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9 Amazing Health Benefits Of Spikenard Essential Oil

Spikenard essential oil is considered as one of the most precious oils since the ancient times and it has been used as a medicine and as a perfume across a wide range of the territory from India to Europe. Spikenard essential oil is known to be used as herbal medicine for treating conditions like stress, insomnia, weak immune system, digestive issues, and various infections. Let us read below to know more about the health benefits of spikenard essential oil.

An Introduction On Spikenard Essential Oil:

Spikenard or nard, muskroot, or Nardin; is a flowering plant from the Valerian family. Nardostachys jatamansi is the scientific name of spikenard. It is found at altitudes of around 10, 000 feet and is seen to grow in the Himalayas of India, Nepal, and China. The plant has bell-shaped pink-colored flowers.

The stems of the spikenard plant, known as Rhizomes, are crushed and then distilled to an essential oil that has got an intense aroma. It has got a sweet, heavy, spicy, and woody smell that resembles the smell of moss. The spikenard essential oil blends well with other essential oils like patchouli oil, lavender oil, geranium oil, frankincense oil, myrrh oil, and vetiver oil.

Spikenard essential oil is usually extracted by the steam distillation of the resin that has been obtained from the spikenard plant. The chief components of this include calarene, aristolene, coumarin, clalarenol, jatamansi acid, hydrosilanes, nardostachone, nardol, valeranal, valerianol, and valeranone.

As per research, the spikenard essential oil obtained from the spikenard plant’s root show fungi toxic activity, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiarrhythmic, hypotensive, and anticonvulsant activity. The rhizome that is being extracted with 50% ethanol shows hepatoprotective, antiarrhythmic, and hypolipidemic activity.

The powdered stem of spikenard plant is also internally taken for cleansing the uterus, treat menstrual problems, and help with infertility issues.

9 Amazing Health Benefits Of Spikenard Essential Oil

9 Amazing Health Benefits Of Spikenard Essential Oil

Spikenard Essential Oil is Beneficial in Relieving Inflammation:

One of the most important health benefits of spikenard essential oil is that it relieves inflammation. Inflammation is the root of several diseases and it is quite dangerous for your digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.

According to a study of 2010 that was done at the School of Oriental Medicine, South Korea, the effect of spikenard on acute pancreatitis or a sudden inflammation of the pancreas was investigated.(1) The results of the study suggested that the treatment with spikenard actually weakened the severity of the condition of acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury. So, this proves that spikenard essential oil serves as an effective anti-inflammatory agent.

It Relaxes Body and Mind:

It is also known that spikenard essential oil is beneficial at relaxing the body and mind. Being a relative of the valerian plant, Spikenard essential oil might promote your mood and your emotional health. Research has even shown that the essential oil can actually reduce neuroinflammation, which might aid in treating conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress.(2)

It must also be mentioned that spikenard is a soothing and relaxing oil for your mind and your skin, and it is used as a calming agent and as a sedative. Moreover, it is also a natural coolant and thus it rids the mind of aggression and anger, it sedates restlessness and feelings of depression, and it can also serve as a natural way to relieve stress.

There was a study that was conducted at the School of Pharmaceutical Science in Japan that examined the sedative activity of spikenard by using a spontaneous vapor administration system.(3) It was indicated by the result that spikenard contained lots of calarene in it and inhalation of its vapor had a sedative effect on mice. The same study even indicated that when essential oils were combined together, there was a better sedative response; and this was particularly true when spikenard essential oil was mixed with patchouli, galangal, sandalwood, or borneol essential oils.

Two components of Spikenard, namely Valerena-4,7 (11)-diene and beta-maaliene was isolated by the same school of Pharmaceutical Science in Japan and they also explained that both these compounds reduced the locomotor activity of mice.

It was found that the mice slept for 2.7 times longer, and its effect was quite similar to that of a prescription drug called Chlorpromazine which is given to patients suffering from behavioral or mental disorders.(4)

Improves Immune System:

Spikenard is known to be an immune system booster and it calms the body and helps in its proper functioning. It is a natural hypotensive and thus lowers your blood pressure naturally. Using spikenard essential oil is a natural remedy for high blood pressure as it dilates the arteries, works as an antioxidant for reducing oxidative stress and lowers emotional stress. The spikenard essential oils also help in relieving inflammation, which is the primary culprit for a host of various diseases and illnesses.

It was found from a study of 2012 in India that spikenard rhizomes exhibited high reduction ability and potential free radical scavenging.(5) Free radicals are extremely dangerous to the tissues of the body and have been associated with cancer and also premature aging; the body makes use of antioxidants so as to prevent itself from the damage that is caused by oxygen. Like all other antioxidant foods and plants, spikenard also protects our bodies from inflammation as well as fight free radical damage; thus keeping our body and organs running properly.

Fights Bacteria and Fungus And Improves Skin Health:

Spikenard essential oil is also known to fight bacteria and fungus and also improve skin health. A study on the antibacterial effects of this essential oil shows some promising effects.(6)

There is one more study that has found that spikenard essential oil was most effective against Legionella, a specific bacteria.(7) However, the laboratory studies require to be replicated in human beings for the essential oil to be considered a viable antimicrobial source.

It is believed that spikenard essential oil stops the bacterial growth on the skin and also inside the body. It is applied to the skin of wounds to help kill bacteria and help provide effective wound care. The spikenard essential oil treats bacterial infections in urinary bladder, kidneys, and urethra, inside the body. It is also known for treating toenail fungus, tetanus, athlete’s foot, food poisoning and cholera.

Because spikenard is also antifungal, it is known to promote the skin health and help in healing ailments that is caused by fungal infections. This potential plant is able to ease several skin conditions such as itching, treat patches on the skin and also treat conditions like dermatitis.

Promotes Hair Growth:

One of the best health benefits of spikenard essential oil is that it promotes hair growth. It not only promotes the hair growth, but also retains its natural color, and slows down the graying process.

One study conducted in the year 2011, that was published in Pharmacognosy Magazine has measured the ability of the spikenard essential oil to stimulate hair growth.(8)

For this study, the crude extract, fractions and two of the isolated compounds were tested for their activity of hair growth. The growth of hair was tested on female Wistar rats that had removed hair in a 4 cm square area before the beginning of the study.

The study’s result indicated that spikenard essential oil showed a positive response in the promotion of hair growth; the crude spikenard extracts were found to be more effective than pure compounds. As the isolated compounds were known to be effective in several ways when they were acting together in the crude spikenard extract, hair growth was resumed within very short time period.

While using the extract of spikenard, there was a 30% of reduction in the time that it took for the hair to again grow on the tested rats; thus showing that spikenard could work as an effective hair loss remedy.

Relieves Insomnia:

There are many adults those who experience insomnia at some point of their life; however few people have chronic insomnia. Insomnia might be the primary issues, or it might be a secondary problem because of other causes like stress and anxiety, indigestion, overuse of stimulants and sugar, pain, lack of physical activity, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, hormonal changes, or any other medical conditions.

In case you can’t sleep, spikenard essential oil is a wonderful natural remedy, that would help you treat insomnia without causing any adverse side effects. Being sedative and laxative it can be beneficial for those who have insomnia. Spikenard essential oil keeps you relaxed, and reduces anxiety and feeling of restlessness. Spikenard essential oil might also be helpful in treating indigestion or stomach problems that might be resulting in insomnia.

A study of 2015 involving mice has found that compounds present in spikenard extract had sedative effects after inhaling it.(9) Researchers thus concluded that aromatherapy using spikenard essential oil might provide mild sedation.

It Protects Uterus And Ovaries:

Spikenard essential oil is known to protect uterus and ovaries. It not only purifies the uterus and the ovaries, but also stimulates the estrogen and progesterone hormones’ secretion. Though there are not any human research studies for proving these health benefits; the essential oils have been in use for centuries for improving reproductive health.

Spikenard essential oil has been in use in Ayurvedic and traditional medicines as a uterus stimulant to promote menstruation, treating painful menstruation, cleansing the uterus and reducing the uterus inflammation. You can keep a regular menstrual cycle by using this essential oil and it also serves great for PMS cramps and bloating. Spikenard essential oil was also being used as an aphrodisiac for treating impotence naturally.

Act As Laxatives And Protects Constipation:

Spikenard essential oil acts as a laxative and protects constipation, which is the primary cause of almost 70% of ailments that we generally suffer from. Laxatives are used to help us with constipation, but there are many of them that are very much harsh on the entire digestive as well as the excretory system and they dry out the inner walls of our digestive tracts, the excretory tracts, and the intestines, by washing out the mucous membrane.

Although there is only limited research on spikenard essential oil for its benefits on digestion, it is sometimes used as a natural laxative and it stimulates the digestive system. This might be because of the relaxing and calming properties of spikenard essential oil.

Eliminates Odor:

Spikenard essential oil helps in eliminating odor. The mossy and earthy fragrance of this oil is pleasant to our mind and the nostrils. It is actually soothing to the nerves and minds and offers a comfortable and soothing feeling. So, this kind of fragrance is used as a deodorant. Moreover, the fragrance of spikenard essential oil is not very hard and does not give you allergies or headaches, like any other synthetic deodorants.


There are several health benefits of spikenard essential oil and there is limited information regarding its potential side effects. However, sometimes these essential oils might cause some sort of side effects when applied topically and these side effects include skin rashes and hives, itchiness and irritation, redness of the skin, peeling skin, boils, and inflammation. So, it is always essential for you to consult with your doctor before using the oil and also to immediately stop the use of the essential oil once you start noticing any sort of side effects.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 20, 2020

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