Vacha: Best natural stimulator for mind and better speech

Age-old practices backing on !

In this thriving era, older techniques are now being revived in the field of healthcare such as yoga, meditation, naturopathy and/or herbal remedies etc. A substantial change is being noticed in the mindset of people now, who are yearning for natural and long term ways of treatment. Thus when it comes to dealing with even a ounce of mental stress or disturbance, these age-old practices does wonders in treating them. Same is the case with Vacha, our tenth herb in the series #SacredIndianHerbs, appreciated for treating the people suffering from psychiatric disorders and also known for managing mental faculties with many other health benefits.

Scientific name: Acorus calamus
English name: Calamus, Sweet flag
Hindi name: Vacha, Bacha
Common name: Calamus, Rat root

Vacha is an ayurvedic plant that is found everywhere throughout the world, mostly thrives in marshy and damp places. Hence, abundantly found in the nearby areas of ponds, lakes and streams. The plant has bright green leaves and light brown elongated flower. The root of this plant is primarily used as medicine. Once the plant is mature enough, the roots are removed and since the roots are full of mud and dirt, they are first cleaned under running water and then dried under sunlight. They can be cut into small pieces and stored in the airtight container for later uses. The identification of this plant is that its leaves are similar to the leaves of sugarcane plant and moreover when we crush them, they emit a strong, unique and easily recognizable smell.

Medicinal usages of vacha

The list of medicinal uses of vacha and indications for the treatment of various diseases is quite exhaustive. Here we have brought out some important benefits and home remedies for better self health management !

1. Vacha for brain rejuvenation

The academic generation of today is often burdened with assignments and excessive workloads. We see our children panic and struggle to cope up with the pressure to succeed in their exams. Thus moderately consuming vacha helps the students to enhance their memory and intelligence. Take 2-4g of vacha powder mixed with 1 tablespoon of lukewarm desi ghee (Indian cow’s clarified butter) empty stomach in the morning followed with one glass of lukewarm milk for 7 days / 14 days or upto 30 days.

For adults, vacha has been described for rejuvenating the brain and calming the nervous system, which brings down the excitement level and soothe worries. Besides it also helps people who suffer from epilepsy. For treating anxiety and epileptic attacks, 4g of vacha powder along with honey can be taken safely once a day. Also, make sure to follow a healthy diet routine by avoiding packed and junked foods which ultimately prevents conditions like constipation. If delayed symptoms of epilepsy are noticed, then you should consult a practitioner.

Besides nowadays many people suffer from chronic or recurring headaches and migraine. Even you too might have a habit to pop a pill for quick relief. Here is a natural and easy way to get relief from all kinds of headache - rub the vacha powder like that of sandalwood on your forehead. You will notice an instant pain relief. And if you are suffering from cold, cough or fever along with a headache, then also you can use the vacha powder along with your medications.

2. Vacha for curing respiratory disorders

When we talk about respiratory disorders, vacha is useful especially in treating throat disorders such as sore throat, hoarseness, strep throat, asthma, and the symptoms associated with them. It is also useful for colds and sinus infections. Dr. NC Shah at CIMAP (Central Institute of Medicinal Aromatic Plant) has done examination on vacha and states that vacha is highly beneficial for respiratory attack like asthma and also helps in curing various respiratory disorders. The roots are cut into small betel nut pieces and are kept under the tongue of the patient. It will immediately help to lessen the severity of the attack. And if the attack still persists, then it can be consumed repeatedly until the patient feels comfortable and easy. To cure cough, mix 2-4g vacha powder with 1-2g of black pepper powder and consume it. This formulation clears the passage by expelling out the impurities from the respiratory tract. Kalyan Avaleha is a herbal ayurvedic preparation made of vacha and some other herbs to eliminate the phlegm produced in our body. It is also an effective remedy for the people having difficulty in speaking and pronunciation.

3. Vacha for voice clarity

Vacha translates from Sanskrit as "speech." We might have noticed some people experiencing sluggishness in their tongue while speaking that makes their speech unclear and produces stammering voice. Moreover some people face difficulty in speaking, pronunciation and lacks a firm voice. For them vacha is an effective remedy - take 1-2g of vacha powder with honey and apply it on the tongue. It will enhance the speech capabilities, pitch and quality of voice. You can also swallow it afterwards. It is immensely helpful for singers, executives and other professionals who need to speak often.

4. Vacha for managing hernia

Hernia happens when an organ slips into the adjacent weeker tissues from its original place; can be in the lower abdomen or under the naval or down in the testicles. A patient experiences pain and swelling in this condition. Hernia can be managed by applying mixture of vacha powder and neem seed meal (leftover after the neem oil is extracted, also known as ‘khali’ in hindi) on the affected site with pressure and tie that area with a cotton cloth. It will strengthen the weaker tissues and muscles by regenerating them. Vacha will be helpful not only during the initial stages of hernia, but will also avoid its recurrence.

5. Other health benefits of vacha

Piles / Haemorrhoids: With a constant change in our dietary habits, we are switching from healthy and raw foods to junk and processed foods. These kind of foods are responsible for various intestinal disturbances leading to problems like constipation that can cause straining while passing stool. If constipation drags for a long time, it will definitely lead to hemorrhoids. In such cases, you can use vacha powder as a part of your natural hemorrhoid treatment. Take some vacha powder and mix it in the sesame oil. Heat the mixture and tie it in the cloth to make a potli. Apply this potli on the affected sites. You will notice that the swollen veins will shrink and pain and swelling will subside. Bleeding will gradually stop, hence regenerating the blood vessels to restore the normal integrity.

Rat Bites: To being bitten by rodents is a major threat that can transmit various kind of diseases. You may experience pain, redness, swelling around the bite and fever. So whenever a rat bites you, here is a natural way to treat its symptoms. Take 4g of vacha powder along with rice water (simply obtained by soaking rice in water for 1 hour) for 7 days. It will help to subside all the symptoms occurred due to the rate bite and the hazardous viruses present in the saliva of rat will also gets eradicated.

Obesity: Vacha is extensively used in the treatment of obesity. Take 2.5-5g of vacha powder with lukewarm water in the morning and evening to reduce your weight.

Joint swelling: Mix vacha powder in flaxseed oil. Apply it gently on the affected joints and it would be helpful in reducing the joint pain and swelling for the people suffering from arthritis.

Ear infections: Grind the roots of the plant and add water to it. Use it as ear drop and put 1-2 drops of it with cotton bud so that the drops stay for sometime. The pain and the infection in ear gets relieved.

Natural mosquito repellant: People are usually prone to mosquito bites and it gets difficult for them to sit in the garden especially during summers because of the frequent stings of the mosquitoes leading to itchy and bumpy skin. Moreover, commercial mosquito repellents leaves a bad odor and infectious chemicals for the humans. So, to prevent from these harmful chemicals, vacha can be planted in your gardens to ward off the mosquitoes. The sticks of sweet flag can also be burnt in the house. The smoke emitted will keep mosquitoes and even snakes far from home.

Thus, this beautiful yellow flowered water-loving plant increases vitality and ensures the long life. So grow this delightful vacha abundantly in your garden and make the most out of it.


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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri


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