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Jatamansi Oil: Ayurveda’s Fall Guru

by primawellness

aromatherapy-revised

Among the most revered of all herbal remedies, Jatamansi oil is considered a supreme oil for relaxation, rest, & rejuvenation.

One of our practice offerings is organic medicinal plant-infused *Prima Potions* that are customized to balance individualized physiological, emotional, and mental health needs of our clients. The evidence based foundation to medicinal aromatic oils is widely prolific. We are excited to offer Jatamansi beginning next week….a beautiful complimentary resource for fall and early winter wellness!

Autumnal equinox happens the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, which is an imaginary line in the sky that corresponds to Earth’s equator. Every year this occurs on September 22, 23, or 24 in the northern hemisphere.  At this point in time, significant elemental changes began to stir in nature.  Sunlight becomes scarce, the atmosphere grows darker, drier,  and windier, and the plants and trees begin to close inward and wither away as their cycle of growth comes to a close.

Ayurvedic practitioners observe what is called Ritucharya or seasonal observances to support one’s mind body and spirit from a preventative standpoint.  The Fall and Early Winter ritus (seasons) are called Sharat and Hemanta. There are various rituals and routines that are recommend to ward off imbalances this time of year.  Medicinal aromatherapy is one example that is customized not only by season, but also by a person’s unique constitution and clinical presentation.

Jatamansi (Himalayan Spikenard) is a magical flowering point in the Valerian family that grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China and India. It is found at steep altitudes of about 10,000 feet. It grows to be about three feet in height, and it has pink, bell-shaped flowers.

The Himalayan Region

The Himalayan Region

The stems of the plant, called rhizomes, are crushed and distilled into an essential oil that has an intense aroma and amber color. It has a heavy, sweet, earthy, and spicy odor.

Jatamansi oil is coveted in Ayurveda for its healing properties and compounds. It is excellent for use in the fall and winter months to reduce prominent Vata imbalances and provide grounding and balancing. From an Ayurvedic perspective, Jatamansi is a supreme remedy for problems caused by Vata’s wind, air, and ether, which causes deterioration of tissue, depletes energy and creates dryness, fatigue and persistent dissatisfaction. Jatamansi oil is also cooling in nature and therefore is good for certain Pittic imbalances, especially those of the mind (such as anger and rage).  This can become inflamed by vata blowing on and exacerbating our elemental fire.

India has relied on Jatamansi  for thousands of years as one of the most effective essential oils for supporting a calm mind and balanced body. Those who suffer from anxiety or other overly active and mental habits will benefit immensely from regular use of this special oil.  In my work as a psychotherapist, I typically see a trend of heightened anxiety and distractibility in my patients this time of year.  Use of customized essential oils is one therapeutic strategy to decrease and balance the hyperactive, hyper thinking brain.

Jatamansi is calming and grounding and is highly revered for its ability to support deep sleep and to help one work through and release subconscious trauma. It is similar in quality to valerian, but is considered preferable because it is less dulling in its effects and possesses a sweeter and more pleasant fragrance.

A 2012 study conducted in India found that Jatamansi rhizomes exhibited high reduction capability and powerful free radical scavenging. Free radicals are very dangerous to the body’s tissues and have been connected to cancer and premature aging.

Top 10 Benefits of Jatasmani

  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Anti-microbial
  3. Anxiolytic (Reduces Anxiety)
  4. Immune booster
  5. Hypotensive agent (lowers blood pressure)
  6. Relieves constipation
  7. Supports hair growth/renewal
  8. Relieves constipation
  9. Protects female reproductive organs/ Alleviates PMS symptoms
  10. Alleviates Insomnia
The Jatasmani/Spikenard Plant

The Jatamansi/Spikenard Plant

 

There are complementary oils that can be blended and layered with Jatamansi to optimize its impact on Vata, its sub-doshas, predominant clinical challenges, and genetic blueprint.  Just a few examples of oils that work synergistically are:  Clary Sage, Basil, Wild Orange, Cardamom, Chamomile, Nutmeg, Frankincense, and Rosewood.

Find out more about Jatmansi oil or using medicinal aromatherapy as a clinical tool by scheduling an appointment or attending one of our upcoming workshops!  (((( NAMASTE )))))

Contraindications:

It’s safe to use Jatamansi/ Spikenard topically–we do not advise internal use. Ensure proper dosing/ dilution. Avoid using spikenard when pregnant or nursing because there’s not enough research to indicate whether or not it is completely safe. Some essential oils may cause irritation or allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin, so test a patch of skin before using the oil regularly.

References:

Journal of Natural Medicine

American Institute of Vedic Studies

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

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