The Wonderful Properties of Spikenard Essential Oil

Posted on Thursday 7 April 2011

Aromatherapy based infusions and blends including spikenard essential oil encourage serenity and mildly tranquilize. The rich woody essence is known for bringing comfort to heart and soul.

In ancient times, the oil was associated with spiritual healing, sacredness, and wellness. The bible gives reference to it by calling it “nard”. A pound of the fragrant oil, kept in an alabaster jar, was used by Mary of Bethany to anoint Jesus’ feet during the last supper. It was a costly gift worth 300 denarii, or a year’s wage.

The plant from which the oil is distilled grows straight and tall with reddish purple or white flowers. The entire plant is fragrant. This continual smell is its defense against invading bacteria and insects. It is a perennial herb, with long gray roots with brown clumping threads. This plant dies back in the winter and then sprouts again in the summer. Only the gray roots are used to make the mash that makes the oil. They are collected, dried, and then crushed and then steam distilled until a dark yellow liquid is released.

Valerian is closely related botanically and therapeutically. Essential oils from both plants are made from their roots, and share a pungent, unique aromatic quality. And both are sedative and can offer relief for sleeplessness. Nevertheless, spikenard can be used as an antibacterial agent, to fight against fungus, bacteria and viruses.

When essential oils are inhaled into the lungs, this can offer both physical and psychological benefits. Not only does the aroma change the brain’s chemistry, but also when inhaled the naturally occurring compounds can provide therapeutic relief. Spikenard essential oil holds a special place in aromatherapy, being thought to release old emotional wounds.

In aromatherapy, the essential oil is inhaled by using a diffuser. This device breaks down the particles, so they can be drawn in. An alternative method to this is to add a few drops to a large bowl of hot water, and then drape a towel over the head. It is necessary to remain over the bowl breathing in the steam for several minutes. This will allow one to take in all the benefits of the healing compounds. Alternatively, one could try a warm bath by adding ten drops to a cup of water, and then pour it into the tub water.

Use this valuable oil in a massage. Make a mixture by adding twenty-five drops of oil into two ounces of sesame, olive, almond or jojoba oil. Rub it thoroughly into the skin. Or make a massage lotion. Put twenty-five drops essential oil into your favorite unscented lotion. A drop or two can simply be worn on the wrist, or even applied to the “third eye” on the forehead.

An antiseptic deodorizer for carpets, bedding and furniture can be made my mixing twenty-five drops with sixteen ounces of water. Transfer mixture into a spray bottle, shake well and spray away.

Perfume oils and essential oils are not similar. Perfume oils should never be used in aromatherapy. This is because they are synthetic, man made chemicals. Only essential oils are plant based and can be used to heal.

Many plant-based scents lend themselves to be mixed with other natural aromatics. Spikenard goes well with many other earthy essential oils. Nevertheless, remember, they are concentrated. Just a few drops will do it. Unadulterated, they are strong, but when used properly they can heal. This particular essential oil holds a special place in aromatherapy for its profound ability to rejuvenate ones spirit.

Ananda Aromatherapy of Boulder is a premier supplier of therapeutic and medical quality essential oils to practitioners around the world. More is available though the website at

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