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Information @ a Glance

Growth and Cultivation
  • The famous aromatic root, nard, was known in ancient times as an ingredient in ointments, and is believed to be the same as the Indian nardostachys, N. jatamansi which has been renamed Nardostachys grandiflora. There is also a Valeriana jatamansi that is similar to nardostachys and used as a substitute.
  • It is commonly distributed in an elevation range of 3500m to 4500m in the northern aspect of the sub-alpine and alpine pastureland of the Himalayas in Nepal. Though found in eastern to western region of the country, Jatamansi is more abundant in the western regions. The plant is mostly found growing in steep areas with a 25 o- 45o slope. It grows well on open, stony and grassy slopes, and on the turf of glacial flats. It is also found growing under the Silver Birch forest, where its growth is good with large leaves and long rootstock. 
  • Natural regeneration takes place by rhizome and seeds. Jatamansi is a wild plant but is occasionally cultivated in India and China. The plant can be cultivated from the cuttings of underground parts or rhizomes as well as from seeds. The plants coming from the cuttings of rhizome grow faster than that from the seeds. According to study in Humla, this plant regenerates easily from the underground propagules when harvested in autumn. There is high risk of underground rhizome decay when harvested in summer.

Extraction and Distillation

  • New methods of essential oil extraction are entering the mainstream of aromatherapy, offering new choices in oils never before available. With the new labels of 'CO2' and 'SCO2', along with the traditional 'steam' and 'hydro' distillations, 'absolutes', and 'cold pressing', a little education for the aromatherapy enthusiast can go a long way in essential oil selection.
  • The value of the newer processing methods depends greatly on the experience of the distiller, as well as the intended application of the final product. Each method is important, and has it's place in the making of aromatherapy-grade essential oils.
  • Steam distillation, the most common method of essential oil production, involves the flow of steam into a chamber holding the raw plant material. The steam causes small sacs containing essential oil to burst. The oil is then carried by the steam out of the chamber and into a chilled condenser, where the steam once again becomes water. The oil and water are then separated; the water, referred to as a 'hydrosol', can be retained as it will have some of the plant essence.

Uses: 

  • Jatamansi has the power to promote awareness and calm the mind. it is a very useful herb for palpitation, tension, headaches, restlessness and is used for promoting awareness and strengthening the mind. It aids in balancing the body of all three Ayurvedic doshas. This herb's sedative properties increase awareness, as opposed to valerian that dulls the mind.
  • Today in Ayurvedic medicine, Jatamansi is used for treating insomnia, mental instability, and is used as a memory enhancer. As an herbal CNS (Central Nervous System) drug, it is used for epilepsy, hysteria, and convulsions. Due to its anti-arrhythmic activity, Jatamansi is being tested for its effectiveness in treating auricular flutter. The oil is said to promote hair growth and helps it maintain its color as well. It is believed that the active constituent, jatamansone, can reduce hyperactivity, restlessness, and aggressiveness in hyperactive children.

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