Acorus calamus

Nota de alcance

DIVERSIDAD GENÉTICA Y MEJORAMIENTO DE PLANTAS MEDICINALES= Medicinal plants and improvement of medicinal herbs

Mol. based genetic anal. requires good quality of DNA in sufficient quantity to generate robust DNA fingerprints.  The leaves of sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) contain high amts. of polyphenolic compds. and polysaccharides, which interfere in the amplification reactions.  Four genomic DNA extn. methods were tested for yield, quality and suitability of genomic DNA for RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) and SSR (simple sequence repeat) marker anal. in sweet flag.  Fresh young leaves were subjected to the already available protocols and a procedure was devised after modification in the protocol of Stange et al for the isolation of total genomic DNA.  The modified method employs high concns. of polyvinyl pyrrolidone, addn. of lithium chloride soln. as well as addnl. washing step of DNA pellets.  The yield was found approx. 200-500 mg DNA per 100 mg of plant material and the purity ratio was found 1.7-2.0.  Usage of highly concd. PVP extn. buffer and chloroform:isoamylalc. repetition step was found useful to overcome problems from polyphenolic compds. and polysaccharides.  The extd. DNA through this method was found suitable for RAPD and SSR anal.

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ÚLTIMOS AVANCES EN LA QUÍMICA Y ACTIVIDADES BACTERIOLÓGICAS EN LAS PLANTAS MEDICINALES= Medicinal plants, last advances on chemistry and bacteria activities on the medicinal herbs

Acorus calamus (family araceae) is a popular traditional medicinal plant.  In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used for the treatment of insomnia, neurosis, epilepsy, hysteria and loss of memory.  Saponins, the steroid or triterpenoid glycosides are common component of a large no. of nutritionally important plants.  They show several biol. effects including anti-inflammatory properties.  Phytochem. investigations revealed presence of alkaloids, saponins, triterpene steroids and tannins in Acorus calamus.  The present study was intended to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of the purified saponins obtained from methanolic and water exts. of Acorus calamus leaves.  The carrageenan induced paw edema in wistar rats was treated using different doses of the exts. (75, 150, 300 mg/kg, p.o.).  The exts. exhibited significant (P < 0.01) anti-inflammatory activity, supporting its use as traditional medicine.  The study established anti-inflammatory activity of the leaves of Acorus calamus.

2) The present study evaluated the free radical scavenging and anticholinesterase activity of the methanolic exts. of Acorus calamus (ACME) and Nardostachys jatamansi (NJME) rhizomes in vitro.  In addn., total phenolics (TP) were also estd.  NJME contained significantly higher (p = 0.05) phenolics (37 mg GAE/mg) than ACME (23mg GAE/mg).  Consequently, NJME exhibited significantly higher (p = 0.05) radical scavenging activity than ACME and BHT, a synthetic antioxidant.  Further, the IC50 values were 704, 237 & 335 mg/mL for ACME, NJME and BHT resp.  In case of anticholinesterase activity also NJME exhibited significantly higher (p = 0.05) activity with lower IC50 value than ACME.  However, the anticholinesterase activity of both ACME and NJME were significantly lower (p = 0.05) than neostigmine, a std. drug wherein, neostigmine exhibited significantly lower (p = 0.05) IC50 value than ACME and NJME.  Furthermore, a significant correlation between the total phenolic content, antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities of both the exts. indicating that total phenolics might be responsible for the obsd. antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities.  This is the first report in this direction.

3) A pectic polysaccharide was isolated from the rhizomes of Acorus calamus L. The main component of its carbohydrate chain was represented by residues of D-galacturonic acid (> 85%).  In addn., this polysaccharide contained residues of galactose, arabinose, xylose and rhamnose (< 10%).  Structural anal. of pectic polysaccharide from A . calamus L. with NMR spectroscopy indicated that it contains the regions of a linear 1,4-alpha-D-galactopyranosyluronan, which represents a major component of the macromol.  A considerable amt. of galacturonic acid residues was not methoxylated.  We demonstrate here that the pectic polysaccharide from A. calamus L. in low concns. was able to stimulate in vitro IL-12 and nitric oxide prodn. by murine macrophages.  It also induced TNF-alpha secretion by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, reduced arginase activity but did not affect IL-10 secretion by murine macrophages or human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.  The IL-12 and NO-stimulating effects on murine macrophages were similar to that of LPS.  In addn., the polysaccharide promoted in vivo Th1 immune response in mice which were immunized with sheep red blood cells (DTH and quantity of plaque-forming cells) and down regulated serum level of IgG1 and Ig[n.1045] during Th2-depend immune response induced by ovalbumin.  The PS increased Th1-induced edema and suppressed Th2-induced paw swelling in adoptive systems.  Our results suggest that the pectic polysaccharide from A. calamus L. represents a promising immunomodulating agent that stimulates M1-polarized macrophages and promotes Th1-oriented adaptive immune response.  We propose that this polysaccharide could be potentially applied for treatment of infectious, oncol. diseases or for Ig-E-mediated disorders.

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Patente extraída de Chemical Abstracts= Extracted patent of the Database Chemical Abstracts

Composition comprising extract of Bacopa monnieri and Acorus calamus for the enhancement of mental capabilities and memory recall.      Pandita, Maharaj Krishan; Dube, Govind Prashad.  (Dalmia Industries Ltd., India; Dalmia Centre for Bio-Technology).    Indian  (2003),     8 pp.  CODEN: INXXAP  IN  190775  A1  20030823  Patent  written in English.    Application: IN  1997-DE1584  19970613.  Priority: IN  1997-DE1584  19970613.  CAN 145:34272    AN 2006:549522    CAPLUS   (Copyright (C) 2011 ACS on SciFinder (R))  

A process for the prepn. of a compn. for the enhancement of mental capabilities and memory recall comprising mixing in a known manner (i) 50-90% by wt. of an ext. of Bacopa monnieri having 15-45% saponin content, (ii) 3 to 7 % by wt. of an ext. of Acorus calamus having 35-65 % by wt. of glycosides contents and (iii) at least one known excipient.  For example, a capsule was prepd. contg. Bacopa monnieri 325 mg, Acorus calamus 25 mg, silicon dioxide 25 mg and dicalcium phosphate (anhyd.) 125 mg.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA= Used part: Aceite, raíz.

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA= Pharmacological action:
Para el reumatismo, Contra el paludismo, para dejar de fumar, digestivo, estomacal, tónico, diurético. (1)

POSOLOGÍA= Posology:
El aceite de cálamo es un buen remedio para el reumatismo. Se aconseja preparar un baño de inmersión al que se le agregan de 20 a 30 gramos de aceite mezclados con medio litro de alcohol.

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA= Chemical composition: Three new sesquiterpenes, 1beta,7alpha(H)-cadinane-4alpha,6alpha,10alpha-triol (1), 1alpha,5beta-guaiane-10alpha-O-ethyl-4beta,6beta-diol (2), and 6beta,7beta(H)-cadinane-1alpha,4alpha,10alpha-triol (3), together with 25 known ones, were isolated from the rhizome of Acorus calamus.  Their chem. structures were established on the basis of interpretation of spectroscopic data and comparison with those of the related known compds.

ZONA GEOGRÁFICA= Geografical zone:


Origin: Swamp and edges of streams, marshes and ponds margins.

Uses: Plant has many uses, ranging from a flowering agent to tonic. In Appalachia, the root is chewed to clear the throat and to cure stomach gas; and the powdered of ground is used on sachets

Nota de alcance (en)

Rootstock: Used by the Surinam Javan as a remedy for grippe (stomach pain) and dysentery.


Range. Northern Hemisphere. Temperate and tropical Asia; found growing around ponds and streams in cool climates. In Myanmar, grows wild and is also culti­vated for use in home medicinal remedies.

Of the two varieties of this species, the larger is used in traditional medicines.

Preparations made from the rhizome are used to promote urinary flow, re­lieve constipation, and cleanse impurities from the body. The stewed rhizome is given for fever, coughs, and poisoning. A mixture of the rhizome that has been roasted until charred with oil is used as a rub applied topically to ease stomachaches and bloating in children. A mixture of the rhizome with cashew oil is used as a rub to relieve swol­len joints and sore muscles. A mixture of equal amounts of the dried rhizome with samone hpyu (Trachyspermum ammi) is burned to create smoke for inhaling as a cure for hemorrhoids. The rhizome powder is taken with warm milk for sore throat. A mixture of the rhizome with hsay-khar-gyi (Andrographis paniculata) is given to reduce fever. To expel worms, a mixture of equal amounts of the rhizome with baked shein-kho (Gardenia resinifera) is given to children. A mixture of the rhizome powder with dried ginger powder and honey is taken for partial paralysis of the mouth, chin, and cheek. A mixture of the rhizome powder with honey is licked as a cure for epilepsy and to treat loss of sanity.

Wild and cultivated throughout India in damp marshy places from 900 to 1800m; common in Manipur and Naga Hills.

Rhizome—nervine tonic, hypotensive, tranquilizer, sedative (with neuroleptic and antianxiety properties), analgesic, spasmolytic, anticonvulsant; used for bronchial catarrh, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery.

Indian practitioners mostly use A. calamus externally.

Nota bibliográfica

1) CONSELL, Danilo M. Enciclopedia de plantas que curan. Buenos Aires: Ediliba, 1987. 2 volúmenes. p.10.

2) DONG, Weiwei; YANG, Dajian; LU, Runhua.  Chemical constituents from the rhizome of Acorus calamus L.  Planta Medica. 2010, Vol.76, nº5, p.454-457.
3) GINWAL, H. S.; MITTAL, Neha. An efficient genomic DNA isolation protocol for RAPD and SSR analysis in Acorus calamus L. Indian Journal of Biotechnology. 2010, Vol.9, nº2, p.213-216.

4) TIWARI, Neha, et al.  Anti-inflammatory effects of the saponins obtained from the leaves of Acorus calamus.  Pharmacologyonline. 2010, nº2, p.395-400.
5) AHMED, Faiyaz, et al. In vitro antioxidant and anticholinesterase activity of Acorus calamus and Nardostachys jatamansi rhizomes. Journal of Pharmacy Research. 2009, Vol.2, nº5, p.830-833.
6) BELSKA, N. V., et al. Water-soluble polysaccharide obtained from Acorus calamus L. classically activates macrophages and stimulates Th1 response.  International Immunopharmacology. 2010, Vol.10, nº8, p.933-942.

7) ALONSO, Jorge R. Tratado de fitomedicina : bases clínicas y farmacológicas. Buenos Aires : ISIS, 1998, p. 323.

8) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017.

9) A guide to medicinal plants of Appalachia/ Krochmal, Arnold; Walter, Russel S.; Doughty, Richard M.: USA: U.S.D.A Forest Service:,195

10) DeFilipps, Robert A.; Krupnick, Gary A. / PhytoKeys, v. 102. - - p. 1 - 314,  2018.

11) Khare, C.P./ Indian Medicinal Plants. -- Nueva Dheli: Springer, 2007 . - p. 836.

Acorus calamus
Término aceptado: 22-Nov-2011