Sandalwood has a sacred history in its native India, Tibet and china, where it has been used for centuries to protect religious carvings in temples and monasteries. The essential oil, distilled from the tree's fragrant heartwood and roots, has a lingering, sweet, balsamic aroma that repels insects. But the great value of sandalwood oil lies in its highly relaxing and erotic effects. It is also thought to help heal respiratory and urinary-tract problems. Unfortunately, because it is complicated to make, true sandalwood oil is becoming rare. The sandalwood tree must be 40 yrs old before the oil can be extracted, and upto 55 pounds of wood chips are required for 1 quart of oil, which, once distilled, must mature for six months. Thus, adulterated forms of sandalwood oil are being produced. The best quality and also the most expensive oil comes from India; in one province, these endangered trees are protected by the government. Oils from Australia and West India, unfortunately, tend to be far less effective.
Consolation for the soul
The gentle, warm odor of sandalwood oil envelops the soul protectively, providing inner peace and security. Spirituality grounding, the oil consoles those who are depressed and fearful. The scent is thought to awaken the imagination and open the heart to a sense of joy. In a diffuser or simmer pot, try combining sandalwood oil with the equally calming and harmonizing rose oil.
5 drops sandalwood
3 drops rose absolute
Sandalwood oil contains a high percentage of terpene containing alcohols, primarily alpha santalol and beta-santalol. These substances, characterized by their antispasmodic, germicidal and expectorant effects, make the oil valuable for treating respiratory and minor urinary tract infections. Sandalwood oil also counteracts restlessness, anxiety and depression, and is thought to heighten eroticism.
For skin irritations and care
An antiseptic, astringent and emollient, sandalwood oil helps heal cuts, eczema and rashes. For a general skin care massage oil, mix 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil with 5 drops of sandalwood oil.
To release energy
Sandalwood oil is believed to unblock sexual energies. In a diffuser or simmer pot, combine 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil with 2 drops each of sandalwood, jasmine absolute and rosemary oil.
To comfort the bereaved
A massage with 5 drops of sandalwood oil and 3 drops of rose-otto oil in 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil helps console the grief stricken.
In an uplifting bath
In a bath, the sweet, woody aroma of sandalwood oil is both relaxing and uplifting. Add 3 drops of the oil to your bathwater. After bathing, relax in the warm water for at least 30 minutes.
To keep tissues elastic
Excessive stretching of the skin as a result of weight gain or pregnancy can cause some tissues to tear. A massage with sandalwood oil mixed into sweet almond oil can help keep the tissues elastic and prevent the associated stretch marks. However, make sure to always check with a health care practitioner before using during pregnancy.
A little Lore
Sandalwood oil plays a sacred role during many Hindu marriage rites, where it is burned in the marriage tent so that its fumes may surround and bless the bride and groom.
Use for treating respiratory and urinary tract infections, skin blemishes, dry skin, eczema, tension, depression, anxiety and blocked sexuality.
Most essential oils are highly concentrated substances made up of alcohols, esters, ketones, hydrocarbons, phenols and acids. Research has shown that sandalwood oil can be toxic if taken internally and in high doses. The essential oil can cause inflammation of the skin and damage to kidney tissue.
- Inhaling steam with sandalwood oil is believed to have an antispasmodic effect on inflamed, infected respiratory passages for thos suffering from bronchitis. Add 3 drops of sandalwood oil to 1 gal. of hot water, and inhale the vapor deeply through your nose and mouth. Place a towel over your head so the vapors do not escape and you get the steam's full effect.
- Sitz baths with sandalwood oil may help heal minor bladder inflammations. The oil in the bathwater warms and relaxes the tissues and kills germs. Mix 8 drops of sandalwood oil with 4 tbsp. of sweetcream and add to a bathtub half filled with water. Stay in the sitz bath for 15 min. afterward, rest, covered warmly. For atleast 30 min.
- Sandalwood is an excellent hair dressing. Its deeply soothing aroma lingers in the hair and gently diffuses its scent all day. Mix 2 drops of sandalwood oil with 2 tsp. of sweet almond or jojoba oil; you can also add both jasmine and rosemary oils.
- Face creams, oils and masks that are made with sandalwood essential oil can provide aromatic, emollient skin care for both dry and normal skin types.