The Joy of Discovery

Nard

Nard

Several years ago (in 2008), Reuters news service reported that a team of archaeologists uncovered perfumes and ointments that were used during the lifetime of Jesus Christ. The group was digging in the Biblical town of Magdala, now called Migdal, which prompted the leading archaeologist on the project to hypothesize that the perfumes may have been the same ones used by Mary Magdalene to anoint the feet of Jesus a few days before his crucifixion.

It is thought that the oil which Mary Magdalene used to anoint Jesus' feet was Spikenard or "Nard." There are a few references to Spikenard in the Bible. One is found in the authorized King James Version: St. John 12:3.

Spikenard's scent is a combination of earthy and green. It's a little bit sweet, too. Its scientific name is Nardostachys jatamansi. The aromatic oil is obtained by steam distilling the plant's roots and rhizome.