Besides the many health benefits it provides for our health, the earthy yet sweet aroma is another feature that makes sandalwood so distinctive. Sandalwood’s healing properties have been known and used for 4.000 years now, or since ancient times.
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic Medicine, the Indian folk medicine, sandalwood oil was used in combination with other therapies to help manage the common cold, different UTIs, as well as digestive, muscle and mental problems. Indians also believed that sandalwood oil was used in the bathing rituals of Hindu Gods. It’s believed that their most powerful Goddess, Lakshmi, resided in a sandalwood tree. That’s why it was used in various religious rituals.
Chinese have used sandalwood in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Ancient Egyptians used it for the embalming process thanks to its preserving properties. How can we benefit from sandalwood today, and what are the best ways to use sandalwood oil?
Introduction to Sandalwood Oil
Different sandalwood species come from various countries, from Indo-Malaysia to Australia. In general, it’s a small tree-like plant that can reach up to 9 meters in height. It’s brown on the outside, while white inside with green leaves. The fruits usually appear after three years, but it’s the wood and the bark used to make oil.
It’s believed that, for sandalwood, age is just a number and that the richest, most aromatic sandalwood oil comes from the oldest trees. The oil, looking like liquid gold, is extracted in steam distillation. It takes 50 kg of wood to produce only 1 litre of essential sandalwood oil. This and the many known properties are what make this oil high-demanded worldwide.
The Many Proven Benefits of Sandalwood Oil
Studies have shown that pure sandalwood oil helps boost the immune system. It can help relieve the symptoms of dry cough, sore throat and general chest infections. All this is due to its antimicrobial properties. What does antimicrobial mean? It means a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms, causing little to no damage to the host. It also means anti-infectious and decongesting.
Sandalwood oil, as well as sandalwood paste, are well-known anti-inflammatory agents. This is due to Santalol, the active ingredient in sandalwood oil, which works to reduce inflammation effectively. It has cooling properties that provide relief from all types of inflammation. The most noticeable results are seen in brain and blood circulation processes.
The diuretic properties of sandalwood oil help increase the flow of urine. This promotes the removal of excess water, salts, poisons and accumulated metabolic products, which helps treat bladder and urinary tract infections. It boosts the immune system in a way it encourages it to cleanse itself.
Beneficial for Skin
Some studies have presented evidence that sandalwood may help decrease inflammation in the case of skin disorders like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. It also promotes skin cell growth, which helps our body wounds heal better and faster. Sandalwood oil is proven to promote cell death of cancerous cells of the skin, making it effective in fighting different skin cancers.
Mental Health Benefits
Sandalwood has been traditionally used in religious ceremonies and as an aid in some yoga and meditation practices. Since ancient times, its relaxing and calming properties have been widely known and valued. And now, research has proven that this organic essential oil lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels. This helps fight off stress and anxiety.
Hardly anyone can stay resist the woodsy, smooth scent of the sandalwood. But it’s not the scent only that can act as an aphrodisiac, it’s also its active ingredients. They’re proven to impact certain hormones that enhance your mood and increase your desire to have sex. If you’re experiencing low libido, why not try a massage with sandalwood oil?
How to Use Pure Sandalwood Oil?
The best way to benefit from the sandalwood’s calming properties is to use it in aromatherapy. You can create a relaxing atmosphere by adding 6-8 drops to a diffuser even if you’re not meditating. The ground scent will help calm your mind. Diffusing sandalwood pure essential oil in your bedroom before bedtime can promote sleep.
Another way you can use sandalwood to relax is to add a few drops of the oil to a hot bath. That way, all your senses can enjoy this earthy-scented oil. Or, ask your partner for a sensual sandalwood massage. That way you can both relax.
When you’re feeling stressed and anxious, and you’re not at your home, you can calm yourself in seconds using the sweet scent of sandalwood. Just open the cap of your bottle and inhale a few times. Or, rub a drop or two into your palms and inhale for 30 seconds while cupping your face with your hands. It’ll provide a quick fix that you’ll make feel better in seconds.
For Your Skin
The regular use of sandalwood promotes healthy-looking skin with a smooth complexion. Face massages and steam treatments are the main ways for your skin to benefit from this precious oil.
Can you put sandalwood oil directly on your skin? You can add 1 drop in 5ml carrier oil and gently massage your face to hydrate and nourish the skin. For a steam treatment: Add 2 drops of essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Place your face close to the bowl and cover the back of your head and bowl with a towel to trap the aromatic vapours. Caution due to the risk of burns or scalding and keep eyes close.
For Your Hair
It’s not the skin only that can benefit from sandalwood oil. It can strengthen your hair too. Just massage your scalp with a few drops of the oil, or add it to your shampoo or conditioner.
What to Look for When Buying Sandalwood Oil?
As there is a high demand for pure sandalwood oil, many manufacturers produce synthetic, unnatural sandalwood oil. Be careful and buy your essential oil from a trusted supplier that uses carefully sourced sandalwood. Only using pure oil can help you reap all the benefits sandalwood provides.