Mentioned in the Bible in the Song of Solomon, spikenard was used by the ancient Egyptians and the Romans for nardinum ointment. Spikenard is the same heady oil lavishly poured over the feet of Christ by Mary Magdalene. It remains very expensive.
Extraction: Distilled from rhizome. The scent is earthy and strong, reminiscent of both valerian and patchouli.
Medicinal Action: Treats nervous indigestion, insomnia, headache, hemorrhoids and heart palpitations.
Cosmetic/Skin Use: Use spikenard for inflammation, dry or mature complexion, rashes and psoriasis.
Emotional Attribute: Spikenard relieves emotional tension and insomnia.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) --Isovaleric acid is responsible for a strong and pungent odor that has been compared to dirty socks. Like the herb, the oil is sedating. It is grown in the Baltic states, in Belgium and in Germany. There is also an Indian valerian (V. wallichii).
Kesso Root (V. officinalis var. latifolia)- --This Japanese variety is sometimes aged to increase the strong odor.