Botanical Name - Aralia racemosa
Other Names - Old Man's Root, Muskroot, Pigeon Weed, Nardin, Fleabane, Spiceberry, false sarsaparilla
Origin - USA
Culinary Usages - Use spikenard root to flavor soups and stews. The herb may also be used in tea blends.
Cosmetic Usages - Infuse in oil or tincture for use in various skin care products.
Spikenard is a member of the valerian family native to North America and the mountainous regions of China, Japan and India.
Because North American natives used the plant to discourage fleas, the herb is also commonly called fleabane. The spicy yet sweet taste of the root is compared to licorice and is often used as an alternative flavoring to sarsaparilla in teas and other beverages.
The root is also used to produce salves, balms and ointments for topical use. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities of spikenard root is owing to aralosides, ginsengosides and other saponin compounds.
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