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Acorus calamus

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Calamus

File:200px-Illustration Acorus calamus0.jpg Calamus or Sweet flag (Acorus calamus) is a plant from the Acoraceae family. It is a tall perennial wetland monocot with scented leaves and rhizomes which have been used medicinally, for its odor, and as a psychotropic drug.

Acorus calamus is categorized into 3 varieties based on number of its chromosomes: americanus (diploid chromosomes), vulgaris (triploid chromosomes) and angustatus (tetraploid chromosomes). Americanus is native to North America, Siberia and temperate Asia. Vulgaris is native to Europe, temperate India and the Himalayas. Angustatus is native to tropical Southeast Asia, Japan and Taiwan. Acorus from Europe, China and Japan have been planted in the United States.

Calamus and products derived from calamus (such as its oil) were banned in 1968 as food additives and medicines by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Calamus has been used medicinally for a variety of ailments. In antiquity, calamus was often added to wine. among the northern Native Americans, it is used both medicinally and as a stimulant; in addition, the root is thought to have been used as an entheogen among the northern Native Americans. In high doses, it is hallucinogenic.

The calamus has long been a symbol of male love. The name is taken from Greek myth: Kalamos, a son of the river-god Maeander, who loved Karpos, the son of Zephyus. When Karpus drowned, Kalamos was transformed into a reed, whose rustling in the wind was interpreted as a sigh of lamentation.

Walt Whitman added a section called The Calamus Poems, celebrating the love of men, to the third edition of Leaves of Grass, published in 1860, and in which the calamus is used as a symbol of love, lust, and affection. It has been suggested that the symbology derives from the visual resemblane of the reed to the erect human penis.

The name Sweet Flag refers to its sweet scent (It has been used as a strewing herb) and the wavy edges of the leaves which are supposed to resemble a fluttering flag.


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Plant in Armenia

Խնկեղեգ ճահճային (“Khnkegheg chahchayin”)

Status

This medicinal plant is known in Armenia from very long ago.

Habitat in Armenia

Met in Ejmiatsin region.

Habitat and ecology

Grows in the pools, along the rivers and channels, on the height of 850 meters above sea level.

Biology and potential value

Valuable medicinal plant containing alkaloids, ethereal oils, etc.

Measures of protection

Control over the only existing population should be made.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorus_calamus




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