How to Use Calamus

Learn more about how to use calamus in various ways with our comprehensive guide, exploring smoking, ingesting, and topical applications.

How to Use Calamus
How to Use Calamus

As a botanical aficionado, those curious about the potential effects of Acorus calamus (commonly referred to as sweet flag or calamus) must understand how to properly utilize it. Calamus, also known as sweet flag or Acorus calamus, has been utilized in traditional medicine and spiritual practices across cultures for centuries.

In this comprehensive guide on how to use calamus, we will delve into different methods of consumption such as smoking and ingesting the plant material. Additionally, we'll discuss topical application and its potential benefits. Furthermore, you'll gain insight into the effects one may experience when using calamus along with important safety considerations to keep in mind.

Table of Contents:

1. What is Calamus?

Calamus, also known as Acorus calamus, sweet flag, or beewort, is a perennial plant native to Asia and Europe. For centuries, its various therapeutic benefits and psychoactive effects have been employed in traditional medicinal practices as well as spiritual ceremonies. The plant's root contains essential oils that are responsible for its unique aroma and taste.

In this article, we will explore the different methods of using calamus so you can experience its benefits safely and effectively. Let's take a look at the historical significance of this intriguing plant.

The History of Calamus

Historically, calamus has played an important role in many cultures around the world. Native Americans utilized calamus for both pain relief and spiritual rituals, such as inducing vivid dreams or visions.

In addition to these medicinal uses, calamus has also been employed in spiritual rituals by shamans who believed that consuming the plant could induce vivid dreams or visions.

Nutritional Components & Benefits

  • Essential Oils: The primary active compounds found within calamus roots are asarone which have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically on skin irritations like eczema or psoriasis.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: Calamus contains vitamins A, C & E along with minerals like calcium iron potassium magnesium zinc copper manganese selenium molybdenum vanadium chromium nickel cobalt tin strontium lithium boron rubidium and cesium which contribute to its overall health benefits.
  • Antioxidants: The plant's roots are rich in antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease.

Now that we have a better understanding of what calamus is and its historical uses, let's explore the different methods for consuming this intriguing plant.

For centuries, calamus has been utilized in traditional medicine and spiritual practices as a potent herb. By exploring different methods of using calamus, we can gain insight into the potential benefits it may offer us today.

2. Different Methods of Using Calamus

If you're interested in exploring the world of calamus, there are several methods to choose from when it comes to using this versatile plant. Each method offers a unique experience and can produce different effects depending on how it's consumed. In this section, we'll discuss three popular ways to use calamus: smoking, ingesting, and topical application.

Smoking Calamus

One common way to enjoy the benefits of calamus is by smoking its dried roots or leaves. This method provides a quick onset of effects as the active compounds are rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream through your lungs. Some users report feelings of relaxation and mild euphoria after smoking calamus.

Ingesting Calamus

If you prefer not to smoke or want a longer-lasting experience with calamus, ingestion might be the right choice for you. You can consume calamus in various forms such as powdered root capsules, tea made from boiling its roots or leaves, or even chewing on fresh pieces directly from the plant itself. The onset time for ingested calamus may take longer compared to smoking but typically results in more prolonged effects that last several hours.

  • Powdered Root Capsules: A convenient option for those who don't like dealing with raw plants; simply swallow one or two capsules with water according to dosage instructions provided by your supplier.
  • Calamus Tea: Boil chopped roots or leaves in water for about 20 minutes before straining out solids and enjoying a warm cup infused with calming properties.
  • Chewing Fresh Calamus: For a more traditional approach, try chewing on small pieces of fresh calamus root to release its active compounds directly into your system.

Topical Application of Calamus

Last but not least, you can also apply calamus topically as an oil or cream. This method is particularly useful for those seeking relief from skin irritations or muscle pain. By massaging the calamus essential oil or cream onto affected areas, you may experience soothing and anti-inflammatory effects that help alleviate discomfort.

In the subsequent sections, we'll provide detailed guidance on how to use calamus in its various forms safely and productively.

Overall, there are many ways to use calamus for recreational purposes. Before engaging in any form of recreational calamus use, it is prudent to weigh the associated risks and benefits. Moving on, we will discuss smoking calamus as a potential option.

3. Smoking Calamus

If you're looking for a unique and potent way to experience the effects of calamus, smoking might be the method for you. In this section, we'll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to smoke calamus safely and effectively.

Preparing Your Calamus

To begin with, it's essential to properly prepare your calamus before smoking it. First, make sure that your plant material is completely dry; if not already dried when purchased or harvested, spread out the roots in a well-ventilated area until they are brittle enough to break easily by hand. Once dried, grind up the root into small pieces using a herb grinder or scissors.

  1. Selecting Your Smoking Device: There are several options available when choosing a device for smoking calamus: pipes (such as glass pipes), water bongs or vaporizers designed specifically for herbs can all provide an enjoyable experience.
  2. Packing Your Bowl: Fill your chosen device with ground-up calamus root - avoid packing too tightly as this will restrict airflow and lead to uneven burning.
  3. Igniting The Calamus: Using a lighter or hemp wick (available online) carefully ignite one corner of the packed bowl while inhaling gently from the mouthpiece - this should create an even burn throughout without scorching all at once.
  4. Inhaling The Smoke: Take slow deep breaths rather than quick shallow ones - allowing time between puffs allows more efficient absorption of the active compounds in calamus.
  5. Extinguishing The Bowl: Once you've finished smoking, be sure to extinguish any remaining embers by tapping out your bowl or using a pipe tool - this prevents accidental fires and keeps your device clean for future use.

Keep in mind that smoking calamus may produce a strong, earthy taste that might not appeal to everyone. Mixing calamus with other herbs such as lavender or mint may help reduce its strong, earthy flavor.

Potential Benefits of Smoking Calamus

The effects of smoking calamus can vary from person to person; however, many users report experiencing heightened focus and mental clarity as well as mild euphoria. Some users report that smoking calamus may help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. For more information on the potential advantages of calamus, take a look at our article about its effects.

Please note: while we strive to provide accurate information about various methods of consuming psychoactive substances such as calamus, we do not endorse or promote illegal drug use. Always follow local laws and regulations when experimenting with new plants or substances.

Inhaling calamus can be an enjoyable pastime, but it is vital to recognize the associated hazards. Ingesting calamus has its own unique set of benefits and potential dangers that must also be taken into consideration.

4. Ingesting Calamus

Ingesting calamus is another popular method of using this versatile plant, offering a range of effects depending on the dosage and preparation method. This section will provide step-by-step instructions on how to ingest calamus safely and effectively.

Preparing Calamus for Ingestion

To prepare calamus for ingestion, you can either use dried or fresh roots. Thoroughly clean the root by rinsing and scrubbing off any dirt or debris with a brush, then proceed to chop or grind it into smaller pieces. Once cleaned, chop the root into small pieces or grind it into a fine powder using a herb grinder.

Calamus Tea

  1. Place one teaspoon (approximately 5 grams) of chopped or powdered calamus root in a teapot or mug.
  2. Pour boiling water over the calamus, filling your vessel completely.
  3. Cover and let steep for at least 15 minutes - longer steep times may result in stronger effects.
  4. Strain out the solid particles using a fine mesh strainer before consuming your tea. You can add honey or lemon juice to taste if desired.

Tincture Method

A tincture is an alcohol-based extract that offers easy dosing options and long shelf life. To make your own calamous tincture:

  1. Add approximately two ounces (56 grams) of ground-up dry Acorus Calmus rhizome/rootstock to an empty glass jar with lid. Ensure that there are no contaminants in the jar.
  2. Pour in 500 ml of vodka or other high-proof alcohol to cover the calamus completely. Ensure that there is enough liquid to submerge all plant material, adding more if necessary.
  3. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. Shake the mixture daily during this period.
  4. After two weeks have passed, strain out solid particles using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Squeeze the liquid out of the particles and dispose of them afterwards.
  5. Store your finished tincture in an amber glass dropper bottle for easy dosing and long-term storage.

To consume calamus tincture, start with a small dose (1-2 mL) under your tongue or mixed into water or juice. Gradually increase dosage as needed based on individual tolerance and desired effects. Exercise caution when introducing new substances; seek advice from a healthcare provider if you are uncertain of the proper dosage or potential interactions with any medications taken.


If you prefer ingesting herbs without tasting them directly, consider purchasing pre-made capsules containing powdered calamus root from reputable sources. Alternatively, make your own capsules by filling empty gelatin capsules with ground-up dry Acorus Calmus rhizome/rootstock using capsule machines available on Take one capsule initially to gauge its effects; adjust subsequent doses according to personal preference and sensitivity levels while being mindful not exceed recommended daily intake limits established by health authorities worldwide.

Ingesting Calamus has been known to provide a range of benefits, from reducing inflammation and anxiety to improving cognitive performance. With that in mind, let's explore the potential benefits of topical application of calamus next.

5. Topical Application of Calamus

Topical application is another method to experience the benefits of calamus. This approach involves applying a calamus-infused oil or cream directly onto your skin, which can provide localized relief and relaxation. In this section, we will guide you through the process of creating and using a calamus topical preparation.

A. Making Calamus-Infused Oil

  1. Gather ingredients: You'll need dried calamus root, carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil), and an airtight jar for storage.
  2. Create the infusion: Fill your jar halfway with dried calamus root, then pour in enough carrier oil to cover it completely. Seal the jar tightly.
  3. Let it steep: Place the sealed jar in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks to allow the active compounds from the plant material to infuse into the oil.
  4. Sieve and store: After two weeks, strain out any remaining plant matter using cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer before storing your infused oil in an amber glass bottle away from direct sunlight.

B. Applying Calamus-Infused Oil Topically

To use your homemade calamus-infused oil topically, follow these simple steps:

  1. Cleanse affected area: Prioritize cleanliness by washing hands thoroughly first followed by gently cleaning affected areas on body where you plan on applying infused-oil with mild soap and water; pat dry afterwards.
  2. Apply the oil: Pour a small amount of calamus-infused oil onto your fingertips and gently massage it into the desired area. Be sure to avoid any open wounds or cuts.
  3. Repeat as needed: You can reapply the infused oil throughout the day, but be mindful not to overdo it. Monitor how your skin reacts before increasing frequency or quantity.

The topical application of calamus may provide relief from muscle pain, inflammation, and other localized discomforts. Before applying calamus topically, bear in mind that individual responses may differ based on dosage and susceptibility to herbal remedies.

C. Precautions When Using Calamus Topically

As with any new treatment method, there are some safety considerations you should take into account when using calamus topically:

  • Perform a patch test by dabbing some of the calamus oil on an area that is not easily visible (e.g., inner wrist) and wait for at least 24 hours to check if there are any allergic reactions or skin sensitivity issues.
  • Avoid contact with eyes; rinse thoroughly with water if accidental exposure occurs.
  • In case of severe allergic reactions like hives or difficulty breathing after using calamus topically seek immediate medical attention.

Applying calamus topically may be beneficial for various ailments, yet one must take care when utilizing this substance. Moving on from here, let us explore the effects of using calamus and how they may affect our bodies.

6. Effects of Using Calamus

The consequences of calamus use can differ contingent upon the technique utilized, and individual components like body science and measurements. In this section, we will explore the different effects that may be experienced when using calamus through smoking, ingesting, or topical application.

Effects of Smoking Calamus

When inhaled, calamus is said to give a mild stimulatory effect that can potentially lift one's spirits and invigorate them. Some users have reported experiencing heightened senses and increased focus after smoking this plant. It's important to note that these effects are typically milder than those produced by other stimulants like cannabis.

  • Mild stimulation
  • Elevated mood
  • Increase in focus and concentration
  • Heightened senses (smell, taste)

Effects of Ingesting Calamus

Ingesting calamus can lead to more pronounced psychoactive effects compared to smoking it. Users often report feeling relaxed yet alert after consuming the plant orally - an experience sometimes referred to as "calm-energy." Additionally, some people find that ingesting calamus helps with digestion and alleviates gastrointestinal discomfort.

  • Calm-energy: relaxation combined with mental alertness
  • Potential digestive benefits
  • Slight reduction in anxiety levels. Effects of Topical Application of Calamus . Applying calamus topically is primarily done for its potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Users have reported relief from muscle aches, joint pain, and even skin irritations after applying calamus-infused oils or balms to the affected areas. While topical application does not typically produce psychoactive effects, it may still offer localized benefits for those seeking natural remedies for pain and inflammation.
    • Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Analgesic (pain-relieving) effects
    • Potential relief from skin irritations. It's important to remember that individual experiences with calamus can vary greatly depending on factors such as dosage, method of use , and personal body chemistry . As always , when trying any new substance , start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed while paying close attention to your body's response . For more information on other substances like calamus.

Overall, depending on how it is employed, calamus may bring both advantages and disadvantages. It's important to understand these potential risks before moving forward with use, which will be discussed in the next heading: Safety Considerations When Using Calamus.

7. Safety Considerations When Using Calamus

While calamus can offer various benefits and recreational experiences, it's essential to be aware of potential risks associated with its use. In this section, we will discuss some safety considerations to keep in mind when using calamus medicinally or recreationally.

Allergic Reactions

As with any plant-based substance, there is a possibility of an allergic reaction when using calamus. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, redness, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you experience any of these symptoms after using calamus for the first time, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

Potential Drug Interactions

Calamus has been known to interact with certain medications such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) and sedatives like benzodiazepines. It's crucial to consult your doctor before combining calamus with other medications or supplements.

Dosage Guidelines

  • Smoking: Start by smoking small amounts (0.5 - 1 gram) of dried root material and wait at least 30 minutes before increasing the dose if desired effects are not achieved.
  • Ingesting: Begin by consuming small doses (1 - 2 grams) of powdered root mixed into food or drink; gradually increase dosage based on individual tolerance levels over several days if necessary.
  • Topical Application: Apply a small amount of calamus oil or tincture to the skin and observe for any adverse reactions before using it on larger areas.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Calamus is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to its potential effects on uterine contractions. If expecting or nursing, it is advised to consult with a healthcare provider prior to using calamus in any form.

Avoid Excessive Use

Long-term excessive use of calamus can lead to kidney damage and other health issues. It's essential to follow dosage guidelines and take breaks from usage if needed. As with any substance, moderation is key when enjoying the benefits of this plant safely.

In conclusion, while calamus offers unique experiences and therapeutic properties, it's crucial to be aware of safety considerations such as allergic reactions, drug interactions, proper dosages and avoiding excessive use. By following these guidelines and consulting with a healthcare professional when necessary, you can enjoy the many benefits that this fascinating plant has to offer responsibly.


For centuries, calamus has been utilized in traditional medicine and as a recreational drug. There are different methods of using calamus, including smoking, ingesting, and topical application. Each method has its own set of effects and safety considerations.

If you're interested in learning how to use calamus, it's important to do your research and understand the potential risks involved. Always start with small doses and be aware of any adverse reactions.