Spikenard

Last Updated: September 28 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.

Summary

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.

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      References
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