The Baby Herb – Acorus Calamus/Vasambu/Bach

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This one is from my mommy and my aunt who used to force me to give this to my baby. Although I was hesitant at first I started using this herb after consulting my doctor. The herb itself looks like a small shriveled bark and has a good odor. In Tamil it’s called Vasambu or “Pillai valarpan” which means you can grow your baby with this herb. “sweet flag” in English, bach in Hindi.

You can see more about this herb on wiki here:

How to use this herb:

Just burn it over a flame/lamp and rub this charred herb on a stone with some water or breastmilk. This is the basic paste for all ailments.

For Colic Infants:

Just take a little paste on your finger tip and rub it on the baby’s tongue every morning. Or try elcarim drops which contains this herb. Reviewed here.

For Loose motions

Mix this paste with honey and again rub on the baby or kids’s toungue

For Vomitting

Mix this paste with milk or breastmilk and place some on the tongue.

Natural Insecticide:

Tie this herb to a string and place around the baby’s neck or waist to ward off insects.

Homemade Kajal

Many of us Indians put a black tikka/bindi on the baby’s forehead and legs as it is believed to protect the baby from evil eye. You can apply this herb paste on the forehead instead of store bought kajal.

Other uses: Used to treat Speech disorders and known to build the child’s intellect.

Availability: You can find it in Ayurveda stores or Kotakkal stores. Bangalore people can find this in Malleshwaram and Shivajinagar. Mail me if your looking for the correct address.

The herb has to be burned over a flame. If you have more just put some in your own cupboards to keep insects away.


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37 Responses to The Baby Herb – Acorus Calamus/Vasambu/Bach

  1. ps says:

    DO NOT GIVE HONEY TO BABIES less than 1 year.
    It can be fatal for infants. Google ‘infant botulism and honey’

  2. Satya says:

    How to cultivate vasambu plants…if it possible grow vvasambu plant in my land.where the seeds are available ….plz help me.bcz im former so help me

  3. Karthik says:

    My baby is 9 months old, can I start give this vasambu to my bab ?? Also till which period of time we can give ??? How much time we can give this vasambu in a week??

    Thanks in advance ….

    • admin says:

      There is no limit but its given only during the first 3-4 months, later you can give it as a home remedy when they have vomiting or diarrhoea. Daily use is not required.

  4. poongodi Suresh says:

    Hi guys ,
    vasambu also has many more uses like

    Natural pest control from cockroaches
    Natural way to keep food grains insect free
    Cure for sore throat
    Cure for chest congestion
    Natural Mouth Freshner
    Natural way to quit cigrattes
    Natural way to improve digestion
    and relieve gastric problems
    Natural hair growth tonic, Anti lice.
    Natural Kajal for both children and adults….

    Check this link for detailed uses

  5. poongodi says:


    Vasambu is available in shops like M.K.Retail, D-mart (bangalore)
    in the name S.Sidheshwari in the camphor or pooja items section alternatively you may search near section where bug sprays are kept. Vasambu when put in cupboards like naphthalene balls prevents cockroaches. It can be put inside rice, atta and other provision containers to prevent bugs. It is a very versatile herb with many uses. Good for both adults and kids. you can check out this video

  6. Shreeje Naveen says:

    Hai… I have a doubt… What if I give vasambu without burning ??? My mom asked me to rub vasambu in breastmilk and apply on my sons tongue … can I give vasambu bare lik that, without burning ??

  7. abhi says:

    Hi jayshree
    Really very nice info.
    I am hvng a 45 day old baby n she is ok with everything except 4 her motions. She is not at al regular and it takes even a week for her to pass. Doc says its commn n nthg 2 wory bt evry1 in my famly r worid. Does vasambu help 4 ds? If not pls sugst som othr remedy 4 ds.
    Awaitng ur rply

  8. ankit sharma says:

    hey can you send me the address of medical store..i wanted that drug in liquid form can i get it.

  9. devi says:

    I have two doubts, first one is,why you are burning ‘vayambu’( in Malayalam) before giving to baby? I used to give this from 28th day onwards by just rubbing on the stone in breast milk/ honey. Another doubt is here in Kerala some people are giving honey+vayambu for just born babies too!! So I would like to know why honey is not giving before 1 yr old.

    • admin says:

      Hi Devi, not sure why its given in this form, but thats what has been followed in my house from ages. Also does the plain herb melt when rubbed with water? Honey can contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system and cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness.

      • devi says:

        Yes, we can easily get the paste while rubbing in hard surface.
        Its new information about honey! Thank you

  10. saurabh says:

    my 2.10 years son not speaking a singal word… he can understand everything…. how to use vasambu for delayed speech… can you tell me the procedure to use this herb for my kid…

    • admin says:

      Hi Saurabh, All you need to do is dip this herb in some ghee and burn it on the stove till you find it charring on one side. Now take a stone add some water and rub the charred portion till you get a black paste. Ask your son to open his mouth and rub it on his tongue.

  11. poonam rajput says:

    my baby is 2.5 years old.. but still is not speaking… i try’s a lot… i read Ur artical on this site about VASAMBU or BACH… I live in Bangalore… can u please tell me the correct address of that shop from where i purchases this herb….

  12. poonam rajput says:

    my baby is 2.5 years old.. bt still is not speaking… i tryes alot… i read ur artical about VASAMBU or BACH… I live in bangalore… can u please tell me the correct address of that shop from where i purchess this hurb….

  13. Shraddha Shingne says:

    How can I get this herb and from where in Mumbai?

  14. newborn care says:

    This site definitely has all the info I needed concerning
    this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  15. vanitha says:

    Yes even I give for my 3 months old baby. whenever his stomach gets upset and not taking enough milk my mom gives him this vasambu per the same instructions u ve given. Initially even I din’t prefer to give this to my small kid when my mum forced to give but later on I find this herb very useful and it’s the instant medicine for indigestion and stomach disorders.

  16. Rama Viswanathan says:

    Would like to know where this herb is available in Bangalore. We live in new tippasandra.

  17. Miriam says:

    Just a note, honey shouldn’t be given to babies below 1 year old.

  18. Doing great job. Nice informative site for new parents and even for elderly people who had forgotten our traditional “paatti vaidhiyam”, as with the modern age and times. I myself, searched for using Vasambu to my new born grandson and came to your site. Excellant service for mankind. Best wishes and blessings to you all.


    Mohan Balakrishna
    Senior Psychologist/Therapist,
    Chennai. 17

  19. yamuna balamurugan says:

    yes , they are really work superb on babies, even for cold u can use shuttle in the same way by burn and rubbing in stone :-D , it really working for my 5 month baby , am giving her from 10th day for her :)

  20. Wow! I didn’t know anything about this herb. That’s some very useful info, thanks for sharing.

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