness of the digestive organs. As recommended by Ayurved, it works to support cinchona and quinine during times of internal pain.

Common forms of Sweet Flag

Powder, Oil, Capsule

Sweet Flag is commonly used for:

  • Stimulating appetite
  • Eliminating stomach ulcers
  • Reducing flatulence (gas formation)
  • Decreasing diarrhea
  • Controlling bacterial and fungal skin infections
  • Aiding arthritis
  • Reducing obesity
  • Increasing memory and intelligence
  • Tinnitus

Sweet Flag Dosage

Powder: For internal use 1-2 pinch a day and for external use 1/2-1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
Oil: 2-3 drops or as per your requirement.

Sweet Flag Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects:
Headache (common in people with Pitta Constitution or having Pitta disease), Nausea, Vomiting (occurs only with higher dosage i.e. more than 1 gram), Low blood pressure (uncommon with Calamus root powder, but common with Calamus oil), Bradycardia – slow heartbeat
Not so common side-effects: Not known.
Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: Avoid Sweet Flag during pregnancy as it is likely to promote menstruation or bleeding from the uterine wall.
Children: Not known.


  1. Apply Sweet Flag to a small area first to test for possible allergic reactions. Or use it only under doctor’s supervision if you are allergic to Sweet Flag or its constituents. If your skin is hypersensitive, you can apply Sweet Flag root paste mixed with honey or milk.
  2. Sweet Flag can act on the central nervous system and can cause too much sleepiness when combined with other medications used during or after the surgery. Therefore, it is advisable to stop taking Sweet Flag at least 2 weeks before the scheduled surgery.
  3. Antacids are used to decrease acid in the stomach whereas Sweet Flag might increase acid in the stomach. 
  4. Sweet Flag might decrease the effectiveness of antacids. It is thus advisable to avoid Sweet Flag with antacid.
  5. Sweet Flag might increase the side effects of antidepressants; therefore, avoid taking antidepressants.
  6. Sweet Flag may lower blood pressure. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood pressure regularly while taking Sweet Flag along with other anti-hypertensive drugs.
  7. Sweet Flag may be used with caution in cancer patients or patients taking antineoplastic agents.
  8. Sweet Flag might increase the risk of constipation from calcium channel blockers.
  9. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have prohibited the use of certain species of Sweet Flag as it is reported to contain cancer-causing chemicals

Where to Buy Sweet Flag in US?