Tag Archives: ointment

SPIKENARD

Spikenard or Narde (Nardostachys jatamansi / N. grandiflora): It belongs to the Valerian family and has similar properties as its cousin Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). A flowering plant that grows to a height of about 1 meter, the rhizomes are distilled to produce the essential oil. It is native to the Himalayas; China, northern India and Nepal, mostly cultivated in Nepal and India. The best quality oil comes from Nepal. Spikenard is a slightly viscous, greenish-brown oil, darkening with age. The scent is deep and fresh, reminiscent of earth after rain, with a hint of fruity overtones.

History: Nard was (and is) used in the Indian tradition of Ayur veda. In ancient Egypt it was a luxury perfume and upon investigating the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1926, small alabaster vessels were found with a solidified, scented unguent (ointment, solid perfume) which turned out to be perfumed with spikenard and frankincense. Spikenard was also one of the ingredients in the ancient Egyptian perfume “Kyphi” that was burned at dusk to make sure the life-giving sun would return the next day. It was an important part of the Hebrew traditions where it was a component of the sacred incense, HaKetoret, wich was burned in the Jewish temple of Jerusalem. Spikenard in Hebrew is Nard and translates as Light. Most people recognize the name due to its mention in the bible (Song of Solomon, Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9). Spikenard was the oil used by Mary Magdalene to anoint the feet of Jesus at the last supper (John 12:1-10). At the time, spikenard was extremely costly and Judas Iscariot was outraged by the fact that it was used, seeing as the amount used was worth about a year’s wages for an ordinary working man. The Greek word for Spikenard means genuine and pure.

With such an illustrious history from ancient times, Spikenard is bound to tickle the imagination. Many believe that its claim to fame is due to the high cost it carried, but spikenard was not the only costly scent at the time; myrrh and  frankincense  were also extremely costly – even more so than gold. On researching the oil I find a red thread which points to the spiritual properties of the scent; Spikenard connects us to the divine.

USES:

  • SKIN: Balancing, regenerating and healing. Mature skin, psoriasis (1% blend), allergies, itching, skin-problems. Healthy skin maintenance.
  • DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Antispasmodic and digestive: nausea, constipation, colic and cramps.
  • CIRCULATION: Harmonizes & stimulates circulation. Haemorrhoids, varicose veins. Regulates heartbeat.
  • NERVOUS SYSTEM & EMOTIONAL: Balancing, calming, grounding, harmonizing: Insomnia, migraine, stress, nervous tension, insecurity, anxiety. Deep emotional wounds. Can be of use in working through addictions, especially drugs.

Spikenard works on the solar plexus in a deeply calming manner. It is liberating and profoundly soothing. It releases emotional tension and being  at the same time grounding and opening it bring us in touch with our inner spirituality.

Personal: The word that comes to me is surrender. Spikenard brings us to a place of such peace and tranquility, enveloping us in a deep sense of safety. In this place we can allow ourselves to let go of emotional wounds, fears and insecurities. It connects us to the divinity within and lessens the stresses of the outside world. It shows us the way to heal from within. I mainly use this beautiful oil for emotional work. Its wonderful skin-care properties make it easy to incorporate as a releasing agent in the every-day life. Used as a facial oil you have the healing emotional benefits as well as excellent skin-care.

This oil resonates deeply within me. The first time I met Spikenard I was in the midst of a tremendously painful and difficult period of my life. It transported me to a place of such calm serenity, that all the difficulties fell away and I could see – for the first time –  solutions and possibilities. This moment brought me forever out of the worst trauma of my life. Till this day Spikenard is my doorway to assurance, peace and spirituality. It is probably the one oil I would always carry.

Considered a safe oil to use. As it has a ovary-stimulating action, I avoid using it during pregnancy. Spikenard is sometimes used in natural perfumery as a fixative.


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AROMATHERAPY TRICKS FOR EVERY DAY

OilDropThere are plenty of stuff for which you can use essential oils in a very easy way. First of all I need to point out: Essential oils should never be used undiluted on skin, so don’t try these tips with any other oils than those I tell you about. Make sure to keep them away from eyes, so wash your hands when you have been touching essential oils. (don’t want to accidentally rub them in your eyes – that really hurts and can cause severe problems.)

Do not use essential oils on children unless you have first spoken to an aromatherapist.

Make sure the materials you have are good quality, otherwise you will not get the results you want.

There are 3 oils which can be used undiluted on skin for specific problems; Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia), Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). Vegetable oils for mixing the essential oils in should always be cold-pressed.

vegetable oils

  • Fresh small wounds and bi-stings: 1-2 drops of Lavender directly on the area. Cover with a band-aid or compress. Or put 1 drop on the band-aid and put on.  Warning: If this process is repeated too often, or during some time there is a risk that the wound grows bigger. Lavender is an essential oil, and they are very strong. This is a one-time acute treatment. After that Lavender must be diluted in vegetable oil or cream for ointment: 5 dr. of lavender to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil/cream.
  • Burns: Cool the area with cold water and Aloe Vera, put 1-2 drops of Lavender on the burn and cover with ice-bag until heat is gone. When cooled down, use an ointment of 5 dr. Lavender in 1 tablespoon Aloe Vera gel. Tips: Make sure you have an Aloe Vera plant in your house. When needed, you cut a piece of the leaf and rub the gel onto the wound. Aloe plants are hardy and easy to keep.

aloe-vera-plant

  • Sunburn: Rub Aloe Vera (fresh or gel) onto the burn and let it dry. Then anoint with 5 dr Lavender in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • Infected small wounds with pus: One drop of Tea tree on a band-aid or compress. Leave it on the wound for min. one day. If still infected with pus, repeat the treatment. Tea tree is amazing at “pulling out” the pus from a wound. Once the pus is gone, use a lavender ointment for healing.
  • Acne: Dilute Tea tree in water; 2-5 drops to 1 tablespoon (15 ml). Shake and use cotton-wool to wash the face with the tea-tree-water. This can be done as often as you wish during the day. Note: Do not use pure tea tree since it will irritate the skin and worsen the condition. When acutely infected pus-filled acne, dab on pure tea tree with the help of a moist q-tip.
  • Colds, sore throat: Gurgle with Tea tree or Eucalyptus; 2 drops in some tepid water. Gurgle at least 1 min. Repeat 3 times/day. When acute stage up to 5 times/day. Rub lavender oil into the base of your skull. Rub 1 drop neat eucalyptus oil into the sole of each foot 2-3 times/day. Use Eucalyptus as an inhalation to clear airways. ( 3 drops in a basin of hot water, cover head and basin with a towel and breath deeply, keep eyes closed. NOTE: Not for asthma sufferers) Make an ointment of 2-5 drops Eucalyptus in vegetable oil or cream and rub on chest, throat and upper back.
  • Headaches: Lavender and/or Eucalyptus rubbed into the base of the skull and the temples.
  • Tiredness: Eucalyptus on a tissue for inhalation or as a room-scent.

herbal-inhalation