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Jatamansi

Scientific Name(s): Nardostachys jatamansi DC.
Common Name(s): Balchar, Jatamansi, Nardostahyos Radix et Rhizoma, Sambul lateeb, Sumbul-ut-teeb

Clinical Overview

Use

The plant has a rich history of medicinal use and has been valued for centuries in Ayurvedic (Indian) and Unani (ancient Greco-Arab) systems of medicine. The scientific literature contains primarily phytochemical and animal studies of the plant's activity on the nervous system. Limited clinical studies have been conducted.

Dosing

None well documented.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Avoid use during pregnancy and lactation because of the lack of clinical studies.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

None well documented. Patients with known hypersensitivity reactions should avoid use.

Toxicology

A study reports genotoxicity of aqueous and hydro-alcoholic extract of N. jatamansi rhizome at concentrations of 5 and 10 mg/mL.

Botany

N. jatamansi is native to the Alpine Himalayas. It is a critically endangered, rhizome-bearing medicinal plant that prefers high altitudes (3,000 to 5,000 m).1 The genus has 4 to 5 stamens. The calyx consists of 5 well-developed lanceolate or dentate lobes that continue to grow during maturation of the fruit.

History

The plant has a rich history of medicinal use and has been valued for centuries in Ayurvedic (Indian) and Unani (ancient Greco-Arab) systems of medicine. The rhizomes of the plant are used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as a bitter tonic, stimulant, antispasmodic, and to treat hysteria, convulsions, and epilepsy. The root has been medically used to treat insomnia and blood, circulatory, and mental disorders. Some preparations of the plant have been used as a heptotonic, cardiotonic, analgesic, and diuretic in the Unani system of medicine. The plant is of economic importance and has been used to produce perfumes and dyes.

Chemistry

The rhizomes and roots of the plant have medicinal value and, therefore, have been the focus of chemical studies. They contain a variety of sesquiterpenes and coumarins. The sedative sesquiterpene valeranone, which also is found in valerian and other plants, is a major component of the root essential oil, at least in some samples.2 Other terpenoids include spirojatamol,3 nardostachysin,4 jatamols A and B,5 and calarenol.6 Coumarins include jatamansin.7

Uses and Pharmacology

Antioxidant effect

Animal data

In vitro and rodent studies have shown that extracts of N. jatamansi possess antioxidant activity.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Some of these studies have also demonstrated activity against cancer cell lines,8, 9, 14 and protective effects from radiation-induced damage.15, 16

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data regarding the antioxidant activity of jatamansi.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Animal data

Studies by a limited group of researchers have reported anti-inflammatory properties of jatamansi extracts in vitro and in rodents with induced pancreatitis.17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

Effects on mediators of inflammation have been demonstrated, as well as reduced secretion of digestive enzymes.21

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical studies evaluating anti-inflammatory properties of jatamansi.

CNS activity

Animal data

Valeranone prolonged barbiturate anesthesia, impaired rotarod performance, inhibited electroshock convulsions, and potentiated the hypothermic effects of reserpine.23 Limited results from behavioral tests revealed that an extract from N. jatamansi exhibited significant antidepressant activity.24

A 15-day treatment with an alcoholic root extract of N. jatamansi caused an overall increase in the levels of central monoamines and inhibitory amino acids, including a change in the levels of serotonin, 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid, gamma-amino butyric acid, and taurine in rat brain.25

Pretreatment with an alcoholic extract dosed at 250 mg/kg of N. jatamansi for 15 days protected rats against focal ischemia caused by middle cerebral artery occlusion. The protective effect may be associated with improving glutathione content, inhibiting lipid peroxidation, and activity on the Na+/K+ ATPase and catalase enzyme systems.26

Studies on rodents of effects in the CNS are ongoing.27, 28, 29

Clinical data

A small study (n = 34) reported positive findings for N. jatamansi in the management of primary insomnia. The powdered rhizome was given at a dose of 4 g with milk 3 times a day after food for a period of 1 month. The comparator natural product was Valeriana wallichii, which also showed positive effects on sleep induction, duration, and other parameters.30

Lipid-lowering activity

Animal data

A 50% ethanolic extract of Curcuma longa (tuber) and N. jatamansi (whole plant) elevated the HDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio in triton-induced hyperlipidemic rats. There also was a reduction in the ratio of total cholesterol/phospholipids.31

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical studies evaluating jatamansi for dyslipidemia.

Other uses

A hepatoprotective action was observed in rats pretreated with an alcoholic extract of N. jatamansi dosed at 800 mg/kg for 3 days against thioacetamide-induced liver damage. Rats pretreated with the extract also had reduced levels of serum transaminases (alanine and aspartate aminotransferase) and alkaline phosphatase.32

N. jatamansi essential oil demonstrated fungistatic activity against Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium oxysporum.33, 34

Vascular dilatation, mediated via influencing NO production, by the volatile oil of the plant’s rhizome has been shown in vitro using cardiac tissue.35

Dosing

Clinical trials are lacking upon which to provide dosing guidance.

The powdered rhizome was given at a dose of 4 g with milk 3 times a day after food for a period of 1 month in a small study evaluating the effect on primary insomnia.30

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use during pregnancy and lactation because of the lack of clinical studies.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

None well documented. Patients with known hypersensitivity reactions should avoid use.

Toxicology

A study reports genotoxicity of aqueous and hydro-alcoholic extract of N. jatamansi rhizome at concentrations of 5 and 10 mg/ml.36

References

1. Airi S, Rawal RS, Dhar U, Purohit AN. Assessment of availability and habitat preference of Jatamansi: a critically endangered medicinal plant of west Himalaya. Curr Sci. 2000;79:1467-1471.
2. Hoerster H, Ruecker G, Tautges. Valeranone content in the roots of Nardostachys jatamansi and Valeriana officinalis. Phytochemistry. 1977;16:1070-1071.
3. Bagchi A, Oshima Y, Hikino H. Spirojatomol, a new skeletal sesquiterpenoid of Nardostachys jatamansi roots. Tetrahedron. 1990;46:1523-1530.
4. Chatterjee A, Basak B, Saha M, et al. Structure and stereochemistry of nardostachysin, a new terpenoid ester constituent of the rhizomes of Nardostachys jatamansi. J Nat Prod. 2000;63(11):1531-1533.11087600
5. Bagchi A, Oshima Y, Hikino H. Jatamols A and B: sesquiterpenoids of Nardostachys jatamansi roots. Planta Med. 1991;57(3):282-283.17226161
6. Sastry SD, Maheswari ML, Chakravarti KK, Bhattacharyya SC. Terpenoids — CVI: the structure of calarenol. Tetrahedron. 1967;23:1997-2000.
7. Shanbhag SN, Mesta CK, Maheshwari ML, Paknikar SK, Bhattacharyya SC. Terpenoids — LII: jatamansin, a new terpenic coumarin from Nardostachys jatamansi. Tetrahedron. 1964;20:2605-2615.
8. Chaudhary S, Chandrashekar KS, Pai KS, et al. Evaluation of antioxidant and anticancer activity of extract and fractions of Nardostachys jatamansi DC in breast carcinoma. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:50.
9. Dhuna K, Dhuna V, Bhatia G, Singh J, Kamboj SS. Cytoprotective effect of methanolic extract of Nardostachys jatamansi against hydrogen peroxide induced oxidative damage in C6 glioma cells. Acta Biochim Pol. 2013;60(1):21-31.23513188
10. Pandey MM, Katara A, Pandey G, Rastogi S, Rawat AK. An important Indian traditional drug of ayurveda jatamansi and its substitute bhootkeshi: chemical profiling and antioxidant activity. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:142517.23573115
11. Razack S, Kumar KH, Nallamuthu I, Naika M, Khanum F. Antioxidant, biomolecule oxidation protective activities of Nardostachys jatamansi DC and Its phytochemical analysis by RP-HPLC and GC-MS. Antioxidants (Basel). 2015;4(1):185-203.26785345
12. Sharma SK, Singh AP. In vitro antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of Nardostachys jatamansi DC. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2012;5(3):112-118.22682272
13. Singh M, Khan MA, Khan MS, Ansari SH, Ahmad S. Standardization and in vitro antioxidant activity of jatamansi rhizome. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2015;7(4):275-279.26681882
14. Kapoor H, Yadav N, Chopra M, Mahapatra SC, Agrawal V. Strong anti-tumorous potential of Nardostachys jatamansi rhizome extract on glioblastoma and in silico analysis of its molecular drug targets. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2017;17(1):74-88.27774879
15. Gowda DK, Shetty L, Kumari SN, Sanjeev G. The efficacy of Nardostachys jatamansi against the radiation induced haematological damage in rats. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013;7(6):982-986.23905085
16. Madhu LN, Kumari NS, Naveen P, Sanjeev G. Protective effect of Nardostachys jatamansi against radiation-induced damage at biochemical and chromosomal levels in Swiss albino mice. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2012;74(5):460-465.23716877
17. Bae GS, Heo KH, Choi SB, et al. Beneficial effects of fractions of Nardostachys jatamansi on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:837835.24795771
18. Bae GS, Kim MS, Park KC, et al. Effect of biologically active fraction of Nardostachys jatamansi on cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(25):3223-3234.22783046
19. Bae GS, Park KC, Koo BS, et al. The inhibitory effects of Nardostachys jatamansi on alcoholic chronic pancreatitis. BMB Rep. 2012;45(7):402-407.22831975
20. Bae GS, Park KC, Koo BS, et al. The beneficial effects of Nardostachys jatamansi extract on diet-induced severe acute pancreatitis. Pancreas. 2013;42(2):362-363.23407488
21. Bae GS, Park KC, Koo BS, et al. Nardostachys jatamansi inhibits severe acute pancreatitis via mitogen-activated protein kinases. Exp Ther Med. 2012;4(3):533-537.23181131
22. Shin JY, Bae GS, Choi SB, et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of desoxo-narchinol-A isolated from Nardostachys jatamansi against lipopolysaccharide. Int Immunopharmacol. 2015;29(2):730-738.26371857
23. Rucker G, Tautges J, Sieck A, Wenzl H, Graf E. Isolation and pharmacodynamic activity of the sesquiterpene valeranone from Nardostachys jatamansi DC [in German]. Arzneimittelforschung. 1978;28(1):7-13.580202
24. Metkar B, Pal SC, Kasture V, Kasture S. Antidepressant activity of Nardostachys jatamansi DC. Indian J Nat Prod. 1999;15:10-13.
25. Prabhu V, Karanth KS, Rao A. Effects of Nardostachys jatamansi on biogenic amines and inhibitory amino acids in the rat brain. Planta Med. 1994;60(2):114-117.8202559
26. Salim S, Ahmad M, Zafar KS, Ahmad AS, Islam F. Protective effect of Nardostachys jatamansi in rat cerebral ischemia. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;74(2):481-486.12479970
27. Karkada G, Shenoy KB, Halahalli H, Karanth KS. Nardostachys jatamansi extract prevents chronic restraint stress-induced learning and memory deficits in a radial arm maze task. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2012;3(2):125-132.23225973
28. Khan MB, Hoda MN, Ishrat T, et al. Neuroprotective efficacy of Nardostachys jatamansi and crocetin in conjunction with selenium in cognitive impairment. Neurol Sci. 2012;33(5):1011-1020.22170092
29. Patil RA, Hiray YA, Kasture SB. Reversal of reserpine-induced orofacial dyskinesia and catalepsy by Nardostachys jatamansi. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012;44(3):340-344.22701243
30. Toolika E, Bhat NP, Shetty SK. A comparative clinical study on the effect of tagara (Valeriana wallichii DC.) and jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi DC.) in the management of anidra (primary insomnia). Ayu. 2015;36(1):46-49.26730138
31. Dixit VP, Jain P, Joshi SC. Hypolipidaemic effects of Curcuma longa L and Nardostachys jatamansi, DC in triton-induced hyperlipidaemic rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1988;32(4):299-304.3215683
32. Ali S, Ansari KA, Jafry MA, Kabeer H, Diwakar G. Nardostachys jatamansi protects against liver damage induced by thioacetamide in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;71(3):359-363.10940571
33. Mishra D, Chaturvedi RV, Tripathi SC. The fungitoxic effect of the essential oil of the herb Nardostachys jatamansi DC. Trop Agric. 1995;72:48-52.
34. Sarbhoy AK, Varshney JL, Maheshwari ML, Saxena DB. Efficacy of some essential oils and their constituents on few ubiquitous molds. Zentralbl Bakteriol Naturwiss. 1978;133(7-8):723-725.749414
35. Maiwulanjiang M, Chen J, Xin G, et al. The volatile oil of Nardostachyos radix et rhizoma inhibits the oxidative stress-induced cell injury via reactive oxygen species scavenging and Akt activation in H9c2 cardiomyocyte. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;153(2):491-498.24632018
36. Etebari M, Zolfaghari B, Jafarian-Dehkordi A, Rakian R. Evaluation of DNA damage of hydro-alcoholic and aqueous extract of Echium amoenum and Nardostachys jatamansi. J Res Med Sci. 2012;17(8):782-786.23798947

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