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Vacha

Vacha
Vacha is an ancient herb having various health benefits. The name “Vacha” in Sanskrit means speaking clearly because this herb stimulates intelligence and expression. In Ayurveda, Vacha is known as a rejuvenating herb because of its effect on the nervous system. It is bitter in taste and is used in the dried form.
According to Ayurveda, taking Vacha along with honey on a daily basis helps manage speech disorders due to its Vata balancing and Medhya properties. It’s consumption also helps in the management of cough by promoting the removal of sputum from the air passages due to its expectorant activity. Vacha also helps improve memory by fighting against cell damage caused by free radicals due to its antioxidant property. This improves behavioral changes, memory and mental performance as well. It also helps remove kidney stones by increasing the production of urine due to its diuretic activity. .
A paste of Vacha powder and water can be applied to the skin to help give you a glowing skin and control various skin infections due to its Tikhta (bitter) and Tikshna (sharpness) properties. Vacha essential oil might be considered useful in reducing pain and inflammation when applied externally due to its anti-inflammatory property. Topical application of Vacha powder with Triphala powder reduces fat on the belly and thigh.
Avoid excessive intake of Vacha as it might cause acidity if you have weak digestion [1][11][13][15][16][9].

What are the synonyms of Vacha?

Acorus calamus, Sweet Flag, Glass Myrtle, Sadgrantha, Vayambur, Vaj, Sweet Sedge, Kalmus, Ugragrandha, Bhuta Nashini, Shataparva, GoraVacha

What is the source of Vacha?

Plant Based

Benefits of Vacha

What are the benefits of Vacha for Appetite stimulant?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although not enough scientific studies are available, Vacha might be useful in improving the appetite[13][16].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha helps to improve appetite due to its Deepan (appetizer) property. It increases the digestive fire and accelerates the digestion process.

What are the benefits of Vacha for Stomach ulcers?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha might be useful as an antiulcer agent as it helps in controlling acidity and gastric acid secretion. It can also protect the inner lining of the stomach from the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and prevents damage[13][14].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha helps to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers ulcer by improving digestion. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. Vacha increases Pachak Agni (digestive fire). This helps to digest the food easily and also controls excessive secretion of gastric juice.

What are the benefits of Vacha for Flatulence (gas formation)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although not enough scientific studies are available, Vacha might be useful in managing digestive problems like flatulence (gas formation) and bloating[15].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha helps to reduce accumulation of gas in the stomach because of its Vata balancing nature and Deepan (Appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. It increases the Pachak Agni (digestive fire) which helps to digest the food easily and prevent the formation of excessive gas in the stomach.

What are the benefits of Vacha for Diarrhea?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha might be useful in managing diarrhea. Vacha contains constituents like alkaloids, saponins and tannins that has spasmolytic action and relaxes the smooth muscles of the stomach. Thus, Vacha can be used in gastrointestinal disorders such as colic pain and diarrhea[16][17]. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity of Vacha prevents bacterial growth and reduces inflammation thereby providing relief[10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha has properties of Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) so it works well in all digestion related problems like indigestion, gastritis and diarrhea.
Tip:
Take 1 pinch of Vacha churna twice a day with normal water after taking light food.

How effective is Vacha?

Insufficient evidence
Appetite stimulant, Diarrhea, Flatulence (gas formation), Stomach ulcers, Stroke

Precautions when using Vacha

Advice from Experts
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Vacha can act on the central nervous system and can cause too much sleepiness when combined with other medications used during or after the surgery. Therefore, it is advisable to stop taking Vacha at least 2 weeks before the scheduled surgery[4].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha should be taken in a recommended dose and for a recommended duration under a doctor’s supervision.
Allergy
scientific
Modern Science View
People who are allergic or hypersensitive to Vacha or its constituents should use it under a doctor’s supervision.
Breastfeeding
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Avoid Vacha if you are breastfeeding[4].
Minor Medicine Interaction
scientific
Modern Science View
Antacids are used to decrease acid in the stomach whereas Vacha might increase acid in the stomach. Therefore, Vacha might decrease the effectiveness of antacids. It is thus advisable to avoid Vacha with antacids[4].
Moderate Medicine Interaction
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Vacha might increase the side effects of anti-depressants[4].
2. Vacha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Therefore, its use should be avoided with other sedatives[4].

Other Interaction
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Vacha should be used with caution in cancer patients or patients taking antineoplastic agents[12].
2. Vacha might increase the risk of constipation from calcium channel blockers[12].
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha may lower blood pressure. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood pressure regularly while taking Vacha along with other anti-hypertensive drugs[4].
Pregnancy
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Avoid Vacha during pregnancy[4].
Side Effects
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Upset stomach
2. Shaking
3. Seizures
4. Kidney damage[4][12].
Important
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
1. Do not use Vacha for a long duration (not more than 5-6 weeks) and in high dose.
2. Vacha should be avoided if you have excessive Pitta in the body.
3. Vacha can cause headache if you have excessive Pitta in the body.

Recommended Dosage of Vacha

  • Vacha Churna - 1-2 pinch twice a day.
  • Vacha Capsule - 1-2 capsule twice day.

How to use Vacha

1. Vacha Churna
a. Take 1-2 pinch of Vacha churna.
b. Mix it with honey.
c. Take it twice a day before or after taking food.

2. Vacha Capsule
a. Take 1-2 Vacha capsule.
b. Swallow it with water twice a day.

Benefits of Vacha

What are the benefits of Vacha for Skin disorders?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha gives a glowing skin and controls various bacterial and fungal skin infections due to its Tikta (bitter) and Tikshna (sharpness) properties. Vacha also has good Ropan (healing) property and helps in wound healing.

What are the benefits of Vacha for Arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Due to its anti-inflammatory property, Vacha might be useful in reducing pain and swelling when applied externally on the affected area[16].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha helps in lowering the pain and swelling associated with arthritis due to its property of balancing Vata dosha in the body.

What are the benefits of Vacha for Flatulence (gas formation)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha might be useful in digestive problems like flatulence (gas formation) and bloating[15].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha might help reduce accumulation of gas in the abdomen due to its Vata balancing property.
Tip:
1. Grind the Vacha root in water and apply it on the stomach of the child.
2. Or, grind Vacha in castor oil or coconut oil and apply it on the stomach of the child to reduce swelling of the stomach due to accumulation of gas.

How effective is Vacha?

Insufficient evidence
Arthritis, Flatulence (gas formation), Skin disorders

Precautions when using Vacha

Advice from Experts
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Avoid the application of Vacha if you have excessive Pitta in the body.
Allergy
scientific
Modern Science View
Apply Vacha to a small area first to test for possible allergic reactions. Or use it only under doctor’s supervision if you are allergic to Vacha or its constituents[12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
If your skin is hypersensitive, you can apply Vacha root paste mixed with honey or milk.

Recommended Dosage of Vacha

  • Vacha Powder - 1/2-1 teaspoon or your as per your requirement.
  • Vacha Oil - 2-3 drops or your as per your requirement.

How to use Vacha

1. Vacha Powder
a. Take 1 teaspoon of Vacha powder.
b. Add some water to form a paste.
c. Apply it on the affected areas.
d. Use this remedy to control skin infections.

2. Vacha Powder with Triphala Powder
a. Take 1 teaspoon of Vacha Powder.
b. Mix it with Triphala.
c. Massage on your belly and thighs to reduce fat.

3. Vacha Essential Oil
a. Mix 2 drops of Vacha essential oil to Sesame oil.
b. Massage it gently on the affected area.
c. Use this remedy twice a day area to manage pain[9].

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Vacha flower essence?

scientific
Modern Science View
Unlike Vacha, Vacha flower essence is completely different. Also known as Vacha flower remedies, these are solutions that are made with brandy and water using dilutions of various flowers. These are commercially available and are known to improve mood.

Q. What are the different types of Vacha flowers?

scientific
Modern Science View
There are numerous varieties of Vacha flowers that you can pick depending upon the health benefits and the essence. Some of the commonly available variants or types of Vacha flowers are Gorse, Chicory, Aspen, Mustard, Holly, Willow, Gentian, Clematis, Hornbeam, Larch, Olive, Elm, Pine, Mimulus, Agrimony, Cerato, Heather and Beech.

Q. Where to buy Vacha flower remedies?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha flower remedies are commercially available. You can buy these products either from Ayurvedic stores or online.

Q. Does Vacha help to manage stammering?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha might help in managing speech disorders. This is due to its Vata balancing and Medhaya properties. Vacha provides the body with sufficient strength to control all sorts of nerve-related disorders.
Tip:
Take 1-2 pinch of Vacha (Acorus calamus) with 1 teaspoon honey daily.

Q. Is Vacha flower good for anxiety?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vacha might help manage anxiety, depression and stress due to its Medhaya (memory enhancing) property.
Tip:
1. Take 1-2 pinch of Vacha churna with honey 2 hours after taking food twice a day.
2. Continue for at least 1 month for better results.

Q. Can Vacha (Calamus) be added to foods?

scientific
Modern Science View
It is advisable not to add any variety of Vacha to food (be it in powdered form or liquid form) without a doctor's consultation. This is because, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have prohibited the use of certain species of Vacha as it is reported to contain cancer-causing chemicals[4]. Hence, not all species of Vacha can be consumed internally.

Q. Does Vacha help in the management of Cough?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Vacha helps in the management of cough due to its expectorant property. It helps to remove mucus from the air passages, thereby providing relief from cough[13].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Vacha helps to manage cough which occurs due to the formation and accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract. This happens due to an aggravated Kapha dosha. Vacha due to its Ushna (hot) nature and Kapha balancing properties helps to manage the symptoms of cough. It loosens the mucus and removes it from the body.
Tips
1. Take 1-2 pinch of Vacha churna.
2. Mix it with honey.
3. Take it twice a day before or after taking food.

Q. How does Vacha help improve memory?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha helps to improve memory due to its neuroprotective property. The antioxidants present in Vacha fight against the free radical which might damage the brain (neuronal) cells. It protects the cells and prevents inflammation, thereby improving behavioural changes, memory as well as mental performance[14].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Vacha helps to improve memory-related issues which mainly occurs due to an imbalance of Vata dosha. It has Medya (brain tonic) and Vata balancing properties which help to maintain proper brain functions and boosts memory.

Q. Can Vacha remove urinary stones?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Vacha might help to remove urinary stones due to its diuretic activity. It increases the production of urine and flushes out the stones. It also promotes the dissolution of crystals and prevents the formation of new stones (mainly renal stones)[15].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Vacha helps to remove urinary stones which are formed by the accumulation of toxins in the body due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha. Vacha helps to manage this condition as it has Mutral (diuretic) and Vata - Kapha balancing properties. It increases urine production and helps in removing toxins as well as stones from the body.

Q. What are the benefits of Vacha for abdominal gas?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha helps to relieve abdominal gas due to its carminative property. It prevents the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and facilitates the gas expulsion, thereby providing relief from flatulence[17].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Abdominal gas generally occurs due to weak or poor digestion caused by an imbalanced Vata - Pitta dosha. Vacha helps to manage this condition due to its Ushna (hot) nature and Vata-balancing property. It helps to improve digestion and manages abdominal gases.

Q. Is Vacha helpful in managing asthma?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Vacha might help to manage asthma, as it widens the airways of the lungs. This is done by relaxing the muscles and clearing mucus from the lungs. It helps in easy breathing and provides relief from asthma symptoms[18].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Vacha helps to manage asthma which occurs due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha. This results in the formation and accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract. Vacha due to its Ushna (hot) nature and Vata - Kapha balancing properties helps to loosen the mucus and removes it from the body, thereby providing relief.

Q. Can Vacha be used in ulcers?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Vacha is used in ulcers because of the presence of certain constituents which have anti-secretory property. These constituents help to decrease the volume of gastric acid. Vacha also has an antioxidant property that fights against the free radicals and prevents cell damage, thereby protecting gastric cells (gastroprotective property)[20].

Q. What are the use of Vacha in Coryza?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vacha might help in Coryza (which is inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose) due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the inflammation in the nasal membranes and thereby clears the nasal and sinus passages[16].

Q. Is Vacha (Sweet flag) used to make speech clear?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available to support the role of Vacha in speech ability, but it might help to clear the speech and voice quality[21].

Q. Can Vacha be used for herpes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Vacha can be used as an anti-herpes agent to manage herpes. According to studies, it contains a compound known as beta-asarone, which exerts strong inhibitory action against the virus. It prevents the replication of herpes type 1 and type 2 virus, thus preventing the spread of the infection[6].

Q. Can Vacha be used as a remedy for dental problems?

scientific
Modern Science View
The antibacterial property of Vacha prevents the growth of bacteria and thus lowers the risk of various oral problems. It also helps in relieving pain due to its anti-inflammatory property, and hence is used commonly for toothache[7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurveda, Vacha can be used for oral and dental problems due to its Tikta (Bitter) and Ropan (Healing) properties.
Tip:
Mix 1-2 pinch of Vacha churna with 1 teaspoon honey and apply on the affected area.

Q. Is Vacha beneficial for the headache?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available to support the role of Vacha in headaches, but it might be used in managing headaches[16].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Vacha might help to manage headaches which occur due to a cough or cold. It has Usna (hot) nature and Vata - Kapha balancing properties due to which it helps to loosen the mucus and manages the symptoms of cough and cold, thereby relieving headache.
Tips
1. Take a few drops of Vacha essential oil.
2. Massage it gently on your head.

Q. Can I use Vacha (Sweet flag) powder on the skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Vacha powder can be used on the skin due to its anti-inflammatory property. It inhibits the mediators responsible for causing inflammation and thereby manages inflammation[19].

References

  1. Khalsa KS, Tierra M.\"Calamus\".The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Health with Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism (1st ed.).Lotus Press;2008.
  2. Puri HS.\"Calamus\".Rasayana: Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation (1st ed).CRC Press; 2003.
  3. Mukherjee PK, Kumar V, Mal M, et al.Acorus calamus.: Scientific Validation of Ayurvedic Tradition from Natural Resources.Pharmaceutical Biology.2007;45:8, 651-666.
  4. WebMD.Calamus: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  5. Megoneitso RR.Ethnobotanical studies in Nagaland–4.Sixty two medicinal plants used by the Angami-Nagas.J Econ Tax Bot.1983; 4:167–172.
  6. Mukherjee PK, Kumar V, Mal M, et al.Acorus calamus.: Scientific validation of Ayurvedic tradition from natural resources.Pharmaceutical Biology.2008;45(8):651-666.
  7. Balaji NS, Rajasekhar D, Chengal RD, et al.Ethno-medicinal notes on some plants of Tirumala hills for dental disorders.Ethnobotany.1996;8:88–91.
  8. Bhat SD, Ashok BK, Acharya RN, et al.Anticonvulsant activity of raw and classically processed Vacha (Acorus calamus Linn.) rhizomes.Ayu.2012;33(1):119-122.
  9. Thaler K, Kaminski A, Chapman A, et al.Vacha Flower Remedies for psychological problems and pain: a systematic review.BMC Complement Altern Med.2009 May 26;9:16.
  10. Shoba FG, Thomas M.Study of antidiarrhoeal activity of four medicinal plants in castor-oil induced diarrhoea.J Ethnopharmacol.2001;76: 73–76.
  11. Paranjpe P, Paranjpe S.Herbs for Beauty: Revealing Ayurvedic Treasures.Volume 33 of Chaukhamba Ayurvijnan Studies.Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan.2001.
  12. Ulbricht CE.Natural Standard:Herb and Supplement Guide, An Evidence Based Reference.Elsevier;2010.
  13. Pattanaik J, Kumar Y, Khatri RS. Acorus calamus Linn.: A herbal tonic for central nervous system.Journal of scientific and innovative research. 2013;2(5):950-954. External Link
  14. Esfandiari E, Ghanadian M, Rashidi B, et al. The Effects of Acorus calamus L. in Preventing Memory Loss, Anxiety, and Oxidative Stress on Lipopolysaccharide-induced Neuroinflammation Rat Models. Int J Prev Med. 2018;9:85.External Link
  15. Ghelani H, Chapala M, Jadav P. Diuretic and antiurolithiatic activities of an ethanolic extract of Acorus calamus L. rhizome in experimental animal models. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;6(4):431-436. External Link
  16. Singh R, Sharma PK, Malviya R. Pharmacological Properties and Ayurvedic Value of Indian Buch Plant (Acorus calamus): A Short Review. Advances in Biological Research.2011; 5(3): 145-154. External Link
  17. Chandra D, Prasad K. Phytochemicals of Acorus calamus (Sweet flag). Journal of medicinal plants studies. 2017;5(5):277-281.External Link
  18. Vijayapandi P, Annabathina V, Srikanth SN, et al. In Vitro Anticholinergic and Antihistaminic Activities of Acorus Calamus Linn. Leaves Extracts. Afr. J Tradit Complements Altern Med.2013;10(1):95-101. External Link
  19. Umamaheshwari N, Rekha A. Sweet flag: (Acarus calamus)-An incredible medicinal herb.Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2018; 7(6): 15-22. External Link
  20. Barua CC, Haloi P. Evaluation of Gastric Ulcer Protective Activity of Acorus calamus Linn. in Laboratory Animals. Medicinal Plants: Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.2015;(4):455-476. External Link
  21. S Palani, S Raja, Kumar RP, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of antihepatotoxic and antioxidant activities of Acorus calamus on acetaminophen-induced toxicity in rat.IJIB.2009;7(1):39-43. External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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