Sandalwood oil has been harvested from precious woods since ancient times, and it’s been mentioned in Chinese and Sanskrit writings dating back to over 4,000 years ago.
The sandalwood oil is steam distilled from the wood of the Sandalwood tree (Santalum Spicatum) found in Australia and the Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) found in south India, and most recently from Hawaii.
Sustainable Australian Sandalwood
The Australian Sandalwood oil is produced as an economical and ecologically responsible alternative to the more expensive Indian sandalwood. Indian sandalwood thrives on very little water in south Indian soil, and is frequently found in the cities of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Indian sandalwood (often known by the region it is grown, Sandalwood Tamil Nadu) is quite treasured and valuable due to the level of regulations placed upon the growing and harvesting of the tree in its native countries.
Before these regulations, there was such widespread illegal harvesting and selling of the Santalum album species that it was feared it would become extinct. The poachers and illegal harvesters were harvesting the trees at as young as 15 years maturity when ideally they need to grow for closer to 30-40 years.
Regulations are now in place to ensure the trees are able to grow to maturity and the trade of Indian sandalwood is handled by the government rather than illegally, which causes a true scarcity of the precious Indian sandalwood. It makes sense that it is such a hot commodity, given the widespread uses of this versatile oil!
Hence it has become an option for those looking for all of the wonderful benefits the Indian Sandalwood provides, yet grown sustainably and more affordable than Indian Sandalwood. According to some studies, the constituents of these two oils are the same with the main difference being that the Australian Sandalwood aroma is lighter than the deep scent of the Indian Sandalwood.
The largest reserve that grows Sandalwood is located in Western Australia, an incredible 1.6 million kilometers plantation with plans to involve employing Aboriginal people with fair partnerships in the growing and harvesting of Sandalwood. This would provide income streams to the indigenous people group as well as returning some ownership of this native commodity to them.
Benefits and Uses of Australian Sandalwood Oil
Beyond the perfume and aphrodisiac effects, Sandalwood oil has a long tradition of being used in meditation and in a spiritual context. It is widely believed that using sandalwood oil in combination with meditation will help your meditation reach new levels, due to its ability to clear your mind and break up negative thought patterns.
Another task that sandalwood oil is up to is repelling insects. Researchers used various essential oils to see which would repel two-spotted spider mites (TSSM). The results? “From initial trials, sandalwood and common thyme oils were observed to be the most effective against TSSM adult females. Subsequent trials confirmed that only sandalwood oil was significantly active (87.2 ± 2.9% mortality) against TSSM adult females.” (1) This is a great non-toxic alternative to consider!
You can simply mix a few drops with favorite carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, almond oil, etc) and apply it your skin before outdoor exposure.
The oil that these trees produce has a base perfumery note that produces a woody, musky, earthy aroma that is very relaxing; unlike many other aromatic woods, the Santal wood species retain their scent for decades, and this is one of the main reasons why Sandalwood is a long used scent in perfumes, for both men and women. In fact, the essence is also known as an aphrodisiac, especially for men.
Sandalwood & Citrus Perfume Recipe
Combine 3 drops of Australian Sandalwood + 3 drops of Pink Grapefruit oil and about 10 ml/ 0.3 oz of your favorite carier oil in a roll-on bottle, shake well and use as a perfume.
The result is a sensual, sweet combination of warm sandalwood and sparkling grapefruit! Dab on this perfume oil to feel secure and happy throughout the day (or before a romantic evening).
This aphrodisiac blend is reminiscent of a single blooming flower in a wonder woodland garden. Enjoy this exquisitely balanced aroma of feminine and masculine notes, as your cares and worries melt away. Enhance your spiritual path as you deepen your desires...
Sandalwood 2 drops
Patchouli 2 drops
Lemon 4 drops*
Blend these sensual oils together with your carrier oil of choice. Select the citrus oil you enjoy the most, whether grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, or orange. Use it for a back massage or apply it to your forehead and the back of your neck.
Mix these oils together in a bottle, shake well and diffuse in your nebulizer undiluted for a burst of delightful aromas. If you use a diffuser instead, just divide all quantities by 10 (For example, if the recipe calls for 10 drops use just 1 drop, and if 20 drops just use 2 drops, and so on).
For maximum effect and for a lasting aroma, we highly recommend diffusing them in a nebulizer for its capacity to distribute a stronger scent, which is long-lasting and in a fraction of the time.
Sandalwood is also antiviral, anti-oxidant, and also anti-inflammatory.
As an antiviral agent, research shows it has been effective on helping with common cold by diffusing it, and for treating urinary tract infection when using sitz baths.
When applied topically, it can soothe irritated skin due to common skin irritations such as eczema or acne. A sequesterpine called alpha-santalo makes up 55% of sandalwood oil. Alpha santalo is studied to cause a large decrease in inflammation markers, which can be used in a multitude of ways. In conclusion, Sandalwood can be used as antioxidants to help reduce inflammation.(2)
Since inflamation affects the whole body, Sandalwood could be used in different ways for inflammation: diffusion or topic application. Inhaling the Sandalwood oil with the help of a nebulizer may help you relax. If your inflammation is stress-related, this may be beneficial. You can also mix a few drops of Sandalwood to your favorite career oil and massage your body to reduce pain and inflammation.
Face Mask with Sandalwood Essential Oil
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on store bought cosmetic products, which may not even work, when instead you can use 100% natural ingredients for better results. This recipe is not only good for your skin and your pocket, it’s also good for the planet. You only need 3 ingredients- you can’t get any cheaper or simpler than that!!
- ¼ tsp bentonite clay powder
- ¼ tsp honey
- 1 drop Organic Sandalwood Essential Oil
- Combine all ingredients together with a plastic or wood spoon (don’t stir ingredients with metal spoon or use metal jar) and mix with enough water to make a thick “clay” mixture, but be careful not to add too much water.
- Apply this mask to your face avoiding the eyes area for about 10 minutes or until you feel the mask is dry and your skin starts to feel tight.
- Remove it with warm water and then apply your daily moisturizer as usual.
Bentonite clay has the power to draw dirt from pores by absorbing toxins, drawing out blackheads, and killing acne-causing bacteria. Sandalwood oil si also a powerful anti-inflamatory agent, and when combined with bentonite clay it helps the skin purge even more toxins, plus as an anti-oxidant reduces fine lines and wrinkles. You can use this mask every week for a deep facial deep cleansing and treatment in one. Enjoy your clean, radiant skin!
This same sequesterpine (a-santalo) has been shown to do even more than that! It has been studied and shown to be anti-cancer especially against skin cancer. (3) When placed with cancer cells (breast, prostate, melanoma and non melanoma), the a-santalo caused cell death in the cancer cells. It’s truly an amazing oil!
A study discovered that the same sequesterpinoid discussed above, alpha-santalo, has the ability to help calm the nervous system.(4) This is likely what has made it such a cornerstone in meditation and creativity realm, but can serve well beyond that space.
As sandalwood is both a tonic and a sedative, it can really help improve low mood, assist in dealing with grief, and can help calm anxiety. A separate study done on patients in palliative care stated, “The results do seem to support the notion that Sandalwood oil is effective in reducing anxiety.” (5)
Emotional Bath Soak for a Mind-Body Detox
This detox bath blend is not only great for helping flush out toxins; it's also a wondrous body-and-mind way to relax and relieve stress especially during times of increased stress as Sandalwood and Frankincense help the mind unwind and get calmer, more grounded. Plus Sandalwood as an antioxidant can reduce the harmful effects of inflammation in the body, so adding it to the bathing water not only soothes and calms your mind, but also your body.
For maximum relaxation, we suggest combining the bath with your favorite soothing activity, like meditating, reading, watching a good movie, or listening to music. Be sure to drink water before, during, and after the bath, and when you’re done, rinse, towel-dry, wrap yourself in a cozy towel or robe and…feel better.
- 10 drops USDA Organic Sandalwood Essential Oil
- 20 drops USDA Organic Thyme Essential Oil
- 10 drops of USDA Organic Frankincense Essential Oil
- 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap (or your favorite carrier oil)
- 2 oz Himalayan salt
First, dilute all of the essential oils in the Castile soap or carrier oil of your choice. (This is a very important step as it allows the essential oil to blend with the carrier oil and later into the water before adding it to the bath water. Adding essential oils directly to the bath water will cause the oil molecules to separate from water and the treatment will be worthless.)
Then pour the oil mixture into the bath water and immediately add the salt blend to a warm bath while the water is still running, swirl water with your hand to disperse the blend.
Who said detoxing had to be uncomfortable and hard? In the winter time, they can be very pleasant and relaxing for the body and mind. You can mix and match the oils depending on your personal preference, or how you’re feeling that day. Soak for a minimum of twenty minutes to let the ingredients work their magic.
As you can see, Sandalwood is a diverse and powerful essential oil with a long history and tradition. Please do take a look at the Australian Sandalwood to find out more about what oils it blends well with as well as tips on how to use it for maximum benefits.
Insect repellant (1) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10340-011-0377-y/fulltext.html
Anti-inflammatory (2) http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/29130352
Anticancer (3) http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/35/6/3137.short
Meditation (4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11081993
Anxiety (5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16648093