Essential Oil Spikenard (15 mL)
Essential Oil Spikenard
Spikenard, also called nard, nardin, and muskroot, is a class of aromatic amber-coloured essential oil derived from Nardostachys jatamansi, a flowering plant of the Valerian family which grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. The oil has, since ancient times, been used as a perfume, as a medicine and in religious contexts, across a wide territory from India to Europe.
Jatamansi or Himalayan Spikenard is a very calming oil, both emotionally and physically, and is of special value in serious skin conditions. Powerful antifungal. Indicated for psoriasis, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, dandruff and emotionally for deep sadness. Jatamansi (Himalayan Spikenard) is a powerful oil for grounding, for emotional needs.
Spikenard is sometimes referred to as Indian Valerian. The name Indian Valerian gets its name because it is in the same family as Valerian. In fact, Valerian Essential Oil is often adulterated and cut with Spikenard because pure Valerian is fairly expensive oil.
HISTORY OF USE
Spikenard Essential Oil has an earthy, woody, harsh, musty aroma. The process of the essential oil of Spikenard’s extraction is by steam distillation of the resin obtained from the Spikenard plant and contains aristolene, calarene, clalarenol, coumarin, dihydroazulenes, jatamanshinic acid, nardol, nardostachone, valerianol, valeranal and valeranone as the main components, which are the direct sources of its medicinal properties.
The oil was known in ancient times and was part of the Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India. It was obtained as a luxury in ancient Egypt, the Near East. In Rome, it was the main ingredient of the perfume nardinum (O.L. náladam), derived from the Hebrew שבלת נֵרד (shebolet nerd, head of nard bunch), which was part of the Ketoret used when referring to the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (the incense).
Nard was used to perfume the body of Patroklos by Achilles in Book 18 of Homer’s Iliad. Pliny’s Natural History lists twelve species of “nard”, identifiable with varying assurance, including Lavandula stoechas and tuberous valerian as well as true nard (in modern terms Nardostachys jatamansi).
It was a common flavouring in Ancient Roman foods and occurs frequently in the recipes of Apicius, though it tends to be used sparingly.
Spikenard was used to season foods in Medieval European cuisine, especially as a part of the spice blend used to flavor Hypocras, a sweetened and spiced wine drink. From the 17th century it was one of the ingredients for a strong beer called Stingo.
The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda (possibly the modern town of Dohuk, Iraq). It was also commonly called nard. The species originally grown was L. stoechas.
The rhizomes or underground stems and roots of the plant have a rich history of medicinal use which is recorded in both the Bible and the Quran and in Homer’s Iliad. These days it is valued around the world for its therapeutic and aromatherapy benefits, its grounding qualities and its earthy woods-like fragrance.
In traditional Indian medicine, spikenard has been used to calm the mind and ease stress. Spikenard is used by Ayurvedic practitioners to treat a variety of mind and nerve complaints including epilepsy, hysteria and mental fatigue.
Recent animal studies as well as some clinical trials have gone some way to confirming these traditional uses.
The essential oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory properties as well as deodorant, laxative and uterine qualities.
1. FUNGAL INFECTIONS
Fungal infections are very common and spikenard essential oil has potent anti-fungal properties that can help you to treat a range of fungal infections.Coupled with its antibacterial properties, spikenard’s anti-fungal properties can help treat a variety of fungal skin conditions like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Not only does it help with skin complaints but it also effectively deals with internal infection caused by fungus like food poisoning.
2. SKIN CONDITIONS
Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, spikenard essential oil is a very effective natural remedy for a whole range of skin conditions caused by bacterial infection. It can be applied directly to the skin to treat dermatological complaints like psoriasis and eczema and to help combat some of the skin’s signs of aging like wrinkles.
3. CUTS AND WOUNDS
Not only do its antibacterial properties give spikenard essential oil a range of skin applications but it can also help to destroy bacterial growth within the body. Spikenard essential oil can be applied directly to minor cuts and wounds to prevent bacteria from taking hold and spreading.
4. STRESS AND ANXIETY
Who does not want a quiet mind? Stress and anxiety are a real plague in today’s modern world and there are no signs that they are going to disappear or diminish any time soon. We are fortunate that so many essential oils offer a natural and safe method of alleviating the symptoms of stress and anxiety without recourse to the often addictive pharmaceuticals which nearly always bring the risk of side effects.
Animal studies suggest that the antioxidant abilities of spikenard may be responsible for its anti-stress effects. Spikenard has a long history for its soothing qualities which go back to biblical times; indeed it was nard that Mary Magdalene is said to have used on Jesus Christ in order to soothe him and take away his worries.
These days spikenard essential oil is used as a sedative to help with a number of anxiety and stress related issues such as panic, palpitations, restlessness and sleep disruption. Whether you massage it into your body or diffuse it in your bedroom, spikenard essential oil can help your mind relax and promote a comfortable night’s sleep.
5. HEART HEALTH
There is some evidence to suggest that spikenard can lower cholesterol levels by increasing good cholesterol and decreasing total and bad cholesterol levels. As a result one of the traditional uses of spikenard in cardiovascular care is supported to some extent.
One of the traditional uses of spikenard is as a laxative to relieve constipation. Constipation can be a debilitating and painful condition and one that troubles many people. While commercial laxative products are available, they can be harsh on the digestive system and run the very real risk of side effects so a natural remedy is always desirable.
7. THE UTERUS AND OVARIES
Spikenard essential oil has been traditionally used to help women maintain the health of their reproductive organs. The oil helps stimulate the ovaries and the uterus and promotes the excretion of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen and generally keeps the reproductive system in healthy working order.
Spikenard essential oil is used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions because of its powerful anti-inflammatory nature. It has applications that cover a range of inflammatory conditions whether they affect the affect internal systems that are vital to keep our body working effectively such as the digestive and circulatory systems or painful joint conditions like rheumatism. If you are suffering from an inflammatory condition, you could do a lot worse than trying spikenard oil.
9. AN AROMATIC DEODORANT FOR YOUR HOME
The fragrance of spikenard essential oil is earthy or woodsy and that some people refer to as mossy. This delightful fragrance can help your living environment and have your house smelling fresh. When diffused in your home, spikenard can help remove all sorts of nasty smells like cooking and stale tobacco and will be a pleasant treat for any guests.
10. POTENTIALLY CAN HELP FIGHT PARKINSON’S
Nardostachys jatamansiis –which is the official plant name for Spikenard has been found to rich in octacosanol. There has been promising research treating Parkinson’s rats using Octacosanol. Initial research shows some potential protective benefit. Spikenard herb root powder is another option instead of the essential oil version.
Caution: NEVER USE INTERNALLY without consulting professional medical help
- Not recommended for pregnant women and infants.
Individuals with serious and chronic health issues should consult an expert prior to using oils.
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