Botanical Name: Nardostachys jatamansi. It is also called Nardostachys grandiflora and Valerianajatamansi. The family name is Valerianaceae. The common and classical names are nard, nardo and muskroot, Indian Spikenard, Jatamansi, Balchar, Bhuutajatta and Tapaswini.
Common Method of Extraction: The common method of extraction of the Spikenard oil through steam distillation. The rhizomes are crushed and dried before distilling it. The yield is 1-3%.
Parts Used: Roots/ Rhizomes
Note Classification: Base
Aroma: The spikenard oil has a heavy aroma. It is warm and a bit misty. The colour of the oil is pale yellow and the viscosity is medium.
Largest Producing Countries: The largest producing countries of Spikenard oil are Nepal and United States of America.
Traditional Use: Spikenard is usually seen in the mountains of North India, Nepal, China and Japan. Egyptians had used the oil in ancient times and the mention of it is there in the Bible.Rich and wealthy Roman women used this oil in their perfumes and other beauty products. The oil was used for ritual and medicinal purposes in the Hindu, Egyptian and Hebrew cultures. History says that the spikenard oil was initially used for skin and skin problems, anxiety and sleeplessness.
Spikenard oil has many healing properties. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, calmative, sedative, laxative, tonic and anti-pyretic. It is very effective for tension, migraine, stress, insomnia and nervous indigestion. It revitalizes the skin and removes all problems like allergies, rashes and inflammations. In vapour therapy the oil helps to get out of tension, stress and sleeplessness. It can be mixed in the water for bath and can also be used as massage oil. For conditions of the heart and the nervous system spikenard oil is a good medicine. The digestive action of the oil assists nausea, colic and constipation. It is an ideal medicine for haemorrhoids, menstrual irregularities and varicose veins. It helps in the hormonal balance in menstruation and also helps in dysmenorrhoea or painful periods. It enhances and regulates the blood circulation in the body.
Spikenard oil is used in many pet products like the pet shampoo. It is used in the treatment for serious skin conditions like scleroderma and psoriasis. It is also used for allergies and inflammation. It has the ability to promote hair growth and darkening of the hair. It is widely used for convulsive disorders like hysteria, high fever and also epilepsy.
Blends Well With: Spikenard oil blends well with most of the essential oils especially lavender, clary sage, neroli, vetiver, patchouli and lemon oils.
Of Interest: Spikenard oil is a scented herb with an extraordinary root system. Two shoots develops from one root and the underground shoot has the maximum oil. The oil has many references in the Holy Bible and is also one of the eleven herbs burnt in the holy temple. A mention of spikenard is there in the Song of Solomon.
Safety Data: Spikenard oil is generally considered safe but pregnant ladies are advised not to use it with expert opinion from the doctor.