Acorus calamus


"Calamus is a big, smelly plant with sword-shaped leaves and small, yellow/green flowers. Lives near swamps and banks in europe, asia, and north america.

"USAGE: The roots are collected in late fall or spring and washed, the small hairs are removed and the root is dried at low temperature. The root could be chewed or chopped and prepared as tea. Dosage is from 5-25 cm of the root. The material decomposes and is inactive after one year. Must be stored cool and dry.

"ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Asarone and beta-Asarone

"EFFECT: A piece of 5cm (thick as a pen) is stimulating and evokes cheerful mood. A 25cm piece may lead to altered perception and hallucinations. Calamus is also an aphrodisiac, especially when used as an additive in your bathing-water.

"SECONDARY EFFECTS: Calamus should not be used with MAO-inhibitors! Some aboriginal tribes chew the roots as stimulant and for mouth-hygiene. No secondary effects were reported. Some experiments seem to indicate that extreme amounts of calamus oil lead to a higher risk of cancer in rats. No similar effects are reported for humans.

"VARIETIES: There are three types of calamus, of which the one sold in Germany does not contain beta-Asarone. The amount of essential oil differs from 1.7% to 8.7%. The amount of beta-Asarone differs from 0-96% of the oil. European, asian and north american types show different compositions, asian calamus is considered to be more sedative, north american more stimulating. The calamus sold in Germany is not psychoactive; this is why J. Ott suspects other unexpored substances in the north american types."

"MISC.: The BTM-Kurrier reports in issue 1/95 that Calamus is a better carrier for hemp than tobacco. The toxic ingredients are better compensated, for example the sedative effects of mediocre or bad hash are removed. Calamus was often used in absinthe."

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