Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)


Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi

 

Jatamansi is part of the valerian family. Valerian root has sedation effects with a strong, pungent odor. Jatamansi has sedation effects and is very fragrant also. I have yet to try this alone, so I don’t know how the smell compares to valerian. I am not a fan of valerian.

Jatamansi is a perennial herb that is propagated by cuttings of the underground parts. The plant grows to a height ranging from 10 to 60 cm and has stout and long woody root stocks. The long, sessile and oblong-ovate leaves are 15 to 20 cm in length. While the flowers are rosy, slightly pink or blue in dense cymes and one, two or five in number, the rhizomes are thick, fragrant and covered with brown fibers. The plant bears 1/3-inch long fruits that are oval in shape and have a sharp apex. Jatamamsi grows in the Alpine Himalayas, at an altitude of 3000-5000 meters and is cultivated in China, India, and Nepal.

 

Benefits of Jatamansi

 

  • Jatamamsi can be used internally as well as externally. However, be sure it is formulated to be taken internally.

 

  • It is a well-known brain tonic and imparts a sense of calm and peace to mind.

 

  • The herb can be mixed with cold water to form a paste and reduce burning sensation, inflammation, pain and improving skin texture.

 

  • Since it is fragrant, jatamamsi powder is used as a deodorant in case of excessive sweating.

 

  • The powder also helps in treating mental retardation and mental disorders, regularizing digestion in the body, regularizing respiratory tract and suppressing general body weakness.

 

  • The decoction of the herb is poured on the affected areas in ailments associated with burning.

 

  • The medicated jatamamsi oil is extremely beneficial for smooth, silky and healthy hair.

 

  • Jatamamsi is useful for urine-related problems and maintaining the circulatory system.

 

  • The herb increases appetite, relieves the phlegm in cough and asthma, proves useful in hepatitis and treats enlargement of the liver.

 

  • It is used as an adjunct in the treatment of sexual debility and impotence.

 

  • Jatamamsi relieves symptoms like vertigo, seizures etc. and fever.

 

  • Since it exerts a cleansing effect on the uterus, it is used in menstrual ailments like dysmenorrheal and inflammation of the uterus.

 

  • The herb stops fermentation and gas in the stomach.

 

  • Jatamamsi is considered as one of the best herbs for treating epilepsy.

 

  • It reduces hyperactivity, restlessness and aggressiveness in hyperactive children.

 

  • The oil can promote restful sleep and peaceful dreams when applied on the feet with carrier oil prior to bed.

 

Caution

  • May cause vomiting and diarrhea with abdominal pain, nausea, colic and urinary problems when consumed in large doses.
  • Consult a healthcare professional before using jatamansi during pregnancy and lactation.

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