The health benefits of Calamus Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic, cephalic, circulatory, memory boosting, nervine, stimulant, and tranquilizing substance.
The use of Calamus was even known to ancient Romans and Indians and it has had a significant place in the Indian system of medicines, called Ayurveda. Calamus is a plant that grows best in watery, marshy places. It is native to Europe and Asia.
Botanically, Calamus is known as Acorus Calamus. Its essential oil is derived from fresh or dried roots through steam distillation. The chief components of this essential oil are acorenone, alpha calacorene, alpha aselinene, beta gurjunene, beta asarone, calamendiol, calamusenone, camphone, iso shyobunine, and shyobunone.
Although toxic, the Essential Oil of Calamus has many medicinal properties, the most notable of which are listed below.
Anti-rheumatic & Anti-Arthritic: This oil is particularly stimulating for the nerves and blood circulation. It stimulates and increases the rate of blood circulation in the affected area and gives relief from the pain and swelling associated with rheumatism, arthritis, and gout.
Anti-spasmodic: The Essential Oil of Calamus is known for its anti-spasmodic properties. It relaxes all sorts of spasms, but is particularly effective on nervous spasms. Therefore, in cases of nervous afflictions and disturbances, this essential oil can be administered, but only in very mild doses.
Antibiotic: Due to its toxic nature, Calamus Essential Oil does not allow any biotic growth and acts as an antibiotic. This property can be used to fight infections, both internally and externally.
Cephalic: This essential oil has a refreshing effect on the brain (obviously, this is only when taken in very mild doses, or else the effects may be devastating to the brain). It activates neural pathways and is also effective in curing neurotic disorders. This oil is also employed to induce and promote positive thoughts.
Circulatory: Being a stimulant, this increases blood circulation and helps nutrients and oxygen reach every corner of the body. This circulation also stimulates the metabolism.
Memory Boosting: The Essential Oil of Calamus has memory-boosting effects. This can be administered to those who are undergoing or have undergone memory loss due to aging, trauma, or any other reason. This also helps to repair certain damages done to the brain tissues and neurons.
Nervine: Most of the effects of this essential oil deal with the brain and the nervous system. Therefore, as expected, this oil is a nervine and helps maintain the ideal health of the nervous system. It helps recover them from shock and other damage. It also reduces chances of epileptic fits, hysteric attacks, and various nervous afflictions.
Stimulant: Calamus Essential Oil is particularly stimulating for the nervous system and the brain. It stimulates nerves and the neurons and helps achieve alertness and steadiness. It also stimulates certain discharges, including those of the hormones, blood circulation, and other functions going on inside the body.
Tranquilizing: A low dose of this oil can induce sleep and work as a very effective tranquilizer. This may be of great help to those who suffer from sleeplessness or insomnia. This tranquilizing effect relaxes the body and the mind, helping people get a good, healthy rest.
Other Benefits: It can be used to treat neuralgia, which is caused due to the pressure exerted on the Ninth Cranial Nerve by the surrounding blood vessels, triggering acute pain and swelling. Calamus Oil makes the blood vessels contract and reduce pressure on the cranial nerve. Furthemore, due to its numbing and tranquilizing effect on the brain and the nerves, it reduces feelings of pain. This oil is also used for the treatment of headaches and vertigo, along with being a sedative.
A Few Words of Warning: The Essential Oil of Calamus contains a compound called asorone, which is toxic and is considered carcinogenic. It has narcotic effects as well and can cause convulsions and hallucinations if taken in high doses. Studies have shown that its oral ingestion can cause prolonged severe convulsions and tumours. Therefore, oral ingestion should be avoided unless under the guidance of an expert practitioner. Pregnant women should strictly avoid its use.
Blending: Calamus Essential Oil blends well with the essential oils of cedar wood, cinnamon, clary sage, labdanum, lavender, marjoram, olibanum, oregano, patchouli rosemary, tea tree, and ylang-ylang.