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Spikenard essential oil is a substance used in Aromatherapy. Sourced from Nardostachys jatamansi (a plant in the valerian family), this essential oil has a strong, earthy scent. Although it's primarily used as a fragrance ingredient, spikenard essential oil is also said to offer a number of health benefits.
Said to have a calming effect, spikenard essential oil is often used in alternative medicine to alleviate Anxiety, Stress, and Insomnia. It's also said to help treat the following health problems:
Athlete's foot
Menstrual Cramps
In addition, spikenard essential oil is thought to help destroy Bacteria and Fungi. It's also purported to reduce Inflammation.
Health Benefits
Although some preliminary research suggests that spikenard (a plant long used in herbal remedies in ayurvedic medicine) may have beneficial effects on health, there's currently a lack of scientific support for the use of spikenard essential oil. This preliminary research includes a 2006 study from the Journal of Medicinal Food, which found that spikenard
While these studies indicate that spikenard shows promise in the treatment of certain health conditions, it's important to note that neither study tested the effects of spikenard essential oil.
How to Use It
When combined with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado), spikenard essential oil can be applied directly to the Skin or added to baths. Like nearly all essential oils, spikenard may be harmful when applied to the Skin without diluting the oil first.
You can also sprinkle a few drops of spikenard essential oil onto a cloth or tissue and breathe in its scent, or add the oil to an Aromatherapy Diffuser or vaporizer.
Spikenard essential oil is said to blend well with a variety of essential oils, including clove, frankincense, geranium, lavender, lemon, myrrh, neroli, patchouli, and rose.
Due to the lack of studies testing the health effects of spikenard essential oil, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of this remedy. However, there's some concern that use of spikenard essential oil may be harmful to Pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as to people with epilepsy.

While essential oils may aid in the treatment of certain health problems, using spikenard essential oil as a substitute for standard care in the treatment of chronic conditions may have serious consequences.
Essential oils can be toxic when taken internally so they should only be taken orally under the guidance of a qualified professional.
In addition, some individuals may experience irritation when applying spikenard essential oil to the Skin. A Skin patch test should be done before using any new essential oil.
The oil should not be applied at full-strength to the Skin or used in excessive amounts.

How Spikenard Essential Oil Can Relieve Insomnia and Stress
By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC
November 8, 2019
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In ancient times, spikenard was regarded as one of the most precious oils. It's been used as a perfume, a medicine and in religious contexts across a wide territory from India to Europe.
Biblically, it's referenced when Mary of Bethany spent a year's worth of wages to buy this oil and anoint Jesus' feet before the Last Supper.
Spikenard oil is used as herbal medicine to naturally treat Insomnia, Stress, Digestive problems, weak Immune system and Infections. In Ayurvedic medicine, it's used for a range of health conditions, from Sleeping disorder and Depression, to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Ancient healers knew that this remarkable plant could be used to safely and effectively improve common health concerns.
What Is Spikenard?
Spikenard, also called nard, nardin and muskroot, is a flowering plant of the Valerian family with the scientific name Nardostachys jatamansi. It grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China and India, and is found at altitudes of about 10,000 feet.
The plant grows to be about three feet in height, and it has pink, bell-shaped flowers. Spikenard is distinguished by having many Hairy spikes shooting out from one root, and it's called 'the Indian spike' by the Arabs.
The stems of the plant, called rhizomes, are crushed and distilled into an essential oil that has an intense Aroma and amber color. It has a heavy, sweet, woody and spicy smell, which is said to resemble the smell of moss. The oil blends well with essential oils of frankincense, geranium, patchouli, lavender, vetiver and myrrh oils.
Spikenard essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the resin obtained from this plant - its chief components include aristolene, calarene, clalarenol, coumarin, dihydroazulenes, jatamanshinic Acid, nardol, nardostachone, valerianol, valeranal and valeranone.
According to research, the essential oil obtained from the roots of spikenard  show Fungi toxic activity, Antimicrobial, Antifungal, hypotensive, antiarrhythmic and anticonvulsant activity. The rhizomes extracted with 50 percent ethanol show hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic and antiarrhythmic activity.
The powdered stem of this beneficial plant is also taken internally to cleanse the uterus, help with Infertility and treat Menstrual disorders.
1. Fights Bacteria and Fungus
Spikenard stops Bacterial growth on the Skin and inside the body. On the Skin, its applied to Wounds in order to help kill Bacteria and help provide Wound care. Inside the body, spikenard treats Bacterial Infections in the Kidneys, Urinary Bladder and urethra. Its also known to treat treat toenail fungus, Athlete's foot, Tetanus, Cholera and Food Poisoning.
A study done at the Western Regional Research Center in California evaluated the bactericidal activity levels of 96 essential oils. Spikenard was one of the oils that was most active against C. jejuni, a species of Bacteria commonly found in animal feces. C. jejuni is one of the most common causes of human gastroenteritis in the world.
Spikenard is also Antifungal, so it promotes Skin health and helps heal ailments caused by Fungal Infections. This powerful plant is able to ease itching, treat patches on the Skin and treat Dermatitis.
2. Relieves Inflammation
Spikenard essential oil is extremely beneficial to your health because of its ability to fight Inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases and its dangerous for your Nervous, Digestive and Respiratory systems.
A 2010 study done at the School of Oriental Medicine in South Korea investigated the effect of spikenard on acute pancreatitis - a sudden Inflammation of the Pancreas that can range from mild discomfort to a life-threatening illness. The results suggest spikenard treatment weakened the severity of acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated Lung injury; this proves that spikenard serves as an Anti-inflammatory agent.
3. Relaxes the Mind and Body
Spikenard is a relaxing and soothing oil for the Skin and mind; its used as a Sedative and calming agent. Its also a natural coolant, so it rids the mind of anger and aggression. It sedates feelings of Depression and restlessness and can serve as a natural way to relieve Stress.
A study done at the School of Pharmaceutical Science in Japan examined spikenard for its Sedative activity using a spontaneous vapor administration system. The results indicated that spikenard contained a lot of calarene and its vapor inhalation had a Sedative effect on mice.
The study also indicated that when essential oils were mixed together, the Sedative response was more significant; this was especially true when spikenard was mixed with galangal, patchouli, borneol and sandalwood essential oils.
The same school also isolated two components of spikenard, valerena-4,7(11)-diene and beta-maaliene, and both compounds reduced the locomotor activity of mice.
Valerena-4,7(11)-diene had a particularly profound effect, with the strongest Sedative activity; in fact, caffeine-treated mice that showed locomotor activity that was double that of controls were calmed to normal levels by the administration of valerena-4,7(11)-diene.
Researchers found that the mice slept 2.7 times longer, an effect similar to that of chlorpromazine, a prescription drug given to patients with mental or behavior disorders.
4. Stimulates the Immune System
Spikenard is an Immune system booster - it calms the body and allows it to function properly. It's a natural hypotensive, so it naturally lowers Blood Pressure.
Elevated Blood Pressure is when the pressure on the Arteries and Blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted, causing extra Stress on the Heart. Long term-high Blood Pressure increases the risk of Stroke, Heart attack and Diabetes.
Using spikenard is a natural remedy for high Blood Pressure because it dilates the Arteries, acts as an Antioxidant to reduce oxidative Stress and decreases emotional Stress. Oils from the plant also relieve Inflammation, which is the culprit for a host of diseases and illnesses.
A 2012 study conducted in India found that spikenard rhizomes (the stems of the plant) exhibited high reduction capability and powerful free radical scavenging. Free radicals are very dangerous to the body's tissues and have been connected to Cancer and premature aging; the body uses Antioxidants to prevent itself from the damage caused by Oxygen.
Like all high Antioxidant foods and plants, they protect our bodies from Inflammation and fight free radical damage, keeping our systems and organs running properly.

5. Promotes Hair Growth
Spikenard oil is known for promoting the growth of Hair, retaining its natural color and slowing down the process of graying. A 2011 study published in Pharmacognosy Magazine measured spikenard oil's ability to stimulate Hair growth.
For the study, the crude extract, fractions and two of the isolated compounds were tested for their Hair growth activity. Hair growth was tested on female Wistar rats that had Hair removed in a four-centimeter square area before the study began.
The results indicate that spikenard oil showed positive response in Hair growth promotion activity; the crude spikenard extracts were more effective than the pure compounds. Because the isolated compounds were effective in different ways, when they were acting together in the extract, Hair growth resumed within a short period of time.
When using spikenard extract, there was a 30 percent reduction in the time it look for the Hair to grow back on the tested rats - showing that spikenard can work as a Hair loss remedy.

6. Relieves Insomnia
Many adults experience Insomnia at some point, but some people have long-term (chronic) InsomniaInsomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be secondary due to other causes, such as Stress and Anxiety, overuse of Stimulants, sugar, inDigestion, Pain, alcohol, lack of physical activity, restless leg syndrome, Hormonal changes, Sleep apnea, or other medical conditions.
If you can't Sleep, this essential oil is a great natural remedy, without the use of drugs that can cause adverse side effects. Spikenard's Sedative and Laxative properties can be helpful for people with Insomnia. It leaves you relaxed, and feelings of restlessness and Anxiety fade away. If your Insomnia is a result of inDigestion or Stomach issues, it may prove helpful because it improves the function of the Digestive system.
A 2015 study involving mice found that compounds from a spikenard extract had Sedative effects after inhalation. Researchers concluded that Aromatherapy using spikenard oil may provide mild sedation.
7. May Relieve Constipation
Although the research on the plant's benefits for Digestion are limited, spikenard is sometimes used as a natural Laxative that stimulates the Digestive system. This may be due to the oil's relaxing and calming properties.
Unlike synthetic Laxatives that dry out the intestinal wall, the relaxant compounds in spikenard may help to keep your waste moving through the Colon and out of your body in the form of stool.
8. Protects Uterus and Ovaries
Spikenard may work to purify the uterus and ovaries, and stimulate the secretion of Estrogen and progesterone. Although there aren't any human studies to prove these benefits, the plant's essential oils have been used for centuries for reproductive health.
It's been used in traditional and Ayurvedic medicine as a uterus Stimulant for promoting menstruation, cleansing the uterus, treating Painful menstruation and reducing Inflammation of the uterus.
It can keep your Menstrual cycle regular, and it serves as a natural remedy for PMS Cramps and uncomfortable Bloating. The oil was also used as an Aphrodisiac in naturally treating Impotence.

Benefits Of Spikenard Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Spikenard is useful for Nervous inDigestion, emotional tension, Insomnia, Headaches, Scalp irritations, Skin Inflammation, Rashes, and Psoriasis. Although beneficial for all Skin and Hair types, the oil is especially good for dry and Mature Skin.

The Heart of Aromatherapy: Spikenard can help calm Inflammation, support Digestion, reduce Nausea, and calm the Nervous system. The oil is good for Meditation and reflection and can leave you feeling relaxed and uplifted. Blend spikenard into a belly butter with orange, Roman Chamomile, and ginger.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Spikenard oil has soothing and calming effects that help relieve Insomnia, Menstrual problems, Muscle spasm and contractions, physical tension, Stress-related conditions, and Anxiety. Also benefits aging Skin.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): In Skin care, spikenard is useful for Inflammation, Mature Skin, Rashes, and other Skin issues. The oil may also help relieve Insomnia, Nervous inDigestion, Migraine, Stress, and tension.

According to Aromatherapist KG Stiles, spikenard essential oil is especially useful during onset of puberty and for menopausal issues in women. Stiles states the oil lifts the spirits and inspires the Heart and mind to selfless acts of devotion and quiet inner peace.

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Use spikenard in Skin care products, for grounding, and for emotional needs.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine "spikenard oil calms the Heart, stabilizes the Mind (Shen) and settles the emotions." It also regulates the flow of Liver-Qi and of general Qi-energy. The oil is useful for relieving Nervous tension, Anxiety, Insomnia, Nausea, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Varicose veins, Eczema, Psoriasis, and Inflammation.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Psychologically, spikenard stabilizes the mind and promotes integration. The oil also promotes stability, strength, and cognitive flexibility. Physically, the essential oil relaxes hyperTonic/tense and cools hot conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of spikenard is to nourish the Yin, descend the Yang, clear heat, and calm the Shen.

Subtle Aromatherapy: Spikenard intensifies devotional feelings toward a deity or spiritual teacher. The oil embodies the spirit of generosity.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, spikenard reminds you to be receptive to your intuition and accept the part of yourself that can imagine a better way of life for all beings. The energy of the oil embodies compassion, inner peace, nurturing, and wisdom. The essential oil helps balance emotions.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Spikenard promotes a sense of Heart-centered wholeness. Used with the seventh Chakra, the oil promotes love and devotion for the divine.
Spikenard Oil Uses

Diffuse spikenard for Meditation or to help you Sleep. Be aware the oil is thick and may clog some Diffusers.

Make a relaxing bath oil:

1/2 cup jojoba oil
20 drops spikenard essential oil
10 drops orange essential oil
One 4-ounce PET plastic bottle

Add jojoba and essential oils to bottle. Close and shake gently to mix.
To use, add a small capful of the bath oil to running bathwater. Do not use with children under five.

Source: Essential Living