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2018-07-05 - Colloque/Présentation - poster - Anglais - 1 page(s)

Povilaityte-Petri Vitalija , Duez Pierre , "Use of Sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) in Europe and Traditional Chinese Medicine" in The 6th Annual Meeting of the Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association (GP-TCM RA), London, UK, 2018

  • Codes CREF : Pharmacognosie (DI3410), Sciences pharmaceutiques (DI3400), Toxicologie pharmaceutique (DI3440)
  • Unités de recherche UMONS : Chimie thérapeutique et Pharmacognosie (M136)
  • Instituts UMONS : Institut des Sciences et Technologies de la Santé (Santé)

Abstract(s) :

(Anglais) Sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) is a tall water-plant with a branched, creeping, fleshy rhizome that has a special sweetish aroma due to its essential oils. Sweet flag is a perennial herb, indigenous to Central and South Asia, India, Pakistan and the Himalayan areas. Its distribution in the European region has been strongly influenced by the Tatars, who brought it to Europe via Turkey. The sweet flag root was used traditionally as deodorising agent for hygiene purposes in the houses and as a folk medicine to fight parasites or to prevent infections and large epidemic diseases during the 17th-19th centuries. It was often added to drinkable water to keep it fresh and to avoid development of pathogenic bacteria. In our days in Europe sweet flag is still commonly known as food and medicinal plant. Dried roots are used in ethnomedicinal preparations as spasmolytics, anti-inflamatory and in anti-ulcer preparations. Its preparations make hair stronger and more beautiful. Sweet flag has a very important place in the gastronomy of some European countries e.g. Lithuania. It is used as a flavouring material for making bitter liqueurs, appetizers, soups, sauces, pancakes, potatoes, cabbage, fish and game meet dishes, apple and pear jams or some desserts. Sweet flag leaves are often used for baking bread. Acori calami rhizoma is included in the Pharmacopeia of the People's Republic of China (CPC, 2010) and its monograph is in preparation for European Pharmacopeia (Monograph 2456, "Calamus rhizome for decoction used in TCM"). Numerous pharmacological activities of Acori calami rhizoma such as cardioprotective, memory impairment associated with aging, hypolipidemic, immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory, cryoprotective, antioxidant, antidiarrheal, antimicrobial, anticancer, antidiabetic have been reported. Genotoxicity and mutagenicity of beta- and alpha-asarone have also been studied, which requires to limit their dosage; hence the European Pharmacopoeia project, published in Pharmeuropa 27.1, states that "Calamus rhizome is intended only as starting material for the use as a decoction in traditional Chinese medicine. It is not to be consumed directly and is not dispensed as such. Decoctions are typically prepared by boiling in water for minimum 3 h to guarantee that patients do not receive more than 115 µg of β-asarone per day". Sweet flag has been used since ancient times, however many of its uses are yet to be further scientifically investigated.