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A Guide To Sandalwood Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

A Guide To Sandalwood Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses |

"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 cooling and 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.

Basic Sandalwood Facts

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:

  • (Z)-alpha-santalol   46.2–59.9%
  • (Z)-beta-santalol    20.5–29.0%
  • (Z)-nuciferol          1.1–5.5%
  • epi-beta-santalol    4.1–4.3%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.

Sandalwood Aromatherapy Benefits

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.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Sandalwood can help relieve coughs, sore throat, swelling, scarring, insomnia, anxiety, nervous tension, exhaustion, and depression.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Sandalwood is useful for skin care, nausea, cough, laryngitis, sore throat, insomnia, nervous tension, depression, and stress-related complaints.

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.

Subtle Aromatherapy: Sandalwood is a meditation and visualization aid that quiets mental chatter. The essential oil is also useful for healing and has protective qualities. "One of [the oil's] greatest virtues lies in linking the Base with the Crown chakra."

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing
: Sandalwood induces a calm and quiet mind. The oil is useful for meditation and to help align mental processes toward self-improvement, self-actualization, and self-acceptance. This essential oil also helps align you with compassion, inner peace, tolerance, and love.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Sandalwood grounds, calms, comforts, and supports healing on all levels. The oil is especially useful for the seventh (chakra) to encourage states of higher consciousness and spiritual development.

Sandalwood Essential Oil Uses

"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.

Aphrodisiac Blend

Diffuse this blend or add it to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil for a massage.

  • 1 drop sandalwood
  • 1 drop patchouli essential oil
  • 1 drop jasmine oil

Source: Astrological Aromatherapy

Dry Skin Moisturizer

Here's facial moisturizer for dry skin:

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) organic unscented lotion
  • 10 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • One 2-ounce glass or PET plastic jar with a lid
  • Glass stirring rod or spoon handle
  1. Clean jar and stirring implement.
  2. Fill empty jar with unscented lotion.
  3. Add essential oils to lotion. Stir for at least one minute.
  4. Use as desired.

Source: Essential Living

Spritz For Brittle Hair

Place the following ingredients in a glass mister bottle:

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) distilled water
  • 10 drops argan oil
  • 20 drops sandalwood essential oil

Shake well and let set for a day before using. Shake well before each use and spray on hair (wet or dry) up to three times a day.

Source: Essential Oils: Natural Remedies

Chest and Throat Rub

Make a rub to use for coughs or sore throats and to help ease breathing.

  • 5 drops sandalwood
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

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

Homemade Men’s Cologne

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:

  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 1 cup 70 percent alcohol or vodka
  • Glass roll-on tube or glass cologne spray bottle

Blend the ingredients and store in the tube or bottle. Use the cologne as desired.

Source: Essential Oils Guide by Dr. Axe

Buy Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sacred Sandalwood Essential Oil from Young Living

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.

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Photo Credit: J.M.Garg CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

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