Information on Spikenard

Latin NameAralia racemosa
Other NamesAmerican Spikenard
Part UsedRhizome, Root
Herb FormsTincture, bulk herb.
AffectsUrinary system, Immune system, Respiratory system
CautionsContraindicated during pregnancy.
Botanical InfoA perennial of the Ginseng family to 3 or 4 feet high with branched reddish stems, numerous umbels of small whitish flowers, and a large aromatic branched root.
DescriptionAmerican spikenard is used for rheumatism and various skin conditions and is considered a tonic and blood purifier. Spikenard is used to treat chronic lung problems and digestive weakness. It also serves as a diaphoretic and expectorant, useful for breaking up colds and flu. Spikenard makes a tasty cough syrup and is useful in this form to rid thick phlegm from the upper respiratory tract.

Spikenard has a taste of SWEET, ACRID and a temperature of WARM.


Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture10 drops - 1 dropperful 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Spikenard

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Lungs, weaklung and digestive tonictincture, tea
Colds, acutediaphoretic, expectoranttincture, tea
Catarrhexpectoranttincture, tea


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.