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.

Medicinal significance

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.

Historical deviation

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.

For men

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.

Not recommended for use

It is not recommended to use Sweet-flag preparations in case of increased gastric secretion. It should also not be used during pregnancy and lactation. Of course, you have to be very careful when giving ordinary Kalmi to children.

Medicinal Recipes

The preparation of the rhizome of the Sweet-flag : 10 grams (2 tablespoons) of the drug is placed in an enameled container and poured with 200 ml of boiled-cooled water, closed with a cap and heated in a water bath for 15 minutes, cooled at room temperature for 45 minutes, the thickness is separated, they are squeezed out and the obtained preparation is replenished to the original volume. The solution is stored in a cool place, at a temperature not higher than +10C. Store no longer than 2 days. Use warm ¼ cup, 3-4 times a day, 30 minutes before meals

A decoction of Sweet-flag rhizome: 3 tablespoons of chopped Sweet-flag rhizome are poured with 0.5 L of boiling water, boiled for 30 minutes on low heat, after cooling, the thickness is separated. Drink ½ glass, 3-4 times a day, 30 minutes before meals. Great for bronchitis.

Decoction of rhizome for baths: pour 5L of 300 gr of rhizome, boil for 5 minutes, let stand for 1 hour, separate the layers, use for 15-20 minutes at a time (36-38C).

The ratio of the rhizome of the Sweet-flag : 1:10 (15 grams per 3 glasses of water). Take ¼-1/2 cup before meals to improve appetite, digestion, gastric and duodenal ulcers and gastritis associated with decreased gastric juice content.

Infusion of the stems and leaves of the Sweet-flag : 1 tablespoon of the drug in 1 glass of boiling water, let stand for 30 minutes, separate the layers, use 1 tablespoon each, 3 times a day before meals.

Extract (extract) of the rhizome of the Sweet-flag : 1 tablespoon of crushed roots per 1 glass of vodka, leave in a dark, warm place for 1 week, separate the layers, use 10-15 drops with water after meals. For external use, one teaspoon of alcohol extract is mixed with 0.5L of water.

Extract of the rhizome of the Sweet-flag : pour 1 tablespoon of crushed rhizome with 100ml of brandy. Allow to settle for 3-5 days, shaking often. Separates thicknesses. Use 20 drops (can be mixed with water) 3 times a day. In case of dry cough. You can also put it on a cotton pad and put it on the aching teeth.

Stabilization of Sweet-flag rhizome: 2 tablespoons of Sweet-flag rhizome are poured with 250 ml of boiling water, placed in a sealed container (perhaps in a thermos) for 2-3 hours, then the thickness is separated. Take ¼ cup, 3 times a day, 30 minutes before meals to treat scurvy or as an anti-inflammatory.

Decoction of Sweet-flag root: 1 tablespoon of Sweet-flag root, 750ml of boiling water. Chopped roots are poured with boiling water, boiled for 15 minutes in a tightly sealed container. The decoction is left for 2 hours, then the layers are separated. Take ½ cup, 3 times a day. 20-30 minutes before meals, as a tonic and generally strengthening agent.

Setting of Sweet-flag : crushed rhizome is poured with boiling water, in a ratio of 1:10, heated in a water bath for 15-20 minutes, set for 20 minutes or better for 4-6 hours and then separates the thickness. Drink 2 tablespoons warm, 3-4 times a day, 30 minutes before meals, to treat stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontosis. It is also used for rinsing the throat, in case of angina.

A decoction of the rhizome of Sweet-flag : 30 grams of chopped sedum, pour 1L of boiling water, boil on a low heat, let it sit for 20 minutes, separate the layers. Used for rinsing or sitz baths, used 1-2 times a day for vaginitis and other genital diseases. It can also be used externally to treat skin ulcers and festering wounds.

A powder can be prepared from the root of the Sweet-flag , which is chewed in 3 grams in case of periodontitis, and it can also be poured on long non-healing and decayed wounds.

Food recipes

St. John's wort is a prehistoric plant that is used both for food and medicine. Fragrant marigold is one of those plants that can be found by smell already in pieces. But it must be taken into account that our water bodies are often polluted and it is not desirable to collect kalmi in them. I have personally found groves that are located on the banks of the river, but nearby there are Danish fields, which are richly treated with chemicals - I don't even dare to dig a root in such places.

The roots of the Sweet-flag are dug in autumn, and the leaves are collected at the same time. The roots are cut and dried. kalmi is used as a substitute for bay leaves and ginger when preparing soups, meat dishes and cabbage dishes. Sweet-flag is one of the main spices used in fish dishes.

The fragrant kalmi is also used to give a special aroma to beer, liqueur and to make gin. In Europe, apple, pear, rhubarb compotes, fruit soups and salads are flavored with Sweet-flag root. Jams, syrups, as well as candied rhizomes are made from it. It should be noted that the rhizomes of Sweet-flag are quite irritating, so using them in large quantities is not a brain task. In liquid, sweet foods, a piece of Sweet-flag rhizome is placed for 3 minutes before the food is ready and then taken out.

Diet recipes

Apple and Sweet-flag root compote

2 tbsp. Spoons of dry or 1 cup of fresh Sweet-flag root, 300 gr. fresh or 100 gr. dried apples, 6 tbsp. sugar. Boil the apples in 1L of water until they are ready, add the Sweet-flag root, heat until it begins to boil, let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then add sugar and boil again. The root can be placed in a gauze bag, which can then be removed from the finished compote.

Sweet-flag sugar syrup

500 grams of sugar, 1 liter of water, 20 grams of dry Sweet-flag root, 2 grams of citric acid. Pour 0.5L of boiling water over the dried roots of Sweet-flag and leave to settle for one day. Separate the roots and add citric acid.

Dissolve the sugar in boiling water (0.5L) and combine with a calender. The resulting syrup is bottled and used to flavor sweet dishes. When stored in a cool place, the syrup can be stored for 1 year.

Sweet-flag jam

1 cup of dried Sweet-flag roots, 3 L of liquid sugar syrup, 3 cups of apples (plums, alice or quinces can also be used).

Sweet-flag roots are poured into boiling sugar syrup, boiled for 5-10 minutes, fruits are added and boiled until the jam is ready.

Sweet-flag decoction

20 gr. dried Sweet-flag roots, 1L water. Add 20 gr to boiling water. chopped roots and boiled again. Leave to stand for one day.

The decoction is used to flavor baked goods, first courses and salads.

Sweet-flag kvass

A decoction of Sweet-flag root is added to traditional kvass - 1 glass per 3 L of kvass.

Sweet-flag root sugaring

Fresh Sweet-flag roots are placed in a thick sugar syrup. Prepare the roots in the same way as before drying (length 2-3cm, cut into 4 parts), boil for 5-10 min. The roots are removed from the syrup, placed on the surface for drying. When the candied roots are wilted and dried, they are placed in a glass jar. Serve with tea as a delicacy.