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  Latin Name Nardostachys jatamansi
English Name Muskroot, Indian Spikenard
Hindi Name Jatamansi
Part Used Root

1Nardostachys jatamansi is an erect perennial herb,10-60cm high, with long, stout, woody rootstock found in the alpine Himalayas from Punjab to Sikkim and Bhutan, at altitudes of 3000-5000m.Jatamansi has an agreeable odor with a bitter aromatic taste and is used as a substitute for valerian. It yields up to 1.9% of a pale yellow essential oil possesses antiarrhythmic activity and exerts a hypotensive effect and in moderate doses it has a distinct depressant action on the central nervous system. An infusion of rhizome is reported to be useful in epilepsy, hysteria, palpitation of heart and chorea.

2In Ayurveda, the drug is believed to increase intellect/memory and is used as tonic and for treating edema. Traditionally, the drug has been used as a herbal CNS drug in epilepsy, hysteria and convulsions. The active principle jatamansone was shown to exert tranquilizing effect in mice and monkeys. In a clinical trial on hyperkinetic children, jatamansone showed significant reduction in hyperactivity and improvement in restlessness and aggressiveness almost at par with D-amphetamine. In a double blind trial using an Ayurvedic drug containing jatamansi as one of the ingredients and the modern control drugs Diazepam and placebo, in generalized anxiety disorders, the drug was found to be more effective in enhancing the perceptual discrimination and psychomotor performance and offered protection to the stress induced metabolic changes by decreased urinary output. Thus it can be safely prescribed in acute and chronic states of anxiety.

3Nardostachys jatamansi is found to alleviate of the symptoms of the chronic fatigue syndrome due to its antioxidant properties. 4It showed improvement in learning and memory in mice. 5Antidepressant-like activity of Nardostachys jatamansi is reported in mice.



1. The Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol. 7, 3-4, 2001
2. The Wealth of India, First Supplement Series (Raw Materials) Vol. 4: J-Q, page 190-191, 2006
3. PMID: 19375459, Behav Brain Res. 2009 Sep 14;202(2):285-90. Epub 2009 Apr 16.
4. PMID: 16579738, J Med Food. 2006 Spring;9(1):113-8
5. PMID: 18512329, Indian J Exp Biol. 2008 Apr;46(4):212-8.

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