The benefits of Calamus tea have been known since the olden days. Calamus was first mentioned in ancient Chinese medical text as being able to “open the orifices” allowing the inner spirit to reach out to the world. This was thought to refer to the plant’s ability to melt phlegm, as well as pent-up emotional and physical stress.
Calamus is a perennial semi-aquatic plant that grows in such wetlands as marshes and muddy streams. Its sharp leaves and rhizomes have strong scents. Known by its scientific name of acorus calamus, the plant is thought of as native to India but is also found across Europe, Russia, East and South Asia, and the United States and Canada.
Calamus has been a fixture of medicine and trade in many cultures for thousands of years. Calamus has been used medicinally for a wide variety of ailments, and its scent makes the plant’s essential oil valued in the perfume industry.
In the late 1960s, the Asian variety of calamus was found to contain large amounts of the cancer-causing compound called isoasarone. The European variety had small contents of the compound while the American variety was free from it. Consequently, the use of the Asian variety of calamus was prohibited in the United States.
Still, the variety that grew in the United States was thought to have many health benefits. In India, the herb was used for so long and reportedly had not had any documented instances of cancer development so far.
Calamus tea can be made to derive said benefits. To make calamus tea, pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the calamus root and leave it to steep for about 10 to 15 minutes. It is recommended to be taken an hour before eating.
The following are the health benefits attributed to calamus tea:
- May help treat chest congestion.
- May help in fighting fever.
- May help in treating digestive problems such as flatulence and bloating. It may also help relieve stomach spasms and enhance the appetite.
- The tea, combined with platycodon, may help treat laryngitis.
- The tea is said to be helpful in fighting the desire for tobacco.
- The tea, when combined with lycii fruit and chrysanthemum flowers, may be used as an eyewash.