By Laurie Stone, L.Ac.
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Spikenard essential oil. Am I the only one who finds this name funny-sounding?
At first it made me think it sounded like an insult. But now after recently watching some reruns of The Office, I can’t get Andy Bernard’s nickname “Nard Dog” out of my head. Think of this as the oil that can calm Andy down.
What is Spikenard?
This essential oil comes from the spike-shaped (thus the name!) rhizomes of the Spikenard plant which is in the valerian family. It’s been around since ancient times as it’s referenced in the Bible and is used in ayurvedic medicine.
doTERRA sources their Spikenard from Nepal through one of their Co-Impact Sourcing programs since its properties are best when grown in the Himalayas.
To me, it has a sweetly-spicy, woody, earthy aroma. It is a base note which means it has a heavier aroma than a light, airy citrus, for example, so you would typically use it as a smaller part of a blend.
What does Spikenard do?
Being a part of the valerian family, can you guess what it’s most known for? Yep, calming and relaxing! Here are some keywords for Spikenard:
- Uplifting (yes, you can calm and uplift at the same time)
- Hydrating (think skin)
Unless you’re a cat… My receptionist was using the pillow spray recipe below and her cats went bonkers for it, like it was catnip or something. Here she was, trying to go to sleep, and her cats were jumping all over the bed trying to get to the spray bottle – so cat lovers, take note.
How to use Spikenard
Spikenard essential oil is intended for aromatic or topical use, not to be used internally. Here are some ideas:
- Apply a drop to the back of your neck or temples (dilute with a carrier oil for skin sensitivity) for relaxation.
- Add a drop to your facial moisturizer before applying.
- Add a drop to your body lotion and apply after a shower.
- Put a drop in your palms, rub briskly and inhale before meditation.
Spikenard blends well with any of the following essential oils (and others not listed):
- Wild Orange
- Juniper Berry
Hint: if you don’t remember these, then search on Google by typing in “Spikenard blends well with” and hitting enter. A list of its best combinations will come up.
My Favorite: Spikenard Pillow Spray
In a 2 oz. spray bottle, combine (add the Epsom FIRST):
- 1/2 t Epsom salt
- 5 drops Serenity
- 3 drops Bergamot
- 2 drops Petitgrain
- 1 drop Spikenard
- Fill with distilled water
Spray over your pillows at bedtime.
Tip: anytime you are making a homemade product with distilled water, use it within two months. Since these are natural recipes, they do not include any chemical preservatives so it is possible they can start growing bacteria if left too long.
Spikenard Aroma Roller
Spikenard makes a great base oil for fragrance blends. Here is one recipe that can be used as a daily perfume:
In a 10mL roller bottle, combine:
- 10 drops Wild Orange
- 8 drops Lavender
- 2 drops Spikenard
- Fill remaining with fractionated coconut oil
Adjust number of drops to your personal preference. Keep the total number of drops to 20 max for a 10mL roller.
Apply to pulse points as desired – wrist creases, elbow creases, behind the ears, and base of the neck.
Spikenard Diffuser Blend for Bedtime
- 2 drops Bergamot
- 1 drop Frankincense
- 1 drop Spikenard
Do you want to know how relaxing this oil is?
Some oils I consider almost adaptogenic, bringing the body back into balance no matter which direction you’re going. For example, I will use Bergamot day or night, for energy or for relaxing.
But I generally do not put Spikenard in the diffuser at the clinic during the daytime.
As I’m writing this blog post in the morning, I had the oil out, sniffing it with several of the others listed above to make sure I like them as a combination, and I kid you not, I am noticeably mellow, almost sleepy, compared to 20 minutes ago. I had to get up from my desk and walk around a bit to perk up. So, yes, it works!
How to Order: