What is Sandalwood Essential Oil?
The use of sandalwood essential oil dates back since the early times for it is commonly used in spiritual applications to promote inner peace and tranquillity. It has a rich and sweet fragrance, combined with a woody and floral aroma that can bring feelings of harmony and peace. It also effectively promote healing and protection.
This oil is ideal for meditation, in fact, it is essential in religious and traditional ceremonies since the ancient times for it brings serenity. Aside from this, sandalwood oil is commonly used in making perfumes, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Furthermore, powdered sandalwoods are used to make incense sticks, the reason why sandalwood plays a major role in spiritual traditions.
Read and discover the wonders of the sandalwood tree and what are the benefits you can get from its sacred oil.
Origin of Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood trees are hemiparasite, which means it benefits from other plants by connecting their roots to it. Sandalwoods cannot survive if they are not planted next to a suitable host plant.
Australian sandalwood or Santalum spicatum is also dubbed as the ‘wooden gold’ because it is one of the most expensive timbers in the world market. Its oil is produced by using steam distillation of the aromatic heartwood of the sandalwood tree.
Among the different essential oils used in aromatherapy, sandalwood oil is one of the most expensive oils because of the difficult process of extraction. Moreover, years are needed to harvest a full-grown tree that can be used for oil extraction.
Sandalwood oil is usually extracted from two different varieties of sandalwood tree, which include Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) and Indian sandalwood (Santalum album).
Here in Australia, the state of Western Australia have the largest natural sandalwood resource in the market that’s why sandalwood is one of their major exports.
Major Composition of Sandalwood Oil● alpha-Santalol ● beta-Santalol
● Nuciferol ● alpha-Bergamotol
● Farnesol ● Lanceol
● alpha-Cedrol ● alpha-Bisabolol
Uses and Benefits of Sandalwood Oil
1. Regulates the Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels. It has been proven that sandalwood can regulate and reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Also, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties. One of its active ingredients called santalol acts like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It can also provide comfort from insect bites and inflamed areas of your skin.
3. Skin Care. Can reduce the appearances of scars, spots and blemishes. It also helps fight early signs of ageing by tightening and soothing the skin. It can also reduce your risk of acquiring skin cancer due to its active ingredient called alpha-santalol.
4. Boosts Immunity. Helps stimulate the immune system by protecting your body against dangerous diseases and viruses for it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It can also help in treating cold and flu.
5. Aids Digestion. It can ease digestion and help prevent digestive problems such as constipation, bloating and diarrhoea through preventing gas formation in your digestive tract. In addition, it can also treat urinary infections by releasing toxins in your body.
6. Dental and Oral Health. Help strengthen your teeth and gums delaying early loss of teeth. Can treat gingivitis, loose gums, sore throat and other dental problems for it has astringent properties. All you need to do is add three drops of sandalwood oil in one cup of lukewarm water.
7. Improves Brain Health. It can improve your memory and concentration while reducing symptoms of mental fatigue. In addition, it was used by indigenous Australians for thousands of years in promoting focus and inducing mind relaxation.
8. Respiratory Health. It is helpful to ease respiratory problems and congestion. Also promotes healthy respiratory system reducing the risk of respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma attack.
9. Natural Sleep Aid. Can be used as a natural remedy for insomnia due to its sedative properties which can bring a calming feeling. It can promote restful sleep after a hard day’s work and hectic schedule.
10. Ease Muscle and Joint Pain. This oil contains antispasmodic properties that suppress muscle spasms and joint pain. It can also regulate the proper functioning of your nerves and blood vessels.
Directions for Use
Always remember that natural substances are not always safe and require proper usage, that’s why it is very important to always follow directions on product labels and consult your healthcare provider before using any kinds of products that can have serious side effects.
For essential oils, proper consultation and assistance are needed from a qualified aromatherapist. Aside from the different benefits that you can get from sandalwood essential oil, it can also be used in many ways. Some of these are:
- Diffuser. Add the desired number of drops of sandalwood oil or mix with other essential oils in your diffuser. This will induce relaxation and a feeling of peacefulness which you can use when you are meditating.
- Massage. You can use it with other essential and carrier oils, then gently massage over your body to give relief on spasms, muscle and joint pain. You can also use this to nourish and soothe skin.
- Spritz. Add at least 5 drops of oil to a 100ml spray bottle filled with water. Then, shake well before spraying, to enhance your mood, moisturise skin or you can use it as a natural perfume.
- Inhalation. You can inhale the oil inside the bottle or mix 5 drops of oil and hot water into a bowl, then inhale deeply to enhance easy breathing and clear congestion.
- Bath. Add the desired amount of oil to bath water, then mix for an aromatic bath that will ease your stress levels and calm your nerves.
Try these Sandalwood Essential Oil recipes:
Precautions and Side Effects
Hypotension. Sandalwood oil is not appropriate for individuals who have low blood pressure or hypotension due to its hypotensive effects which can contribute to the dropping of your blood pressure readings.
Do not take orally. Always remember not to take essential oils internally. Large intake of sandalwood essential oil has been associated with serious reactions such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
Children and Pregnant Women. This kind of products need to be kept out of reach of children for it may cause adverse effects when not properly administered. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should consult your healthcare provider or aromatherapist for medical advice.
Sensitive Skin. People with sensitive skin should be cautious when using this kind of product for it may irritate and damage their skin. They should dilute the sandalwood oil with another carrier oil such as jojoba oil. It is better to do a skin patch test first to make sure that your skin is safe from any serious reactions when the oil is applied directly to the skin.
Allergic Reactions. There are cases where some individuals experience allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to sandalwood oil. Some of the signs include rashes, difficulty in breathing and chest pain. Therefore, an allergic reaction to sandalwood oil should be considered a medical emergency.