Spikenard Essential Oil
Spikenard Essential Oil History
(Nardostachys jatamansi) Spikenard is also known as nard and false Indian Valerian root essential oil. It was prized in early Egypt and was one of the early aromatics produced by the Egyptians and mentioned frequently throughout ancient writings. It was also popular in the Middle East during the time of our Savior. Spikenard essential oil is 93% sesquiterpenes which have the ability to oxygenate the brain. The amount of Spikenard essential oil that was poured on our Savior before his death would be worth almost $35,000.00 in today’s currency. It would have cost a common laborer in the time of our Savior a YEARS worth of wages to buy one alabaster box of spikenard.
This is a rare and costly fragrant oil, and was used by Mary of Bethany to anoint the head and feet of the Messiah two days before His death, as recorded in John 2:12: Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. It speaks of the Bride’s extravagant adoration of & intimacy with the Bridegroom, in total abandonment, without regard to cost. We call Spikenard “The Fragrance of the Bride” for it symbolizes the bride who has made herself ready, as is is written in Song of Solomon 1:12 “While the king sits at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.”
Spikenard Essential Oil’s Healing Properties
Plant Origin: India
Medical Properties: Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, relaxing, and skin tonic.
Traditional Uses: Spikenard is highly regarded in India as a perfume, medicinal herb, and skin tonic. In ancient times, it was the one of the most precious oils used only by priests, kings, or high initiates. References in the New Testament describe how Mary of Bethany used a salve of spikenard to anoint the feet of Jesus before the Passover.
Other Uses: Spikenard is helpful in the treatment of allergic skin reactions and skin cancer. It may also help with allergies, Candida, indigestion, insomnia, menstrual difficulties, migraines, nausea, rashes, bacterial infections, stress, tachycardia, tension, and wounds that will not heal. According to Dietrich Gumbel, Ph.D. it strengthens the heart and circulatory system.
Application: Can be inhaled from the bottle, applied to the abdomen, or on location for soothing and calming. Can be inhaled from the bottle, applied to the abdomen, or on location for soothing and calming.
Spikenard’s Spiritual Significance
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof. Song of Solomon 1:12
The exotic smell of spikenard is introduced again in the Song of Solomon 1:12. In C.R. Oliver’s book, Solomon’s Secret, the author describes how the Shulamite’s fragrant spikenard wafts the Shepherd-King with her deep adoration, love and devotion for Him. Interestingly, she chooses the word sendeth, Oliver explains. Like a scriptural flag for the reader to take notice of, she describes this costly ointment as being sent forth just as Yeshua’s disciples were sent out.
The Bible says the word of God is sent forth to heal. A specific reason, task, or design is associated with the action of this verb. It is one thing to have an exotic perfume present, but to send it forth as if to accomplish a specific purpose is something else. Ointment in the Song is sent forth to herald another event which had not yet taken place, an event of history which even His disciples could not fathom, Oliver says.
One thousand years before the event, Solomon heralds the scene of Mark 14:3:
And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
The woman spoken of in the Gospel of Mark came having an alabaster flask of very precious oil of spikenard, and she broke the seal, and poured the oil on Yeshua’s head. Some of the disciples were very indignant with the waste of costly oil, as it may have cost this woman as much as a whole year’s wages. But Yeshua rebuked them and said she had done a good work, preparing him for his death, for her deed would be remembered wherever the gospel would be preached.
For believers to become the spotless bride of Messiah, we must walk in pure love and devotion, burying our sins at the cross. With His life broken, he doesn’t leave us alone to waste away. Instead, the oil, symbolic of the inner working of the Holy Spirit, has been poured out for us, so we can live a life that is rich with a sweet, heavenly fragrance.
As a prophetic fulfillment, blending these fragrant accounts of Scripture together connects time and history for us. Solomon places the ointment of spikenard in opening act of the Song of Songs as a reminder to the fragrant mixture that perfumed the door of the tabernacle during the worship services. He wanted to make sure there is no mistake of who He was writing about “our High Priest and King Yeshua!