The health benefits of Spikenard Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, laxative, sedative and uterine substance.
The traditional use of this plant was for the skin and female reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries. Due to its earthy and somewhat wet, soil-like smell, which resembles the smell of moss, it is also used in aromatherapy as a sedative and calming agent.
This plant is very famous on the Indian Subcontinent by the name of Jatamansi and is widely used in herbal medicines. Several herbal, medicinal preparations based on this plant can be found on the market, particularly in India and a few of its neighboring countries. This plant is native to Nepal and is called Nardostachys Jatamansi in botanical terminology.
The essential oil of Spikenard is extracted by steam distillation of the resin obtained from this plant and it contains aristolene, calarene, clalarenol, coumarin, dihydroazulenes, jatamanshinic acid, nardol, nardostachone, valerianol, valeranal and valeranone as its chief components, which are the sources of its medicinal properties.
The uses of Spikenard discussed above are not its only uses. Its essential oil has a number of other medicinal uses which are explained in greater detail below.
Antifungal: This property, along with its antibacterial property, makes the essential oil of Spikenard an efficient skin care agent. It helps to cure ailments caused by fungal infections on the skin and inside the body, including food poisoning by fungus, dermatitis, patches on skin, itching, deformation in the skin, and psoriasis.
Antibacterial: This is one of the properties which makes this oil (and of course, Spikenard), a potent remedy for many skin ailments that result from bacterial infections. It not only works on the skin, but also helps terminate bacterial growth inside the body as well. It can be applied on wounds to protect them from bacterial infections and is found to be effective in curing bacterial infections in the urethra, urinary bladder, and kidneys, as well as in the treatment of Athlete’s Foot, cholera, food poisoning, septic, and tetanus.
Deodorant: The earthy and mossy fragrance of the essential oil of Spikenard is pleasant to the nostrils and the mind. It is very soothing on nerves and mind and gives a comfortable feeling. It is no wonder that such a fragrance would be used as a deodorant. Furthermore, it is not harsh and does not give you headaches or allergies like many synthetic deodorants do.
Anti-inflammatory: This property of Spikenard, which is inherited by its essential oil, makes it fight nearly all sorts of inflammation, whether they effect the nervous, digestive or respiratory systems.
Laxative: Constipation or improper excretion is the root of almost seventy percent of ailments that we suffer from. It is mentally and psychologically disturbing as well. Laxatives are there to help, but many of them (particularly the synthetic ones) are very harsh on the entire digestive and excretory system and dry out the inner walls of the digestive tract, the intestines and the excretory tracts by washing out the mucus membrane.
Sedative: Essential oil of Spikenard is a well known sedative and helps maintain your physical, mental and psychological balance. It sedates inflammations in the digestive and nervous system, irritations, nervous afflictions, convulsions, depression, stress and feelings like anxiety, anger, and panic. It also sedates cardiac problems such as abnormal palpitations and restlessness. These sedating and relaxing effects also helps patients of insomnia to get healthy sleep.
Uterine: This oil is used as depurative for the uterus and the ovaries. It stimulates the uterus and ovaries and the secretion of hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which help to maintain the proper health and reproductive capabilities of these organs.
Other Benefits: It can be used to treat allergies, fever, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and the pain of angina, as well as aiding in the regeneration of cells, the healing of wounds, the circulation of blood and lymph, and the secretion of hormones and enzymes. In aromatherapy, this oil is employed for inducing mental peace, harmony, and truthfulness.
A Few Words of Caution
There are no inherent threats from this essential oil. This oil is non-irritating and non-toxic.