Jatamansi – Benefits, Usage, Side Effects

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. 
Botanical Name-
Nardostachys Jatamansi Dc. [ N. Grandiflora Dc; Valeriana Jatamansi Auct. Non Jones.]
Family-VALERIANAEAE


Vernacular names-
Sanskrit synonyms-
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
Mura
Hindi name –Jatamasi
Telugu Name- Jatamansi
English Name- Spikenard
Marathi & Gujarati Name- Jatamansi
Tamil & Kannada & Malayalam Name- Jatamamsi

Classical Categorization-
Charaka-
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 –
jatamansi - Ayurveda

(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.

Research –
Effect on acute pancreatitis
Anti oxidant effect

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?
Answer:
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. 


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Comments

  1. How should this be taken? For skin and hair should we take this before food or after and with ghee or honey or milk or water?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Its tablets and capsules are available in the market. Consult your Ayurveda doctor for dose and right method of taking.
      It can be taken after food, along with water.

  2. asha chavan says:

    is jatamansi use for hyperacidity?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Because of its bitter and astringent tastes, because of its Dahahara (relieving burning sensation) action, because it balances Pitta (and Kapha Dosha), it can be inferred that Jatamansi is quite useful in hyperacidity.

  3. Can it be taken mixed in milk?

  4. AnsBhtt says:

    Sir please tell something about Jatamansi Ghan vati, as mention above.

    Thanks

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      It is prepared with water extract of Jatamansi. It has quite similar effects of Jatamansi

      • will jatamamsi syrup cure chronic insomnia??

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          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.

  5. paranthaman.s says:

    it is very useful for me Very informative i will use it as it is said for my joint pain

  6. P.Kumar says:

    Doctor, my wife has been diagnosed as having Blepherospasm. Can this jatamansi herb help her relieve her condition, please?

    • Dr Malini Bhat says:

      Sir, there are some panchakarma procedures which help in its relief. Would advise you to take an expert opinion in this regard as we are dealing with eyes here.

  7. Hello Doctor,
    I ordered Jatamansi roots from ebay for adding to my face pack. I don’t know how to use it. Should I wash and dry it before adding it to other ingredients? Is there a ratio I should follow?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, if it is in powder form, you can directly add it to the facepack mix. usual face pack ratio is – equal amounts of all ingredients.

  8. In schizophrenia how can a patient use jatamansi? Thanks . Sagar Dutta

    • Dr Malini Bhat says:

      Jatamansi as a single drug is difficult to get. You can use :
      > Brahmi — Take 500 mg of brahmi extract daily, at least for 1 month.
      > Include antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, strawberries, lemons, oranges, Indian gooseberry (amla), spinach and carrots in your diet.
      > Ashwagandha
      > Basil
      > Green Cardamom

  9. Abdullah says:

    My Dr advised jatamansi for depression and body stiff shaking fingers is this right product for my health issue dose 1-0-1

  10. Dear Vaidya ji, I bought a bottle of Chakrapani Jatamansi Ghana. It does not smell like Jatamansi Churna. Actually it does not smell at all, even if I crash a tablet. It was strange because I get used that Jatamansi has specific strong odor. Cantacted with the producer I received reply: they state that the odour is lost due to many hours of boiling the herb to obtain extract form. Dear doctor, is it true that Jatamansi Ghana vati can be without any smell?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes. There is possibility that it might lose its smell due to boiling.

      • Dear Sir, thank you for reply. Whether along with losing smell, the Ghana loses some precious qualities of Jatamansi? First of all, during boiling, all essential oils are evaporated. How important are essential oils in curing qualities of Jatamansi. Speaking briefly, whether odorless Ghana possesses the medical qualities of Jatamansi which you described in your article above? Thank you very much in advance!

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          Hi, the jatamansi podwer possesses all the medical qualities described in the article above.
          The odorless ghana may carry 75 % of the qualities.

  11. Raghvendra tripathi says:

    Hii sir…how to know the purity of the jatamansi churna ..I got it in powder form dark brown color ,not mentioned any brand over the packed..

  12. Subhadipa Ghosh says:

    Does Jatamansi has any property to cure hair loss and enhance hair growth at the age of around 48? If yes, how should it be used?

  13. hi vaidji

    Powder of Jatamasi 1gm sarpgandha 1gm malkangni 1gm with 3gm mishri twice a day with milk is right treatment for schizophernia though it is advised by a vaidyji but just to confirm and please advise how long it has to be taken and when to stop it

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, it is a good combination. It can be taken in the said dose for 2 months and then after, the dose needs to be gradually reduced. overall treatment may last up to 1 year.

      For further advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      For email advice, please write to our health experts here (paid service) – https://easyayurveda.com/consult/

  14. Neeloferr Lokhandwalla says:

    Dear Dr.Hebbar, Recently came across this site. I seek your advice. I am having insomnia since last 25 yrs. Since last 3-4 yes I am taking Brahmi, Shankhpushti and Jatamansi in Powder form every night. There has not been any improvement except that my mood remains stable and pleasant inspite of poor sleep. I do feel very sleepy during the day. Please advise.

  15. laxmi mehta says:

    I would like to know the ayurved medicine for schizophrenia thanks

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, the treatment protocol depends on severity of disease, age of patients etc. Ayurveda may not be able to totally cure the disease completely. In some cases, allopathic help may also be required.
      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) – https://easyayurveda.com/consult/

  16. santosh says:

    hi sir
    i have a very very bad memory, and depression. Can help me overcome these problems.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Take Brahmi Rasayana – 1 teaspoon 2 times a day after food for 1 month time. Available in amazon website here
      http://amzn.to/2yxfWTA

      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) – https://easyayurveda.com/consult/

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