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Calamus (Acorus calamus L.)



Interactions

Calamus/Drug Interactions:
  • AmphetamineAmphetamine: An animal study suggests that calamus may act as an antagonist of amphetamine. Calamus, as an intraperitoneal dose of an alcoholic extract of the roots and rhizomes, antagonized hyperactivity that amphetamine produced in mice (37).
  • AntibioticsAntibiotics: Several in vitro studies indicate that calamus may have antibacterial action against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and strains of Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Shigelladysenteriae, S. sonnei) (2; 55; 56).
  • AnticholinergicsAnticholinergics: In vitro inhibition of acetylcholinesterase occurred with an extract (methanol) of the cut root from the rhizome (44).
  • AnticonvulsivesAnticonvulsives: Related species of calamus, Acorus gramineus and Acorus tatarinowii, have shown anticonvulsive effects in animal and laboratory studies (23; 7; 57). It is unclear if calamus (Acorus calamus) shares these effects as well.
  • AntifungalsAntifungals: Based on laboratory study, ?-asarone completely inhibited mycelial growth of some pathogenic fungi (58). Calamus's leaves contain a class III hem peroxidase which, in the host's defense against pathogenic fungi, may inhibit hyphal growth of such invasive pathogens in plants (8). Although these studies support a possible antifungal action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.
  • Antilipemic agentsAntilipemic agents: Based on animal study, alcoholic or aqueous extracts of calamus roots and rhizomes during the period of an atherogenic diet decreased cholesterol and triglycerides and increased the concentration of high density lipoprotein (59; 26). Although these studies support a possible antihyperlipidemic action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.
  • Anti-inflammatoriesAnti-inflammatories: Based on laboratory study, alcoholic extract of calamus had moderate antiproteolytic activity toward trypsin's effect of induction of hydrolysis of bovine serum albumin, and that extract evidenced indication of inhibition of beta-glucoronidase (10). Although this supports a possible anti-inflammatory action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.
  • Antineoplastic agentsAntineoplastic agents: The chemical constituent, ?-asarone, has documented carcinogenic effects, although anticarcinogenic activation of ?-asarone has been reported on human carcinoma cells (60).
  • AntioxidantsAntioxidants: Based on laboratory and animal studies, antioxidant action occurred with an extract of the rhizome (12; 10; 13; 61; 16; 36). Essential oil from the dry rhizomes of Acorus gramineus (a related species of calamus) also inhibited lipid peroxidation in an animal study (7).
  • Antispasmodic agentsAntispasmodic agents: Calamus hypothetically may potentiate the effects of antispasmodics, given that in vitro antispasmodic action was shown in a preparation of rabbits' isolated jejunem. In the preparation, an extract of calamus inhibited contractions that occurred spontaneously or through induction with potassium (14).
  • BarbituratesBarbiturates: Calamus hypothetically may potentiate the hypnotic effect of barbiturates, given that another species of Acroraceae, Acorus gramineus (as the essential oil), prolonged the time of sleep that pentobarbital produced in mice (7; 62).
  • Cardiovascular agentsCardiovascular agents: Calamus hypothetically may increase constipation from calcium channel blockers, given in vitro evidence of antispasmodic action with a crude extract of calamus and that a certain fraction (n-hexane) possessed particular activity for blockade of calcium channels (14). Based on anecdote, calamus may have anti-arrhythmic activity (15). Digoxin's inotropic effect hypothetically may lessen with calamus, given that in an in vitro preparation of frog's heart there were negative inotropic effects with an alcoholic extract of the roots and rhizomes (37).
  • ImmunomodulatorsImmunomodulators: Calamus hypothetically may inhibit immunostimulants, given that with an alcoholic extract of the rhizome there was in vitro inhibition of mitogenic and antigenic stimulation of proliferation of human T lymphocytes; there also was inhibition of production of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-? (63). However, in converse, interleukin-2 increased in a culture of murine splenocytes and lectins that were constituents of another extract of the rhizomes. These lectins also apparently had mitogenic action on human T lymphocytes (17).
  • SedativesSedatives: Barbiturates' hypnotic effect hypothetically may increase excessively with calamus, given that the related species, Acorus gramineus (as the essential oil), prolonged the time of sleep that pentobarbital produced in mice (7; 62).

Calamus/Herb/Supplement Interactions.
  • AntibacterialsAntibacterials: Several in vitro studies indicate that calamus may have antibacterial action against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and strains of Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Shigelladysenteriae, S. sonnei) (2; 55; 56).
  • Anticholinergic agentsAnticholinergic agents: Calamus hypothetically may inhibit herbs with anticholinergic action, given that in vitro inhibition of acetylcholinesterase occurred with an extract (methanol) of the cut root from the rhizome (44).
  • AnticonvulsivesAnticonvulsives: Related species of calamus, Acorus gramineus and Acorus tatarinowii, have shown anticonvulsive effects in animal and laboratory studies (23; 7; 57). It is unclear if calamus (Acorus calamus) shares these effects as well.
  • AntifungalsAntifungals: Based on laboratory study, ?-asarone completely inhibited mycelial growth of some pathogenic fungi (58). Calamus's leaves contain a class III haem peroxidase which, in the host's defense against pathogenic fungi, may inhibit hyphal growth of such invasive pathogens in plants (8). Although these studies support a possible antifungal action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.
  • Anti-inflammatoriesAnti-inflammatories: Based on laboratory study, alcoholic extract of calamus had moderate antiproteolytic activity toward trypsin's induction of hydrolysis of bovine serum albumin, and that extract evidenced indication of inhibition of ?-glucoronidase (10). Although this supports a possible anti-inflammatory action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.
  • AntilipemicsAntilipemics: Based on animal study, alcoholic or aqueous extracts of calamus roots and rhizomes during the period of an atherogenic diet decreased cholesterol and triglycerides, and increased the concentration of high density lipoprotein (59; 26). Although these studies support a possible antihyperlipidemic action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.
  • AntioxidantsAntioxidants: Based on laboratory and animal studies, antioxidant action occurred with an extract of the rhizome (12; 10; 13; 61; 16; 36). Essential oil from the dry rhizomes of Acorus gramineus (a related species of calamus) also inhibited lipid peroxidation in animal study (7).
  • AntineoplasticsAntineoplastics: The chemical constituent, ?-asarone, has documented carcinogenic effects, although anticarcinogenic activation of ?-asarone has been reported on human carcinoma cells (60).
  • AntispasmodicsAntispasmodics: Calamus hypothetically may potentiate the effects of antispasmodics, given that in vitro antispasmodic action was shown in a preparation of rabbits' isolated jejunem. In the preparation, an extract of calamus inhibited contractions that occurred spontaneously or through induction with potassium (14).
  • Cardiovascular agentsCardiovascular agents: Secondary sources have reported in vivo hypotensive activity, however, this has not been confirmed in the available primary literature. Based on anecdote, calamus may have anti-arrhythmic activity (15). Calamus may theoretically inhibit herbs with positive inotropic action given that in an in vitro preparation of frog's heart, there were negative inotropic effects with an alcoholic extract of the roots and rhizomes (37).
  • ImmunomodulatorsImmunomodulators: Calamus hypothetically may inhibit herbs that have actions of immunostimulants, given that with an alcoholic extract of the rhizome there was in vitro inhibition of mitogenic and antigenic stimulation of proliferation of human T lymphocytes; there also was inhibition of production of interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-? (63).
  • SedativesSedatives: Barbiturates' hypnotic effect hypothetically may increase excessively with calamus, given that the related species, Acorus gramineus (as the essential oil), prolonged the time of sleep that pentobarbital produced in mice (7; 62).

Calamus/Food Interactions:
  • Insufficient available evidence.

Calamus/Lab Interactions:
  • Lipid panelLipid panel: Based on animal study, alcoholic or aqueous extracts of calamus roots and rhizomes during the period of an atherogenic diet decreased cholesterol and triglycerides and increased the concentration of high density lipoprotein (59; 26). Although these studies support a possible antihyperlipidemic action of calamus, clinical relevance is unknown.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.