Nardostachys jatamansi: A Potential Medicinal Herb of Himalayas
The Indian Himalayan Region has been regarded as the repository of potential medicinal herbs since time immemorial. A large number of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) have been distributed within different forests along an altitudinal gradient. One of such vital plants of Uttarakhand Himalayas is Nardostachys jatamansi, which is in great demand due to its high medicinal potential. Due to its high demand in national and international market, the species has been greatly exploited from the nature.
The plant belongs to the family Valerianaceae and is found in the altitude of about 3000–5000 meters. Roots and rhizomes of the plant are used in medicinal preparations. Commonly known as jatamansi, it has calming, peacefulness and relaxation features. It is used as a nervine tonic and helps in enhancing the memory. Nardostachys jatamansi is a known calming herb in Ayurveda and Unani because of its medicinal values. A number of studies have been done for its efficacy in respect of nervous system. In ayurveda, it is prescribed against stress, spasm, epilepsy, convulsion and hysteria. It helps to provide vitality, vigor and strength to the body thus good for the nervous system. The plant is used in skin infections and also have antigungal properties. It has hepatoprotective characteristics thus useful in hepatitis, prevent enlargement of liver and jaundice. The extract of jatamansi oil is helpful in the growth of hair. Its underground stem is used in preparation of powerful aromatic essential oil. The root of the plant is used in making of oil to treat insomnia and birth related problems.