Latin name: Acorus calamus L.
Botanical family: Araceae
Growth habit: Herb
Vernacular name(s): sweet flag (Eng.)
acorus roseau, belle-angélique (Fr.)
wika (Chippewa)
wachuskomechiwin, wachuskowmiytsuwin, wacaskomicowin, wacaskwatapih, wiy (hkiyuw, wihkes, wihkes, wihkis Cree)
dzëñni (Chipewyan)
kiuhu'ziwazas (Malecite)
wiikansh, na'bûgûck, wiken', na'bugûck' (Ojibwa)
môskwas'wask (Abenaki)
Medicinal plant [Malecite: 59]. , componenent of many compound medicines used to treat venereal disease [Metis: 13]. , cough and cold [Cree: 42; Malecite: 65]. , heart trouble, headache, fever, infected wounds, muscle or joint pain including rheumatism [Cree: 13].
Root :Scalded (not boiled) and used as a physic [Chippewa 47]. Used to cure a cold in the throat [Chippewa 47; Ojibwa 87; Algonquin 69]. , fever, tootache, earache, headache [Chippewa 47; Ojibwa 89]. or for stomach cramps [Ojibwa 87]. Used to cure open wounds [Mi'kmaq 43]. Combined with pepperroot (Dentaria diphylla) given for heart disease and for coughs combined with cherry (Prunus virginiana) [Algonquin 69]. Tea given to women after childbirth and used to treat the symptoms of menopause, or combined with Sorbus americana and used as a tonic [Algonquin 69]. Chewed and juice swallowed for cold, sore throat and chest congestion, or powder used to treat chest infection [Dene 17].
Rhizome :Used as a tonic, to treat cholera, chewed against pharyngitis or for clearing the throat, an infusion is used by women in dysmenorrhea [Algonquians 63; Chippewa 88]. Chewed for cough [Mi'kmaq 60]. Combined with the bark of Xanthozylon americanum, the bark of the roots of Sassafras variifolium and roots of Asarum canadense and steeped to make a remedy for cold, cough, and bronchial troubles [Chippewa 85]. Carminative [Abenaki 67]. , a decoction is drunk for fever and cold [44; Chippewa 47; Cree, Dene, Metis 13]. Pulverized and snuffed up nostrils in colds [Chippewa 47]. Chewed and juice or decoction drunk to treat cold, cough including whooping cough, sore throat, sinus congestion, blood spitting, dry mouth, upset stomach, toothache, teething pain, rash, headache, rhumatism, muscle pain, chest pain, lower back pain, pounding heart, tonsillitis, pneumonia, diabetes, venereal disease or intestinal worms [44; Cree 95; Cree, Dene, Metis 13]. Chewed to treat tonsils, diabetes [Cree, Dene 13]. , or to relieve fatigue on a long hike [Dene 13]. Smoked, or chewed and the juice swallowed (or rarely boiled to make a drink) to treat cough and cold, sore throat, stomach ache, toothache, or pain. Mixed with stipe bases of Dryopteris spinulosa, roots of Aster puniceus and stems of Sorbus scopulina, boiled and drunk to relieve sore kidneys or other "internal pain". Combined with stipe bases of Dryopteris spinulosa and beaver castor and used as a heart medicine. Boiled with Amanita muscaria to make a wash for sore eyes [Chipewyan 92]. Steam from boiling inhaled to relieve congestion, headache, or earache [Cree 13]. Small piece softened in water and inserted into the ear or grinded, boiled, and mixed with flour to make a batter to make a compress placed over affected ear [Cree 13]. Smoked to treat a cough or boiled to make a wash for sore eyes [Dene 13]. Dried and grinded or freshly grated chewed and used as a poultice to treat headache and painful joints from arthritis, muscle cramps, a decoction is drunk to aid the healing [Cree 13]. Powdered with other herbs (Nuphar variegatum or Heracleum lanatum) applied externally to treat headache, swelling of limbs, painful joints, muscle pain, and rheumatism, or chewed for cough, cuts, toothache, earache, bellyache, or facial paralysis [Cree 95]. Cough medicine [Dene 98].