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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 (Maamsi Kula)


Ra. Ni – Jatamamsi, Gandhamamsi, Akasa mamsi


An erect perennial herb, grows up to 60 cm height with stout, woody root
Stem – With longitudinally nerved leaves
Inflorescence – Usually 1,3 5 flowered, dense cyme
Flower – Rosy, pale pink, or blue coloured pubescent
Fruit – 4 mm long, indehiscent, covered with minute hairs
Useful part – Rhizome

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

The roots are cooling in nature and pacify Pitta dosha.
In North India, it is used as Bhootaghna, and they keep it beneath the bed of the young children so as to prevent evil spirits.

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.

Home remedies

Some of the simple remedies and their health benefits are mentioned here below-

Insomnia, hair growth

1. Jathamamsi root oil for insomnia, hair growth, burning of the scalp etc:
Jatamamsi roots are soaked in water for a day. Next day morning, it is made into paste and cooked with sesame oil and equal amount of decoction of the roots or water as media, in mild intensity of heat till complete evaporation of moisture content. This is filtered and stored.
This oil is applied to the scalp in cases like loss of sleep, hair fall, burning of the scalp etc.

Sleep disturbance

2. Root powder of Jatamamsi with Khurasani yavani (Hyocymus niger Linn) seed powder for sleep disturbance:
Equal amount of Jatamamsi and Khurasani oma are taken and fine powder is made. This is administered in the dose of 2-3 gram twice daily, especially during night time along with water.
This helps to get quality sleep.

Stress, hallucination

3. Jatamamsi decoction in stress, confusion, hallucination, vertigo etc:
20 gram of jatamamsi roots are taken and boiled with 200 ml of water and reduced to 50 ml. This is used on filtering during bed time. This is very effective in the conditions like stress, confusion, hallucination, vertigo etc.

Headache, burning sensation of scalp

4. Root powder paste along with butter –application to the scalp for head ache and burning of the scalp:
Dry roots are taken and rubbed well with ghee. To this little butter is mixed and applied to the middle of the scalp. This helps to reduce the burning of the head and relieve stress head ache.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

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
Palamkasha – Reduce mamsa
naladdam – Rhizome has agreeable smell
Mata – Induce good sleep
Kiratini – Grows in Moutnain Himalaya
misi – Rhizome is black in colour
Hindi name –Jatamasi
Telugu Name- Jatamansi
English Name- Spikenard
Marathi & Gujarati Name- Jatamansi
Tamil & Kannada & Malayalam Name- Jatamamsi

jatamansi - Ayurveda

Classical categorization

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)


It is found in alpine regions of Himalaya at 11,0000-15000 ft; extending between Kumaon to Sikkim at 17000 feet and Bhutan.
This is plant is not found in all geographical area; in India especially it can be found in Kashmir. Or else in Nepal also this is found naturally. Usually it grows at the height of 2000-6000 meters.

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.

The roots of the plant are used for preparing medicines and they appear shaggy with fragrance. Jatamamsin is the active constituent of the plant and it is a volatile oil with very strong smell.


Root of Cymbopogon schoenanthus spreng
Nynphoids macrspermum


Selinium vaginatum
Selinium tenuifolium

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 Jatamansi be used for people suffering from hyperacidity?

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.


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
Mamsyadi kwatha, Rakshoghna ghrita, Rakshoghna dhoopa, Mamsyadi ghanavati etc are the formulations of Jathamamsi.

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?
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. 

Sthanika karma (Systamic Acton)

Externally – Reduce pain and burning sensation, over sweating. improve complexion. indicated in excessive sweating, inflammatory conditions.

Nervous system – Induce sleep, improve intellect, act as nerve tonic. Indicated in Tremor, unconsciousness, memory loss, headache, chittodvega(mental disorder), insomnia. Protect from evil spirit.

Digestive system – It is spicy in taste so act as carminative, digestive, stimulate liver and helps to release digestive enzymes. Pacify vata and reduce cramp. Indicated in constipation, loss of appetite, abdominal cramp, inflammation of stomach etc.

Circulatory System – Indicated in Hypertension. Regulate activity of Heart so as to use condition called Hriddrava.

Respiratory System – Helps to expel excess kapha. Indicated in kasa(Cough) and braething difficulties

Excretory system – Increase urine production by improving the activity of kindny., Indicated in painful micturition, Inflammatory conditions of bladder

Reproductive System – Aphrodisiac so Indicated in impotency. Also indicated in amenorrhea,
Skin – Induce sweat production Indicated in various r skin disorders, stimulate hair growth
Indicated in fever (Sannipata jvara) and burning sensation

Over dosage can leads to vomiting, diarrhea,

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