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Calamus & Rue
Calamus is Warm, Dry, very Aromatic, and Pungent. It potently moves the Qi, opens Obstructions, clears the Senses, clears Wind and Damp, and has a strong effect on the Mind and Nerves.
Rue is warm, pungent and Bitter. It stops Wind, moves the Blood and resolves Swellings, clears Damp and promotes Urine, clears Phlegm and stops Cough, and resists Poison. For the purpose of this work, Rue herb or Rue seed may be considered as Rue seed was often used in formula.
This combination stops Wind, clears Phlegm and Damp and is useful for Headache, Convulsions, Epilepsy, Vertigo, Dizziness, Hysteria, and may also be applied to other nervous conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Bell’s Palsy or Parkinsonism. They are combined for Poor or Failing Eyesight, weakness of the senses in generally, Mental dullness and failing Memory.
Both medicines help move the Blood, clear Bruising and resolve Masses. The effect of resolving Damp and Phlegm while moving Blood and Qi make this useful for thickening, hardness and masses associated with Phlegm and Blood Stagnation. They are applicable to nodes, scrofula, lymphatic swellings, tumors and Cancer for which both medicines have demonstrated effectiveness in research.
Each of these herbs has a long history of use against various Poisons, Toxins and Venoms. Rue has been used since antiquity against various deadly poisons including Aconite, Toadstool and the bites of Snakes, Scorpions, Spiders, Bees and Wasps (venomous bites of Scorpion, Centipede and Snakes are also treated with Rue in TCM). Calamus has likewise been used for Rabid Dog and Snake bites, and commonly appears in Antidotes and Theriacs against Epidemic and Contagious diseases.
They clear Wind-Damp and promote Urine; they are therefore applicable in urinary disorders with Damp such as Dysuria, dribbling Urine, Gravel, and Stones, as well as Arthritis, Rheumatism, Sciatica and other Joint diseases.
Both these medicines also have a significant effect on the Brain and nervous system. They are used for various degenerative disorders of the Brain and Nerves, and are also used since classical times for Mental Disease, Melancholy and Insanity. This is no doubt related to both herbs being used since ancient times against Evil Spirits. Calamus is regarded as a Sattvic (spiritual) herb in Ayurveda, having a high vibration that counters negativity and Evil Spirits. Rue likewise was classically called Herb of Grace and regarded as Holy. The early Christians said it ‘dispelled the Devil’ and ‘invoked Lord Jesus’. Missionaries used Rue to sprinkle Holy Water before High Mass and during Exorcisms.
These medicines have other effects on the Mind and Spirit. Rue has long been said to ‘enhance fantasy’ and ‘stimulate imagination’, and to promote ‘second sight’. Calamus has been called ‘awakener of Intellect’ in Sanskrit texts. It increase mental alertness, increases awareness, enhances Memory and regulates the Mind. It has even been said to counteract negative effects of narcotic drugs such as Cannabis.
The Cephalic Decoction, Compound Syrup of Mugwort, Electuary of Bayberries, Electuary Provoking Menstruation, The Queen of Colen’s Electuary, Common Theriac, Tincture Against Convulsions, Four Thieves Vinegar, Hysteric Powder, Special Powder for the Memory, Troches of Capers, Pills to Clarify, Aurea Alexandria
This combination is very Drying. It is not suitable in Yin deficient conditions.
1. For diseases of the Brain and Nerves such as Headache, Epilepsy and Dizziness, add Peony, Valerian, Mistletoe, and Sage as in The Cephalic Decoction.
2. Colic and Abdominal Pain from Cold and Wind, add Cumin, Long Pepper and Bay berries.
3. To protect against Infection, add Scorzonera, Angelica, Bistort, Rosemary and Blessed Thistle.
4. Another against Epidemics, add Cinnamon, Mint, Lavender, Sage, Wormwood, Rosemary, Clove, Garlic and Camphor as in Four Thieves Vinegar.
5. Against Convulsions, add Hyssop, Sage, Betony, Rosemary and Peony as in Tincture Against Convulsions.
6. To promote Menstruation, relieve PMS and menstrual Cramping, add Cassia Wood, Agnus Castus, Peony, Fennel seed and Sugar of Rosemary flowers as in Hysteric Powder of Quercetan.
7. To enhance Memory, add Senna leaf, Zedoary, Cumin seed, Dill seed, Ginger, Nutmeg, Sage, Valerian as in Special Powder for the Memory.