In Ayurvedic medicine calamus is an important herb, and is valued as a rejuvenator for the brain and nervous system, and as a remedy for digestive disorders. In Western herbal medicine the herb is chiefly employed for digestive problems such as gas, bloating, colic, and poor digestive function.
Calamus helps distended and uncomfortable stomachs, and headaches associated with weak digestion. Small amounts are thought to reduce stomach acidity, while larger doses increase deficient acid production, a good example of how different doses of the same herb can produce different results.
The Dakotas use calamus to treat diabetes, and there are several reported cases where calamus had cured people who had been given up by western medicine. Calamus depresses central nervous system, and an ingredient in formulation for disorders like epilepsy. Also, the vapors of calamus from the roots do repel some insects