"Sandalwood brings our wisdom into a meditative state, quieting us so we can hear and rejoice in the choral singing of universal soul," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. This uplifting and relaxing essential oil was used traditionally as incense in religious ceremonies and for meditation.
Worwood says the emotional benefits of sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album) are to encourage warmth, sensitivity, serenity, harmony, peace, wisdom, insightfulness, and unity.
Santalum album is also called East Indian sandalwood and is the focus of this profile. Other essential oils available include Santalum austrocaledonicum (New Caledonia sandalwood), Santalum paniculatum (Hawaiian sandalwood), and Santalum spicatum (Australian sandalwood).
In the Indian medicine system of Ayurveda, Santalum album is valued for its ability to sedate the nervous system and cool the fire of pitta. The oil is considered a cooling oil useful for calming inflammation. Other Ayurvedic uses of sandalwood are to reduce nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, and nerve pain, according to Aromatherapy for Dummies.
Sustainability is an issue with East Indian sandalwood. Programs have been put into place to help ease the concerns, including growing the plant in Australia.
Plant family: Santalaceae
Production: Steam distilled from the tree's wood, once the tree is at least 30 years old (thus the sustainability issue). A CO2 extract is also available.
Aroma: Warm, balsamic, woody
Perfume/Aromatic note: Base
Is sandalwood safe to use during pregnancy? Yes, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby, but not during labor.
Is sandalwood essential oil safe for children? Do not use on babies.
Caution: Adverse skin reactions are rare but can happen.
Main components of Santalum album:
Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: You can use sandalwood on all hair and skin types, although it's especially useful for mature, dry, acne-prone, or chapped skin. The essential oil may also help relieve depression, anxiety, stress, or insomnia and promotes spiritual practices, relaxation, openness, and becoming grounded.
Aromatherapy for Dummies: Sandalwood is suitable for all skin types and may help repair skin damage. The scent is an aphrodisiac. A sandalwood syrup or chest balm can help relieve persistent coughs or sore throat.
Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: Traditional Chinese Medicine considers sandalwood cool and decongesting, suitable for hot, inflammatory, and catarrhal problems. This essential oil is excellent for the skin, especially dryness, irritation, itching, and inflammation. The oil can also help relieve hot, agitated emotional states that lead to headache, insomnia, and nervous exhaustion. Because sandalwood can clarify and still the mind, it's useful for meditation, prayer, and spiritual practice.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Sandalwood can help relieve coughs, sore throat, swelling, scarring, insomnia, anxiety, nervous tension, exhaustion, and depression.
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: Sandalwood is useful for skin care, nausea, cough, laryngitis, sore throat, insomnia, nervous tension, depression, and stress-related complaints.
"Use Sandalwood essential oil to enhance your meditation and to open your solar plexus chakra which connects you to the cosmic desire to manifest your soul's life purpose and ensures a strong feeling of self worth, empowerment and spiritual dominion," according to Essential Oils For Immunity by aromatherapist KG Stiles.
Diffuse this blend or add it to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil for a massage.
Source: Astrological Aromatherapy
Here's facial moisturizer for dry skin:
Source: Essential Living
Make a rub to use for coughs or sore throats and to help ease breathing.
Blend ingredients. Store in small, dark glass container. Massage the oil blend into chest, throat, and upper back as needed.
Source: Essential Oils: All-Natural Remedies
Many people consider sandalwood to have a "masculine" scent. You can use the essential oil in a homemade deodorant for men. Or make a cologne, such as this one:
Blend the ingredients and store in the tube or bottle. Use the cologne as desired.
Source: Essential Oils Guide by Dr. Axe
I recommend Sacred Sandalwood essential oil from Young Living. The company sells the Santalum album cultivated and steam distilled at the company's partner farm in Australia’s tropical northern outback.
Young Living also sells Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum) grown on a Hawaii partner farm that practices sustainable reforestation farming management principles.