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Calamus- an analgesic stimulant

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Calamus is known for its stimulating effect when smoked. The Cree Indians of Northern Alberta chew the fresh rootstock of the Sweet Flag-calamus under the name Weekas. It has been called "the coca of the north" because of its stimulant properties, which are known to many tribes. Also hallucinogenic properties are reported from sweet flag- calamus, which is not the normal north-american species. They also use it as an analgesic, against fatigue and exhaustion, to prevent and to cure a hangover and to "travel great distances without touching the ground.

Acorus gramineus syn. A. tatarinowii is used in Chinese traditional medicine. It (the oil and decoction) has antiepileptic, anti-convulsive, anti-diarrhea, effects and can balance the excitatory and inhibitory amino acids in brain. It contains 2,3% Methyleugenol, 4,4% cic-Methylisoeugenol, 0,8% trans-Methylisoeugenol, 4,5% gamma-Asarone and 66,1% beta-Asarone and traces of Isoacoramone, cis-Epoxyasarone and others. It heightens sexual desire, works as an antiseptic analgesic, nervous system stimulant, perception-altering, antispasmodic digestive, increases the hypnotic effect of barbiturates and alcohol and can be hallucinogenic.

Some compounds in the essential oil are potent antagonists of NMDA-receptors on the PCP-site (like Ketamine):




The extract was also tested positive for specific binding to striatal dopamine D1 and D2 and GABA A- receptors.

A korean alcoholic beverage with it is called liquor of the immortals, having similar effects like absinthe and in old China it was used in shamanism.

My Acorus gramineus- plant:


Acorus calamus var. calamus, the eurasian calamus is also distributed here in Austria in swamps.

Calamus has its origin in India and possibly the muskrat (Ondatra zibethica) has distributed it to North-America. It is magically attracted by the rhizome and does not only eat it, but also dig it to make reserves. In Kashmir the root is associated with happiness. In europe it is a component of many bitters and sometimes sold as tea against debility, nervousness, stomach-cramps, nervine and aphrodisiac.

Collected rhizomes:


Acorus calamus var. americanus (does not contain the carcinogenic cis-Isoasarone):


It is possible that Asarone is converted to TMA (a hallucinogen) in our body.

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An interesting therapeutic synergy:

Dynamic changes of five neurotransmitters and their related enzymes in various rat tissues following β-asarone and levodopa co-administration.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the dynamic changes of five neurotransmitters and their associated enzymes in the rat plasma and brain tissues following the co-administration of β-asarone and levodopa (L-dopa). The rats were divided into five groups, including the control group and four treatment groups that were intragastrically co-administered β-asarone and L-dopa and sacrificed at 1, 5, 18 and 48 h, respectively. Neurotransmitter levels in the brain tissues and plasma were detected using high performance liquid chromatograph and the related enzymes of dopamine (DA) were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results indicated that the striatal levels of L-dopa and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) peaked at 1 h and then returned to the normal levels, while the striatal levels of DA were stable within 48 h. In the cortex and hippocampus tissue, L-dopa, DA, DOPAC and homovanillic acid (HVA) levels peaked at 1 h and then returned to normal levels. In the plasma, L-dopa, DA, DOPAC and HVA levels peaked at 1 h. Compared with the control group, L-dopa, DA and HVA levels were higher between 18 and 48 h, whereas the DOPAC level was lower. By contrast, no statistically significant differences were observed in the serotonin (5-HT) levels among the plasma, hippocampus, cortex and striatum. Furthermore, the DA/L-dopa ratio in the brain tissues and plasma increased in the first 5 h, while (DOPAC + HVA)/DA ratios demonstrated a significant reduction. Striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) levels were higher compared with the control group; however, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase B levels were reduced. In the rat plasma, TH and COMT peaked at 1 h, while AADC peaked at 5 h. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that the co-administration of L-dopa and β-asarone may be used to maintain a stable striatal DA level within 48 h. In addition, this treatment may promote DA generation by AADC and reduce the metabolism of DA by COMT.

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I think this plant is over rated personally.

It does have usefull properties though.

It loses 70% weight when it dries.

Repels bugs, smells nice.

Cleans water.

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I tried chewing some fresh rhizome once. Probably about 10g and swallowed it after chewing it all up. The taste was extremely overwhelming and upset my stomach for hours afterwards. I noticed no stimulant or any other psychoactive effects. I believe this was the American variety. Definitely not worth it IMHO.

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