The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869
SWEET FLAG, CALAMUS
Description: Natural Order, Araceae. This plant is common in swamps and marshy creeks, and is well known by its great sword-shaped leaves and tall flower-stem. The root (or subterranean stem) is the part used in medicine; and consists of a flattened, jointed, horizontal, tough rhizoma, often several feet long.
Properties and Uses: The root is stimulating and moderately relaxing, and quite pungent. It is called aromatic. It is rather pleasant to the taste; warms the stomach, aids the expulsion of flatus, and relieves cramps and colics. It is used in purely atonic dyspepsia; but its most common employment is as an adjuvant to preparations in which a carminative agent is desirable. It can easily be misused by giving it too freely, or in irritable conditions of the stomach and bowels. It may be eaten, or boiled in milk with pimento or ginger.
Medical Herbalism journal and medherb.com