Sandalwood is one of the most precious essential oils that we have. Its’ fragrance is so prized, that it is currently endangered. This is because Sandalwood is one of the only trees in which the entire tree is harvested to obtain the essential oil. First the tree is cut down and then the heartwood is distilled. It is currently illegal to export the oil from India. The Sandalwood trees in India are surrounded by barbed-wire-fences and guards with guns protect them from attacks. Sandalwood is now sold from other parts of the world, such as Australia, New Calidonia, Indonesia and Hawaii. Although, they are not the same species of tree and their fragrance is noticeably different.
When you inhale the aroma of Sandalwood, you immediately feel its’ soothing effects. It’s like a golden balm pouring down over your body. It has a cooling effect and is often used for meditation. People use the paste or oil to anoint the forehead and calm the mind before meditation. It facilitates relaxation. It’s an excellent remedy for stress, anxiety and agitation. It is thought to deepen the breath because when you have anxiety you tend to not breathe very deeply. It is also helpful to deepen sleep. I massage it on with a carrier oil before bed, to the whole body or at least to the head and neck and find it extremely helpful for sleep.
When you inhale sandalwood, it goes right to the chest area. I immediately feel a glowing ball of light expand throughout my chest. I can definitely feel an aura of love from the plant, helping me to balance, harmonize and expand the heart chakra. You can also feel it in your third eye. It is similar to the description I gave about rosemary surrounding your aura with a protective feeling, but this plant is much more cooling, gentle and soft, and not as intense.
I did a series of classes on spiritual anointing with essential oils. Each week we would study a different plant and wear it daily for the week. As I watched everyone’s aura from week to week, I saw an amazing transformation. Everyone appeared more relaxed and calm and I could see a 1/4-1” aura of light around each person’s body. I normally only see this in people who have a daily spiritual practice. It usually takes work to radiate light from the body….through prayers, meditation or chanting sacred mantras. I was surprised that by simply applying essential oils to the body, you can be enveloped in spiritual protection.
What I came to understand is, that each plant has a Deva (which means Shining one) or intelligence; it’s a living being here to assist us. The plants are our allies; our friends and they want to help us in every way possible. That is why their effect is not merely physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual as well. The power to heal within them is tremendous. Many people who begin to use essential oils find that the effects and results they provide are profound.
Sandalwood is widely used in the perfume industry; this is the main reason it is endangered, because the demand is so high. It is a fixative and it blends well with everything. It’s one of the oils to use to make a blend cohesive. If you are making a blend and it smells discordant, almost as if the different notes are not “gelling” together, you can add some sandalwood, let is sit for a couple of days and it should start to harmonize.
Emotionally, sandalwood is very comforting. This feeling is sometimes hard to come by in life. When feeling stressed, I like to take a hot bath then mix sandalwood 1:5 with a carrier oil and massage it on to my entire body. You should fall into a deep sleep and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
1. What organs benefit from sandalwood?
- Lungs – deepens the breathe, is antispasmodic, astringent and anti-inflammatory, may help asthma
- Nervous system – sedative, calming, and balancing.
- Urinary system – antiseptic, astringent, may help with cystitis
- Skin – emollient, anti-inflammatory
- Musculoskeletal – may help muscles and joints due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties
2. Healing Properties are…
- Astringent, Diuretic – helps rid the body of excess fluid
- Emollient – soothing to the skin
- Expectorant – helps clear mucus
- Cicatrisant – regenerates new tissue
- Hypotensive – lowers blood pressure
3. What have scientific studies shown?
- The inflammatory pathway enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 12- lipoxygenase were all inhibited by the oil. These enzymes are the same ones through which other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, are known to exert their effects on inflammation. There is also anecdotal evidence that the oil is effective in reducing the erythema caused by exposure to UV light (sunburn).
- Sandalwood oil has been demonstrated to inhibit Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2. It has also been proven in human clinical trials to be active against warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
4. Who should use it:
Everyone! Is my initial thought, since it has so many uses and it blends well with all essential oils.
- Nervous types
- Stress – for anyone who has a burden of stress to deal with and needs tools to relax.
- Anxiety – since it is a sedative, it may be helpful to calm people with anxiety.
- Restless mind/restless legs – may help to calm and reduce these symptoms.
- Insomnia – may help deepen sleep.
- Children, mothers and pregnant women – it’s considered safe to use externally when diluted appropriately (not to be used internally)
- Asthma – may calm, soothe and relax.
5. How to use it:
- I use it sparingly since it is precious and endangered.
- I don’t use it internally
- I use it 4 ways:
- Bath blends
Storage – sandalwood is one of the oils that improves with age.
Genus Species – Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
Phytochemical constituents – Sandalwood oil contains more than 90% sesquiterpenic alcohols of which 50-60% is the tricyclic α-santalol. β-Santalol comprises 20-25%.