Sweet-flag , perennial plant, 60-100 cm tall. The rhizome is thick, cylindrical, wavy, placed horizontally, almost on the surface of the soil, grows up to 1.5 m. The roots are thinly placed in the nodes of the rhizome. The rhizome and the plant itself have a strong and peculiar aroma. The stem is erect, unbranched, rounded, smooth on one side, sharply grooved on the other. Leaves lanceolate. The flowers are small, green-yellow, bisexual, collected in a panicle from 4-12 cm long. Blooms from May to July. Fruit - a leathery multi-seeded red berry. In Latvian conditions, the plant usually does not reproduce by seeds, because there is no one to pollinate it, so it is propagated by roots.
Dried and fresh roots of Sweet-flag are used for medicinal purposes. The roots are harvested in early spring and late autumn. Please, when digging up an ordinary culm, we cut the root with a knife, but in the place where the leaves grow, we leave a piece of the root, about 5 cm in size, and plant it back in the ground - it will continue to grow. The root is washed, twisted in fresh air, cut into pieces of 20 cm and dried at a temperature not exceeding 30C.
The root of Sweet-flag contains 3% essential oil, the composition of which includes monoterpenes (camphene, camphor, borneol) and sesquiterpenes (acorone, isoacorone, acoroxide, etc.), aromatic compounds (azarone, eugenol) and others.
Apart from the essential oil, the bitter glycoside acorin specific to this plant, the bitter substance acoretin, tannins, ascorbic acid and palmitic acid, starch, choline, vitamins, iodine have also been found in the roots. The specific smell of the rhizome is provided by azarylaldehyde.
The essential oils of Sweet-flag and the bitter glycoside acorine act on taste receptors, increase appetite, have a beneficial effect on the tone of the gallbladder, improve digestion, reflectors stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, promote the release of gases, and enhance diuresis. Tannins enhance the therapeutic effect, act as an anti-diarrheal agent.
It has been experimentally determined that the Sweet-flag has an antispasmodic effect. The rhizome of Sweet-flag contains terpenoids (proazulene, azarone). Preparations from the rhizome of kalme have a bacteriostatic, fungistatic and anti-inflammatory effect. Calendula essential oil has antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
Aqueous and alcohol extracts from the rhizome of the Sweet-flag have a suppressive effect against the rods of shigella, proteus, pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The ordinary chisel came to us from East Asia (homeland - India, China). From there it went to the Middle East, Turkey and further to Eastern Europe. As early as the 17th century, Sweet-flag began to be cultivated in the botanical gardens of Northern Europe. Later it became a wild plant and its ability spread throughout Europe.
In folk medicine, a decoction of the rhizome of Sweet-flag is used to treat gastritis with reduced acidity, stomach and intestinal colitis, diarrhea, hepatitis, cholecystitis, inflammation of the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract, irregular menstruation and diseases of the biliary tract.
Galena preparations are used in cases where the CNS is depressed and sexual weakness has occurred, as well as when accelerated ejaculation occurs. This plant will be useful after serious illnesses, operations and physical exertion to increase sexual activity and libido. Together with other herbs, in a mixture, the plant is used to treat impotence, which is associated with nervous disorders.