Nardostachys / Jatamansi


Nardostachys jatamansi DC. syn.


Nardostachys grandiflora

An erect perennial herb, 10-60 cm in height, with woody stout, rootstock covered with reddish brown fibres of the petioles of radical leaves. Leaves radical, longitudinally nerved; flower pale-pink or blue.


English Musk Root

Bengali Jatamansi

Gujarati Kalichhad, Jatamasi

Hindi Bal-chir, Jatamasi

Kannada Bal-chir, Jatamasi

Malayalam Bal-chir, Jatamasi

Marathi Bal-chir, Jatamasi

Oriya Jatamansi

Tamil1 Jatamanshi

Telugu Jatamamshi


Found in alpine Himalayas from 3,300-5000m heights, hills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim.

Part Used: Rhizome


The rhizome is bitter, astringent, sweet, acrid, cooling, emollient, aromatic, antiseptic, anodyne, digestive, carminative, laxative stomachic, liver stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, deodorant, vermifuge, expectorant, nervine tonic, improves IQ, somniferous, aphrodisiac, sudorific, trichogenous, anti-pyretic and tonic. It is useful in burning sensation, cough, asthma, bronchitis, pectoralgia, cephalalgia, inflammations dyspepsia, colic, flatulence, hepatopathy, nephropathy, strangury, amnorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, hypertension, grey hair, falling of hair etc.


Soil and Climate

Sandy loam and acidic soil rich in organic carbon and nitrogen is found best for germination as well as for better survival of seedlings and productivity. Moist and partial shades are found suitable for cultivation. Further moist rough wall provide suitable microhabitat for better growth. At lower altitude (1800-2200m) plain beds with slight tilt (5º-10°) are found suitable for cultivation unlike horizontal and vertical beds at alpine site.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Seeds are sown during November-December in polyhouse at lower altitude, during March-April in open beds at medium altitude and during May in alpine area. Seedlings are transplanted after six to eight weeks in the field. At lower altitude root growth as well as number and length of leaves increases rapidly as compared to higher elevation. Fibrous root formation takes place after third year of growth, when plants are raised by seedling. About 44,000 plants are planted in one acre of land.

Vegetative propagation through splitting of roots is found most successful in Nardostachys jatamansi and observed better for multiplication as well as for higher production within a short period than cultivation through seedlings.


For cultivation, better survival and yield of Jatamansi at lower altitude 60-70q. manure is required for one acre of land. However, the results are found best in litter treatment instead of live stock manure. The sites rich in organic carbon needed 46-60q. manure per acre for higher yield.

Irrigation and Weed Control

Beds need excessive watering/irrigation to decrease the mortality rate. Water requirement will change with respect to season like no irrigation is needed during monsoon. Water requirement also depends on the location of sites and texture of soil. During dry season i.e. May-June and September-October watering must be done at every two days interval at lower altitude. Weeding also depends on the condition of the soil and presence of weeds. Generally weeding must be done at weekly interval in the first year of growth and during the second and third year twice in a month.


Plants should he harvested just before senescence after maturation to obtain the higher quantity of active principles. To obtain higher amount of bioactive ingredients, it must be collected during the month of September at lower altitude, while in the month of October at higher altitude. The harvesting period for this species is 3-4 years; the harvested roots are washed and dried in shade.


Major Constituents

  • Jatamansin

  • Nardostachnone

Other Constituents

New sesquiterpene lactone-Jatamansone. ?-maaliene and calrene from the oil. Anew terpene coumarin-jatamansin and ororselol from roots. ?-pinene, ?-pinene, 3-carene, ?-eudesmol, elelmol, a C-30 hydrocarbon, ?-sitisterol, jatamansin, angelicin and jatamansinol from roots. Nardol from roots. A new diethenoid bicyclic ketone-nardostachonefrom roots. Structure of jatamansic acid. Seychellene and seychelane isolated, seychellane found to be mixture of two epimers. Norseychelanone, patchoulli alcohol and ???-patchoulenes isolated from roots. Actinidine a alkaloid isolated from rhizomes. Nardostachnol, 9-dehydroaristolene 1 (10)-dehydroaristolene, 2?-maaliene and 1,2,9.10-tetrahydroaristolene identified in essential oil. 9-aristilene-l-?-ol,l(10)-aristolen-2-one, ?-sitosterol and three unidentified compounds were isolated from roots. Jatamansanonne a ketonic principle isolated from rhizomes.

Active Constituents

Jatamansone, the sesquiterpene shown to exert tranquillizing activity in mice and monkeys, hypothermic activity in mice and antiemetic effects in dogs.

Volatile oil of N. jatamansi was found to be active as antiarrhythmic agent in dogs. The essential oil of N.jatamansi showed anthelmintic and antifungal activity. Jatamanssanone possess neuropharmacological profile in the hyperkinetic states. Jatamansone was tested in hypertension. Valeranone shows different biological activities along with hypertension and anti-ulcerogenic effects.

Analytical Profile

GC Profile of volatile oil with valeranone as marker.

Column OV-1 Chrom W (80-100), SS - 2m ? 3.2mm.

Oven temp. Programmed from 180-220° C at a rate of 10°C/min.

Injector temp. 240° C

Detector (FID) temp. 240° C

Carrier gas (N2) 3.8 kg/cm2.


The roots of Selinum vaginatum C.B.Clarke and Cymbopogon schoenanthus spring are used at times, for adulterating. However the yield of volatile oil, its physicochemical constants and a G.C profile can serve as standards for identification of the drug and determination of its constituents there by checking the purity and strength of the drug.


The price of 01 kg of rhizome/root ranges from Rs. 150-160.


Jatamansi is used for fumigation for warding off microorganisms.

DOSE: Powder - 1-3 g

Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi DC.) De jatamansi is een Indische plant, waarvan de wortel gebruikt wordt, omdat hij zo rijk is aan essentiële olie. Deze bevat jatamanson, een rustgevende en kalmerende inhoudsstof. In India wordt jatamansi al zeer lang veel gebruikt bij stress, angst en spanningen. Jatamansi is een plant van het “goed gevoel”, want hij stimuleert de werking van serotonine, de neurotransmitter van het gemoed, en van acetylcholine, de neurotransmitter van het geheugen (in het brein). In een eerste instantie, snel- en kortwerkend, zal jatamanson kalmeren; daarna, op langere termijn en bij regelmatig gebruik, stimuleert het de geestelijke vermogens op een zeer zachte wijze, wat energie en waakzaamheid oplevert, maar tezelfdertijd rust en kalmte. Aldus zien we dat jatamansi de geestelijke vermogens verbetert, en toch rustgevend is.

Jatamansi wordt ingezet bij stresssituaties met zenuwachtigheid, angst en verwardheid. Als tranquillizer kan jatamansi dus zonder enig gevaar overdag genomen worden: er is geen sedatie, enkel rust en ontspanning, maar ook een krachtige angstwerende werking, wat bijzonder nuttig is in geval van een verminderde zelfverzekerdheid, zelftwijfel of onzekerheid.