Herbs & Plants

Jatamamsi(Indian Spikenard)

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Common name: Spikenard
Nepali name: Jatamamsi
Latin name: Nardostachys grandiflora
English Name: Muskroot, Indian Spikenard
Family: Valerinaceae

An erect and perennial rhizomatous herb, 10 to 60 centimeters in height. It grows in open areas all along the Himalayan range from 3,200 to 5,000 meters. The distribution of jatamansi in Nepal is scattered and thinly populated. Spikenard produces flowers that are reddish-white in color.

Click to see the pictures

Himalayan Valerian. Herbaceous perennial from the mountains of the NW Himalaya of Nepal and India. This rare and endangered Valerian species has a unique musky aroma resembling a cross between European Valerian and Patchouli.


The fragrance from the roots is identical to the fragrance of the true nard or Nardostachys jatamansi and is often used as a substitute in the production of Nard oil.

The plant makes a sweet ground cover with heart shaped leaves and delicate pinkish white flowers which bloom starting in mid winter. It prefers a moist and shady location and will form a lush green patch with its spreading medicinal rhizomes.

Like its cousin, Himalayan Spikenard, the Himalayan Valerian is suffering from over-harvesting in Nepal and India.

Very hardy and a sturdy, easy to grow plant. This very rare and unique Valerian species is in need of preservation.

Medicinal uses:
Jatamansi has the power to promote awareness and calm the mind. it is a very useful herb for palpitation, tension, headaches, restlessness and is used for promoting awareness and strengthening the mind. It aids in balancing the body of all three Ayurvedic doshas. This herb’s sedative properties increase awareness, as opposed to valerian that dulls the mind.

Rootstocks yield an essential oil that is used as a bitter tonic, stimulant, and antipasmodic

Spikenard Root Powder (Jatamansi; Nardostachys jatamansi)

Complexion, strength, kidney stones, jaundice, removes blood impurities, spasmodic hysteria and other nervous convulsive ailments; heart palpitations, nervous headache, flatulence, epilepsy, convulsions, respiratory and digestive diseases, skin conditions, typhoid, gastric disorders, seminal debility.
Jatamansi is a useful hair tonic and is commonly used in hair oils, promoting hair growth and lustre. It is also used in oils and pastes that improve complexion and general health of the skin.

According to Ayurveda, herbs are taken in combination with other herbs to neutralize the toxicity of one herb with the opposing effect of the other or to enhance the particular effect of one herb with the help of other.

Himalayan or Indian Valerian has been used traditionally for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine. It is commonly used for migraine symptoms, epilepsy, insanity, delirium, insomnia, skin diseases, obesity, scorpion stings, snake bites and as an essential oil in perfumery.

No side effects have been noted so far.

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