Nutmeg Vs Jatamansi – Qualities, Usage, Side Effects

This is in reply to a query by Gaurav –
I’d like to know the differences between Nutmeg and Jatamansi. Which one is one stronger than the other? thank you.
Is nutmeg slow acting? i.e. it takes a few hours after ingestion to start having the (sleep inducing for example) effect? If so, I’m curious what property makes it so.

Nutmeg (Jaiphal) and Jatamansi (Spikenard) – both these are exceptional herbs used in treating different diseases, including insomnia. Here is a comparison between these two herbs with respect to quality, benefits, usage and side effects.

Both these herbs have been elaborated already.
Click to read  about Jaiphal- Nutmeg- Myristica fragrans Uses, Dose, Side Effects
Click to read about Jatamansi – Benefits, Usage, Side Effects

Part used, dosage

Parts used
Jaiphal – 
Seed, seed coat, oil.
Jatamamsi –  Rhizome

Jaiphal – 
Seed, seed coat, oil.
Jatamamsi –  Rhizome

Nutmeg – 250 mg to 2 grams in divided dose per day.
Jatamamsi – Powder -1-3 g in divided doses.

Qualities, effect on Doshas

Ayurvedic qualities:
Nutmeg  –
Hot, Light to digest , strong, piercing 
Jatamansi –
Coolant, oily

Nutmeg  –
Pungent, astringent 
Spikenard –
Bitter, astringent,

Effect on Tridosha:
Nutmeg  –
Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha
Spikenard – Balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha

Effect on Health

Nutmeg – Aphrodisiac, digestive, improves voice, strength and immunity 
Jatamansi –
Improves skin complexion, strength, immunity, intelligence, improves mood.

Neuro-psychiatric analysis

Both nutmeg and Jatamansi are useful in improving mood, depression. It is useful
But nutmeg is more useful in treating anxiety and sexual disorders.
Spikenard is more useful in treating schizophrenia, excess anger, short temper and migraine headaches.


Nutmeg is useful in people to induce sleep in Kapha and Vata body type persons. It is useful for those who feel difficulty in continuing sleeping till early morning hours.
Spikenard is more useful in people finding it difficulty to fall asleep, but who could sleep well after that.
I would rate Jatamansi a bit higher than nutmeg in treating insomnia.

Other Diseases

Nutmeg – Because of its hotness, nutmeg is useful in treating digestive disorders, cough, cold, asthma, vomiting, bloating, abdominal colic pain and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is also useful in excessive thirst, oral disorders, bad breath, throat disorders, diarrhoea due to Vata (with gas, bloating and stomach pain), cardiac disorders, anorexia, IBS, urinary tract disorders, Cardiac disorders, intestinal worms, cough, cold, asthma, vomiting, bloating, abdominal colic pain, rheumatoid arthritis.

Jatamansi – Jatamansi is very useful in Pitta conditions such as  skin disorders with bleeding and redness, poisoning, herpes, burning sensation and high blood pressure.

External application

Nutmeg is used externally, more commonly to improve skin complexion, skin tone etc. cosmetic purposes.
Jatamansi is applied externally, more commonly to treat skin disorders, to relieve burning sensation in herpes wounds etc.

Side effects

Nutmeg can be used in pregnancy, lactation and in children, in lower doses.
Jatamansi is usually avoided during pregnancy. Used in lactation period and in children only for limited time period.

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.


Nutmeg – Over-dosage may cause convulsions, palpitation, weak pulse, hypothermia, disorientation, giddiness, nausea and vomiting.
Jatamansi – over-dosage may cause vomiting, twitching abdominal pain and purgation.

7 thoughts on “Nutmeg Vs Jatamansi – Qualities, Usage, Side Effects”

  1. Dear Sir Thank you for this Article. You have mentioned “It is useful for those who feel difficulty in continuing sleeping till early morning hours.” for Nutmeg. I have this problem from last 1-2 months. Kindly advice how to use this to cure the imbalance.

    • You can simply try with 500 mg of Nutmeg powder at night, after food for a month. If symptoms do not improve, consider consulting an Ayurveda doctor.

  2. Very elaborately explained with very good and comprehensive knowledge. But how these can be used, I mean with honey, water or milk, that has not been told.

  3. Is Jatamansi considered to be an endangered species? It is not easily available outside of India, I think. Nutmeg essential oil applied on the temples at bedtime is also helpful for sleep.


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