Spikenard essential oil has been used since ancient times for a variety of health issues.  Not sure what to do about that yucky toenail fungus? Try spikenard essential oil! It can help fight a variety of fungus and bacteria, but there is more that this essential oil can do. For example, spikenard essential oil can be used to treat insomnia, reduce stress, cure digestive problems and more. To learn more about the health uses of spikenard essential oil, read the list below. But first, let’s take a brief look at the history of spikenard essential oil, as well as the origins of the spikenard plant.

Spikenard Essential Oil: Sweet, Spicy and Medicinal

This essential oil is derived from the spikenard plant, which is native to the Himalayas, China and India.  It also goes by the names nard, nardin and muskroot.  Various cultures have held it in high regard for centuries, using it both for its medicinal qualities and in perfumes. The plant reaches about three feet in height and has pink, bell-shaped flowers. Spikenard gets its name from the many hairy spikes that shoot out from the root of the plant. It has a heavy, sweet and spicy odor along with many health benefits.  (1)

Spikenard Essential Oil Uses

1. Fights Bacteria and Fungus

Spikenard oil has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Applying it topically to wounds can help prevent infections and speed healing. The oil can also help treat toenail fungus, athlete’s foot.  Internally, it can treat food poisoning, as well as bladder, urethra and kidney infections.  It has also been known to treat tetanus.

2. Relieves Inflammation

Inflammation plays a major role in many health problems. There are several conditions, after all, that end with the suffix “itis,” meaning inflammation. A 2010 study showed that spikenard oil was able to weaken the severity of acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury, two inflammatory conditions. (2) Furthermore, spikenard essential oil can help treat inflammation throughout the body, including, for example, conditions like asthma and arthritis.

As inflammation is at the root of many diseases, spikenard essential oil can also help with “non-itis” diseases, as well. For example, it can help treat Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

3. Relaxes the Body and Mind

Spikenard essential oil has natural sedative properties. Its able to calm feelings of anger, stress, aggression and restlessness. (3) To use spikenard oil as a calming agent to reduce stress and relax the body and mind, diffuse the oil at home. Alternatively, add a few drops of the oil to a relaxing bath. You might also consider using spikenard essential oil in an essential oil necklace. This allows you to take its relaxing properties with you wherever you go.

4. Promotes Hair Growth

Many people across the nation are facing hair loss. However, there are natural treatments available, such as essential oils. For example, a 2011 study showed that spikenard oil had the ability to promote hair growth. (4) The compounds it contains help retain hair’s natural color and slow down the process of graying. To use spikenard oil as a hair loss remedy, add 5-10 drops to your natural conditioner or apply it topically to the scalp.

5. Stimulates the Immune System

Spikenard essential oil naturally lowers blood pressure by dilating the arteries. this is because it is a natural hypotensive. Overtime, high blood pressure can lead to serious health issues, such as stroke, heart attack and diabetes. Furthermore, spikenard essential oil acts as a natural antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress and boost the immune system. Spikenard oil’s ability to reduce inflammation also promotes a healthy immune system. (5)

6. Relieves Insomnia

The sedative properties of spikenard essential oil work to relieve insomnia.  If you’re wanting to promote a more peaceful night’s rest, you should definitely give spikenard a try. Diffusing the oil before bed can help you sleep in a variety of ways. For example, it helps relax your body and mind, lowers your blood pressure levels and reduces feelings of anxiety and restlessness.  Alternatively, you can add a few drops of the oil to your pre-bedtime bath. It will be more beneficial, however, to diffuse the oil next to you throughout the night while you sleep.

7. Protects the Uterus and Ovaries

Spikenard oil stimulates the secretion of estrogen and progesterone to help purify the uterus and ovaries. The oil has been used for years in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a stimulant to promote menstruation and cleanse the uterus. Spikenard oil can serve as a natural PMS remedy to help relieve painful cramps and bloating. (6)

8. Relieves Constipation

Spikenard essential oil is a natural laxative that stimulates the digestive system. For example, it can help relieve constipation and other symptoms of digestive distress, including bloating, gas and fatigue. And, while other digestive medicines can dry out your intestinal wall, spikenard keeps your waste moving smoothly through your colon and out of your body.

Side Effects and Warnings

Used topically, spikenard essential oil may cause irritation to the skin. However, that is true of most essential oils, especially when used without a carrier oil for the purposes of dilution. Small amounts of undiluted spikenard oil may not result in any irritation. Larger amounts, especially if used more than once, should be diluted with a carrier oil prior to use. If this is your first time using this essential oil externally, test a small patch of skin before applying more liberal amounts.  If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use spikenard essential oil.