Jatamansi is a famous Ayurvedic herb used in neuro-psychiatric diseases and skin diseases. It is called as spikenard in English. Its botanical name is Nardostachys jatamansi DC. Its reference in Ayurveda is found since the times of Charaka and Sushruta.
Nardostachys Jatamansi Dc. [ N. Grandiflora Dc; Valeriana Jatamansi Auct. Non Jones.]
Tapasvini – useful to improve brain functions and intelligence.
Jatamamsi, Vilomasa, Bhuta Jata – Its rhizomes have hairs, giving it a demon appearance.
Nalanda – Nalam Gandham Dadati – yields good aroma,
Pishita – muscular rhizome
Hindi name –Jatamasi
Telugu Name- Jatamansi
English Name- Spikenard
Marathi & Gujarati Name- Jatamansi
Tamil & Kannada & Malayalam Name- Jatamamsi
Sajnasthapana -group of herbs used in restoring consciousness
Kandughna – group of herbs used to relieve itching.
Tikta Skandha – bitter tasting group of herbs.
Susruta- Elajanadi Gana, Eladi gana
Vagbhata- Anjanadi Gana, Eladigana
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Vargha
Sarvaushadhika Varga, Sugandhamalaka Varga
Different Varieties – In two to three contexts Susruta and Vagbhata described two varieties of Mamsi (S.S.KA. 6/15;7/23; S.S.Ut.60/47;62/30;5/2&6/38)viz; Jatamansi herb and Gandhamamsi (Jata and Bhutakesi) Bhutakesi or Gandhamamsi is identified with Selinum tennuirolium Wall.
In Raja ninghtu third variety known as Akasa Mamsi is described. In Nighantu Ratnakaram three varieties viz. Sadharana Mamsi, Sugandha Mamsi& Aksamamsi- Suksma Mamsi are described.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Distribution- It is found in alpine regions of Himalaya at 11,0000-15000 ft; extending between kumaon to Sikkim at 17000 feet and Bhutan.
Major Chemical constituents-
Actinidine, Carotene, Aristolens; Calarence, carenal, elemol, ,Droaristolene, B-eudesmol; Jatamols; A&B; Jatamansic acid, Jatamansone, Nardol, Nardostachonol, Nardostachone, Patchouli, Virolin, Angelivin, Jatamansin, Jatamansinol, Oroselol etc.(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Part Used– Rhizome, Jatamansi oil
Dosage- Powder -1-3 g in divided doses, along with honey, ghee or water.
Medicinal qualities –
(correction – last but one line above, second word – bhutadahaghni)
Guna (qualities) –
Laghu – light to digest
Snigdha – oily, unctuous.
Taste – Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (Astringent) Madhura (sweet)
Vipaka – Taste conversion after digestion – Katu (pungent)
Veerya – Cold potency
Prabhava – special effect – Bhutaghna, Manasadoshahara – effective in neuro-psychiatric conditions.
Effect on Tridosha – It balances all the three doshas, but has special effect on Pitta and Kapha.
Jatamansi benefits –
Asranashini – because of its bitter taste and Pitta balancing quality, it is widely used to purify blood. Hence useful in skin diseases.
Medhya – improves brain functions
Kantiprada – improves skin complexion and lustre
Balaprada – improves strength and immunity
Dahanut – Because it is Pitta balancing, it relieves burning sensation, on external application.
Visarpakushtanut – useful in herpes and skin diseases
Bhutadahaghni – useful in psychiatric conditions.
Modakrut – useful in depression
It helps to lower blood pressure. It is used as an ayurvedic remedy for blood pressure.
It is used in traditional remedies to treat amenorrhoea. It induces periods. For this purpose, its traditional dose is – half a gram of powder, two times a day from seven days before to menstruation.
It is extensively used in the treatment of headache and depression.
Its tablet – called Jatamansi Ghanvati is given in a dose of half – 1 tablet once or twice a day in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
It is used in gastritis and bloating.
Jatamansi Side Effects:
Special care is required while administering this medicine to people with high blood pressure.
People with heavy periods should avoid this herb during periods. It may increase menstrual flow.
On giving this medicine on excess dose, it may cause vomiting, twitching abdominal pain and purgation.
It is best avoided during pregnancy and lactation period.
It can be given to children only under medical supervision.
Jatamamsi along with other herbs such as Vacha, Agaru, Sandalwood, Camphor etc is used for fumigation of fermentation vessel, in the preparation of Arishta and Asava – Alcoholic Ayurvedic medicines.
Ayurvedic medicines with Jatamansi ingredient:
Sarpagandha Ghan Bati – used in the treatment of high BP and lack of sleep.
Aravindasavam – used in children to improve digestion, body weight and strength.
Dhanwanthararishtam – used in the treatment of low digestion power, low back ache.
Dashang Lepa – used externally, in the treatment of fever, headache, skin diseases such as eczema, herpes wound, etc
Are there any studies on the effect of this herb in the areas of:
1) curing autism
2) as an anti-convulsant
3) as anti-yeast or fungal agent
4) general cognition enhancer?
If yes, would the power/tablet form be more useful or would you recommend the oil?
Jatamansi and Autism – Jatamansi, in combination with Brahmi, Shankhapushpi etc is being used in treating autism.
Anti convulsant effect of Jatamamsi is proven –http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16095854
IT has anti fungal activity – http://jocpr.com/vol5-iss10-2013/JCPR-2013-5-10-431-438.pdf
It is a very good cognitive enhancer herb. –http://www.niper.ac.in/cognition.pdf,http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459457/
Q: will jatamamsi syrup cure chronic insomnia?
Yes, it can. Here are a few conditions.
1. Patient should not be addicted to taking allopathic anti-depressants or sedatives for very long (say, more than 6 months)
2. Patient should not be too old.
In some cases, some other Ayurvedic medicines might be required along with Jatamansi for effective treatment. Eg; anti depressants, anti anxiety medicines.
What are the signs of jatamansi over-dosage?
Abdominal cramps, loose motion (dirrhea), dizziness, low intelligence, vomiting, excess sleepiness, altered mood, irritability.