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A Sweet Calamus.

A Sweet Calamus.

A Sweet Calamus

Initially, Europeans confused the identity and medicinal uses of the Acorus calamus of the Romans and Greeks with their native Iris pseudacorus. Thus the Herbarius zu Teutsch, published at Mainz in 1485, describes and includes a woodcut of this iris under the name Acorus. This German book is one of three possible sources for the French Le Grant Herbier, written in 1486, 1488, 1498 or 1508, of which an English translation was published as the Grete Herball by Peter Treveris in 1526, all containing the false identification of the Herbarius zu Teutsch.

Calamus

The plant was introduced to Britain in the late 16th century. By at least 1596, true Acorus calamus was grown in Britain, as it is listed in The Catalogue, a list of plants John Gerard grew in his garden at Holborn. Gerard notes "It prospereth exceeding well in my garden, but as yet beareth neither flowers nor stalke". Gerard lists the Latin name as Acorus verus, but it is evident there was still doubt about its veracity: in his 1597 herbal he lists the English common name as 'bastard calamus'. The diploid form Acorus americanus or Acorus calamus var. americanus is found in northern subarctic North America and scattered disjunct areas throughout the Mississippi Valley, and furthermore diploids are also found in Mongolia, central Siberia (Buryatia), Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan (claimed by India) and northern Himachal Pradesh in India. It is extinct in some parts of the United States and Canada.

It may not been native to some of these areas, Pre-Columbian populations are thought to have dispersed it across parts of the United States.Calamus might increase levels of certain chemical in the body that work in the brain, heart, and elsewhere. Some drying medications called "anticholinergic drugs" can also increase these chemicals, but in a different way. These drying medications might decrease the effects of calamus, and calamus might decrease the effects of drying medications. Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Although this has not been shown in humans, calamus might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking calamus along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking clamus, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver. (Source: www.webmd.com)

 

 

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