Sandalwood essential oil has a sweet, woody aroma that can enhance one’s mood and is frequently used in aromatherapy for its grounding effects. Sandalwood is a fragrant wood can retain its fragrance for decades. The oil is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and as an ointment for cuts and scrapes. The essential oil is obtained in a steam distillation process of the wood of the entire sandalwood tree, including the roots. The sandalwood tree produces an edible nut which tastes similar to an almond or hazelnut when roasted.
In addition, sandalwood oil is often used as a flavoring for its sweet and woody. There are several brands of sandalwood syrup throughout India and Asia which are commonly used as a sweet flavoring in drinks or on their own. Sandalwood syrup is considered a health tonic in some parts of the world.
There is concern for the future of sandalwood. The repeated demands of the perfume industry over the years have caused large-scale destruction to the trees, with alarming results in some parts of India. For this reason, doTERRA found a renewable source of sandalwood in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum) provides the same benefits as Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) including smoothing skin and enhancing moods. Hawaiian Sandalwood has the same rich, sweet, woody aroma that instills calmness and well-being as Indian Sandalwood. Both are perfect oils to incorporate into massage or aromatherapy.
Sandalwood Essential Oil History
Both the wood and oil were highly valued for centuries, and there is a documented history of sandalwood’s many applications. It is traditionally used as an incense in religious ceremonies. The Egyptians used sandalwood for embalming.
Sandalwood is mentioned in old Sanskrit and Chinese manuscripts; also, many religious deities and temples were carved from its wood. The Ancient Egyptians imported the wood, used it in medicine, embalming, and religious rituals. They also carved fine art objects from it.
The ancient Indian system of holistic medicine (Ayurveda), recommended sandalwood for use as a tonic. A powder made into paste was used for skin inflammations, abscesses, and tumors. European doctors in the mid-1800s were using Sandalwood for various medical purposes. In France, sandalwood was given in capsules to patients.
Sandalwood Essential Oil Uses
Today, we know sandalwood is very beneficial to the skin in helping reduce the appearance of skin imperfections and promote a healthy complexion. It is highly sought after as an ingredient in body and skin care products. Sandalwood is very similar to Frankincense in action and may support the cardiovascular system and circulation. Other modern uses for Sandalwood include:
- Inhale Sandalwood directly from palms or diffuse to lessen tension and balance emotions.
- Diffuse in the bedroom after a long, stressful day or before meditation.
- Diffuse or apply to the neck and shoulders at bedtime for a restful night’s sleep.
- Add a few drops to shampoo or moisturizer to improve the look of skin and hair.
- After a stressful day, add to a hot bath to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
- For an at-home spa experience, fill a large bowl with steaming water, then apply one to two drops of Sandalwood to your face and cover head with a towel. Place face above the steaming water to experience a nourishing and rejuvenated feeling in the skin.
- Promotes healthy-looking, smooth skin and reduce the appearance of skin imperfections.
Sandalwood essential oil can also be a gardener’s best friend. Studies have found Sandalwood essential oil can have positive effects on garden plants. In one study, researchers sprayed several species of plants with a solution of Sandalwood essential oil. They found the essential oil helped the plants cope with environmental stress.
Directions for Use
You can diffuse Sandalwood essential oil, rub it on your skin and take it internally.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. You can also place two drops in a Veggie Capsule and take with water.
- Topically: Apply one to two drops to the desired area. You may want to dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil or other natural oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
As with all essential oils, please be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep sandalwood essential oil out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using sandalwood oil.