What You Need To Know About Spikenard Essential Oil:
Spikenard oil is a medicinal herb used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its roots are traditionally used to treat stomach ailments such as indigestion, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. However, it is commonly known that spikenard oil can also be effective against skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. It has been found useful in treating colds and flu symptoms too.
The leaves of spikenard plant have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects. These benefits are attributed to the flavonoids present in the leaves. Spikenard oil has been shown to possess many health promoting properties including antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and immunomodulatory activities.
It is believed that spikenard oil helps reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation. It may also prevent or lessen the signs of aging. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for decades to treat various conditions including asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis C virus infection, leukemia and multiple sclerosis. Spikenard oil is also being investigated as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Spikenard is a herbaceous plant that grows wild in the mountainous regions of South and Southeast Asia, especially in the Himalayas. It has been used in traditional medicine for many centuries. It is mainly cultivated in India, hence also known as Indian valerian or Indian spikenard.
Spikenard is a tuberous herb which grows at higher elevations of the Himalayas. It produces small red flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Its tuberous roots are used for medicinal purposes. It is called as “nard” in the English language.
The name spikenard is derived from the word ‘neshnik’ in Hebrew, which means “that which is torn out”. The reference here may be to the roots, since they were traditionally dug up and not harvested like other plants.
Spikenard grows wild in mountainous regions of South and Southeast Asia, particularly in the Himalayas. It is also found in the mountainous regions of China and Japan. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), spikenard is referred to as “yat-yeung”. Its roots have been used for centuries in TCM to treat various health conditions.
Spikenard oil is obtained from the roots of spikenard by steam distillation. It has a brown-yellow colour and a woody, earthy scent. Its aroma is powerful yet sweet and balsamic. It is colour and smell can be preserved using a safe method called supercritical fluid extraction.
This involves the use of carbon dioxide under high pressure and low temperature.
Spikenard oil is used in the production of various cosmetic products including shampoos, soaps, hair lotions, perfumes and skin creams. It is also used to manufacture certain pharmaceutical drugs.
Spikenard oil has certain antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known to have sedative effects. It is considered an effective treatment for gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, gastroenteritis and abdominal pain. It is also used to treat mouth ulcers and muscle spasms.
The herb may increase blood flow and lower blood pressure, hence, it can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is said to improve cognitive function and boost energy levels. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiparasitic properties, and is often used as a nervine tonic.
Research has revealed that spikenard oil may help treat various cancer types including leukemia, skin cancer and lymphomas. It can be used to relieve pain associated with certain cancer therapies such as radiation. It also helps alleviate the side effects caused by chemotherapy.
Spikenard helps treat conditions of the heart and blood vessels. It can be used to treat chest pain and high blood pressure. It is also effective in treating headaches, including migraines and cluster headaches.
Spikenard oil may have certain sedative effects, hence it can be used as a treatment for insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Spikenard oil can irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction in some people. Regular use can cause allergies in some people. It is not suitable for use during pregnancy. People with allergic reactions to plants from the carrot family should avoid spikenard oil.
Spikenard oil is considered safe when used in the amounts typically found in products, or in lower medicinal doses. Pregnant women are strongly advised against using spikenard oil. It can be toxic when taken orally or applied to the skin at higher doses.
Spikenard oil can be toxic when taken orally or applied to the skin in higher amounts. It can cause various symptoms such as headache, dizziness, numbness, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, stomachache and diarrhea. It may also cause more serious side effects such as low blood pressure, paralysis and liver damage.
Spikenard oil should not be used during pregnancy. High doses of spikenard oil can cause irregular heartbeat and may be toxic to the liver. People with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, or people who have a family history of these disorders, should avoid using high doses of spikenard oil.
In the past, spikenard oil was used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can cause mania (overactive and excited mental state) in people with bipolar disorder.
Spikenard oil may interfere with how the liver breaks down some medicines, including acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and clozapine (an antipsychotic medicine), and increase how much of these medicines get into the blood. It may also increase the effects of anticancer drugs.
Spikenard oil may also interfere with vaccines. People should avoid coming in contact with spikenard oil shortly before having a vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has not regulated the sale of spikenard oil, and it is available without a prescription. It is not approved as a drug by Health Canada.
Spikenard oil is available for purchase online. A 15 mL bottle of spikenard oil can cost between $4 and $20.
Aromatherapists may recommend that people take spikenard oil by mouth for anxiety, depression, neurasthenia, menopausal problems, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches and parasitic infections. It is often used before bedtime.
It can be applied to the skin for conditions such as athlete’s foot, dermatitis, ringworm, acne, boils, bruises, sunburn, hemorrhoids and inflamed wounds. It may be included in skin care products.
Spikenard oil is used in soaps, perfumes, lotions and cosmetics such as lipstick and nail polish.
Spikenard oil is also used to flavor foods and beverages.
Spikenard oil is sometimes applied to the scalp for hair problems.
More evidence is needed to determine spikenard oil’s effects on the body.
Spikenard oil is likely safe for most people when applied to the skin. It may cause skin irritation, redness or allergic reactions in some people. It may also be absorbed into the body when applied topically in high amounts.
Spikenard oil can be toxic when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in large amounts. It can also cause different side effects such as low blood pressure, muscle paralysis, low heart rate, liver damage and irregular heartbeat.
Spikenard oil can also cause various side effects such as headache, dizziness, nausea, stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea. It may also be harmful to the liver. It may increase the risk of seizures in people with seizure disorders.
Spikenard oil may increase the effects of other medicines, including the heart medication quinidine, and the seizure medication lamotrigine.
Spikenard oil might slow blood clotting. Taking it before surgery may increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure.
There isn’t enough information to know if spikenard oil is safe when applied to the skin during pregnancy. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
There also isn’t enough information to know if spikenard oil is safe when applied to the skin when breastfeeding. Given the lack of research in this area, it would be best to stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Spikenard oil may be unsafe when taken by mouth in large amounts, as it may cause low blood pressure, muscle paralysis, low heart rate, liver damage and irregular heartbeat.
The U.S. FDA has warned consumers that spikenard oil is being marketed as a dietary supplement ingredient, and claims it can help with treating cancer. However, there is no evidence that spikenard oil is safe or effective for treating any medical condition.
Spikenard oil may make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. It may be best to avoid sunlight as much as possible while using this product.
Spikenard oil should not be used on open wounds or in the eyes. It shouldn’t be used on babies or young children.
Spikenard oil may interact with a variety of medications, including the following:
Amphotericin B (Fungizone)
Erythromycin (E.E.S. or Erythrocin)
Etacrynic acid (Thiaptisol)
Formoterol (Foradil Aerolizer Inhaler)
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Insulin aspart (NovoLog)
Insulin detemir (Levemir)
Insulin glargine (Lantus)
Insulin glulisine (Apidra)
Isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil)
Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
Morphine Sulfate Lipuro Injection
Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
Selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam)
Sodium Nitrite (Nitrostat)
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum)
Thiamine (Vitamin B1, Benferon)
Tilidine (Catapres, Normiton)
Zolpidem (Ambien, Intermezzo, Edluar)
Zonisamide (Zonegram) If you are taking any of these, do not take MAOIs within 2 weeks of stopping any of them, or it can cause a serious increase in serotonin levels.
“But….but….I don’t have an MAOI-friendly diet.
I can’t eat any of that stuff!”
You’re probably over-reacting. If you haven’t noticed any problems after eating the stuff on the list for weeks, then it’s probably fine. However, there are some things that are just too risky, even with an MAOI diet. So if you’ve been eating some of the things on the “risky” list on a regular basis and are planning to add an MAOI to your regimen, you should probably give them up entirely.
Cheeses (particularly varieties containing molds)
Aged meats (sausage, pepperoni, salami, etc.)
Rennet (a cheese additive)
So basically, you’re going to have to eat a lot of salad and bread. Not exactly the best diet for an aspiring juggernaut, but you can survive on it.
NOTE: If you’ve eaten any of the above food within the last 3-4 days and are experiencing diarrhea or other digestive problems associated with monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) allergy, you should immediately consult your doctor before further use. MAOIs can interact unfavorably with many over-the-counter and prescription medications, and if you have other medical problems, a different diet may be required.
by Landov & Co.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Essential Oils: A Strategy to Reduce Stress by H Gillerman – 2016 – HarperCollins
Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by D Rodriguez, CH CCAP – wisconsinnurses.org
Essential Oil Education for the Athletic Trainer by VA Worwood – 2000 – books.google.com
Aromatica Volume 1: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics. Principles and Profiles by J Melchert, Y Living – watainc.starchapter.com