(Natural News) In traditional Asian medicines, spikenard (Nardostachys chinensis) is used as an anti-malarial, pain relief, and neurotrophic treatment. In a study published in the journal Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, spikenard was found to be a great natural anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective agent, which means that it can help prevent diseases associated to neuron cell inflammation.
Researchers from Pusan National University in Busan, Korea evaluated the neuroinflammatory protective effects of the extract of spikenard on microglial cells, which are located throughout the brain and spinal cord. The researchers induced inflammation by increasing Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in Salmonella lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- or Staphylococcus aureus lipoteichoic acid (LTA)-stimulated BV2 microglial cells.
Based on the results of the study, the researchers found that the extract of spikenard suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokine production and induced HO-1 transcription and translation through Nrf-2/antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling.
Moreover, the extract of spikenard significantly suppressed LPS- and LTA-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B and the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT).
In addition, the extract of spikenard protected hippocampal HT22 cells from indirect neuronal toxicity caused by LPS- and LTA-treated microglial cells. These findings indicated that spikenard extract weakens LPS- and LTA-induced neuro-inflammatory responses in microglial cells and provides protection against indirect neuronal damage to HT22 cells.
Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that spikenard extract could be used to prevent diseases related to neuron cell inflammation as it acts as a natural anti-neuro-inflammatory and neuroprotective agent.
Other uses and benefits of spikenard
Spikenard, a common plant in the Himalayan regions and grown in China, India, Bhutan, and Nepal, is commonly used to extract spikenard essential oil. Here are some of the uses and benefits of spikenard essential oil:
- Fungal infections: Spikenard essential oil contains anti-fungal properties that can treat fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and jock itch.
- Skin problems: In addition to its anti-fungal properties, spikenard essential oil is also a natural antibacterial item. This makes it a great natural remedy for skin conditions caused by bacterial infection, such as psoriasis and eczema. It can also be used to fight the skin’s signs of aging like wrinkles. It can be applied directly to the affected skin area.
- Cuts and wounds: Spikenard essential oil can also help to inhibit bacterial growth within the body. It can be applied directly to small cuts and wounds to prevent bacteria from taking hold and spreading.
- Stress and anxiety: Many essential oils, including spikenard essential oil, can help relieve stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that the stress-relieving effect of spikenard essential oil may be attributed to its antioxidant properties. This essential oil can also relieve anxiety, relax your mind, and promote sleep. You can use this oil to massage into your body or diffuse it in your bedroom.
- Heart health: Some studies have shown that spikenard can reduce cholesterol levels.
- Laxative: Spikenard essential oil has been traditionally used as a laxative to relieve constipation.
- Women’s reproductive health: Spikenard essential oil has also been traditionally used to keep the reproductive organs of women, particularly the uterus and ovaries, healthy. This oil is believed to stimulate the ovaries and uterus and encourage the production of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen.
- Deodorant: Spikenard essential oil can be used as an aromatic deodorant for your home as it has an earthy or mossy smell. Diffusing it in your home can help ward off all sorts of unpleasant smells like cooking and stale tobacco.
Read more news stories and studies on natural anti-inflammatory agents by going to AlternativeMedicine.news.