Jatamansi Nardostachys jatamansi
Jatamansi or Spikenard, is a flowering alpine plant related to Valerian.
Jatamansi grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India to about a metre in height. The rhizomes of Jatamansi are crushed and distilled to produce a thick, pungent, pale amber-coloured essential oil which has a long traditional use as both a perfume and an incense: The ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming practices, and it is both mentioned (as Spikenard) in the Song of Solomon, and used by Mary to anoint Jesus before the Last Supper in the Bible.
Hugely popular in Ayurveda for its nervous system calming and mind enhancing properties it is now so threatened across the Himalaya that it is registered on the CITES list preventing export in order to protect its dwindling population.