Nardostachys jatamansi: Mood Elevating Herb?

weight lossNardostachys 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.

Nardostachys jatamansi nard anxiety depression

The essential oil of Nardostachys jatamansi may have anxiolytic properties. The constituents of this oil include a number of phytochemicals including sesquiterpenoids and coumarins. jatamansone (valeranone) is the principle sesquiterpenoid and is thought to provide most of the biological activity. The dried root may contain a number of phytochemicals including sesquiterpenes like jatamansone, spirajatamol, patchouli alcohol, norseychelanone, jatamol A and B, lignans and neolignans like virolin, pinoresinol, jatamansic acid, terpenic coumarins like oroselol and jatamansin. Other constituents, including resin, sugar, starch, bitter extractive matter and gum. Image by Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) – Curtis’s botanical magazine vol. 107 ser. 3 nr. 37 tabl. 6564 from, Public Domain, https:// w/ index.php?curid=2120319.

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself


Jadhav, V. M., Thorat, R. M., Kadam, V. J. and Kamble, S. S. 2009. Herbal anxiolyte: Nardostachys jatamansi. Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 2(8): 1208-1211
Razack, S., & Khanum, F. 2012. Anxiolytic effects of Nardostachys jatamansi DC in mice. Annals of Phytomedicine. 1(2): 67-73

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Depression, Mood, Nardostachys jatamansi (Nard / Spikenard). Bookmark the permalink.