Herb latin name: Acorus gramineus

Family: Araceae (Arum Family)

Medicinal use of Acorus gramineus:

The root is antifungal, antibacterial, antiperiodic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, aromatic, cardiac, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenaggue, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It is also powdered and applied to bleeding gums. It is used internally in the treatment of digestive problems, depression and epilepsy. The root can be harvested at any time of the year, except when the plant is in flower. The root contains asarone. This substance increases the hypnotic effect of barbiturates and ethanol, lowers blood pressure and is antibacterial against Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci and mycobacterium. The whole plant is anodyne, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, digestive, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)


Habitat of the herb:

Wet places by streams and around ponds in C. and S. Japan.

Edible parts of Acorus gramineus:

Root - raw or cooked. It should be peeled, finely chopped and soaked in several changes of water first. A stronger and more pleasing taste than A. calamus. The root is also used as a ginger substitute. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Other uses of the herb:

The dried root repels insects. It is probably also insecticidal. An essential oil is obtained from the plant. A useful ground cover plant, forming a spreading clump.

Propagation of Acorus gramineus:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stand the pot in about 3cm of water. Pot up young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, keep them wet by standing the pots in shallow water and overwinter for the first year in a greenhouse or cold frame. Division in spring just before growth starts. Very easy, the plants can be divided at any time in the growing season and can be planted direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Wet places by streams and around ponds in C. and S. Japan.

Known hazards of Acorus gramineus:

Although no records of toxicity have been seen, this species belongs to a family where most of the species are poisonous, at least in the fresh state. The following notes are from the related A. calamus - the fresh root can be poisonous. When using the plant medicinally, the isolated essential oil should not be used.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.