Indian Spikenard.

Botanical name: 

Nardus Indica.

An East Indian plant, of the grass kind, with triangular stalks, and yellowish flowers. It resembles not a little that common yellow tufted grass, which is frequent in our meadows in spring. It is six or eight inches high. The leaves are long, narrow, and of a pale green; they are very numerous, and stand in a thick tuft almost growing together at the bases. The stalks rise among these; they are naked, triangular, and of a pale, green colour; the flowers stand in tufts, of the bigness of an horse bean, on the tops of the stalks; they are blackish, but ornamented with yellow threads, which give the whole a yellowish appearance. This is the plant, some samples of which have been of late brought over as the Indian spikenard, and there is reason and authority for supposing they are so. The tops of the roots have that sort of tuft of hairy matter, which we call Indian spikenard, growing to them; and it is of the nature of the hairy top of the spignel root, owing to the fibres of decayed leaves. Breynius also calls the plant which affords the Indian spikenard, a kind of cyperus grass.

The tuft of fibres at the tops of the root of this plant, is what we call Indian spikenard; they are brown, flattish, matted together, and of a pleasant smell: they are good in disorders of the nerves, and hysteric cases; but so many better medicines are at hand, that it is rarely used.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.