Nardostachys grandiflora (Spikenard) is an erect perennial herb 40-75 cm tall with rootstock covered with the dark fibers. The leaves are basal or oradical, linear to lanceolate, 15- 20 cm long, acuminate, base narrowed into the petiole. Cauline leaves are sessile or sub-sessile with a rounded bottom. The flowers are rose-purple to pinkish-white in terminal cymes arranged in bunches. Fruit are capsule.
Spikenard oil is extracted from the rootstocks/dried rhizome of Nardostachys grandiflora collected in the forest in the Himalayan districts of Nepal in between 3200- 5000m. The oil possesses antiarrhythmic activity with possible therapeutic usefulness in cases of auricular flutter. The spikenard essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the resin obtained from this plant. The oil contains aristolene, nardol, nardostachone, valerianol, valeranal, valeranone calarene, clalarenol, coumarin, dihydroazulenes and jatamanshinic acid which are the sources of its medicinal properties. The oil has characteristics of an antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, laxative, sedative, and uterine substances. Spikenard is native to Nepal and is called Nardostachys grandiflora in botanical terminology.
The spikenard essential oil constitutes valeranone (jatamansone), spirojatamol, patchouli alcohol, norseychelanone, ά – and β – patchoulene, jatamol A and B, jatamansic acid, terpenic coumarins-oroseol, and jatamansin.
Spikenard essential oil has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for maintaining and improving health and wellbeing.
It is beneficial in improving memory and reducing stress.
Spikenard essential oil is a popular choice in massage and aromatherapy. Likewise, the oil is known to stimulate relaxation during meditation.
The oil is also an ingredient of choice in herbal medicine for boosting the immune system, inducing sleep, boosting mood, and regulate the digestive system.
This essential oil is an excellent product for cleansing skin; therefore, it is a preferred ingredient for antiaging products.
Spikenard essential oil can be applied topically to help promote calm or relaxing feelings.
Spikenard’s resounding, deep, earthy, and the woody smell is a preferred choice in perfumery, which helps create a rejuvenating environment.
It is 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 used to inducing mental peace, harmony, and truthfulness. 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.
Spikenard oil is used in various perfumes and cosmetics preparations.