The truly most revered contribution of ancient India to the world is the manifold and – above all – beneficial uses of sandalwood and sandalwood oil. Sandalwood has been a significant part of Indian mythology, culture and rituals. The heartwood of the tree, as well as the paste made from its wood, was considered sacred. The deep, dry, woody aroma of the sandal wood tree made it suitable for meditation practices and prayer rituals by the Hindus. And due to its preservative properties it’s been use for embalming purposes in Ancient Egypt. Recognition of sandalwood’s value by the Chinese and Europeans took many more years.
Sandalwood oil is Delightfully Aromatic
The sandalwood tree is an evergreen, slow-growing tree that can reach a height of up to 30 feet. It is part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe. The heavy sandalwood is fine-grained with a yellowish colour. Unlike many other aromatic woods, its fragrance lasts for decades. The deep scent of sandalwood carries a distinctive rich blend of warm, balsamic, creamy milky and sweet accents. Because of this titillating combination of scents, it is favourably used in perfumes and colognes.
Sandalwood oil is extracted by steam distillation of chips and billets cut from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree. The captivating aroma of sandalwood is retained in the resulting oil, which appearance is similar to liquid gold.
Nowadays sandalwood essential oil is found to be particularly useful to promote smooth skin through topical application. It is also well known to improve mood and provides the user with grounding and uplifting feelings during meditation or in aroma therapy. The versatility of sandalwood oil with its rich, sweet aroma make it a unique oil that has many beneficial uses in your everyday life. As it may offer several health benefits as well, the value of sandalwood oil goes way beyond just being a beautifying and fragrance-imparting agent.
Sandalwood oil has been traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions. Most of these traditional uses haven’t been scientifically tested, though some research suggests sandalwood may help treat certain health problems.
Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood oil has been a popular ingredient for centuries in ayurvedic healing systems. This is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems which is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on the delicate balance between mind, body and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, instead of fight diseases.
Sandalwood oil is believed to be a coolant and acts as a beauty enhancer. Sandalwood oil is one of the essential aromatic oils, traditionally used to promote mental and physical health in aroma therapy, which still remains one of its popular uses.
Aromatherapy with sandalwood oil is said to increase the user’s pulse, blood pressure and perspiration. These are markers of alertness.
Sandalwood Oil for the Mind
Sandalwood oil soothes the body’s nervous system, it relieves irritability and reduces anxiety, fear and panic attacks. Sandalwood oil promotes stress relieve, gives calmness and positive thoughts.
Alertness and Mental clarity
The distinct scent of sandalwood oil is a great natural remedy, promoting mental clarity and cognitive function. It allows calmness and rationality in stressful situations.
Calming and Relaxing
Sandalwood Essential Oil has calming properties. Smelling sandalwood oil may create a feeling of relaxation and peace, therefore problems linked to anxiety or depression can be reduced. Even patients suffering from long-term hypertension can benefit from the soothing effects of sandalwood oil. This may even result in a reduced blood pressure.
Research suggests that using sandalwood oil in aromatherapy or massage may have beneficial effects on anxiety and aid greatly in reducing it. The scope of these research tests was too small to draw definitive conclusions, though nevertheless, the results were promising.
Sandalwood Oil for the Body
Sandalwood oil has been found to have a myriad of different therapeutic effects. For example, it has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties, and it may prevent or retard the spread of cells. It’s used as a remedy for a number of ailments such as common cold, urinary tract infections and digestive problems.
The active ingredient of sandalwood oil is alpha-santalol. It is suggested that this substance has chemopreventive effects, and is likely non-toxic against normal cells. Additional studies are required to determine the general effects of sandalwood oil, as well as to substantiate the current findings on how alpha-santalol works particularly on healthy and abnormal mass of tissue.
Skin and wound healing
According to some German researchers our skin cells contain olfactory receptors for sandalwood. These receptors are able to detect air-borne odour molecules. Once activated, the receptors appear to promote growth of skin cells. In addition, sandalwood oil induces contractions in soft body tissue, which can promote rapid skin and muscle recovery. Sandalwood oil is particularly effective for healing sensitive areas because it invigorates gently.
Sandalwood oil may help fight skin cancer. Some research has shown that the active ingredient, alpha-santalol, in sandalwood oil can promote cell death in cancer cells. Both sandalwood oil and alpha-santalol have been shown to prevent chemical and UV-induced skin carcinogenesis (onset of cancer formation).
Although the antimicrobial effects of sandalwood oil are still to be fully elucidated, disease-fighting properties has been shown against various bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, which is a staphylococcus infection resistant to certain antibiotics), fungal dermatophytes and yeasts. It also appears to fight viruses like herpes, viral warts, pox virus and influenza.
The essential oil derived from sandalwood is a gentle antiseptic, able to protect the skin from future infection.
The active compounds in Sandalwood Oil can effectively reduce inflammation. These anti-inflammatory properties have awakened interest in the treatment of several inflammatory skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Sandalwood oil can also be used to cure health issues in the digestive and circulatory system, as well as provide headache relief.
Skin Care and Hydrating effects
Sandalwood oil is one of the finest natural oils to replenish the skin. The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties of sandalwood oil make it indispensable in the fight against acne. It heals and moisturizes, relaxes and soothes, relieves irritation and inflammation. The skin’s natural ability to retain moisture and elasticity is strengthened and restored by sandalwood oil. Sandalwood oil improves blood circulation and complexion, it refreshes the skin. It regulates sebum production and can relieve local rashes, inflammation and itching.
Sandalwood oil is suitable for use on all skin types, but is especially suitable for dry and damaged skin. In case of dry skin, sandalwood essential oil can be your ultimate supplier for improved health of the epidermis. Sandalwood oil is soothing and has a powerful moisturizing effect on the skin, it releases an intense dose of moisture by penetrating deep into the skin.
Rejuvenating and Soothing
Sandalwood oil has a powerful anti-ageing effect and is indispensable for facial skincare. It improves skin tone, it refreshes, tightens the appearance of wrinkles and eliminates flabbiness. Sandalwood oil has an unparalleled calming effect on the skin. The soothing effects are a great aid in skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and even pigmentation.
Sandalwood Oil in Soothing Massage Therapy
Natural sandalwood oil has a warming effect and the ability to normalize heart rate. Due to these comfy warming properties it surely is one of the best massage oils. Sandalwood oil is a base oil, which means that it can either be applied directly onto the skin, or can be mixed with other massage oils or lotions.
Massage with sandalwood oil is an excellent remedy for relieving back pain. It is recommended to rub sandalwood oil on the back in gentle circular motions, maintaining a constant pressure while the fingers move towards the centre of the back. Topical application directly to the chest can provide relief from coughing.
Sandalwood Oil in Aroma Therapy
Sandalwood oils’ distinct scent alone can provide that comforting and pleasant feeling that we sometimes so desperately need. This in itself is the perfect reason to give aromatherapy with sandalwood oil a shot. Some of the various ways to use sandalwood oil in aromatherapy at home are:
- application directly onto your skin,
- a few drops added to your daily lotion,
- scent your home by adding it to a bowl of heated water,
- evaporation by means of an essential oil diffuser,
- enrich your bath water with sandalwood oil.
The warm and rich woody aroma of natural sandalwood is well known around the world for its calming effect on body and mind. Undiluted sandalwood oil can be applied directly to the skin, though you may prefer to dilute it with jojoba oil or any other cosmetic oil.
Sandalwood oil is found to be a well-tolerated and safe product, barring occasional cases of allergic skin reactions. As a precious legacy of ancient India, that can contribute to a healthy body and mind, its impact extends way beyond just being an embellishing, scent emitting agent.