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Jatamansi, Spikenard (Nardostachys Jatamansi)


Jatamansi (Nardostachys Jatamansi) is a perennial herb about 10-60cm in height having long stout, rhizomes root. The leaves are elongated and spatulated while few leaves are sessile, oblong or sub ovate. The flowers are pink bell shaped. Its roots are thick and has too many hairs.


Due to its thick roots and too many hairs (jata in Sanskrit) it has the name Jatamansi. It consists of two words: Jata means dread locks and manasi indicates towards human. It is wonderful medicinal herb used since the ancient times for many medicinal purposes. Its dried rhizomes and roots are the main medicinal parts used in preparation. Its Spikenard rhizomes (underground stems) can be crushed and distilled into an intensely aromatic amber color essential oil which is very thick in consistency. This oil is used as a perfume, incense, a sedative and an herbal medicine said to fight insomnia, birth difficulties and other minor ailments.

It has various therapeutic actions on body. It is a natural nervine tonic and a memory enhancer, which has calming, peaceful and relaxation features. It is used for natural support for mental disorders like schizophrenia and epilepsy, stress, anxiety and depression and induces healthy sleep. Healthy sleep mean- without any addiction and depression effect.

It is available in market in different forms like oil, powder. It contains various chemical constituents - ursolie acid, acacin, kanshone A, octacosanol, nardosinone, nardosinonediol, aristolen-9beta-ol, oleanolic acid, and beta-sitosterol. It also contains nardal, jatamansic acid, jatamol A &B, spirojatamol, terpenoid, neolignans, taraxerone, valeranone, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, syringic acid and photocatechuic acid.


  • Botanical name - Nardostachys jatamansi
  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Sub kingdom - Viridiplantae
  • Infra- kingdom - Streptophyta (Land plants)
  • Super division - Embryophyta
  • Division - Tracheophyta
  • Sub- division - Spermatophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Super order - Asteranae
  • Order - Dispsacles
  • Family - Valerianaceae
  • Genus - Nardostachys
  • Species - Jatamansi


It is found in regions of Himalayas of Nepal, China and India at 11,000-15000 ft; extending between kumaon to Sikkim at 17000 feet and Bhutan.


  • Botanical name - Nardostachys jatamansi
  • Common Name - Jatamansi, Muskroot, Jatamashi, Balchar
  • Hindi Name - Jatamasi
  • Sanskrit Name - Tapasvini, Vilomasa, Bhutajata, Jatamansi-(hairy entangled roots/ rhizome), Nalanda (aromatic)
  • Telugu Name - Jatamansi
  • English Name - Spikenard
  • Marathi Name - Jatamansi
  • Gujarati Name - Jatamansi
  • Tamil & Malayalam Name - Jatamamsi


Hindi / Sanskrit



Tikta, Kashaya, Madhura


Bitter, Astringent, Sweet


Laghu, Snigdha

Physical Property

Light, Oily, Unctous







Metabolic Property (After Digestion)



It is tridoshashamak i.e. balances all the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), but has special effect on Pitta and Kapha.


Charaka Samhita

Sushrut Samhita


Kaiyadeva Nighantu

·         Sajnasthapana - Group of herbs used in restoring consciousness

·         Kandughna - Group of herbs used to relieve itching

·         Tikta Skandha - Bitter tasting group of herbs

·         Elajanadi Gana,

·         Eladi gana

·         Njanadi Gana,

·         Eladi gana

·         Oshadhi Vargha

·         Sarvaushadhika Varga,

·         Sugandhamalaka Varga


The Bhavprakash nighantu, edition of 2010: verse 89, page no-240-242.

It states that there are various synonyms of Jatamansi – Jatamansi, bhootjata, jatila, tapasvini, and mansi.

Jatamansi is tikta (bitter) and kashaya (pungent) in taste and cold (sheeta) in potency. It helps in management of brain functions (medhajanak), improves skin complexion (kantikarak) and enhances strength and immunity (balprad). It balances tri doshas in body. It is used in Erysipelas, blood disorders, reduces heat and skin diseases.


The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K. C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G. S. Pandey: edition of 1998: verse 89, page no-240-242.


  • Hair growth:Jatamansi oil is helpful in the growth of hair. It is beneficial for smooth, silky and healthy hair too. It is used to treat hair related problems like poor growth, premature greying of hairs.
  • Cardiac health:It has hypotensive effect and used in treatment of high B.P. It is also useful in the management of palpitation of heart and is a good cardiac tonic.
  • Memory and learning:The medicinal plant is helpful in enhancing the abilities of the brain and combats the mental problems thus imparts calmness and peace to mind. It improves memory and reduces the forgetfulness.
  • Strengthens the nervous system:It helps to provide vitality, vigor and strength to the body thus is good for the nervous system.
  • Stress buster:The plant has the power to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and tension by balancing biochemical reactions in the body. It is good to have the mind cool and healthy and acts as one of the finest mind rejuvenator tonic. It also possesses tranquilizing and sedative effect on brain.
  • Hyperpigmentation:It is used to improve complexion and ensures glowing and shining looks to the body. The powder of root mixed in water when applied promotes skin texture.
  • Liver problems:It also shows hepato-protective effect. It is useful in hepatitis, jaundice and prevents enlargement of liver.
  • Antifungual:Its oil also possesses anti-fungal activity. It acts against fungus like Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger.
  • It also acts as immunity enhancer and protects body from various infections.
  • It is also used to treat insomnia, headache and memory loss.
  • It also has antispasmodic and carminative action and is useful in abdominal pain and intestinal gas.
  • It is useful in dysmenorrhea (painful periods) and menopause.




Powder: 1-3 g


  • It is avoided in hypersensitivity conditions.
  • Excess dose of jatamansi leads to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and may also cause urinary problems.