Spikenard: The Essential Oil That Relaxes You And Fights Infections

Reviewed by Dr. Scott Johnson, CCMA, CEEOS, AMP Dr. Scott Johnson Dr. Scott JohnsonCCMA, CEEOS, AMP facebook_icontwitter_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
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The most important reason you need to look at spikenard essential oil is its calming property. You experience stress on a regular basis. You might even feel overwhelmed with too many things – and your life feels chaotic all of a sudden. Well, more than 90% of the population is living this way.

In addition to increasing your productivity and uncluttering your life, making this oil a part of your routine can work wonders. There’s more to the oil than what we have just discussed. Just keep reading – you will know what we have for you.

In This Article

What’s So Special About Spikenard Essential Oil?

Legit. There are several essential oils out there. But what is so special about spikenard that you even should bother to know about it?

Spikenard essential oil has been considered one of the few precious oils since the ancient times. It has even been mentioned in the Bible, where Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus’s feet before the Last Supper. And more importantly, spikenard essential oil contains high concentrations of sesquiterpenes, natural chemicals that penetrate the blood-brain barrier and indirectly improve oxygen flow to the brain.

This boosts your overall health like only a few essential oils can do. Which is why you should take a look at what this oil has to offer.

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What Are The Benefits Of Spikenard Essential Oil?

1. Spikenard Relaxes Your Mind And Body

Think your life is bursting with stress from all sides? Spikenard is the way to go! The oil works as a natural coolant, and it frees your mind from aggression and anger. It calms your mind and even acts as a sedative and a relaxant.

We have a Japanese study that illustrates this. The animal study revealed that spikenard contains calarene, whose inhalation can have relaxing effects (1).

More interestingly, even mice treated with caffeine showed relaxing activities after being exposed to spikenard. In fact, the mice slept 2.7 hours longer – an effect similar to chlorpromazine (a drug given to patients with behavioral disorders).

How To Use Spikenard To Relieve Stress

Simply add 3 to 4 drops of the essential oil to your diffuser. The woody aroma will make you calm and at peace. You can do it in the evenings – after you are back home from a long day at work.

2. Offers Antimicrobial Properties

Little cuts and nicks can be a problem. They can interfere with your regular work life and become a nuisance. But with spikenard, you can relax. The oil stalls bacterial growth on the skin and encourages faster healing. In one study of 96 essential oils, spikenard essential oil was found to be among the most effective in its bactericidal activity (2).

The oil has antifungal properties as well. It treats ailments caused by fungal infections – these include skin patches and dermatitis.

How To Use Spikenard To Treat Wounds And Fungal Infections

Simply rub 1 to 2 drops of the oil onto the affected areas twice daily. But ensure you do a patch test beforehand. And if you have any serious skin issues, please consult your dermatologist before using the oil.

3. Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of most of the killer diseases today. This means if you keep inflammation in check, you can avoid most of the grave ailments. Spikenard works great at combating inflammation in your body.

This fact was further proved in a 2010 study, where the link between spikenard and pancreatitis was investigated. Results showed that treatment with spikenard reduced the severity of the illness (3). Further studies also showed how spikenard essential oil inhibited the protein molecules related to inflammation (4).

How To Use Spikenard To Treat Inflammation

If it is topical inflammation, you can apply 1 to 2 drops of the oil to the affected area. You can ingest the oil too – but we recommend you talk to your doctor before doing so to check for any cautions or potential drug interactions.

4. Can Give You Relief From Constipation

Thanks to the oil’s natural laxative properties, constipation doesn’t have to be a worry in your life again. The oil stimulates your digestive system and promotes regularity. In fact, this is where the oil differentiates itself from synthetic laxatives, which can dry out the intestinal walls.

Constipation can be linked to other ailments too; and this simply means that if you can correct your gut, you are good to go. Research shows that gut health can be linked to overall well-being (5). And spikenard oil helps boost your gut health.

How To Use Spikenard To Relieve Constipation

Mix 5 drops of spikenard oil with an ounce of carrier oil (coconut or grapeseed oil) and massage onto your abdomen. Do it as needed.

5. Improves Uterine Health

Spikenard stimulates the secretion of progesterone and estrogen, thereby maintaining reproductive health. This way, the oil purifies the uterus and ovaries. Ayurvedic medicine has seen the use of spikenard essential oil as a way to promote menstrual health and cleansing of the uterus.

The oil can regularize your menstrual cycle and is also used as a natural remedy for PMS cramps. And guess what – some sources suggest that the oil can be used for improving fertility as well. Consult your doctor in this aspect, though.

How To Use Spikenard For Menstrual Health

You can use the oil to massage the areas that cramp during menstruation. Simply mix 5 drops of spikenard oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil (almond or coconut oil) and massage onto the affected areas. You can also have a calming bath by adding 2 to 5 drops of the oil to bath salts and then to your bath water.

6. Boosts Your Immunity

Wouldn’t you want to boost your immunity and stay healthy despite the change in seasons? Of course, a balanced diet helps. But using spikenard oil gives you the edge.

Studies have investigated the ability of the oil to scavenge free radicals, and the results have been positive (6). The oil fights free radical damage, and this enhances immunity.

How To Use Spikenard To Boost Your Immunity

Add a few drops of the oil to your morning tea. Remember to check with your doctor before ingesting the oil, though.

7. Spikenard Can Improve Your Memory

In Ayurvedic medicine, spikenard oil has been used for its neurological and psychological benefits. The herb was even used as a supplemental treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This can be attributed to what we discussed earlier in this post – sesquiterpenes. As these provide oxygen to the brain cells, they help boost cognitive health and prevent neural ailments.

The oil also contains other compounds (called iridoids) that protect the brain from neural cell death (7).

How To Use Spikenard For Improving Brain Health

You can sniff the oil directly from the bottle. Even mixing it in your morning tea can help.

8. Can Help Soothe Hemorrhoids

This can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of spikenard essential oil. It also boosts blood circulation and oxygenation of the cells, further alleviating the pain.

How To Use Spikenard For Soothing Hemorrhoids

Add 2 to 5 drops of the oil to your bath salts and then to your bath water, and soak in it. This can help soothe the pain.

9. Promotes Hair Growth

Promotes Hair Growth
Image: Shutterstock

Studies talk about the spikenard’s ability to promote hair growth. Rats showed hair growth activity post exposure to spikenard extract, according to a study (8).

How To Use Spikenard For Hair Growth

Simply mix 2 to 3 drops of the oil in your conditioner and apply while shampooing your hair.

These are the ways spikenard essential oil can make your life better. Some sources state that the oil can also be used to treat varicose veins (by massaging on the affected areas) and angina pain (by massaging on the chest). However, we recommend you check with your doctor before using the oil for these purposes – as there is no sufficient evidence.

Spikenard essential oil is great but requires a bit of caution when used.

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What Are The Cautions For Spikenard Essential Oil?

  • Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Consult your physician before using during pregnancy or while breastfeeding

  • Skin Sensitivity

Spikenard essential oil may cause skin irritation in some people. Hence, do a patch test before using it.

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This oil can bust stress. It can boost your brain health. And it can fight inflammation. Well, the list goes on. So, include spikenard essential oil in your routine right away. And tell us how this post has helped you by leaving a comment in the box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you substitute spikenard essential oil with?

You can substitute the oil with patchouli and vetiver essential oils.

Where to buy spikenard essential oil?

You can buy the oil at your nearest departmental store or online at Amazon.

Can you take spikenard essential oil internally?

Yes. But we suggest you talk to your doctor before doing so.


  1. Sedative effects of vapor inhalation…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Nardostachys jatamansi protects against…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  4. Chemical composition analysis and in vitro…”. ScienceDirect.
  5. How a healthy gut makes for a healthier you”. US Department of Veteran Affairs.
  6. In vitro antioxidant and free radical scavenging…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  7. A review article on phytochemistry…”. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry.
  8. Phytochemical investigation and hair growth…”. US National Library of Medicine.

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Dr. Scott Johnson
Dr. Scott JohnsonAMP, CCMA, CEEOS, CPC
Dr. Scott A. Johnson is a Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, Certified Elite Essential Oil Specialist, and Certified Clinical Master Aromatherapist with 7 years of experience. As one of the most prolific natural medicine writers of the 21st century, Dr.

Read full bio of Dr. Scott Johnson
Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

Read full bio of Ravi Teja Tadimalla
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