Valeriana jatamansi ou Nardostachys jatamansi, “Indian valerian” in English and “Valériane des Indes” in French, belongs to the Caprifoliaceae botanical family. Native to East Asia, it is a 0.5 m tall herb that grows commonly in forests, shrubberies and on grassy slopes.
The root essential oil is used in perfumery and in preparation for the hair.
The root is traditionally used to treat hysteria, insomnia, nausea, pimples, rheumatism and cholera. In Nepal, the juice of the rhizome is applied to the forehead to relieve headaches, and is dripped into the eyes for treating eye problems. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc.
Major components in the rhizome essential oil are patchouli alcohol, a-bulnesene, a-guaiene, guaiol, seychellene, viridiflorol and B-gurjunene. The phytochemical compounds are iridoids, sesquiterpenes (valerenic acid), steroids and lignins.