Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering plant of the Valerian family that grows in the Himalayas. It is a source of a type of intensely aromatic amber-colored essential oil, spikenard. The oil has, since ancient times, been used as a perfume, as a medicine and in religious contexts. It is also called spikenard, nard, nardin, or muskroot.
Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering plant of the honeysuckle family that grows in the eastern Himalayas, primarily in a belt through Kumaon, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. The plant grows to about 1 m in height and has pink, bell-shaped flowers. It is found in the altitude of about 3000–5000 meters. Rhizomes (underground stems) can be crushed and distilled into an intensely aromatic amber-colored essential oil, which is very thick in consistency. Nard oil is used as a perfume, an incense, a sedative, and an herbal medicine said to fight insomnia, birth difficulties, and other minor ailments.
- ursolie acid
- kanshone A
- oleanolic acid
Nardostachys jatamansi may have been used as an ingredient in the incense known as spikenard, although lavender has also been suggested as a candidate for the spikenard of classical times.
- "Nardostachys jatamansi", The Plant List, retrieved 2014-09-19
- Bakhru, H.K. (1993). Herbs that heal : natural remedies for good health (3. print. ed.). New Delhi u.a.: Orient Paperbacks. p. 117. ISBN 8122201334.
- Dalby, Andrew (2000), Dangerous Tastes: the story of spices, London: British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-2720-5 (US ISBN 0-520-22789-1) pp. 83–88
- Zhang, X; Lan Z; Dong XP; Deng Y; Hu XM; Peng T; Guo P. (January 2007). "Study on the active components of Nardostachys chinensis". Zhong Yao Cai. 30 (1): 38–41. PMID 17539300.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Spikenard.|
- Original botanical description by David Don from Prodromus Florae Nepalensis (1825), in Latin (archived by the Biodiversity Heritage Library)
- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0-7234-3410-7. Contains a detailed monograph on Nardostachys grandiflora, N. jatamansi (Jatamamsi) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/354-jatamamsi
- Celtnet Spice Guide information page for spikenard