Introduction of Nardostachys Root:Spikenard root or Jatamansi root.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Nardostachys Root, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Nardostachyschinensis Batal., ②.Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Nardostachys Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Nardostachys Root(Jatamansi root).

a colorful drawing of Nardostachys chinensis Batal,root,green stem and leaves,small red flowers English Name: Nardostachys Root.
 Latin Name: Nardostachys chinensis Batal. or Nardostachys jatamansi (D. Don) DC.
 Common Names: Nardostachys Root, Jatamansi root, Spikenard, etc.
 Property and flavor: The herb is warm in nature, it tastes pungent, sweet.

 Brief introduction: Nardostachys Root is the dried root and rhizome of Nardostachyschinensis Batal., or Nardostachys jatamansi DC., it is dug out in spring and autumn, removes sediment and impurities, and dry in the sun or shade.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Nardostachys Root as the dried root of the species (1).Nardostachyschinensis Batal., or (2).Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC. They are plant species of the Nardostachys genus, the Valerianaceae family (Valerianoideae, the valerian subfamily). The dried roots are used medicinally. These two commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Nardostachys chinensis Batal.

 flowering plant of Nardostachys chinensis Batal with small pink flowers grow in arid land Botanical description: Nardostachys chinensis Batal. is a perennial herb, it grows up to 20~35 cm high. The whole plant has a strong pine resinoid aroma. The basal leaves are few and sparse, usually, 6~9 per clump, narrow linear oblanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 6~20 cm long, 4~10 mm wide, the apex is obtuse, tapering below the middle part and slightly petiole-shaped, the base is slightly expanded into a sheath, entire, green at the upper part, pale green at lower part; there are three main veins.

 flowering plants of Nardostachys chinensis Batal with small pink flowers and green leaves grow in grass Cymes are densely rounded; involucral bracts 2, long ovate; bracteoles 2, very small; calyx 5-lobed, very small teeth; flowers are pink; corolla is tubular, the apex is 5-lobed, the base deviates; stamens 4. Corolla protruding; the ovary is inferior, style is slender, protruding out of corolla, stigma is funnelform (funnel-shaped). Achenes are obovate, about 3 mm long, and calyx breakthrough. Its flowering period is in August.

 Ecological environment: Nardostachyschinensis Batal grows in the alpine grasslands at an altitude of 3,500~4,500 meters. The plant grows in the west-north, west-south of China. The plant also grows in Nepal.

(2).Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC.

 a colorful drawing of Nardostachys jatamansi,brown root,green stem and leaves,red flowers Botanical description: The difference between this species and Nardostachyschinensis Batal is that the rhizome is densely covered with sheath fibers; the length of the clustered leaves is spatulate (spoons-shaped) or linear-oblanceolate, up to 25 cm long, 2.5 cm wide, and the base gradually narrows and becomes petioles. The lower part of the stem leaves is elliptic to obovate, the lower part is extended into petioles, and the upper part is sessile.

 Most of the main and lateral axes of inflorescences are not elongated after anthesis. The fruit is piliferous. Its flowering period is from June to August.

 Ecological environment: Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC. grows in alpine grasslands or sparse forests at altitude of above 3,000 meters. It grows in the west-south, Tibet, and other areas of China.

 pale brown greenish Nardostachys chinensis Batal Root segments are piled together Characters of herbs: Nardostachys Root is the dried root and rhizome of Nardostachyschinensis Batal or Nardostachys jatamansi. The herb is more curved, thick at the top and thin at the bottom, 5~18 cm long. The rhizome is short, with a residual stem base at the upper end, and is covered with multiple layers of dead leaf base, which is a membranous sheet or fibrous, the outer layer is brown-black, and the inner layer is brown or yellow. The root is single, and some are intertwined, juxtaposed, or branched, 6~16 cm long, 0.3~1 cm in diameter; the surface is shriveled, brown, with fine roots and fibrous roots. The quality is crunchy, easy to break, the cross-section is rough, the cortex is dark brown, often lobed, and the xylem is yellow-white. The herb has a specific odor, leaves are bitter, and pungent, with a cooling sensation. The herb of a better grade has long strips, thick roots, and a strong aroma.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.sedative effects; ②.antiarrhythmic action; ③.effect on the cardiovascular disease; ④.effect on the smooth muscle; ⑤.enhanced hypoxia tolerance in mice; ⑥.volatile oil has a weak antibacterial, wind repellent and spasmolytic effect,; ⑦.alcohol extract has antihypertensive and anti-ulcer effects; ⑧.hepatoprotective effect.

 Except listed properties and actions, the herb has hepatoprotective effect, act against peroxidation of the lipids in rat liver cells.

 Medicinal efficacy: TCM works recorded the herb functions to regulate the flow of Qi and relieve pain, replenish the spleen and stomach. It is indicated for distension pain in the abdomen and gastral cavity, no appetite, dentalgia or toothache, beriberi, etc. In other folk medicine, the herb is used to treat insomnia and headache, as well as liver problems, jaundice and kidney complaints.

 Administration of Nardostachys Root (Jatamansi root): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Nardostachys Root (Jatamansi root)
TCM Books: Dosage: TCM works recommended the herb internally as a water decoction, 3~6 grams, or prepared to pill, or powder. Externally proper amount, ground into a fine powder and apply a coating, or mouthwash with water decoction, or wash with water decoction. The herb should be sealed tightly and stored in a cool, dry place.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Individuals with Qi deficiency and blood heat should avoid taking it. The herb should not be used during pregnancy.




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  • 1.Introduction of Nardostachys Root:Spikenard root or Jatamansi root.

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