Jatamansi – Benefits, Usage, Side Effects

Jatamansi is a famous Ayurvedic herb used in neuro-psychiatric diseases and skin diseases. It is known 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-Valerianaceae

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 luster
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

Jatamansi for skin

Jatamansi powder is frequently used along with saffron, turmeric etc skin benefiting herbs to make face pack / face cream or masks. This is known to improve skin glow and complexion.


Jatamansi powder is frequently used along with saffron, turmeric etc skin benefiting herbs to make face pack / face cream or masks. This is known to improve skin glow and complexion.

It helps to lower blood pressure. It is used as an Ayurveda 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 menstruation.

It is extensively used in the treatment of headache and depression.
Its tablet – called Jatamansi Ghanvati is given in a dose of 1/2 – 1 tablet once or twice a day in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
It is used in gastritis and bloating.

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

jatamansi - Ayurveda

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 nighantu, a 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, dosage

Part Used– Rhizome, Jatamansi oil
Dosage- Powder -1-3 g in divided doses, along with honey, ghee or water.

Medicinal qualities

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 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 in 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.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

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.

Ayurveda medicines

Ayurveda 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

Other indications

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 Ayurveda medicines might be required along with Jatamansi for effective treatment. Eg; anti depressants, anti anxiety medicines.

Signs of over-dosage

What are the signs of jatamansi over-dosage?
Abdominal cramps, loose motion (diarrhea), dizziness, low intelligence, vomiting, excess sleepiness, altered mood, irritability. 

29 thoughts on “Jatamansi – Benefits, Usage, Side Effects”

  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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
        • Hi, first up, this herb cannot be taken without consulting a doctor.
          The information provided above is only for the sake of sharing knowledge.
          Chakrapani Ayurveda manufactures Jatamansi tablet.

          Reply
          • Jatamansi and Autism – Jatamansi, in combination with Brahmi, Shankhapushpi etc is being used in treating autism.
            Anti convulsant effect of Jatamamsi is proven
            IT has anti fungal activity
            It is a very good cognitive enhancer herb.

            If it is for children, I would recommend this in tablet form – along with some other brain tonic products such as Saraswatarishta or Brahmi ghrita. Any which ways, please consult an Ayurveda doctor.

            Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  2. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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

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

    Reply
  4. 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?

    Reply
    • 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!

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

        Reply
  5. 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..

    Reply
  6. 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

    Reply
  7. Dear dr. Hebbar,
    I have chronic insomnia. Is there any available treatment or can you give me some advice?

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  8. I am on telesmart am and concor 2.5 mg for hypertension. I started taking jatamasi tablet one at night for sleeplessness and my bp has dropped to 100/65 . Should i stop jatamasi or reduce allopathic tablets.
    Dr Mohan Kotwal

    Reply

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