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Common Name: Spikenard
Nardostachys grandiflora is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.25 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
E. Asia - Himalayas from Uttar Pradesh to S.W. China.
Rocks, ledges and open slopes, 3600 - 4800 metres[
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture-retentive soil in full sun or light shade, especially from the midday sun[
]. Dislikes growing in rich soils[
Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[
The hairy portion of the stem, just above the roots, has a strong aroma somewhat like patchouli[
]. The fresh root is fragrant, but the scent becomes more pronounced as the root dries[
]. This plant is the spikenard of the Ancients, it was once very popular as a perfume[
Used as a condiment[
]. No more details are given.
The root is antispasmodic, carminative, deobstruent, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, nervine, sedative, stimulant and stomachic[
]. It is an excellent substitute for valerian, Valeriana officinalis, and is taken internally in the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria and convulsive affections, nervous indigestion, insomnia, depression and tension headaches[
]. Externally, it is used as a deodorant and to treat rashes[
]. A paste of the root is used externally to treat haemorrhoids[
]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[
]. Use this remedy with caution, overdoses are toxic[
An essential oil is obtained from the root and young stems. It is harvested before the leaves unfurl[
]. It is used in perfumery[
] and as a hair tonic where it is said to make the hair grow faster and also to turn it black[
The dried leaves are used as an incense[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[
]. The seed requires light for germination[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Division in spring.