Although Calamus has gone in and out of favour with the FDA and Western herbalists, it has been used for millennia in India as the supreme tonic for the mind and spiritual self. Its Vedic name, Vacha, means “speaking” or the power of the word, communication, and intelligence that this herb supports.
Calamus is a purifier and rejuvenative to the brain and nervous system, and increases perception and awareness, especially of the Sattvic, or highest spiritual plane of being. For this purpose, Calamus is often combined with Gotu Kola to facilitate meditation. Because of its nerve tonic and painkilling properties, it can also be helpful in spasmodic or nervous pain and tension.
Calamus is considered clearing to the subtle channels, and its North American relative was used in much the same way- to clear and cleanse the body on all levels. Calamus is also used in Ayurveda to balance the effects of marijuana use, and to aid in cleansing and recovery from overuse of drugs.
Calamus was greatly favored by the mystical nature poet Walt Whitman, who wrote an ode to it in which he called it “leaves of joy”. For an incredible peaceful yet clear Sattvic state, try the classic sacred combination of Tulsi, Calamus, Sandalwood and Saffron.
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