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Spikenard is probably best known for being the oil which Mary of Bethany used to anoint Jesus’s feet before he was crucified, but question is...was it really the same plant? In these days of immediate internet answers we take information as gospel, but often the research lacks depth and understanding. 

A cursory research for a blog post, at Christmas, uncovered possible problems with the identification of the plant, and the book opens up hundreds of years of scholars ideas about what this “Nard of the Ancients” might have been. Investigating Greco-Roman medicine with Tantric and Ayurvedic medicine the book weighs the argument for Nardostachys jatamansi being the sacred plant of the Hebrews. 

What is in no doubt though, is Nardostachys has been used for thousands of years in the East with the most extraordinary results. Not least, is the phenomenal story of the healing in the nineteenth century cholera epidemics, where the plant saved tens of thousands of lives in Russia but was unbelievably ignored in Britain, despite medical advice, as equal numbers were murdered by the disease.

Today, as aromatherapists, we acknowledge it as being the most potent oils for anxiety in our tool box. We recognise its digestive qualities and astounding effects in reducing fevers. Here, we examine its medicine over the last seven thousand years, right up to the samples zipping around centrifuges today, and we ask how different will spikenard’s medicine of the future look from that of the Ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. 


Understand the uses of the anxiety oil we also use for: 

  • Insomnia
  • Digestive Problems
  • Fever
  • Epilepsy

We begin to understand how the plant may have given Christ the resources he needed to face the cross. Soar with the phoenix of antiquity (whose nest was also said to be made of spikenard) and learn how it is that someone is able to face the unthinkable with this anxiety natural treatment, to remain steadfast in spite of their of deepest fears.


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