Last Updated: November 18 2022

Nardostachys jatamansi (Jatamansi) is a supposedly calming herb from Ayurveda that has been used for anticonvulsive and antiepileptic properties. It may enhance learning in youth and neuroprotective properties (needs human evidence) and is protective against pancreatitis.

Spikenard is most often used for


Jatamansi is a herb from Ayurveda with many similar traditional claims to Bacopa Monnieri such as antistress, anticonvulsive, antiepileptic, and cognitive enhancing. Unlike bacopa, however, jatamansi does not have as much evidence to support it and is currently in a preliminary stage of research.

When looking at the neural research, at least one study has supported jatamansi in promoting cognition of otherwise healthy young rodents and restoring cognition in older rats; this study outperformed the reference drug Piracetam, but other studies assessing cognitive enhancement are not too common. There appears to be more evidence on the neuroprotective properties of jatamansi (which, although the studies are too heterogeneous to come to any solid conclusions, seem very promising) and one study suggested potent anti-depressive effects associated with jatamansi. Perhaps intriguinly, jatamansi is a rare herb that has been demonstrated to have a calming effect despite increasing brain monoamines (which is normally correlated with psychostimulation).

Beyond the brain, jatamansi appears to have general antioxidative effects (seems a lot more potent in vivo rather than ex vivo; with studies outside the body being about a tenth as effective as Vitamin C and not at all impressive) and has a surprisingly amount of evidence in rodents to support jatamansi as protective against pancreatitis. Similar to the neural evidence, this has not been explored in humans but occurs at very feasible doses.

What else is Spikenard known as?
Note that Spikenard is also known as:
  • Spikenard
  • Jatamansi
  • Muskroot
  • Nardostachys Grandiflora (synonym)
  • Nardostachys Jatamansi
Spikenard should not be confused with:
  • Nardostachys chinensis (different plant of same genera)
Dosage information

Studies in rodents tend to use 250-500mg/kg of the basic root extract, which is an estimated human dose of:

  • 2,700-5,400mg for a 150lb person
  • 3,600-7,200mg for a 200lb person
  • 4,500-9,000mg for a 250lb person

These are estimated human dosages based on rat studies, as it is currently not known if these are optimal human dosages.

Join our supplement information course

Don't miss out on the latest research

2.^BOSE BC, GUPTA SS, BHATNAGAR JN, VIJAYVARGIYA RNardostachys Jatamansi DC: its sedative and depressant action as estimated by Warburg techniqueIndian J Med Sci.(1957 Oct)
3.^Chatterjee A, Basak B, Saha M, Dutta U, Mukhopadhyay C, Banerji J, Konda Y, Harigaya YStructure and stereochemistry of nardostachysin, a new terpenoid ester constituent of the rhizomes of Nardostachys jatamansiJ Nat Prod.(2000 Nov)
7.^Pandey MM, Katara A, Pandey G, Rastogi S, Rawat AKAn important Indian traditional drug of ayurveda jatamansi and its substitute bhootkeshi: chemical profiling and antioxidant activityEvid Based Complement Alternat Med.(2013)
10.^Rekha K, Rao RR, Pandey R, Prasad KR, Babu KS, Vangala JR, Kalivendi SV, Rao JMTwo new sesquiterpenoids from the rhizomes of Nardostachys jatamansiJ Asian Nat Prod Res.(2013)
12.^Bagchi A, Oshima Y, Hikino HJatamols A and B: Sesquiterpenoids of Nardostachys jatamansi Roots1Planta Med.(1991 Jun)
14.^Bagchi A, Oshima Y, Hikino HNeolignans and Lignans of Nardostachys jatamansi Roots1Planta Med.(1991 Feb)
18.^Salim S, Ahmad M, Zafar KS, Ahmad AS, Islam FProtective effect of Nardostachys jatamansi in rat cerebral ischemiaPharmacol Biochem Behav.(2003 Jan)
19.^Mukherjee PK, Kumar V, Houghton PJScreening of Indian medicinal plants for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activityPhytother Res.(2007 Dec)
20.^Vinutha B, Prashanth D, Salma K, Sreeja SL, Pratiti D, Padmaja R, Radhika S, Amit A, Venkateshwarlu K, Deepak MScreening of selected Indian medicinal plants for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activityJ Ethnopharmacol.(2007 Jan 19)
21.^Joshi H, Parle MNardostachys jatamansi improves learning and memory in miceJ Med Food.(2006 Spring)
23.^Lyle N, Bhattacharyya D, Sur TK, Munshi S, Paul S, Chatterjee S, Gomes AStress modulating antioxidant effect of Nardostachys jatamansiIndian J Biochem Biophys.(2009 Feb)
25.^Lyle N, Gomes A, Sur T, Munshi S, Paul S, Chatterjee S, Bhattacharyya DThe role of antioxidant properties of Nardostachys jatamansi in alleviation of the symptoms of the chronic fatigue syndromeBehav Brain Res.(2009 Sep 14)
27.^Khan MB, Hoda MN, Ishrat T, Ahmad S, Moshahid Khan M, Ahmad A, Yusuf S, Islam FNeuroprotective efficacy of Nardostachys jatamansi and crocetin in conjunction with selenium in cognitive impairmentNeurol Sci.(2012 Oct)
28.^Ahmad M, Yousuf S, Khan MB, Hoda MN, Ahmad AS, Ansari MA, Ishrat T, Agrawal AK, Islam FAttenuation by Nardostachys jatamansi of 6-hydroxydopamine-induced parkinsonism in rats: behavioral, neurochemical, and immunohistochemical studiesPharmacol Biochem Behav.(2006 Jan)
29.^Rasheed AS, Venkataraman S, Jayaveera KN, Fazil AM, Yasodha KJ, Aleem MA, Mohammed M, Khaja Z, Ushasri B, Pradeep HA, Ibrahim MEvaluation of toxicological and antioxidant potential of Nardostachys jatamansi in reversing haloperidol-induced catalepsy in ratsInt J Gen Med.(2010 May 26)
30.^Patil RA, Hiray YA, Kasture SBReversal of reserpine-induced orofacial dyskinesia and catalepsy by Nardostachys jatamansiIndian J Pharmacol.(2012 May)
31.^Rao VS, Rao A, Karanth KSAnticonvulsant and neurotoxicity profile of Nardostachys jatamansi in ratsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2005 Dec 1)
34.^Bae GS, Seo SW, Kim MS, Park KC, Koo BS, Jung WS, Cho GH, Oh HC, Yun SW, Kim JJ, Kim SG, Hwang SY, Song HJ, Park SJThe roots of Nardostachys jatamansi inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxin shockJ Nat Med.(2011 Jan)
35.^Bae GS, Park HJ, Kim DY, Song JM, Kim TH, Oh HJ, Yun KJ, Park RK, Lee JH, Shin BC, Sim HJ, Hong SP, Song HJ, Park SJNardostachys jatamansi protects against cerulein-induced acute pancreatitisPancreas.(2010 May)
36.^Bae GS, Kim MS, Park KC, Koo BS, Jo IJ, Choi SB, Lee DS, Kim YC, Kim TH, Seo SW, Shin YK, Song HJ, Park SJEffect of biologically active fraction of Nardostachys jatamansi on cerulein-induced acute pancreatitisWorld J Gastroenterol.(2012 Jul 7)
37.^Bae GS, Park KC, Koo BS, Jo IJ, Choi SB, Lee DS, Kim YC, Kim JJ, Shin YK, Hong SH, Kim TH, Song HJ, Park SJThe beneficial effects of Nardostachys jatamansi extract on diet-induced severe acute pancreatitisPancreas.(2013 Mar)
38.^Bae GS, Park KC, Koo BS, Jo IJ, Choi SB, Song HJ, Park SJNardostachys jatamansi inhibits severe acute pancreatitis via mitogen-activated protein kinasesExp Ther Med.(2012 Sep)
39.^Bae GS, Park KC, Koo BS, Choi SB, Jo IJ, Choi CM, Song HJ, Park SJThe inhibitory effects of Nardostachys jatamansi on alcoholic chronic pancreatitisBMB Rep.(2012 Jul)
40.^Haber PS, Keogh GW, Apte MV, Moran CS, Stewart NL, Crawford DH, Pirola RC, McCaughan GW, Ramm GA, Wilson JSActivation of pancreatic stellate cells in human and experimental pancreatic fibrosisAm J Pathol.(1999 Oct)
41.^Song MY, Bae UJ, Lee BH, Kwon KB, Seo EA, Park SJ, Kim MS, Song HJ, Kwon KS, Park JW, Ryu DG, Park BHNardostachys jatamansi extract protects against cytokine-induced beta-cell damage and streptozotocin-induced diabetesWorld J Gastroenterol.(2010 Jul 14)
42.^Dandagi PM, Patil MB, Mastiholimath VS, Gadad AP, Dhumansure RHDevelopment and evaluation of hepatoprotective polyherbal formulation containing some indigenous medicinal plantsIndian J Pharm Sci.(2008 Mar-Apr)
43.^Ali S, Ansari KA, Jafry MA, Kabeer H, Diwakar GNardostachys jatamansi protects against liver damage induced by thioacetamide in ratsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2000 Aug)