ALAINN: “BEAUTIFUL, FINE, LOVELY”. (IRISH) OLD IRISH ÁLAIND‎

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Spikenard (Nardostachys grandiflora)

Perennial
N. jatamansii. DC.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Spikenard
Nardostachys grandiflora
Valerianaceae

An essential oil is obtained from the root and young stems. It is harvested before the leaves unfurl[123]. It is used in perfumery[238] and as a hair tonic where it is said to make the hair grow faster and also to turn it black[46, 51, 61].

The dried leaves are used as an incense[272].

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is antispasmodic, carminative, deobstruent, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, nervine, sedative, stimulant and stomachic[46, 61, 178, 218]. It is an excellent substitute for valerian, Valeriana officinalis, and is taken internally in the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria and convulsive affections, nervous indigestion, insomnia, depression and tension headaches[51, 238, 240]. Externally, it is used as a deodorant and to treat rashes[238]. A paste of the root is used externally to treat haemorrhoids[272]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. Use this remedy with caution, overdoses are toxic[218].

  • Edible Use

    Used as a condiment[177]. No more details are given.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[238]. The seed requires light for germination[238]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture-retentive soil in full sun or light shade, especially from the midday sun[200, 238]. Dislikes growing in rich soils[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15¡c[238]. The hairy portion of the stem, just above the roots, has a strong aroma somewhat like patchouli[245]. The fresh root is fragrant, but the scent becomes more pronounced as the root dries[245]. This plant is the spikenard of the Ancients, it was once very popular as a perfume[1].
E. Asia – Himalayas from Uttar Pradesh to S.W. China.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.