Sandalwood, the most precious of oils...
The most precious of oils, Sandalwood oil is produced from mainly the heartwood of various species of sandalwood trees, mainly Santalum album (India) and Santalum spicatum (Australia). It is often cited as one of the most expensive woods in the world. Sandalwood plays an important role in many religions throughout the world, especially among people who practice Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Its oil is extracted from the wood of mature trees at least four decades old through steam distillation.
The oil from older trees has a stronger aroma, so older trees are preferred. Because this oil is so popular and the tree grows so slowly, it is endangered in certain parts of the world. I LOVE Indian Sandalwood, but for environmental reasons, I use high grade Australian Sandalwood (and LOVE it too!). Australian Sandalwood, is botanically referred to as Santalum spicatum, (aka Waang and Dutjahn).
Sandalwood offers a wide variety of health benefits, including as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, astringent and more. A soothing, cooling disinfectant oil, a must in everyone home. Commercially, manufacturers add it to a variety of personal care and industrial products, including deodorants, soaps, mouth fresheners, lotions, and air fresheners. As a fixative, it helps these products maintain their scent. In perfumery, Sandalwood is used as a base oil to hold a blend together.
Sandalwood oil has a cooling effect that can relieve inflammation in the digestive, excretory, nervous, and circulatory systems. It can counteract the side effects of pharmaceutical antibiotics, fevers, and infections. It is also effective for speeding up wound healing and providing relief from bug bites. It has a refreshing effect on the skin making it useful for relieving irritation caused by environmental pollutants.
Sandalwood eases depression and insomnia, calms nervous tension and stress, & lowers high blood pressure. On the respiratory system it eases laryngitis & bronchitis, & lessens the symptoms of colds, flus and catarrh. Physically it has mild astringent properties giving it the ability to induce contraction in the skin, gums, and muscles. Its effects on tightening the skin allow it to reduce the signs of wrinkles. It is wonderful in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and soothing qualities, whilst also showing hydrating qualities. Most helpful in the healing & soothing of psoriasis, eczema, & dermatitis.
Oddly, sandalwood can help with loose teeth because it strengthens the hold of the gums.
Its use in cosmetics and in incense used for religious ceremonies is connected to its disinfectant properties. The fragrance repels small insects. When added to lotions or bath water it prevents wounds from becoming infected.
Sandalwood oil works on the entire energy body, on virtually every organ in a positive way. Interestingly sandalwood contains high levels of sesquiterpenes…These chemical compounds stimulate the pineal gland, creating deep relaxation throughout the nervous system and boosting mental focus. No wonder it is so good for your entire being, making it a good option for enhancing meditation when used in a diffuser or vaporiser, or applied as an anointing oil. It has a sweet woody scent and is excellent for grounding, invoking calmness, and awakening sensuality.
There are no known risks when using sandalwood oil as a topical agent other than it should not be used on the skin at full strength.
- Toni McMahon