Spikenard Essential Oil’s Wonderful Benefits and Uses

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Oh no! Spikenard essential oil just the name sounds like it’s a high cholesterol product. Spikenard almost rhymes with lard. (The last part of the word does anyway) Lard is a fat so spikenard is what fat growing on a plant? Any plant with that name  cannot have any benefits or for that matter any health benefits. We know that anything that is high in fats and cholesterol cannot be healthy for the body. Who do they think they are fooling? Saying that something that sounds like it’s loaded in fat is healthy for you. But quite to the contrary spikenard has many health benefits and may be quite quite popular among the health community the world over. It seems to be growing in popularity.

Spikenard the Ancient Oil 

Spikenard, is a flowering plant from the Valerian family. It originates in the high altitudes of the subalpine and alpine regions of the Himalayan mountains. So it grows in altitudes of  thousands possibly ten thousands of feet of these mountains. Spikenard essential oil is steamed from the roots of the plant and has been valued for centuries. It was traditionally used to anoint people of high honor and it was used in ancient Ayurvedic health practices of India. Also, it was used to uplift mood and promote relaxation and clean, healthy skin. Today, it’s used in perfumes and relaxing massage oils because of it’s woody, musty scent.

A Useful Essential Oil   
  • Spikenard can be diffused or apply a couple of drops to the back of the neck, and temples to promote calmness and relaxation.
  • Create a personalized fragrance by combining Spikenard with Clove, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Myrrh, Wild Orange, Rose, and Vetiver.
  • Combine with hydrating cream to soften and smooth skin.
  • Add one or two drops to your favorite cleanser or anti-aging product to promote healthy, glowing skin

Directions for use:

Diffusion: use three or four drops in the diffuser of your choice

Topical: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with a carrier oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.   


This oil could be sensitive on the skin. Pregnant women and nursing mother should consult a doctor before using and be sure

to keep away from children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

The Ultimate Health Benefits of Spikenard Essential Oil

It’s health benefits are attributed to his properties as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, laxative, sedative as well as a uterine product. Historically, this essential oil was used for the female reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries. It’s wet, soil-like smell, which resembles the smell of wet moss. This essential oil is used in aromatherapy for its soothing, calming effect. The spikenard essential oil is very popular in the Indian subcontinent and is known as Jatamansi in botanical terminology. his plant is native to Nepal and is called Nardostachys Jatamansi in botanical terminology. Several herbal and medicinal preparations can be found on the Indian market as well as neighboring countries. 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.    

Wonderful Medicinal  Properties

Spikenard has wonderful antifungal and antibacterial properties which make it a wonderful skin care agent. It is also known 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 is one of the properties which make spikenard essential oil a powerful agent for healing many skin ailments caused by bacteria. The antibacterial properties can seep into the pores of the skin and kill the bacteria to stop these skin infections. It even goes further in that it will also kill bacteria in the body  to stop some of the harmful ailments mentioned above. It can be applied to wounds to stop infections before they start and it can cure bacterial infections in the, urethra urinary bladder, and kidneys. This wonderful essential oil may even treat athlete’s foot, cholera, food poisoning, septic, and tetanus.


Again, the earthy and mossy smell of the essential oil soothes the mind and is pleasant to the nostrils; it eases the mind and the emotions bringing comfort the whole body. It is ideal as a deodorant and will not cause allergies or headaches as other deodorants might. (it hasn’t been proven that deodorants of any sort will cause allergies and headaches.)


It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which will reduce inflammation in the digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems. A study conducted in 2010, at the School of Oriental Medicine in South Korea, investigated the effects of spikenard on acute pancreatitis-a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that can range from mild discomfort to a life-threatening illness.  The study found that spikenard may weaken the effects of acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury. This suggests that spikenard may be an effective deterrent against this harmful condition. Which is encouraging news to those who suffer from the pancreatic illness. Especially, in light of the fact that it can be life-threatening.   

constipation or improper secretion of waste is at the root of 70% ailments

Super Laxative

Supposedly, constipation or improper secretion of waste is at the root of 70% ailments we suffer from. Laxatives do help but it is believed that some of these laxatives (especially the synthetic ones) are harmful to the digestive and excretory systems. This is because the laxatives dry out the inner walls the digestive tract, intestines, and the excretory tracts by washing out the mucus membranes. There is no support for this assertion. No medical experimentation has been conducted to prove these suggestions. Spikenard is supposed be very effective in removing toxins, waste through the proper systems in the body. It is a good relief for constipation and the prevention of it. These types of problems can be physically and emotionally troubling for people. So,this effective laxative is welcome to benefit the health of the nations.

Superb Sedative

Now, it’s claimed that spikenard essential oil can help people with insomnia enjoy a restful sleep. How would this feel after restless nights for years to have a peaceful sleep? The oil is reported to maintain the physical, emotional, and psychological balance of the body. It may calm the inflammations in the 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.  

Helps the Uterine

They this essential oil is used as a depurative (Depuratives are herbs that are considered to have purifying and detoxifying effects. Herbs that are considered depurative include Lingonberry, Ukshi, the four-leaf clover, spikenard, Paris polyphylla, and some species of Elderberry.) for the uterus and ovaries. It also stimulates the uterus and ovaries and the secretion of the hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which help to maintain the proper health and reproductive capabilities of these organs.

Other benefits of this Super Oil

Spikenard may help with allergies, hemorrhoids, fever, varicose veins, and the pain of angina (any number of disorders where there is localized pain and a condition whose watermarks are severe pain in the chest, spreading to the shoulders, arms, and neck, these pains are due to inadequate blood supply to the heart). It may help in the regeneration of cells, the healing of wounds, the circulation of blood and lymph, and the secretion of critical hormones and enzymes. Possibly in aromatherapy (this was alluded to earlier in the article) it would bring about peace, harmony and wholeness to the body, soul and spirit of the person.The essential oils of frankincense, lavender, myrrh, orange, petit grain, rose and sage blend well with the essential oil of Spikenard.   

Contrary to the warning about skin sensitivity, mentioned earlier in the article, spikenard has no harmful side effects.

The many uses and benefits that spikenard seems to bring may put it in a class all by itself. It acs in many different capacities to help keep the human body healthy. Some of its applications may not even be applicable to the other major essential oils. This oil may help with varicose veins and hemorrhoids  which a lot of the other oils cannot touch. This oil may be used as a deodorant as well. Certainly there are not a lot of essential oils that will bring harmony to body, soul and spirit. It may be an effective laxative as well a natural one of course. This essential oil may be the “Superman” of essential oils. Another plus this oil has going for it is that it has been well-known for centuries and has a very long traditional background. It was discovered in India and Nepal centuries ago. It’s longevity speaks of its enduring health benefits for nations across the centuries.

Practical Uses for Super Spikenard

  • For aromatherapy, diffuse 5 drops of spikenard essential oil or inhale 1–2 drops.
  • To calm the mind and relax the body, inhale 2 drops of spikenard oil or add 5 drops to a diffuser or oil burner.
  • To make a massage oil, add 5 drops of spikenard oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil (like jojoba, almond or coconut oil). This massage oil is great for relieving headaches, sore muscles, sleeping difficulties and menstrual cramps.
  • For a calming bath, add 2–4 drops of spikenard oil to warm water. It relaxes the mind and helps with sleeping difficulties.
  • To relieve respiratory problems, add 2 drops of spikenard to equal parts of a carrier oil and rub the mixture on your chest. You can also try adding 10–20 drops of spikenard oil to my Homemade Vapor Rub.
  • To lower blood pressure or treat heart palpitations, massage 2 drops of spikenard oil into your feet or make a warm foot bath.
  • To use as an antiseptic, rub 1–2 drops of spikenard oil onto wounds or cuts twice daily.
  • To stimulate hair growth, add 5–10 drops of spikenard essential oil to my Homemade Conditioner recipe.
  • When used topically, it is safe to apply spikenard directly to the skin. You can also mix it with a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil.
  • For internal use, only use very high-quality oil brands. You can add a drop of spikenard to water or mix it with a smoothie.
  • To boost immune system, add 1 drop of high-quality spikenard oil to my Immune-Boosting Smoothie Recipe.

To make your own spikenard tea, use a handful of spikenard roots

Make your own Spikenard Tea:

To make your own spikenard tea, use a handful of spikenard roots that have been washed thoroughly. Then add them to boiling water and let it infuse for about five minutes or longer for better results. Drain the liquid and drink it hot or cold. It’s best to prepare a new tea every 3–4 days because it loses its health benefits after some time.

When you store your tea, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator. Spikenard tea is beneficial to your health because it has anti-inflammatory properties and it kills bacteria, infections or fungi inside the body. It also helps lower blood pressure, ease your mind and boost your immune system.

The Immune Booster

Spikenard boosts the immune system by calming the body which in turns helps the immune system to function at its best. It’s also a natural hypotensive which means it can lower blood pressure. High blood pressure occurs when the pressure on the blood vessels and arteries becomes too high. This in turns distorts the arterial wall putting extra stress on the heart to pump blood through the distorted arterial wall. The effects could be life-threatening because high blood pressure may cause a stroke, diabetes or a heart attack that could be fatal. Spikenard can be used as a natural high blood pressure remedy because it dilates the arteries. It also acts as an antioxidant to reduce oxidative and emotional stress.

A 2012 study conducted in India suggests that spikenard rhizomes (the plant stems) displayed high reduction capability and and free radical scavenging. Free radicals are deadly to the body’s tissues and have been linked to causing cancer and premature aging; the body uses antioxidants to protect itself from oxygen. Like all high antioxidant foods and plants, they protect the body from inflammation and fight free radical damage which keeps the body systems and organs running at peak performance. It’s always beneficial to have scientific studies to support the health claims of the different healing remedies such as spikenard.

Hair Hero         

It’s claimed that spikenard may even help stimulate hair growth, help the hair retain its natural color, and slow down the greying process. Quite extraordinary claims for an essential oil concerning hair health care benefits. There was a study conducted in 2011, published in Pharmacognosy Magazine measured spikenard oil’s ability to stimulate hair growth. Keep in mind this study was conducted on female rats and not on humans. So to say that it will promote  human hair growth hasn’t been proven. But this may be a promising indicator it could help to promote human hair growth. In the study, hair was removed from female Wistar rats. The hair was taken from a four-centimeter square area before the study began. The study also had the the crude extract, fractions and two of the isolated compounds tested for their hair growth activity.   

The results of the study showed spikenard had positive results in stimulating hair regrowth in the rats. The crude spikenard extracts worked more effectively than the pure compounds to cause the hair to regrow. Because the isolated compounds were productive in several ways, when they were working in harmony in the extract, hair growth resumed within a relatively short period of time. When using spikenard extract, there was a 30 percent reduction in the time it took for the tested rats  hair to grow back. The researchers say this could be indicative that spikenard could be an effectual remedy for human hair growth. This evaluation has yet to be verified and proven. It may not have been tested on human subjects.

Sizzling Conclusion

We have looked at a lot of different health benefits and uses for spikenard essential oil. To its credit it has been helping the human race for centuries now. Today this essential oil is widely used in India and its surrounding countries. In this part of the world it’s well-known for it’s medicinal and herbal applications. It also has other benefits which may be considered extraordinary in some cases. The oil has a wide range of properties that seem to be able to help just about every issue the human body faces.

What helps spikenard to be a plausible super essential oil is that there were some studies to support the various health benefit claims. The hair growth study performed on rats doesn’t validate that spikenard could be a hair growth remedy. There may be too much of a difference on how the oil would react to human hair in comparison to rat hair. It’s believed there has been no studies conducted to confirm that spikenard would help with human hair loss.  

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.