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Abstract

JATIPHALA (MYRISTICA FRAGRANS HOUTT.) – A REVIEW FROM NIGHANTU ERA

Vd. Joshi Nilesh N.*, Vd. Kulkarni Vedanti A. and Dr. Sangoram Apoorva M.

ABSTRACT

Ayurveda, an Indian medicinal system strongly emphasises use of various herbs as medicine. This includes some aromatic & commonly used herbs as well. Jatiphala (Myristica fragrans Houtt.) or Nutmeg being from such a category, is an effective household remedy useful for numerous health ailments. Pleasant smell gives it the name ‘Jati’, and as seed is available by name ‘phala’, hence called as Jatiphala. It is an important spice, present in Indian kitchen, thus making it commercially important as well. Various references for Jatiphala are there, mentioned in Indian literature since oldest known era of ‘Veda’. But in medieval period & for the first time it was mentioned by Acharya Shodhala for its medicinal values in formulation of Jatiphaladi choorna for ‘Kaasa’ in ‘Gada nigraha’ (1200 AD). Hereafter Acharya Sharangadhara mentioned Jatiphala as a drug of choice for ‘Shukrastambhana’[1] in ‘Sharangdhar Samhita’ (1300 AD). It was stated as a single herbal remedy for its action on Vyanga (Melasma) by Acharya Bhavamishra in Bhav Prakasha Nighnatu (1600 AD) and Acharya Bhoj in Raja Martanda during Nighantu era with many more references likewise. Jatiphala is traditionally used for aphrodisiac, antidiarrhoeal etc. activities. Also, it’s been proven scientifically for its antimicrobial,[2,3] antidiarrhoeal,[4] anticancer,[5] hypoglycemic and antidiabetic.[6] activities, antioxidant properties.[7] and activity on hematological indices etc. With the references of medicinal use started from & elaborated in Nighantu era, article reveals review of Jatiphala from Nighantu era (1000 AD onwards).

Keywords: Ayurveda, Jatiphala, Nighantu era and Myristica fragrans.


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