The name comes from its appearance- ‘Jata’ means dreadlocks and ‘Mansi’ means human. The underground stem is a source of a fragrant amber colored essential oil. This oil has been used since ancient times, as a perfume, as a medicine and in religious rites. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine Jatamansi has been effectively used to treat Vata dosha.
As per Ayurveda, Vata is responsible for all the mental functioning and emotions in the humans. The oil has been used as a perfume, as incense, a sedative, and as an herbal medicine to fight insomnia, birth difficulties, and other ailments.
Its root, oil and powder form has been used as a tonic for the brain and as a memory enhancer. It is also used to treat neurological ailments like epilepsy, hysteria, fainting, convulsions, and mental weakness. Due to its sedative properties Jatamansi is very effective in chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraine and headaches. Scientific studies have found it to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, underlining the age old wisdom of Ayurveda.
Oil of Jatamansi is used to treat rapid or irregular heart beat as it possesses substance that prevents, alleviates, or corrects an abnormal rhythm of the heart. It helps in maintaining the circulatory system at an optimum level and in the purification of the blood. Jatamansi is very effective in treating respiratory problems. It provides relief in cough and is also found to be useful in cases of asthma. This herb is a strong antioxidant, has a cooling effect on the body, it is an anti-inflammatory agent and a diuretic.
It is especially helpful in treating urine related problems, including kidney stones and as well as in treating fevers, especially in combination with other herbs. It promotes menstruation and has a cleansing effect on the uterus. At the same time, decoctions made from this herb are useful in hepatitis and in treating enlargement of the liver, as well as for problems with the digestive tract, including lack of appetite, poor digestion, flatulence and constipation.
Jatamansi is an antiseptic. The decoction of the root is applied on the affected areas in skin problems, burns, wounds, rashes, eczema, and allergies, and in skin infections. The oil of the herb can be used to massage the head as it is effective treatment for headaches. The medicated Jatamansi oil is extremely beneficial for smooth, silky and healthy hair.
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