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Nardostachys jatamansi

A sacred healing herb of old - Spikenard was considered precious even in Biblical times, when Mary Magdalene used it to anoint Jesus' feet at the last supper. No wonder it was precious, coming all the way from the foothills of the Himalayas, which in biblical times might as well have been somewhere near the gates to the Garden of Eden. Its Hindu name 'Jatamansi' means 'lock of hair' in allusion to the hairy rhizome, which is the source of the essential oil. Spikenard is a member of the Valerian family and in Ayurveda it is used similarly to Valerian in western herbalism. Throughout Asia, Spikenard is highly valued as an incense ingredient. In the West it is still shrouded in mystery and just as precious as it was in biblical times, though not on account of its distant origins. Sadly, its preciousness today is related to its rarity, which stems from the fact that it is being over-harvested in the wild. Luckily some cultivated sources are becoming available, so maybe this ancient sacred herb may have a chance to survive in the wild.

In aromatherapy, this oil is mostly used for its effect on the nervous system. It calms and centres a person who has come unhinged and is useful for stress related conditions, migraine and insomnia. In aromatherapy skin care it is used for allergies, aged skin and wrinkles.

Spikenard is a classic anointing oil. It offers protection and purification for ritual work. It is particularly useful for spirit journeys to the Otherworld and may help those who are embarking on this last rite of passage. It may also be used for dream work and astral travel. As an amulet it can attract good fortune and help to keep one's promises. It is very grounding.

A heavy, earthy, musky scent. Blends well with Lavender, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Pine, Vetivert, Cinnamon, Clove, Palmarosa, Pimento. Clary, Cypress, Geranium, Frankincense, Lemon, Myrrh, Neroli and Rose.