Sandalwood oil (Botanical name – Santalum Album) is perhaps best known in the west as a sweet, warm, rich and woody essential oil used as is for a body fragrance, and as an ingredient in fragrant products such as incense, perfumes, aftershaves and other cosmetics. But the story of sandalwood, the divine essence, goes much further. Sandalwood has been a part of the religious and spiritual traditions of India since prehistory and has been effectively used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.
Sandalwood essential oil is derived from heartwood specifically a part of the root from the Indian Sandalwood tree that is now scarce. This essential oil is extracted from the wood by steam distillation.
The scarcity in the source of this essential makes it really pricey. At this time the government monitoring the number of what is left of its specie is protecting the plants from poachers. However there are still incidents where illegal loggers are able to get their hands on the plants and they sell it to the black market. By then, the sandalwood oil is infused with other synthetically produced chemicals to increase its volume but it makes the sandalwood oil one of the most “not pure” oils out there in the market.
There are other reserves of this specie being cultivated in other countries, by Western Herbalists. It is however saddening that these species grown out of India is not considered as true sandalwood, these are cultivated in Hawaii which is an attempt to neutralize the overwhelming demand for this endangered plant in India.
The essential oil derived from Sandalwood is characterized by a sweet rich-woody scent. The color of this essential oil is pale yellow like champagne. The consistency of this essential oil is viscous. This essential oil has a shelf life that can span for a couple of years or even decades. As this essential oil age the more that the scent becomes more potent. It takes about thirty years before a tree is ready for harvesting, over these years en route to maturity the roots becomes richer and so by extraction this essential oil is already potent. When matched with further aging it is just unimaginably many times more potent.
Blends well with bergamot, basil, clary sage, cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, fennel, jasmine, geranium, lavender, juniper, marjoram, lemon, orange, neroli, rose, myrrh, ylang ylang.
The Sandalwood essential oil has the antiseptic quality that is good for treating minor wounds. In China and in India part of the Ayurvedic practice they incorporate the use of this essential oil in treating chest pain, abdominal pain, and pains or discomforts caused by sexually transmitted diseases. It is also used in relieving anxiety.
Other than its medical qualities it also has that very valuable and most sought for fragrance used in perfumery and other commonly used personal care products like soaps and shampoo. In aromatherapy, this essential oil is good for massages. For religious purposes it is used in lacing incense. This is also effective in clearing acne, reduce the development of blackheads, and normalize chapped and dry skin as well.
Mind and Spirit
The odor that is distinct to Sandalwood is its spicy, strong and exotic aroma. These characteristics will forge the feeling of positivity, happiness and optimism. This essential oil will encourage the feeling of contentment that which further wanting spans beyond the material aspect of this world.
Sandalwood has a direct relation to man’s instinct to build and innovate. It will help in heightening mental capacity and also be able to take you back to the source of mankind’s infinite wisdom from the remote past. The essential oil helps in enhancing a person’s cognitive abilities, sharpening coordination and increasing the sensory reception. These factors altogether will take you to a whole new way of experiencing the world and what it offers. You also gain understanding beyond to what is meeting the eye that which you are able to somehow connect to the higher power you acknowledge as part of your own reality.
Sandalwood oil has a quality to induce a state of euphoria. This essential oil has a sedating characteristic that allows relaxation. It is a known aphrodisiac as well since remote past. It is believed by Hindus and Buddhists that the use of this essential oil helps elevate the level of intimacy to more than just physical contact and organic need. It raises it to a level where it is more of the intermingling of both people’s spirits that is the highest form of union.
Keep this essential oil out of reach of children. Sandalwood is not palatable and so should not be ingested.
It is important to raise awareness on how to determine unadulterated Sandalwood essential oil. It is the only way to deprive the illegal harvesters from gaining profit from the illegally obtained sandalwood sources which may in turn lead to their loss of interest in doing the crime repeatedly.