• Asha Devi School of Bio Sciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore 14, Tamil nadu, India
  • Raksha Bawankar School of Bio Sciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore 14, Tamil nadu, India
  • S. Babu School of Bio Sciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore 14, Tamil nadu, India


The review emphasis on the current status of the researches in Acorus calamus highlighting their number of useful biological activities. The Acorus calamus most extensively investigated phytochemically and pharmacologically. Number of bioactive constituents was identified and characterized from the leaves and rhizomes and their essential oils. Major chemical constituents identified are alpha and beta asarones which is responsible for therapeutic and medicinal properties of Acorus species. Several, recently published reports have revealed many newer useful bioactivities of leaves and rhizome extracts, essential oils and isolated chemical constituents such as anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, anti-adipogenic, antimicrobial, fungicidal, insulin sensitizing/antidiabetic, neuroprotective, wound healing, mitogenic, insecticidal, anthelmintic, allelopathic, antiepileptic, antispasmodic activities and inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase. This article highlights the various biological activities studied in A. calamus.

Keywords: Acorus calamus, Beta asarone, Alpha asarone, Calamus oil, Sweet flag.


Download data is not yet available.


1. Warrier PK, Nambiar VP, Ramankutty C. Indian Medicinal Plants, vol. 1-5. Orient Longman Ltd., Madras; 1995.
2. Gilani AU, Shah AJ, Ahmad M, Shaheen F. Antispasmodic effect of Acorus calamus Linn. is mediated through calcium channel blockade. Phytother Res 2006;20:1080-4.
3. Chopra RN, Nayar SL, Chopra IC. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research: New Delhi; 1956. p. 330.
4. Namba T. The encyclopedia of Wakan-Yuku (tranditional Sino Japaanese Medicines, Hoikusha: Osaka Japan; 1993. p. 606.
5. Venskutonis PR, Dagilyte A. Composition of essential oil of sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) leaves at different growing phases. J Essent Oil Res 2003;15:313-8.
6. McGaw LJ, Jager AK, Van Staden V. Isolation of β-asarone, an antibacterial and anthelmintic compound, from Acorus calamus in South Africa. Afr J Bot 2002;68:31-5.
7. Nawamaki K, Kuroyanagi M. Sesquiterpenoids from Acorus calamus as germination inhibitors. Phytochem 1996;43:1175–82.
8. Mathur AC, Saxena BP. Induction of sterility in male houseflies by vapors of Acorus calamus L. Oil Naturwissenschaften 1995;62:576-7.
9. Schmidt GH, Streloke M. Effect of Acorus calamus (L.) (Araceae) oil and its main compound β-asarone on Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Boostrichidae). J Stored Prod Res 1994;30:227-35.
10. Bertea CM, Azzolin CM, Bossi S, Doglia G, Maffei ME. Identification of an Eco RI restriction site for a rapid and precise determination of beta-asarone-free Acorus calamus cytotypes. Phytochem 2005;66:507-14.
11. Phongpaichit S, Pujenjob N, Rukachaisirikul V, Ongsakul M. Antimicrobial activities of the crude methanol extract of Acorus calamus Linn. J Sci Techno 2005;27:517-23.
12. Mungkornasawakul P. Fungicide from Acorus calamus Linn, Eugenia caryophyllus Bullock et Harrison and Mammea siamensis Kosterm. and their residues after application: MSc Thesis, Chiang Mai University Chiang Mai; 2000.
13. Thirach S, Tragoolpua K, Punjaisee S, Khamwan C, Jatisatiennr C, Ku-nyanone N. Antifungal activity of some medicinal plant extracts against Candida albicans and d Cryptococcus neoforman. Acta Hort (ISHS) 2003;597:217-21.
14. Ghosh M. Antifungal properties of haem peroxidase from Acorus calamus. Ann Bot 2006;98:1145-53.
15. Lee HS. Fungicidal property of active component derived from Acorus gramineus rhizome against phytopathogenic fungi. Bioresour Technol 2007;98:1324-8.
16. Vasinausikiene M, Radusiene J, Zitikaite I, Surviliene E. Antibacterial activities of essential oils from aromatic and medicinal plantsagainst growth on phytophathogenic bacteria. Agronomy Rearcc 2006;4:437-40.
17. De M, De AK, Banerjee AB. Antimicrobial screening of some Indian spices. Phytother Res 2003;13:616-8.
18. Sabitha RA, Satyakala M, Sandya DV, Suryanarayana MU. Evaluation of antibacterial activity from rhizome extract of Acorus calamus Linn. J Sci Ind Res 2003;62:529-650.
19. Asha Devi S, Deepak G. Antimicrobial activity of Acorus calamus (L.) rhizome and leaf extract. Acta Biol Szegediensis 2009;53:45-9.
20. Merekar N, Pattan SR, Parjane SK, Nirmal SA, Patel DS, Shitre MR. Synergistic anthelmintic activity of rhizomes of acorus calamus and roots of vitex negundo. Pharmacologyonline 2011; 3:209-12.
21. Asha Devi S, Ganjewala D, Babu S. Anthelmintic activity of rhizome extract of Acorus calamus L. in comparison with beta and alpha asaron. Res J Biotechnol 2012;7:112-3.
22. Asha Devi S, Ganjewala D. Antioxidant activities of methanolic extracts of sweet-flag (acorus calamus) leaves and rhizomes. J Herbs Spices Med Plants 2011;17:1–11.
23. Manikandan S, Devi RS. Antioxidant property of alpha-asarone against noise-stress-induced changes in different regions of rat brain. Pharmacol Res 2005;52:467-74.
24. Hazra R, Ray K, Guha D. Inhibitory role of Acorus calamus in ferric chloride-induced epileptogenesis in rat. Hum Exp Toxicol 2007;26:947-53.
25. Divyasree S, Nair CKK. Protection of DNA and membrane from γ-radiation induced damage by the extract of Acorus calamus Linn: an In vitro study. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2011;29:302-7.
26. Prasad L, Khan TH, Jahangir T, Sultana S. Acorus calamus extracts and nickel chloride, prevention of oxidative damage and hyperproliferation response in rat kidney. Biol Trace Elem Res 2006;113:77-92.
27. Dandiya PC, Cullumbine H. Studies on Acorus calamus (III); some pharmacological actions of the volatile oil. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1959;125:353-9.
28. Hyeri K, Tae-Ho H, Seong-Gene L. Anti-inflammatory activity of a water extract of Acorus calamus L. leaves on keratinocyte HaCaT cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2009;122:149-56.
29. Kumar R, Mohanakrishnan D, Sharma A, Kaushik NK, Kalia K, Sinha AK, et al. Reinvestigation of structure-activity relationship of methoxylated chalcones as antimalarials, synthesis and evaluation of 2,4,5-trimethoxy substituted patterns as lead candidates derived from abundantly available natural β-asarone. Eur J Med Chem 2010;45:5292-301.
30. Mehrotra S, Mishra KP, Maurya R, Srimal RC, Yadav VS, Pandey R, et al. Anticellular and immunosuppressive properties of ethanolic extract of Acorus calamus rhizome. Int Immunopharmacol 2003;3:53-61.
31. Belska NV, Guriev AM, Danilets MG, Trophimova ES, Uchasova EG, Ligatcheva AA, et al. Water-soluble polysaccharide obtained from Acorus calamus L. classically activates macrophages and stimulates Th1 response. Int Immunopharmacol 2010;10:933-42.
32. Manonmani S, William S, Subramanian S, Govindasamy S. Biochemical studies on the antidiarrhoeal effects of Cauvery-100, an ayurvedic formulation, in rats. Biochem Int 1991;24:701-8.
33. Gricilda SF, Thomas M. Study of antidiarrhoeal activity of four medicinal plants in castor-oil induced diarrhea. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;6:73–6.
34. Satyavati GV, Raina MK, Sharma M. Medicinal Plants of India, vol. 1, Indian Council of Medical Research: New Delhi; 1976. p. 201-6.
35. Bains JS, Vikram D, Jatinder S, Sukhdev SK, Kamaljeet KN, Javed NA. Novel lectins from rhizomes of two Acorus species with mitogenic activity and inhibitory potential towards murine cancer cell lines. Int Immunopharmacol 2005;5:1470-8.
36. Balakumbahan R, Rajamani K, Kumanan K. Acorus calamus: an overview. J Med Plants Res 2010;4:2740-5.
37. Hee-Kwon L, Chan P, Young-Joon A. Insecticidal activities of asarones identified in Acorus gramineus rhizome against Nilaparvata lugens (Homoptera: Elphacidae) and Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutoidae). Appl Entomol Zool 2002;37:459-64.
38. Parduman RS, Om PS, Bhaskar PS. Effect of sweet flag rhizome oil (Acorus calamus) on hemogram and ultrastructure of hemocytes of the tobacco armyworm, Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Micron 2008;39:544-51.
39. Parab RS, Mengi SA. Hypolipidemic activity of Acorus calamus L. in rats. Fitoterapia 2002;73:451-5.
40. Wu HS, Li YY, Weng LJ, Zhou CX, He QJ, Lou YJ. A fraction of Acorus calamus L. extract devoid of beta-asarone enhances adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. Phytother Res 2007;21:562-4.
41. Lee SH, Kim KY, Ryu SY, Yoon Y, Hahm DH, Kang SA, et al. Asarone inhibits adipogenesis and stimulates lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Cell Mol Bio 2010;56:1215-22.
42. Si MM, Lou JS, Zhou CX, Shen JN, Wu HH, Yang B, et al. Insulin releasing and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity of ethyl acetate fraction of Acorus calamus In vitro and in vivo. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;128:154-9.
43. Wu HS, Zhu DF, Zhou CX, Feng CR, Lou YJ, Yang B, et al. Insulin sensitizing activity of ethyl acetate fraction of Acorus calamus L. In vitro and in vivo. J Ethnopharmacol 2009;123:88-292.
44. Prisilla DH, Balamurugan R, Shah H R. Antidiabetic activity of methanol extract of Acorus calamus in STZ induced diabetic rats. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2012;2:S941-S6.
45. Cho J, Kim YH, Kong JY, Yang CH, Park CG. Protection of cultured rat cortical neurons from excitotoxicity by asarone, a major essential oil component in the rhizomes of Acorus gramineus. Life Sci 2002;71:591-9.
46. Shukla P, Khanna VK, Ali MM, Maurya R, Khan MY, Srimal R C. Neuroprotective effect of Acorus calamus against middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced ischaemia in rat. Hum Exp Toxicol 2006;25:187-94.
47. Prasad L, Khan TH, Jahangir T, Sultana S. Acorus calamus extracts and nickel chloride, prevention of oxidative damage and hyperproliferation response in rat kidney. Biol Trace Elem Res 2006;113:77-92.
48. Shukla PK, Khanna VK, Ali MM, Maurya RR, Handa SS, Srimal RC. Protective effect of acorus calamus against acrylamide induced neurotoxicity. Phytother Res 2002;16:256-60.
49. Geng Y, Li C, Liu J, Xing G, Zhou L, Dong M, et al. Beta-asarone improves cognitive function by suppressing neuronal apoptosis in the beta-amyloid hippocampus injection rat. Biol Pharm Bull 2010;33:836-43.
50. Jain N, Jain R, Jain A, Jain DK, Chandel HS. Evaluation of wound-healing activity of Acorus calamus Linn. Nat Prod Res 2010;24:534-41.
51. Park C, Kim SL, Ahn YJ. Insecticidal activity of asarones identified in Accorus gramineus rhizome against three coleopteran stored-product insects. J Stored Prod Res 2003;39:333-42.
52. He CQ, Wang CK. Allelopathic effect of Acorus tatarinowii upon algae. J Environ Sci (China) 2001;13:481-4.
53. Hu GJ, Zhang WH, Shang YZ, He L. Inhibitory effects of dry Acorus calamus extracts on the growth of two water bloom-forming algal species. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2009;20:2277-282.
54. Shah AJ, Gilani AH. Blood pressure-lowering and vascular modulator effects of Acorus calamus extract are mediated through multiple pathways. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2009;54:38-46.
55. Hu Y, Yuan M, Liu P, Mu L, Wang H. Effect of Acorus tatarinowii schott on ultrastructure and permeability of blood-brain barrier. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2009;34:349-51.
56. Mukherjee PK, Kumar V, Mal M, Houghton PJ. In vitro acetyl cholinesterase inhibitory activity of the essential oil from Acorus calamus and its main constituents. Planta Med 2007;73:283-5.
57. Gilani AU, Shah AJ, Ahmad M, Shaheen F. Antispasmodic effect of Acorus calamus Linn. is mediated through calcium channel blockade. Phytother Res 2006;20:1080-4.
58. Ghosh S, Sharma AK, Kumar AK, Tiwari SS, Rastogi S, Srivastava S, et al. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of Acorus calamus extract against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Parasitol Res 2011;108:361-70.
799 Views | 3436 Downloads
How to Cite
Devi, A., R. Bawankar, and S. Babu. “CURRENT STATUS ON BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF ACORUS CALAMUS - A REVIEW”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 6, no. 10, 1, pp. 66-71,
Review Article(s)