Top 10 Uses and Health Benefits of Vasambu | Acorus calamus | Malabar Nut | Vasaka Medicinal Uses

VasambuVasambu is a popular natural and medicinal herb widely used for infants and babies for different problems. The plant is called as Sweet Flag in English. It is also known as 'Pillai Valarpan' or 'Pillai Marunthu' in Tamil Nadu as it helps mothers to raise their infants and babies without illness. It is also called Malabar Nut. Vasambu root has a lot of medicinal properties. Most of the households in Tamil Nadu who follow natural remedies will have vasambu in stock.

Names of Vasambu in different Indian Languages:

Sanskrit  - Vachha
Hindi - Vasaka
Tamil - Vasambu
English - Calamus
Telugu - Vasa
Kannada - Baje
Malayalam - Bavambu
Botanical - Acorus calamus
Other common Indian names - Vacha, Bach, Baje, Vayambu, Vasa, Agri-turki
Family Name - Aroideae, Araceae

How to use Vasambu?

There are different ways one can take vasambu internally. I have listed few of them below.

1. Crush Vasambu and boil it in water. Boil till the water is reduced to half quantity. Filter and drink the boiled water.
2. Dip Vasambu in water. Swipe it on a stone and use. For babies and infants, this is one of the best way to give.
3. Show Vasambu directly on flame till it is burnt and become black. Use a tong or pot holder to heat on direct flame. You can show on gas top or vilakku. Lit the vilakku using gingelly oil(nallennai in Tamil) or Castor Oil(Vilakku ennai). You can swipe it on a stone and use it. Or you can grind the burnt vasambu and store the powder in an air tight container. Some people coat the vasambu with castor oil(Vilakku ennai in Tamil) before showing it on fire.

You can mix vasambu with honey to consume it.

Top Health benefits of Vasambu | Vasaka | Acorus calamus:

1) Vasambu for acid reflux, indigestion and stomach problems:

Vasambu is very good for many stomach related ailments like indigestion, bloating, flatulence, loose motion, acid gastritis. It helps to cure stomach ulcer and gastric problems. It regulates the production of stomach acid and aids for easy digestion. It eases hear burn and counter acidity problem.

2) Vasambu for babies and Infants:

Vasambu helps to remove gas, stomach discomfort and cold from infants and babies. But we have to be very careful when we give vasambu for small infants and babies as over dosage can cause serious side effects. Please consult a doctor before giving anything to small infants and babies.

Applying vasambu externally is not a problem mostly. People tie a rope made with vasambu beats on hands of infants and babies. Whenever they lick it, it helps to cure stomach problems and the smell also helps to protect them from various ailments.

3) Vasambu for making kajal | Vasambu Pottu:

Burn vasambu till it turns to black color. Swipe it with water and make a paste like kajal consistency. You can apply it as a bindi on forehead, cheeks and feet. Some people apply this paste around baby's navel to cure stomach problems. Make sure to get a thick consistency. Do not add more water. Otherwise it will become runny.

4) Vasambu for Bed bug and insects:

Vasambu helps to protect our houses from various insects, bed bugs, cockroaches, mites. You can sprinkle vasambu powder under the bed and corners of cupboards. If you have kids in your home, better to tie it in a cloth tightly and place it. It should not be reachable to children and take care that they do not consume it.

5) Vasambu for Cold and Cough:

Vasambu is a great herb for curing common cold and cough. 1/4 tsp of vasambu powder can be taken internally daily to get rid of cough and common cold. Start taking vasambu early as soon as you have the symptoms of cold and cough. Then it will be easier to cure.

6) Vasambu for Constipation:

Vasambu is good for constipation problem. It is good to have a stick of vasambu or vasambu powder at home. Consume it as mentioned in the instructions earlier.

7) Vasambu for dandruff lice and hair growth:

Vasambu is a very good natural herb for dandruff and lice problem. Add vasambu powder with your shikakai powder and apply it on your hair. You can also add neem powder.

Another method is boiling neem leaves, crushed vasambu in coconut oil or gingelly oil and applying the oil on your scalp. Leave it for 20 minutes at least before taking bath. It is good for hair growth indirectly as it can avoid lice and dandruff problems.

8) Vasambu for face and skin: 

Vasambu powder is not widely used for face. But it is used for skin infections ,allergies and rashes. It is also used in making massage oil. I have never tried vasambu for pimples but people have told about it.

9) Vasambu for hair removal:

One of my neighbor told that she uses vasambu powder with turmeric for hair removal. She applies it daily on her hands for hair removal and protection from skin infections. It is not very sure how effective vasambu is for hair removal. But I have never tried it personally.

10) Vasambu for speech:

I have heard old grannies telling that even the smell of vasambu helps babies to talk earlier and to get rid of speech problems.

Vasambu side effects:

Over dosage of vasamabu may lead to vomiting and other side effects. It is better to keep including only a pinch of vasambu.

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  1. You can also keep vasambu in between your clothes in the cupboard . This prevents any bad odour and moisture .

  2. Interesting and useful article.

  3. I've tried this vasambu for my 1 month old baby and it worked wonders!
    She had gas problem where she had to be given 4-5 burps at one feeding session which made her cranky! She also suffered from cold and the blocked nose induced sound while breathing.
    Just with half a pinch of vasambu paste extracted by swiping it to stone was given orally to the baby. She cried and at last puked some mucus like thing.
    It's been two days and she burps only once per feed and her cold and breathing sound has reduced. I suggest this vasambu to all the moms as this works far better than any other medicine.

  4. Nice article, thanks you kindly advise on dosage to be given for babies. Do we need to follow a standard dose or gradually increase from a small grain to ?... thanks

  5. Vasambu should be administered for every infant