Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering plant that belongs to the Caprifoliaceae or honeysuckle family of flowering plant. In this regard the plant is closely related to valerian and has similar pink, bell-shaped flower. Common names for the plant include spikenard, nard, muskroot and nardin. The plant is found in parts of Asia, particularly in the Himalayan region. An essential oil which makes up 0.5 to 2 % of the plant material called nard oil can be extracted from the plant and this oil may have significant effects on the central nervous system. Extracts of the whole plant can also be used as an anxiolytic herb. For example, in mice, extracts of Nardostachys jatamansi have been shown to produce significant anxiolytic effects in mice exposed to experimental stress. Other uses of the herb include as an analgesic, antiemetic, antifungal, antipyretic, antibacterial, antiseptic and anticonvulsant. As with valerian, Nard may therefore be a useful treatment for mild to moderate stress induced anxiety.
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