Spikenard Essential Oil Uses, Blends and Recipes

Spikenard also referred to as nard, muskroot, or nardin is a pinnacle plant of the family Valerian, which is instinctive to the alpine and sub-alpine areas of the Himalayas. Spikenard essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the nard flower that flourishes during August and September.

The oil is deep golden yellow in color, and has a medium consistency. It is considered a base note in aromatherapy because of its woody, earthly fragrance. It is well-thought-out as a medicinal herb in India. Over all, it was considered a treasurable oil in pre-historic era, used by high initiates, kings, or priests.

Essential Oil of Spikenard Basics

Botanical Name: Nardostachys jatamansi

Family: Valerianaceae

Habitat and Growth: It is a tender aromatic herb that has a pungent rhizomatous root. The plant is native to India, and it is also found in Japan and China.

Components: Nard oil composition consists of at least seven kinds of sesquiterpenes (occupying 36 to 50%), which are calming, analgesic, immune supportive, antispasmodic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory. The second main elements are monoterpenes (composition ranges from 27% to 45%), which are highly volatile and fast-absorbed into the bloodstream. Monoterpenes are tonic, antiseptic, and immune stimulating. Other elements that contribute to the oil’s therapeutic qualities include: sesquiterpenols (6 to 11%), ketones (7 to 10%), valerianal (1 to 2%), coumarines (1 to 2%), and oxides (1 to 2%). Sesquiterpenols are sedative, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory; ketones are skin healing, antimicrobial, and mucolytic; valerianal is antifungal; coumarines are phototoxic; and oxides are mucolytic and expectorant.

Therapeutic Properties: Antibiotic, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, tonic, sedative, laxative, deodorant, antiseptic, anti-infectious, digestive, antispasmodic, antidepressant, and vasoconstrictor.

Complementary Oils: lavender, vetiver, rose otto, patchouli, palmarosa, neroli, myrrh, lemon, juniper, geranium, frankincense, cypress, clove, clary sage, citrus, sandalwood, pine, bergamot, coriander, petitgrain, and clary sage essential oils.    

Brief History of Spikenard Oil

In history, this was a popular essential oil, which was considered an Ayurvedic herb by ancient India. It was considered a skin tonic, therapeutic herb, and a perfume. This oil was very costly during the time of Jesus, which in fact played a significant role in the betrayal as well as the execution of Jesus. In the Book of Mark, chapter fourteen, verse three to ten, Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus with nard essential oil, which is one of the earliest spikenard essential oil spiritual uses. Authors suggest that the oil did cost a fortune during Jesus’s era. The price of the oil did raise some complaints from the disciples. It was until Jesus was anointed by spikenard oil that did Judas Iscariot betray him to the Pharisees.

Spikenard Essential Oil Uses

The tuberous root of spikenard has been used as an incense, perfume, and medicine over the centuries. It is talked about in the Bible (Old & New Testament) to be anointing oil. According to researchers, the main constituents of the oil suggest uses for the respiratory system, tension, stress, insomnia, allergies, and inflammation. This is a traditional herbal element of cough syrups.

It is an effective remedy for venereal, gynecologic, and pulmonary diseases. It is a good treatment for hemorrhoids and leucorrhea

Other spikenard essential oil uses include:

  • treats rashes, bacterial infections, and athlete’s foot
  • aids sleeping
  • softens the appearance of wrinkles
  • soothes inflamed skin
  • alleviates menstrual cramps and premenstrual symptoms.

The essential oil of spikenard is a reliable sedative; however, its well-recorded historical uses advocate that it is well-matched to calm people who are experiencing transition and times of change. When used for meditation, nard oil helps release tension and stress.

This is so since the fragrance has a calming effect on the nervous system, which confirms the oil’s use in meditation blends. There is an intensely soothing feature of this natural oil, which is exhibited in its ability to reduce inflammation and promote muscle relaxation. It is an unfailing ingredient to recipes for belly pain, indigestion, and nausea. Spikenard essential oil spiritual uses do mostly include anointing. The oil was used to anoint sacred altars and tools.

It was worn by pre-historic Egyptians during rituals so as to honor the divinities. It is believed that the oil can improve communication between animals (beasts) and human. As mentioned earlier, Mary Magdalene used nard oil to anoint Jesus before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. Nevertheless, in present-day aromatherapy, the essential oil of nard is hardly used, conceivably because it is rarely available and expensive. On the other hand, those who can afford this historic oil get to experience its emotional, spiritual, and medicinal benefits.

How to Use Spikenard Oil

  • You can disinfect as well as heal a cut by placing a drop of spikenard essential oil.
  • Instill power and courage feelings by applying three drops to the crown of your head and feet.
  • Wear spikenard oil as a deodorant by applying a few drops on your clothes.
  • Get rid of negativity and handle feelings of change by inhaling directly from the bottle or diffuse a few drops with an aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Alleviate indigestion by applying several drops of nard essential oil on your stomach.
  • Bolster your brain by applying two drops of the oil at mastoids, temples, and forehead.
  • Tackle cholesterol in your body by smearing four drops of spikenard oil at the base of throat, inside elbows, and wrists.
  • Dilute a few drops of nard oil with carrier oil and rub on wrinkled or rough skin.
  • Promote feelings of relaxation and calmness by diluting and applying two drops of the oil to temples and the back of the neck.
  • Blend a few drops of spikenard essential oil with an anti-aging product to improve the condition of your skin.
  • Prepare massage oil by blending 15 drops of spikenard oil and 1 ounce of massage oil. Then use the blend to massage affected areas or the entire body. Apart from stimulating the circulatory system, massage using nard oil helps to detoxify the body.
  • Prepare a rejuvenating and relaxing bath by pouring 6 drops of the essential oil of spikenard into your bath. In addition to the 6 drops, you are advised to add jojoba oil.
  • Add two to three drops of the essential oil of spikenard to a dish of hot water, then curtain a bath towel over your head, and gently breathe in the steaming vapor for several minutes to treat seasonal respiratory issues.

Benefits of Spikenard Oil

  1. Antifungal/ Antibacterial

Its antifungal and antibacterial properties make it an effective skin care agent. It is a steadfast remedy for psoriasis, skin deformation, itching, skin patches, dermatitis, and fungus. It treats tetanus, septic, food poisoning, cholera, athlete’s foot, and bacterial infections in the kidneys, urinary bladder, and the urethra.

  1. Sedative

The oil is soothing and tranquilizing, reducing excitability and calms the body. When used through inhalation, and massage, it helps calm a person who is experiencing times of change as well as transition. Likewise, spikenard oil is known to calm stress, depression, convulsions, nervous afflictions, irritations, and inflammation in the nervous and digestive systems.

  1. Deodorant

As far as high-priced essential oils are concerned, spikenard has one of the strongest fragrances. The aroma delivers a mossy, natural scent that is without a doubt pleasing to the nose. All you have to do is apply a few drops of the oil on your clothes as a perfume. In addition to making you smell good; the fragrance is calming and relaxing, promoting positive feelings and wellness. What makes spikenard essential oil special as a deodorant is the fact that it does not contain any synthetic agents.

  1. Laxative

You do not have to suffer from constipation or expose yourself to the effects of commercially produced laxative. Just settle for the essential oil of spikenard. Unlike commercial laxatives, which will leave the lining of your digestive track dry, nard oil will settle your stomach problem, and at the same time leave your stomach in normal condition.

The Difference between Spikenard & Spike Lavender Essential Oils

The Difference between Spikenard & Spike Lavender Essential Oils

The essential oil of spikenard should not be mixed up with the spike lavender essential oil (which is clearly camphorous oil with its own properties and use). Spike lavender oil is a cerebrospinal tranquilizer, and analgesic with rubefacient and antiseptic properties. It is resourceful in the treatment of abscesses and burns. With that said, confusion does usually arise from the existing names, including spikenard, nardin, nard, and spike lavender. If these names are too confusing, then stick with the botanical names. It is usually impossible to confuse the scientific names, which are Nardostachys jatamansi (spikenard) and Lavandula latifolia (spike lavender).

Spikenard Essential Oil Blend Recipes

Recipe #1 – Natural Soother

Spikenard Essential Oil Natural Soother


  • 8 drops of spikenard essential oil
  • 3 drops of lemon verbena essential oil
  • 7 drops of jasmine essential oil
  • 4 oz. of pure vegetable, grape seed, or sweet almond oil

Preparation and Application:

Mix the natural oils and vegetable oil in a plastic bottle. Massage the blend into your abdomen when in pain, during pregnancy, and labor.

Recipe #2 – Soothing & Calming Blend

Spikenard Essential Oil Soothing & Calming Blend


  • 1 drop of spikenard oil
  • 1 drop of Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop of clary sage essential oil
  • 1 drop of petitgrain essential oil
  • 10 drops of sweet almond oil

Preparation and Application:

Obtain a clean, dark-colored, glass bottle, and add all the ingredients. Then shake the bottle to mix. Use the blend to massage your temples, elbows, and wrists.

Recipe #3 – Psychological Trauma Relief Blend

Spikenard Essential Oil Trauma Relief Blend


  • 1 drop of spikenard oil
  • 2 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Preparation and Application:

In a clean, dark-colored, glass bottle, add all the ingredients and shake well to blend. Then use the mixture to massage your temples, elbows, wrists, and scalp.

Recipe #4 – Spikenard Tea

Spikenard Essential Oil Tea


  • A handful of spikenard roots
  • Boiling water

Preparation and Application:

Thoroughly wash the spikenard roots. Boil enough amount of water that will be sufficient for soaking the roots. Then add the roots to the boiling water, and allow them to infuse for approximately five minutes. Carefully drain the liquid, and drink it three to four times a day.

In Conclusion

There are several holistic natural oils, but the essential oil of spikenard is the most popular one. Its history dates back to the time of Jesus. Over the years, the oil has been valued for its medicinal, spiritual, and emotional qualities. It has proven to be an effective remedy for different conditions and relieving physical as well as emotional exhaustion. Spikenard essential oil is generally regarded as safe, even for ingestion, but it is always wise to dilute with carrier oil before use. 

Sources and References

  1. Wikipedia  Spikenard
  2. Green Medicine Spikenard

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