Sandalwood Essential Oil History
The popular sandalwood tree with its dry, woody aroma has served many all over the world for many purposes. It has been in use; in spiritual rituals, embalming purposes in Egypt, aromatherapy, meditation, fragrances, and many others. In the current age, sandalwood essential oil derived from the sandalwood tree serves many purposes. It is used for enhancing mood, inducing the “feel-good effect” during meditation, improving skin texture, and mitigation of problematic skin conditions such as acne and many others. However, it is important to purchase your product from a reputed manufacturer since some illegal suppliers have taken advantage of the huge demand for the scarce sandalwood essential oil.
The Sandalwood Plant
The highly aromatic sandalwood trees have been known for their unique fragrance for decades. The Indian Sandalwood in particular is the most popular. It is also referred to as Santalum album, and is a native tree of India that has served natives for many years. It thrives best in dry and arid areas and usually survives for up to 100 years. The powerful sandalwood essential oil is derived from the heart of the oldest tree. This is the darker and harder part of the wood that has the best aroma.
Extraction of Sandalwood Oil
The heartwood is the treasure house of the sandalwood tree, more so, the root’s heartwood. The lowest quality oil comes from the sapwood but the older trees produce the best heartwood and thus are highly priced.
Some of the factors that affect the quality of the final product of sandalwood extraction include; type of method used, extractor’s experience, duration of the distillation, and the quality of the wood. The method employed these days in extracting the oil is steam distillation. This is a process that involves directing a super-heated steam through the sandalwood powder. The essential oil locked in the wood’s cellular structure will be released and carried away by the hot steam. The steam is then cooled and the ultimate product obtained is the sandalwood essential oil and sandalwood hydrosol.
The Hydro-distillation is another extraction method that was in use in early days. It is rarely used these days and it involves soaking the sandalwood powder in water. The water is then subjected to heat and the steam directed to a cooling area where the sandalwood oil is collected.
Sandalwood Oil Adulteration
Sandalwood oil is perhaps one of the most adulterated oils in the market. This can be attributed to the fact that it is limited in supply and has a high demand. The product is also highly priced unlike other types of oils in the market. Adulteration takes many forms. It can involve the use of a cheap solvent to dilute a genuine essential oil, addition of synthetic aroma chemicals to the genuine oil, or using aroma chemicals to reconstruct oil. Adulteration can be performed by literally anyone. However, it takes some professional skill to produce a product that cannot be detected as adulterated. Fortunately, you can avoid adulterated products by buying your Sandalwood essential oil from reputed suppliers such as Amazon.
Sandalwood Essential Oil Properties
The amazing capabilities of sandalwood oil can be attributed to its ingredients. Santalol an alcohol known for grounding effects is its main component. Asides, it also does an excellent job when it comes to skin beautification, calming and relaxing feelings, as well as boosting the mood.
Santalol makes up 90 percent of sandalwood essential oil and that is precisely why it does an excellent job when it comes to aromatherapy, restoration of skin health, and grounding emotions. The oil blends well with other oils as well and is thus used widely. It is popularly used as a complement in oils such as; Citrus Oils (Grapefruit and Bergamot), Geranium, Frankincense, Jasmine, rose, black pepper, ylang-ylang, vetiver, myrrh and Lavender.
Sandalwood Essential Oil Uses
There are so many ways through which the benefits of sandalwood oil can be harnessed. Vapor therapy is one of them. This way you can use it as an aphrodisiac or mitigate problems such as coughs, chest infections, stress, sleeplessness, bronchitis, asthma, and nervous tension. You can also blend sandalwood oil into massage oil or add it in bathing water. This way it helps mitigate chest infections, induce relaxation, eliminate bladder infections, restore skin health, and many others.
If you have a sore throat, simply dilute sandalwood oil and gargle it. Add it also to your lotion or body cream and it will cure dry, inflamed, or chapped skin. It is used as an anti-aging skincare regimen due to its efficacy in moisturizing and hydrating the skin.
Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood oil is known for its long history as the best traditional medicine. The Chinese and the Indians have been using it to heal many health problems through aromatherapy. It helps heal problems such as urinary and genital infections, persistent coughs, anxiety, throat irritation, depression, digestive problems, laryngitis, and many others.
Sandalwood oil is one of the best fixatives, harmonizing, and base note agent in perfumes. It blends perfectly with other oils and acts as an adhesive. Furthermore, its graceful aroma never fades away and it never overpowers other oils. Oils whose scent dissipates quickly can be enhanced by using sandalwood oil.
The oil derived from sandalwood has been in use and is still used for spiritual purposes. Since it is beneficial in meditation and calming and focusing the mind, most people use it for such a purpose. It is mostly used as incense in temples and personal alters and its fragrance has a way of taking the mind into heavenly realms. The statures and gods placed on shrines, home alter or temples are also fashioned from sandalwood. During the olden days when sandalwood trees were in abundant they were used for constructing parts of temples. Other uses of sandalwood include meditation beads or malas, sandalwood paste for spiritual anointing, and sandalwood oil for anointing deities.
Stress Relief and Relaxer
It is one of the best relaxers you can find. A few drops of sandalwood essential oil inhaled before yoga class or relaxation will help create a perfect mood. It calms the nerves and induces and tranquil and relaxed mind. Use it before prayer time or quiet time and you will see amazing results. It is also used by those who want to focus when undertaking some tasks such as writing.
You can apply 2 to 4 drops of sandalwood oil on your wrists or ankles during periods of high stress. A direct inhalation of the oil also gives good results. If you want everyone to enjoy the results of the oil then consider using in a diffuser. Use it also in bathing water at the end of a tiring day.
Sandalwood Essential Oil for Skin
This is perhaps one of the things that sandalwood oil is known best for. It promotes a smooth and healthy skin. Those with dry, chapped, dehydrated, or acne prone skin, enjoy tremendous benefits when they use the oil. It not only improves the complexion but it also helps eliminate skin imperfections. As a matter of fact, sandalwood oil is one of the best anti-aging and skin whitening agents in the market.
Sandalwood essential oil also helps mitigate some skin problems such as rashes, psoriasis, inflammation, eczema, dandruff, and scars.
Sandalwood Essential Oil for Hair
In addition to promoting a young looking, and smooth skin, sandalwood oil has been proven to deliver some wonderful results when applied on hair. By applying one or two drops of the oil to wet hair, the product gives your hair a glittering appearance and restores moisture in your hair. You can add it into your daily shampoo or conditioner if you want to include it as a regular hair-care regimen.
If you suffer from lack of quality sleep then you do not have to worry any longer. Sandalwood essential oil is beneficial during bedtime. You can diffuse sandalwood next to your bed or apply a few drops of the oil on the back of your neck just before you retire to bed. These will help create an atmosphere that is ideal for a restful sleep.
Other Sandalwood Essential Oil Uses
Sandalwood oil is one of the best antiseptic agents. It works well both internally and externally. It heals wounds and ulcers resulting from infections. It also works against spasms and contractions. It relieves body odor, and acts as a disinfectant in incense sticks, sprays, evaporators, and fumigants. Furthermore, it helps the stomach, nervous, circulatory and digestive systems.
How to Make Sandalwood Oil at Home
You can actually make your own sandalwood oil within the comfort of your home.
- 1 cup of carrier oil, it can be jojoba or olive oil.
- A jar that has a lid.
- ¼ ounce of sandalwood powder.
- Medium size saucepan that has a lid.
- The sandalwood powder can be obtained from sandalwood that has been chipped and reduced to powder. You can do this yourself or buy ready-made sandalwood powder. Use the best quality powder if you want to get the best oil. Older trees give the best oil.
- Turn the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take the saucepan, pour the carrier oil and add the sandalwood powder. Stir the mixture.
- Cover the saucepan with its content and place it in the oven. Let the mixture cook for at least 2 or 4 hours. Keep checking the mixture and stir every time so as to prevent it from burning.
- Use the cheesecloth to strain the mixture and collect the oil in the jar. Your sandalwood oil is ready for use.
Remember the quality of your oil will depend on the quality of sandalwood powder used. You can use the oil for up to 6 months after which the contents begin to decompose. Therefore, ensure you label the date when the oil was made and store it in a cool and dry place away from the reach of children.
Safety and Side Effects of Sandalwood Essential Oil
There have been many concerns as to whether this oil is safe for use or not. Well, sandalwood oil is safe for use but there are precautions and warnings that accompany the product. Just like all other essential oils, this oil is meant for topical use only. Therefore, it is not wise to ingest sandalwood oil. When applying it on your skin, ensure you dilute it with soap, a buffering agent, or lotion.
Sandalwood essential oil should be avoided by young children and pregnant mothers. It can also spark an allergic skin reaction when used by some people. Therefore, it is advisable that you apply a small amount of the product on a small area of the skin at first before using it on your entire body. In addition to these, those with some medical conditions such as cancer and liver disorder should seek advice on how to use it for aromatherapy.
Some of the side effects that have been reported with regard to the use of Essential sandalwood oil include dermatitis and photoallergy. These have been reported by those with known allergies or hypersensitivity to the product. If you fall into this category then it is better to avoid it. Nonetheless, there are very few reported side effects of sandalwood oil.
A Final Word on Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is best described as a natural and health-rich agent. It is one of the most versatile natural substances in existence. The fact that it has been in use for decades proves that it is effective. Those with problematic skin conditions will benefit when they use sandalwood oil. It is also one of the best products for relieving stress and calming the nerves. That can explain why most aromatherapists use it for treating their patients. It is also important to note that anyone can make their own sandalwood oil at home. However, homemade oils cannot be compared with processed ones due to the quality of powder used and the efficiency of the process. It is therefore better to purchase your sandalwood oil from a reputed manufacturer.