Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil comes from the sandalwood tree. The best health benefits and long-term use of this essential oil are generally associated with Indian sandalwood, or Santalum album. Nonetheless, there are other varieties, including Australian sandalwood and Hawaiian sandalwood. However, the Indian sandalwood tree became threatened and, due to overuse, the Hawaiian variety is now less abundant than it once was.
Because of this, Australian sandalwood, or Santalum spicatum, has become a more affordable, sustainable and widely available option for aromatherapy and other uses. The concentrated oil is taken from the tree’s wood with a steam distillation process. The extraction process gets the best results with older trees of around 80 years old, although it can work on younger trees as well.
Uses of Sandalwood From Past to Present
People have relied on sandalwood throughout history for its believed health benefits and for religious purposes. Sandalwood exudes an earthy aroma that people often find calming and even spiritually enlightening. It is a scent that can transcend genders, working in perfumes and personal products for men and women alike.
Sandalwood was and is popular within the Ayurvedic health system, and the Hindu religion used it within ceremonies and rites of passage, including as a body decoration for a wedding and as a gift for gods and goddesses. It was and is still important for the death process in certain cultures, used for cremation or for embalming.
For personal care, the oil and paste of sandalwood have been used in many products, including:
- breath fresheners
- creams and lotions
Sandalwood’s Benefits for Health and Personal Care
This essential oil contains santyl acetate, beta santalol and santalene components, which provide benefits to health and beauty. Essential oil of sandalwood trees is associated with fighting microbes, inflammation and muscle spasms. It is thought to help clear the lungs of mucus, enhance the memory, and work as a sedative and an astringent, among promoting other qualities. Sandalwood can provide many benefits to the skin and health as a whole.
Studies have backed up many of the health-promoting benefits people have used sandalwood for throughout history. A 2014 study in the Phytotherapy Research journal explains that this essential oil shows similar characteristics to ibuprofen in reducing inflammation within skin cells. Another study, published in a 1997 issue of the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, discovered that sandalwood essential oil greatly reduced the occurrence of benign skin tumors in mice. Researchers concluded that this oil could potentially be used to help prevent skin cancer.
A 2006 study in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal found that types of sandalwood oil that contain medium or high amounts of the santalol component, which covers Indian and Australian sandalwood varieties, were able to fight a range of microbes at a significant level.
Using the essential oil of sandalwood in a carrier oil or within a natural product provides an array of benefits to your skin and health, along with soothing the senses through its aroma. It promotes wellness in a natural way without harmful chemicals.