Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering plant of the valerian family that grows in the Himalays.
It is a source of a type of intensely aromatic amber coloured essential oil, spikenard. The oil since ancient time has been used a a perfume, as a medicine and in religious contexts.
It is also called spikenard, nard, nardin or muskroot.
The main growing region is eastern Himalays, primarily in a belt through Kumaon, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.
The plant grows to about 1 M in height and has pink, bell shaped flowers. It is found in the attitude of about 3000 to 5000 meters.
Rhizomes (underground stems) can be crushed and distilled in to an intensely aromatic amber coloured essential oil, which is very thick in consistency.
Nard oil is used as a perfume, an incense, a sedative and an herbal medicine said to fight insomnia, birth difficulties and other minor ailments.
Nardostachys jatamansi may have been used as an ingredient in the incense known as spikenard.
Although lavender is also been suggested as a candidate for the spikenard of classical times.
The chemical components of Nardostachys jatamansi have been assayed in a number of different studies.
This heavy, sweet-woody jatamasi oil is reminiscent of valerian, yet sweeter and more pleasant.
It blends well with cedarwood oil, sandalwood oil, lavender oil, patchouli oil, pine oil and vetiver oil.
Jatamansi oil is one of the primary ingredients in Floracopeia's Vata blend.
These compounds include : acaciin, ursolie acid, octacosanol, kanshone A, nardosinonediol, nardosinone, aristolen-9beta-ol, oleanolic acid, beta-sitosterol.