Yesterday I discovered that Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) is endangered and near extinction. Today I discovered that Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) is even worse off - it is critically endangered and even closer to extinction! And over-harvesting for the production of essential oil is one of the main causes. This is terrible! This has got me thinking about how I can be a more responsible aromatherapist. One of the reasons why I started this blog was so I could delve into the oils that I bought. Unlike most things we buy, we cannot save essential oils. They have a shelf-life, they expire. So unlike the shoes I have in my closet that I am “saving for a special occasion,” I have to use my oils. Moving forward, I will factor in the conservation status of these oils before purchasing them. My source for Spikenard no longer carries it. Spikenard is a powerful oil with a profound history. Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus’ feet before the Last Supper with what was most likely olive oil infused with spikenard roots:
Then took Mary 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 odour of the ointment. — John 12:3 (KJV)
Spikenard has been held in high esteem for centuries. In India, it has been used to anoint people of high honor. It is a grounding oil (think root chakra) that is helpful for meditation and prayer. Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis), too, has been used to signify a high honor. Ancient Greeks and Romans crowned victorious commanders with Laurel Leaves to signify their accomplishments. The term baccalaureate (a college degree) is derived from the Greek word bacca-laureus, laurel-berry. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) has a strong floral aroma (a little goes a long way) that helps inspire the imagination and promotes greater intuition. I offer today’s blend of Spikenard, Laurel Leaf, and Geranium to those who would like to bolster their self-esteem, to those of us who tend to weigh our deficiencies more than our accomplishments and need help believing in our personal power to create the future we desire.