Although the name may escape some, the scent of sandalwood oil is both quite familiar and intoxicating. You may recognize its warm, rich, woody fragrance from numerous body care products, perfumes as well as various skin and beauty treatments. It’s also often used in incense sticks, and room fresheners.
The smell is simply fantastic, but it’s the oil’s numerous health benefits that really make it worth talking about it. Some of it’s most beneficial qualities include disinfectant, expectorant, astringent, memory booster, and more.
There are three varieties of sandalwood: Indian Sandalwood (Santalum Album), Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum Ellipticum), and the Australian Sandalwood (Santalum Spicatum). If you’re looking for the best then Indian Sandalwood is it, but this variety will break your wallet. It’s nearing extinction, making it very expensive. The Hawaiian variety can also cost a pretty penny. Meanwhile, Australian Sandalwood is much more affordable. It’s used a lot more commercially since the other two varieties are rare and expensive.
The oil is extracted through steam distillation from matured sandalwood trees aging between 40 to 80 years old. The preferred age, though, is 80. The older the tree, the more oil available and the stronger the aroma. The oil is used extensively in India, and is a powerful combatant against viruses and bacteria. In fact, it’s traditionally used to treat urinary tract infection.
Let’s take a closer look at what this oil has to offer!
Treats Cold & Flu
Sandalwood oil works as an expectorant, meaning it’s effective in treating coughs. It can fight viral infections who are responsible for coughing, cold, flu, mumps, and other illnesses. The oil can also offer relief from inflammation resulting from fever and viral infections, including sore throat, chest infections, and bronchitis.
Sandalwood oil is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent. It offers a pleasant cooling effect and produces relief from various types of inflammation caused by infections, fevers, adverse effects of antibiotics, poisoning, or wounds. This includes the brain, digestive, circulatory, nervous, and excretory systems.
This oil contains carminative properties, which means it helps remove and prevent gas by relaxing the abdominal and intestinal muscles. By removing gas it also brings relief from its associated problems such as abdominal pain, stomach aches, and chest pain. Furthermore, sandalwood also helps relieve heartburn, diarrhea, and calm the entire digestive system.
Relaxant & Sedative
Being both a relaxant and sedative, sandalwood oil is helpful in treating spasms and its associated problems such as cramps, aches, and coughs. It naturally calms nerves, muscles and blood vessels, slowing spasms, and stopping contractions.
The oil is also great for use in aromatherapy as it induces relaxation, calmness, concentration, and a more positive state of mind. It sedates inflammation as well as reduce stress, fear, anxiety, and restlessness. Furthermore, sandalwood is also great for treating insomnia.
Sandalwood oil can improve memory and help you concentrate better. It keeps the brain relaxed, cool, and reduces any undue stress or anxiety. This is due to the oil’s high content of sesquiterpenes, a chemical component that stimulates the pineal gland in the brain and creates deep relaxation of the nervous system. So not only can Sandalwood help you unwind, but it’s great for meditation and focus.
Great For Skin
Sandalwood can do wonders for skin due to its antiseptic, cicatrisant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, and disinfectant properties. This is in large part why sandalwood is extensively used in many soaps, lotions, and creams. It helps soften skin by increasing and restoring its ability to retain moisture. Sandalwood makes a fantastic moisturizer that can help aid dry skin, and keep it hydrated.
When applied to skin, it can protect wounds, sores, boils, and acne from developing any infections. It reduces and relieves rashes, inflammation, and itching, heals eczema and psoriasis. As an astringent, it strengthens muscles, and tightens skin.
Another benefit of sandalwood is it’s a powerful anti-aging agent. It helps heal wounds faster, and also assists in fading scars and spots, and toning skin. For acne treatment, it helps soothe affected skin and shrink pimples. Sandalwood also makes an excellent aftershave, which is why it’s no surprise it’s often added to many men’s skin-care products.
This is a very useful benefit for those why may suffer from hypertension. The oil can be taken with milk or water to help decrease blood pressure. The paste of sandalwood is equally effective when applying it topically to the body.
- When diluted in water, it’s safe for use around the house to repel ants and small insects. It makes a great alternative for sprays and traps.
- Helps regulate the reproductive system.
- Reduces swelling in the lymph glands when applied topically to affected area.
- A potent tonic when taken internally.
- For steam inhalation, sandalwood helps respiratory issues.
- Treats bug bites.
- When used with coconut oil and jojoba oil, sandalwood can help with uneven tans.
Sandalwood oil blends well with bergamot, black pepper, geranium, lavender, myrrh, rose, vetiver, and ylang-ylang.
Word of Caution:
- No risks have been associated with sandalwood oil, except that it is recommended not to be used raw on skin.
- Be sure to mix with a carrier oil before skin application.
- Internal use of sandalwood oil may not be safe in certain conditions. Please consult with your doctor before using the oil internally.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using sandalwood internally unless approved by a doctor.