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Health Research

2 Health Benefits of Spikenard [Infographic]

Spikenard
Spikenard root has a long history of use in many systems of traditional medicine around the world and it shows a lot of promise in modern medicine. The herb has demonstrated potential against arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, and other conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties. In tea infusions, it adds a slightly sweet, vanilla-like flavor.
Spikenard Infographic
What is spikenard?
Spikenard belongs to the same family as the ginseng root and is prized for many of the same reasons. Known since ancient times, spikenard is referenced in the Old Testament as an ingredient in the incense burned in the temple of Jerusalem. The herb was used in ancient Egypt and medieval Europe, and in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Various Native American tribes used spikenard to treat backaches, coughs, asthma, and other ailments. The amber-colored essential oil derived from spikenard has also been used as perfume and medicine since the ancient times in many regions, including India and Europe. Many of the herb’s modern uses are similar to these traditional uses.
Botanical name: Aralia racemosa
Other names: American spikenard, muskroot, nard, nardin
Description: A perennial plant with fragrant pink, bell-shaped flowers and red or purple berries
Habitat: Native to North America
Properties*: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant
The health benefits of spikenard according to research
1. Immunity and Overall Health
In traditional Native American medicine and in herbal medicine, spikenard was used to naturally boost the immune system. Modern research indicates that spikenard demonstrates antimicrobial properties. According to research conducted at the Western Regional Research Center in California, spikenard was found to to be one of the more effective essential oils against C. jejuni, one of the most common causes of stomach flu.
Scientists have suggested that spikenard may have potential against arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, and other conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties. One particular study conducted in India found that spikenard root had high antioxidant activity and may help protect the body from the damage caused by oxygen. There are ongoing studies to understand the potential anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) activity of spikenard.
2. Stress & Mood Support
In Ayurvedic medicine, spikenard is used for treating stress and sleeping disorders such as insomnia. According to an animal study published in the academic journal Planta Medica in 2010, spikenard has been demonstrated to have a sedative effect and reduced the intensity of stress-induced excitatory behaviors, confirming its traditional use in Ayurvedic medicine. Similar conclusions were drawn from a study conducted at the School of Pharmaceutical Science in Japan.

Disclaimer

* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.

Sources

Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2016. Print.
Duke J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Natural Agricultural Library. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. June 26, 2016.
H Takemoto, M Ito, A Akaike, Y Kobayashi. “Attenuation of stress-induced excitatory behaviors in mice by valerena-4,7(11)-diene from spikenard”. Planta Med. 2010;76.
J. M. Grange and R. W. Davey. “Detection of antituberculous activity in plant extracts”. Journal of Applied Microbiology. June 1990;68(6):587-591.
JA Clement, TJ Willis, RM Kelly, JA McCoy, JD Schmitt. “Antitumor Activity of Aralia racemosa”. Planta Med. 2009;75:97.
Jason A. Clement, Matthew J. Flooda, Rachel M. Bleicha, Timothy J. Willisa, Ryan M. Kellyb, Jeffrey D. Schmitt. “Diterpenoids and acetylenic lipids from Aralia racemosa”. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. December 2013;51:4–7.
Joy R. Borchardt, Donald L. Wyse, Craig C. Sheaffer, Kendra L. Kauppi, R. Gary Fulcher, Nancy J. Ehlke, David D. Biesboer and Russell F. Bey. “Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of seed from plants of the Mississippi river basin”. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. October 2009;3(10):707-718.
Letitia M. McCunea and Timothy Johns. “Antioxidant activity in medicinal plants associated with the symptoms of diabetes mellitus used by the Indigenous Peoples of the North American boreal forest”. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. October 2002;82(2-3):197–205.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. June 22, 2016.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). November 28, 2015, Web. June 26, 2016.
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