Benefits of Indian Spikenard
Herbs a to z
Indian spikenard, also known as Indian vallerine, is a perennial herb which grows up to 60 cms. It has long, woody rhizomes or an underground stem producing roots covered with fibres and small bunches of pale, pink or blue flowers. The dried rhizomes and roots of this plant constitute the drug. The Indian name jatamansi refers to the bearded appearance of rhizomes.
This drug is one of the first 12 drugs mentioned in the earliest European medical work, Pharmacopeia of Hippocrates, and has been in use in India for over 3,000 years. It is an excellent substitute for the drug, Valerian, botanically known as Valeriana.
The plant occurs on alpine Himalayas especially at higher attitudes of 3,000 and 4,500 meters, extending eastward from Kumaon to Sikkim and Bhutan.
The Indian spikenard yields a volatile oil, which contains an unidentified ester, an alcohol and two alkaloids. The rhizomes of the plant contain jatamansi acid, and an essential oil, which has the same uses as the rhizome. As an aromatic, it is an ingredient of many medicinal preparations.
The root of the plant is aromatic, stimulant, bitter tonic and antiseptic. It is useful in counteracting spasmodic disorders, and facilitates secretion or excretion by the natural passages or pores of the body, including urine.
Nervous and Convulsive Disorders
jatamansi can be used in the treatment of several nervous and convulsive disorders such as hysteria, epileptic fits, and certain disturbances caused by menopause. III very small doses it soothes the nervous system and acts as a tranquiliser.
The drug is useful in treating intestinal worms. It can be given to children with a purgative like jalap. For the treatment of threadworms, an enema made of an infusion of the rhizomes can be given.
Jatamansi can be used in the treatment of bronchitis and other disorders of the respiratory system. Doses of 30 to 40 grains with the addition of a little camphor and cinnamon can be taken. It can also be taken as an infusion in doses of 30 to 60 grams, thrice a day.
The herb aids menstruation and regulates the menstrual cycle. It is specially useful in dysmenorrhoea--that is, painful and difficult menstruation.
Palpitation of the Heart
It is a good cardiac stimulant, and hence useful in treating palpitation of the heart.
Low Blood Pressure
Research has established that it helps in the treatment of low blood pressure, nervousness and intermittent pulse.
Hair Tonic: jatamansi is a well-known hair tonic. It is an important ingredient of many hair washes and hair oils.