Vacha has been used by sages and Rishis since the ancient times due to its medicinal benefits. Vacha (also called Calamus and Sweet Flag in English and Botanically, Acorus Calamus) is a potent nootropic herb. Its root (rhizome) is used in ayurvedic medicine for improving memory, cognition, intelligence, voice, and other mental abilities. One of the important medicinal plant used in Ayurveda traditional medicine to treat different ailments and maintain health condition is Vacha (Acorus calamus Linn.). It is a herbaceous perennial belonging to family Araceae. Rhizome of Acorus calamus Linn. Contain calamediol, essential oil, tanning substances and vitamin C. These constituents are valuable in a vast range of diseases. Vacha has a special potency as a nervine tonic. It is a very vigorous brain tonic, because it shows results in a very short time. It increases the overall memory of the person and strengthens the nervous system. Vacha is prescribed to people who have amnesia. Improving the memory is a quest on which human beings have embarked centuries ago. Vacha has a special place in Ayurveda as it is a main Medhya drug, which has the property of improving the memory power and intellect.
Poor memory, lower retention and slow recall are common problems in today’s stressful and competitive world. Age, stress, emotions are conditions that may led to memory loss, amnesia, anxiety, high blood pressure, dementia and to more ominous threat like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s diseases. The dried rhizome of Acorus calamus contain the yellow aromatic volatile oils having asarone as a main constituent which contains the small quantity of sesquiterpenes and its alcohols; the rhizome also contains the choline, flavone, acoradin, galangin, acolamone, isocolamone and aerial parts of plant contains lutcolin-6,8 c-diglucoside. The major chemical constituents of the essential oils of sweet flag are phenylpropanes, monoterpenes, and thermolabile sesquiterpenoids. Methyleugenol, cis-methylisoeugenol, β-asarone, geranylacetate, β-farnesene, shyobunone, epishyobunone and isoshyobunone are the most abundant chemical compounds which are present in 20% of the essential oil. This oil and asarone has a relaxing effect on smooth muscle tissue. Tannins, starches, mucin, soft gums and resins are also present in this plant. Lectins present in plant have mitogenic action on mononuclear cells of human cells. Lectins have inhibitory effect on the growth of some neoplastic cell lines from mice. According to Ayurveda Literature, Vacha is Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter) in Rasa (taste); Laghu (light), Tikshna (sharp) in Guna (properties); Ushna (hot) in Virya (potency) and Katu in Vipaka (metabolism). Vacha has a special potency (Prabhava) as a nervine tonic (Medhya). Due to these properties, it pacifies Vata and Kapha.
To overcome sinus congestion, common cold and sinus headache, it is suggested to use its powder into the nose, which causes sneezing thus cleanses the respiratory tract.Its root is a best antidote for the ill-effects of marijuana. Along with decoction of liquorice root, it has positive impacts upon cough, fever and colic in children. For dry cough, one should chew its root. When a small piece of vacha is chewed for few minutes, it gives relief to sore-throat. In nut shell, vacha clears the respiratory channels and removes the obstructions whenever comes in the normal functioning of the respiratory process. It is used to enhance memory. The mix of a pinch of vacha powder, honey (1/2 tablespoon), and milk (1 cup), when taken both in the morning and evening for one month, helps to improve memory, intelligence and wisdom. spontaneous action and caused reduction in anxiety and causes prolonged calming effect.It dilates the blood vessels in the brain, increases the blood circulation and thus used in coma, cerebro-vascular diseases, cerebro-vascular accidents, transient ischaemic attack, etc.
Take the equal amount of powder of acorus calamus, symplocos racemosa and rice powder. Now pounded it with cow’s milk and apply on the pimples and acne. The regular application helps disappear in three days, if applied properly and religiously.
Take the 10 gram powder each of Vacha, Brahmi and Shankhapushpi. Mix and take 1 teaspoonful twice a day with water or honey. This is very effective formulation used in the management of mental disorders.Vacha powder (1/2 teaspoon) and Brahmi powder (1/4 teaspoon). Mix and take it with butter and mishri and take it early in the morning. It sharpens memory, intellect and refreshes the mind. Vacha helps to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers ulcer by improving digestion. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. Vacha increases Pachak Agni (digestive fire). This helps to digest the food easily and also controls excessive secretion of gastric juice. Vacha may lower blood pressure. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood pressure regularly while taking Vacha along with other anti-hypertensive drugs. The sticks of vacha can also be burnt in the house,the smoke emitted will keep mosquitoes and even snakes far from home. Thus, this beautiful yellow flowered water-loving plant increases vitality and ensures the long life. So grow this delightful vacha abundantly in your garden and make the most out of it.