Spikenard is a plant that is popular and widely used in herbal medicines on the Indian Subcontinent. Botanically, spikenard is referred to as Nardostachys jatamansi.
Traditionally, the plant was for tackling health problems that are connected to the female reproductive organs (including the ovaries and uterus) and the skin. Owing to its wet, somewhat earthy, and soil-like smell, spikenard is also used in aromatherapy as a sedative and relaxing agent.
Not many know that spikenard essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the resin from the plant. Spikenard essential oil is rich in jatamanshinic acid, valeranal, aristolene, clalarenol, coumarin, calarene, dihydroazulenes, valeranone, nardol, nardostachone, as well as valerianol. These components are actually the sources of its many impressive medicinal properties.
Spikenard has numerous health benefits. It’s biological makeup and properties make it an excellent herb for anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, sedative, laxative, and as a deodorant.
Health Benefits of Spikenard Essential Oil
Like it was mentioned above, spikenard essential oil possesses a range of medicinal uses but let’s take a closer look at the many things it can do for our health.
Possesses Sedating Effects
Spikenard essential oil is popular as a sedative as it helps the body its maintain psychological, mental, and physical balance. This essential oil helps to sedate inflammation in the nervous and digestive system as well as relieve convulsions, irritations, and nervous afflictions. It also alleviates stress as well as treat depression, panic attacks, anger, and anxiety. In addition, it sedates cardiac issues like feelings of restlessness and heart palpitations. The sedating and soothing effects spikenard essential oil treats insomnia and improves sleep.
The anti-inflammatory ability of spikenard essential oil makes it effective for fighting off inflammation in the respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems.
Good for the Skin
Spikenard essential oil’s antibacterial property makes it efficient for skin care. The oil helps treat illnesses resulting from fungal infections in the body and on the skin. It is an effective treatment for psoriasis, itching, food poisoning, dermatitis, skin patches, and skin deformation.
Inhibits Bacterial Infections
Since spikenard essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, it is an effective remedy for treating certain skin conditions that are caused by bacterial infections. Apart from being an excellent skin care agent, this essential oil helps the body prevent bacterial growth as well. It works well on wounds and protects them against bacterial infections. In fact, spikenard essential oil has proven to be effective in treating bacterial infections in the kidneys, urethra, and urinary bladder. In addition, it helps in the treatment of cholera, Athlete’s Foot, tetanus, food poisoning, as well as septic.
Improves Uterine Health
Spikenard essential oil is effective as a depurative for the ovaries and uterus. It helps to stimulate the uterus and ovaries as well as the secretion of hormones like progesterone and estrogen. This helps maintains the body’s health and keep the reproductive organs performing at their optimum level.
Has a Pleasant Smell
The soil-like and earthy smell of spikenard essential oil is pleasant to the nostrils and soothing to the mind. This essential oil has a very soothing effect on the mind and nerves. It also provides the body with a comfortable feeling. Owing to its pleasant fragrance, it is often used as an ingredient in deodorants. In addition, unlike synthetic deodorants, the oil is mild and does not cause headaches or even allergies.
Acts as a Laxative
Spikenard essential oil functions as a laxative and aids the treatment of constipation and eases bowel movement, which is one of the primary causes of most ailments that people suffer from. While laxatives may be helpful, most of them, especially the synthetic ones, can be very harsh on the digestive and excretory systems. In fact, they eliminate the mucous membrane and dry out the excretory tracts, intestines, as well as the inner walls of the digestive tract.
The Other Benefits of Spikenard Essential oil
Spikenard essential oil is also used for treating hemorrhoids, fever, allergies, varicose veins, and angina pain. The oil aids blood circulation, cell regeneration, the secretion of enzymes and hormones, and the healing of wounds. In fact, in aromatherapy, spikenard essential oil is used for stimulating feelings of harmony, mental peace, and honesty.
Side Effects and Precautions
Generally, spikenard essential oil is considered safe as it is neither irritating nor toxic.
However, since there aren’t enough studies on the health effects of spikenard essential oil, not much is known about its safety when used for a long period of time or on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, there are some concerns that the use of spikenard essential oil may not be safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and even people who suffer from epilepsy.
Although it has been established that spikenard essential oil may aid in the treatment of various health conditions, it is not advisable not to use the oil as a substitute for conventional health care. If used in the treatment of chronic health conditions, it may actually result in serious consequences.
It is a known fact that essential oils can be toxic when used internally. This is why spikenard essential oil should not be ingested orally and only under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
Additionally, when talking about essential oils, it is important to keep in mind that there have been reports of irritation in some people after applying sandalwood essential oil to the skin. Therefore, a skin patch test should be carried out first before using any essential oil, including spikenard essential oil. It should also not be applied in excessive amounts to the skin.
Owing to its limited research, it may still be too early recommend spikenard essential oil as a treatment for any health condition. Before using it, it is advisable to consult a medical doctor first. Also, keep in mind that self-medication can be harmful to one’s health and could lead to serious consequences.