Essential Oils of the Bible: Spikenard

Apr 30, 2021

Spikenard, or nard, a member of the honeysuckle family, and our last oil to explore, holds a special place in Biblical history as the oil Mary used to anoint Jesus after raising Lazarus. "Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Marta served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil," John 12: 1-3. Many scholars hold that Mary is the woman mentioned in Mark 14: 3 when Jesus visits the house of Simon, the leper. "[ ]a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the [ ] jar and poured it on his head." Regardless of who this woman was, we can sense the importance of this precious oil. And why wouldn't she choose such a symbolic oil? This oil holds great significance in the Song of Songs as a sign of love and devotion (see Song of Songs 1: 12 and 4: 13-14). This mossy scented oil, distilled from the plant's resin taken from the stem, is one of the mildest and most widely beneficial Biblical oils. It is similar in its functional properties to its more robust cousin herb, Valerian. It even can be referred to as Indian Valerian. To this day, this exceptional oil is considered a "spiritual oil" because of its use in the Bible. How can we, today, incorporate this intensely calming and grounding oil into our lives? Spikenard's antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties make it rejuvenating and regenerating to the skin. Therefore, it is often used in homemade skincare products, deodorants, and perfumes. It is non-irritating and non-toxic, so it makes for an excellent addition to massage oil or in your home or office diffuser. For those who suffer from anxiety or nervousness, spikenard is a well-known mood elevator and relaxer. Furthermore, its strong sedative properties make it a great part of your bedtime routine. If you enjoy a bath before turning in for the evening, put a few drops in your bathwater for the healing effects of aromatherapy. A note on this oil's strong sedative properties - please don't drive, operate machinery, or engage in any activities that require concentration. Outside of this, apply a few diluted drops to your palm, breath in, and be in the room with Mary and Jesus. Blessings!

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