Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) is a plant from the Valerianaceae family that is found in the Himalaya mountains. In cultures from Asia to Europe and North Africa has the plant always been particularly valued because of its qualities and scent. Jatamansi essential oil increases awareness, calms the psyche, strengthens the nerve system, purifies the blood and looks after skin and hair.
Jatamansi is known under many names of which some are misleading. The most used valid names are:
- Botanical: Nardostachys jatamansi, Nardostachys grandiflora.
- Sanskrit: Jaṭāmāṇśī, nalada.
- Hindi: Balchar, jaṭāmāṇśī.
- English: Jatamansi, muskroot, spikenard.
- Dutch: Jatamansi, narduskruid.
Names that are not validly being used are 'nardus', '(Indian) valerian' and 'Valeriana wallichi'.
Jatamansi grows in an area where since ages ayurveda, the Hinduistic medicine, is being practised. It is no wonder then that jatamansi is in use in ayurveda. Below you can find a general overview of the qualities of jatamansi from ayurvedic perspective.
- Energetics: Bitter / sweet / astringent - cold - pungent.
- VPK= (Jatamansi balances vata, pitta en kapha)
- Tissues: Blood, marrow, nerve system, circulation system, digestion, respiratory system, reproduction.
- Action: Aromatic, antispasmodic, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, tonic, carminative, deobstruent, digestive stimulant, reproductive.
- Indication: 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.
- Spirituality: Increases awareness. Jatamansi is sattvik by nature.
Jatamansi grows in the wild exclusively in the Himalaya mountains and has therefore no traditional place in Western herbology. However due to the increased general availability of jatamansi has this plant also become increasingly part of herbology. Below follows an overview of the qualities as found in Western herbology.
- Action: Alexeteric, antiarrhythmi, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidote, antiemetic, antiestrogenic, antihistaminic, antipyretic, antiseptic, antiserotonin, antispasmodic, antiulcer, aperitif, bitter, bronchodilator, candidicide, carminative, cns-depressan, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, fungicide, hypotensive, laxative, lipogenic, pectoral, propecic, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, taenicide, tonic, tranquilizer, uterotonic, vermifuge.
- Indication: Attention-Deficit Disorder, aggressiveness, alopecia, anorexia, arrhythmia, asthma, bacteria, biliousness, bite, bronchosis, candida, cardiopathy, chorea, cholera, circulosis, colic, complexion, constipation, convulsion, cough, cramp, dermatosis, dysmenorrhea, dyspnea, dysuria, enterosis, epilepsy, erysipelas, escherichia, fever, fungus, gas, gastrosis, gleet, gray hair, headache, hepatosis, high blood pressure, hyperkinesis, hysteria, infection, inflammation, insomnia, jaundice, leprosy, lumbago, madness, menopause, mycosis, nausea, nephrosis, nervousness, neurasthenia, neurosis, ophthalmia, pain, palpitation, respirosis, rhinosis, salmonella, smallpox, snakebite, sore, sore throat, staphylococcus, sting, stomachache, tachycardia, tapeworm, tuberculosis, ulcer, uterosis, vomiting, water retention, worm, yeast
Jatamansi is possibly the plant to which is referred with the name 'valerian' in the Agni Yoga teaching of Helena Roerich.
- Action: Keeps respiration pure, restores energy, calms agitation, promotes serenity, renews the nerve centres, kindles and sustains the fires, protets against 'the fiery sickness', cancer and other fiery ailments, is a tonic, giver of life, protects against many diseases.
Jatamansi essential oil can be used aromatically, in bath, for massage and as a perfume. Consult before use the paragraph 'Side Effects' and when hesitant a doctor or therapist.
- Aromatically: The oil can be used aromatically by putting a few drops in a nebulizer or vaporizer.
- Bath: You can add several drops to your bathing water.
- Massage: The oil can be mixed with a conducting oil (for instance cold pressed sesame oil). Especially with head massages does jatamansi oil do well because when used thus it can bring the head to a rest, take care of the skin on the face and can strengthen hair growth.
- Perfume: You can apply one or two drops on the places where you would also apply perfume. The scent can in first instance come on strong but will quickly become subtle. Jatamansi then has a delightful musky scent.
No side effects are known. Jatamansi essential oil can be used safely.
Jatamansi essential oil has in general constituents as follows:
- Patchouli alcohol 40.2%
- d-Guaiene 10.7%
- Seychellene 8.2%
- Viridiflorol 5.2%
- 8-Acetoxy-patchouli alcohol 4.5%
- a-Guaiene 4.3%
- a-Patchoulene 4.3%
- b-Pinene 2.9%
- Methyl carvacrol 2.5%
- Bornyl acetate 1.9%
- Camphene 1.8%
- a-Muurolene 1.7%
- b-Caryophyllene 1.6%
- a-Pinene 1.5%
- Methyl thymol 1.3%
- Kessane 1.2%
- g-Patchoulene 1.2%
- Valencene 1.1%