The Science of Spikenard

Derived from Nardostachys jatamansi, a flowering plant that grows in the high altitudes of the Himalayas, Spikenard essential oil has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic health practices and religious ceremonies. It is steam distilled from the roots, which gives it an intense woody and musty aroma popular in aromatherapy. The chemistry of Spikenard suggests that it has profound and diverse effects.


Spikenard essential oil has some of the most complicated chemistry of any essential oil. It contains around 170 compounds. Of these components, more than 95 percent of them exist at less than 1 percent of the whole. Almost every class of essential oil component is represented in Spikenard oil, including alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, oxides, esters, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. This great diversity of chemistry suggests a plethora of uses for Spikenard oil. The advantage of an essential oil being diverse is the potential to accomplish many different outcomes or addressing more needs in general.


Dr. Hill likes to say, “When in doubt, get your Frankincense out!” At convention, he added Spikenard to that statement because of its incredibly varied chemistry.


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