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July 31, 2018 3 min read

S is for Spikenard, and Skin!

Spikenard is an ancient oil, akin to the likes of frankincense and myrrh. The oil is obtained by steam distillation of the root from the spikenard plant, which is native to Nepal. Spikenard is mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic medicine, and was a costly purifying and consecrating oil in ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman times. It has a long history of skin cleansing and purification properties. It is a relative of the Valerian plant family and can be used as a substitute for valerian. Spikenard has a distinct earthy, woody scent which is uplifting, mood-enhancing and relaxing. It has been used for centuries as a calming, relaxing and grounding oil, as well as for its many other benefits.

Spikenard is most famous for its skin properties. It has long been used to cleanse and purify the skin and is a popular oil to add to creams, soaps, bath oils or crystals. Add it to your anti-aging homemade creams for extra moisture and restorative properties or add to your DIY soap. It is the perfect oil for clearing up problem skin, balancing oily skin or keeping mature skin fresh and glowy. It has also been used to treat varicose veins and aids in cell regeneration.

Use this creamy spikenard cleanser daily to purify and to restore lustre and glow to you skin:

Creamy Cleanser with Spikenard

15g grapeseed oil

15g castor oil

12g emulsifying wax

50g witch hazel

40g spring water

5g glycerine

1g vitamin E oil preservative (optional)

12 drops spikenard essential oil

pump dispenser bottle

Weigh out the oils and the emulsifying wax and melt in a bowl over steaming water. Do the same in a separate bowl for the spring water, witch hazel, glycerine and preservative. Gently stir until everything is melted, then pour the water/glycerine mixture into the oil/wax mixture. Stir for 4-5 minutes as the mixture cools, to prevent separation. If any separation does occur, return the mixture to the heat, add another 2g of emulsifying wax if necessary, then stir until it cools. When it is lukewarm it will start to thicken. Add the spikenard essential oil and continue stirring until totally cooled , then pour into the bottle and use daily.

Spikenard is a potent antibacterial and antifungal, and is able to clear up skin infections, protect wounds and get rid of many skin conditions resulting from bacteria. It can also help with athlete’s foot and fungal infections. It is an anti-inflammatory and makes a lovely massage oil.  You can use it in your DIY deodorants too, as it is a natural deodoriser and removes odours. It can also be added to shampoos to revive lacklustre hair.

In aromatherapy and meditation, spikenard is calming and grounding. It eases anxiety, stress and can lift feelings of depression. Apply a few drops to the back of the neck, or diffuse in a burner or diffuser. It can also be applied when struggling to sleep. Use spikenard to induce mental peace, clarity and harmony.

Spikenard Calming Roll-on

Roll on bottle

5 drops lavender

5 drops spikenard

Fractionated coconut oil

Pour fractionated coconut oil into the bottle until is is ⅔ full. Then add the essential oils and shake to combine. Apply from the back of the neck to the base of the spine in a downward fashion.

Add a few drops of spikenard to a spray bottle filled with water and spray around the bedroom before sleeping. Or add to your cosmetic creams, lotions or shampoos. You can also make a perfume by blending it with another essential oil and/or mixing with a light carrier such as fractionated coconut oil. Spikenard blends well with clove, frankincense, lavender, wild orange, juniper berrymyrrh or geranium.

Spikenard is a beautiful and historically significant oil, and it's our Wonder of the Week!


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