Spikenard, popularly known as jatamansi in India, has been used extensively in Ayurveda for ages. The herb has multiple benefits ranging from skin care, treating bacterial infection, odour removing to anti-inflammatory, laxative, sleep inducing, being good for the uterus among others. Jatamansi is considered to be memory enhancing. It also has relaxing and calming attributes which makes it an important ingredient for various ayurvedic and herbal medicinal products.
Jatamansi is a flowering herb that belongs to the family Valerianaeae. The scientific name of the plant is NARDOSTACHYS JATAMANSI. They grow up to a height of 1 meter. The flowers of this plant are bell shaped and pink in colour. Various herbal medications have got Jatamansi as one of the ingredients. In the ancient times it was used primarily as a skincare product and for maintaining the health and functionality of the female reproductive organ. It has become a hard to obtain ingredient as it has been pushed towards endangerment. The herb is available in the market in the form of roots, oil and powder.
Jatamansi has various nutritional values. It’s manifold benefits are contributed by the presence of a combination of chemicals. The ingredient list consists of actinidine, aristolene, carotene, caralene, clalarenol, coumarin, dihydroazulenes, jatamanshinic acid, nardol, nardostachone, valerianol, valeranal, valeranone, elemol, virolin, angelivin, Oroselol etc
The growing dust, dirt and impurities are taking a toll on our skin. Regular care and adapting protective measures is becoming essential not only for its cosmetic value but also as a medical requirement. Jatamansi is a solution to a range of skin issues. It can treat fungal infections that can breakout on the skin. Dermatitis, a skin condition where the skin itches, crusts are formed and scaling near the ear occurs can be treated with this herb. People suffering from psoriasis too can benefit from jatamansi.
Jatamansi has a very effective anti-bacterial property. Bacteria have been a root casue for many kinds of health issues such as cholera, food poisoning, septic, tetanus etc. the herb works not only on the skin but also eliminates it from the very origin. Applying jatamansi on cuts and bruises is a very good way to prevent infections that can be caused due to bacterial activity on those areas. It is also effective in curing infections in the urinary tract and kidneys.
The essential oil extracted from the parts of the stem of jatamansi that grow below the ground (rhizome) has a very soothing and relaxing smell. This helps a person calm down and lets the nerves relax. The smell does not irritate your senses in anyway.
Constipation manifests into various other kinds of health problems. It is extremely important to have a good and healthy bowel movement to maintain a healthy life. Constipation can be caused due to various reasons such as improper eating habits, stressful lifestyle, sudden change in diet etc. Jatamansi is an effective option to treat constipation. It is a herbal alternative to various forms of synthetic and chemical based laxatives available in the market. Jatamansi should be preferred over these products as it works without affecting the digestive and excretory system. The synthetic products tend to dry the gut as they wash away the mucus lining on it while stimulating the bowel movement.
The biggest advantage of jatamansi is that it is a good sedative. Sleep helps us to regain our lost energy and the lack of it has an adverse effect on our body as well as the mind. Nerve related problems such as convulsion, headache, vertigo and psychological issues like insomnia, depression, anxiety, and stress all affect your sleep. These can be reduced by the consumption of medicines containing jatamansi in proper dosage. It also helps sooth cardiac problems like palpitation and restlessness.
Jatamansi is of great help to maintain your uterine health. It has anti-spasmodic properties that helps reduce cramps, pain and discomfort during menstrual flow. Menopause can be a physically and emotionally tormenting experience for many women. While some women have it naturally after a certain age, other may stop menstruating following surgeries like hysterectomy. This change in the body is followed by various psychological as well as physiological problems. Jatamansi acts as a solution to the aftermath of menopause. Symptoms such as mood swings, sleep disturbance, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, difficulty in concentration can be treated with this herb.
The modern urban society is plagued by hypertension. It is a lifestyle disorder that is affecting a major portion of the population. Stressful lifestyles, irregular food habits, sleep disorders, smoking and pollution are all adding to the negative impact on health and majorly on the heart. Jatamansi has been proved work miracles in reducing blood pressure. It works to optimise the functioning of the heart and regulates the heart rate. It helps to prevent any alterations in the lipid profile and further benefits the heart. Predominantly jatamansi regulates the circulation of blood in the body and deals with any problems that hinder the process. This lets regulate the blood pressure and treat both hypertension and hypotension.
Jatamansi is used mainly as a medicinal alternative to treat a wide range of health problems. Issues related to the nerve, heart, skin, digestive system can all be treated with the help of this herb. It can be used to dye hair black naturally. It also makes hair smooth and shiny. Its relaxant quality soothes the body and the mind and is good for inducing sleep. It helps reduce hyperactivity among children. Jatamansi is also used to manufacture perfumes.
Consuming jatamansi in excess may cause adverse effects on the body. As it has laxative properties, consuming in large quantities may cause loose stool. The dosage should always be regulated and as per prescriptions. Nausea and vomiting is often accompanied with having more than prescribed dose of the herb and its products. Frequent urination and abdominal cramps can also occur. Some people may be allergic to the constituent chemicals of jatamansi. It is extremely important to go through the constituent list of the herb before consuming it. If an allergic person consumes even a minimal quantity of the product, he may have reaction. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid consumption of jatamansi and products containing it as it induces menstrual discharge.
NARDOSTACHYS JATAMANSI is a native of the magnificent Himalayas. This herb was traditionally used for skin care and maintaining uterine health. Later its manifold health benefit was discovered and it is now used widely in Ayurveda and Unani. Jatamansi grows predominantly in Kumaon, eastern and central Himalayas, The portion of the range shared between China and India, Sikkim as well as in Nepal and Bhutan.