Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) wild harvest from Nepal
Known since ancient times, Spikenard has always had a reputation for imparting peace and helping connection with spirit. It was used in temples in ancient Egypt. It was an ingredient in a popular perfume in ancient Greece and Rome called ‘nardinum.’ The Greek physician Dioscorides recommended it for its warming and drying properties, as well as for menstrual problems and indigestion. It was burned as part of the holy incense in the first temple of Jerusalem. It is mentioned several times in the Old Testament, particularly in the Song of Songs. In the New Testament, Mary bathes Jesus’ feet with it.
In modern times, we have distilled the rhizome of the plant into essential oil. The essential oil of Spikenard contains the chemicals valeranone, valeranal, nardol,calarenol, nardostechone, n-hexacosanyl arachidate, seychellen, n-hexaconsanol,calarene, n-hexacosane, h-hexacosanyl isovalerate, acosanyl arachidate, n-hexaconsanol, and calarene among others. It is related to Valerian and has many of Valerian’s healing properties.
Principal in the list of Spikenard’s attributes is its ability to regulate heart function. It is a potent sedative and tonic for the circulatory system. Spikenard has been recommended as part of a lotion for varicose veins. It can slow a pounding heart and thus, calm an anxious mind. A drop of Spikenard essential oil can be placed underneath the nose to deal with insomnia, stress, indigestion from a nervous stomach, or migraines. The 16th century herbalist Nicholas Culpepper said that it “comforts the brain.”
Spikenard is also both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. These properties make it a very useful remedy for the skin. It can be effective in healing skin allergies, psoriasis, inflammations, and rashes . This oil is also has a rejuvenating effect on the skin and can be part of a facial oil for aging skin.
Many people recoil the first time they smell the essential oil of Spikenard. The scent presents as bitter and earthy in the first few seconds. However, if one keeps sniffing it, one discovers a pleasing spice note and a faint sweetness to the scent. It seems to have the ability to help one feel safe and banish fear. Spikenard inspires a feeling of faith; a connection to the soul and focus on spiritual truths. It helps us to release the past and forgive those who have harmed us.
In the story of the phoenix, the magical bird was supposed to have used Spikenard as one of the ingredients in its nest, from which it was reborn periodically. Perhaps as we experiment with the deep scent of Spikenard, we also find a feeling of our spirit being reborn.
Here at Kamala’s Own LLC, we use Spikenard as an ingredient in blends such as Phoenix Fire, Repose, and Sanctuary.
Always dilute your essential oils in an unscented carrier oil like Sesame or Jojoba. Do not take essential oils internally. Always store essential oils out of heat and sunlight. Keep essential oils away from children and pregnant women.
All information in this description is copyright Kamala’s Own LLC. Please ask for permission to reprint it. This description is not medical advice and the information herein comes from personal experience, research, and folklore. If you believe you are ill, consult an M.D. Nothing here is meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Nothing here has been evaluated by the FDA.