Sweet Flag is a perennial herb, semi aquatic, marshy plant with a creeping and much branched, aromatic rhizome. The rhizome is cylindrical about 19-25 mm in diameter and 10 cm long. It is light brown outside, white and spongy inside. The leaves are thick, erect and sword shape, when bruised emits strong scent. Sweet flag produces small yellow flowers on a spike. Plants rarely flower or set seed.
Origin and Distribution
Sweet flag is a native to most Northern latitude countries around the world, widely dispersed around the USA. It is found wild or cultivated in India and Sri Lanka up to 1800 meters. Sweet flag thrives best in marshy and moist places under variable climates. The plant is grown in clayey loams and light alluvial soils of the riverbanks.
Sweet flag is mainly used in medicine. The oil is used to cure gastritis. In the form of infusion it is carminative and possesses emetic and anti-spasmodic properties. It is used in perfumery industry. It also has insecticidal properties. The water-ethanolic extract of sweet flag exhibit anti-oxidant property.
Indian Name of Spices
Assamese : Themeprii Hindi : Bach, Gorabach Bengali : Bach Gujarati : Gandhilovaj, Godavaj, Vekhand Kannada : Baje,Bajegda Kashmiri : Vabi Malayalam : Vayampe Marathi : Vekhand, Bariboj, Wach Urdu : Bacha Punjabi : Bacha Sanskrit : Bhadra, Bulami,vacha Tamil : Vashambu Telugu : Vadaja, Vasa
Foreign Name of Spices
English : Sweet flag,calamus root,german ginger