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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of American Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)?

American Spikenard, Aralia racemosa


For hundreds of years, American Spikenard has been used in Indian medicine to treat numerous conditions both physical and aesthetic. It has been regarded as a valuable commodity since ancient times and also mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran.

Aralia, which has the Latin name Aralia racemosa and is endemic to the eastern United States, China, Bhutan, Japan, northern India, and Nepal. It belongs to the family Araliaceae.


This herb is also called as Indian spikenard, American spikenard, musk root. In Hindi, it is called as Jatamansi. Some of these are woody plants, some are herbs and some are vines or some are trees.

  • It is a perennial plant that may vary in size and reaches up to 50 centimeters height while some grow up to 20 meters tall.
  • The species is hermaphrodite (it has both male as well as female organs) which is pollinated by bees.
  • Flowers are greenish or whitish in color and occurs in terminal panicles. The fruits are dark purple colored and are spherical in shape.
  • As these are young plants, the popular Polyscias cultivars start out with fleshy and herbaceous growth. As they get mature, they develop as woody stems and grow into smaller shrubs.
  • Stems of this herb are easy to bend, shape and train to create character specimens when growing as bonsai plants.

What is Polyscias Filicifolia?

Polyscias Filicifolia is also called as fern leaf Aralia and is a free branching, and broad-leaved plant. These grow quicker, has graceful leaves and light with a deep green color which makes it very pretty as a small and young plant.

As it gets mature, the fern leaf can be trained into an attractive indoor tree. The shape of the leaves can vary with one plant which gives some interesting looks to it. Some of the young plants have leaves like lance-shaped with a very jagged edge which appear very "fern-like".

As the plants get mature, the leaves become broad and oval in shape.

What is Polyscias guilfoylei?

Polyscias guilfoylei is also known as feather aralia which is a small shrub or tree and makes it an interesting plant for the home or the office.

However, this herb looks quite different. Leaves of this plant are dark green in color.

What are the Medicinal Uses of American Spikenard?

  • Aralia has an anti-inflammatory property that can help to ease out the burning sensation and pain caused by inflammations in the body.
  • This herb also has adaptogenic properties that help to regulate blood pressure.
  • It also addresses motor-control issues that alleviates the symptoms of vertigo, epilepsy, and seizures.
  • Being an antiseptic it is also good for addressing the skin related conditions.
  • It can penetrate the blood-brain barrier that provides oxygen to the brain cells and improves the cognitive function and memory.

What are the Health Benefits of American Spikenard?

Reproductive System:-

Aralia is the best herb for both male as well as female reproductive systems. It helps to address sexual inadequacies and corrects the impotency. It also treats amenorrhea, promotes the menstruation flow and remove the toxins from the uterus.

Cardiovascular System:-

This herb is also good for the cardiovascular system that reduces the risks of incurring atherosclerosis and other heart-related diseases. It keeps the heart healthy and strong.

Nervous System:-

It is also good for the nervous system that protects the brain from neuronal cell death. It helps to address the neurological disorders and mood-related issues such as depression, headache, stress, convulsions, hysteria, dizziness and Alzheimer's disease. It also improves the cognitive functions and promotes the healthy sleep pattern with people who are suffering from insomnia.

Circulatory System:-

This herb promotes the proper functioning of kidneys and takes care of the kidneys related issues and stimulates the proper urine production.

Digestive System:-

It prevents gastritis and prevents bloating which is an inflammation of the stomach lining. It also alleviates symptoms related to the digestive tract and also treats flatulence, indigestion, and constipation.

Respiratory System:-

It also relieves asthma, cough and other symptoms related to the upper and lower respiratory tract such as chest pain and congestion, breathing difficulty, fever, etc.

Excretory System:-

This herb is also good in preventing the onset of hepatitis and liver enlargement as it contains essential compounds that increase the production of healthy cells in the liver by promoting it's functioning.

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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