Sandalwood benefits are found everywhere you look. Sandalwood is found in many products you use every day. From skincare products to fragrances to the soap you bath with, many everyday products contain sandalwood.
If you have read this blog since the beginning you may recall I wrote a post and looked at a few benefits of sandalwood. You can read that post here. I only looked at a few benefits in that post, so I wanted to give you a larger overview of all the sandalwood benefits you can enjoy for yourself.
Where does sandalwood come from?
Most sandalwood comes from Australia or India. Although it is grown in a few other places, these two countries are the major producers. This makes it no wonder that the tree is considered sacred in many eastern countries. It is probably most famous for its use in the making of incense. In fact, it has been in use for over 4,000 years as an incense making material. It has used in religious ceremonies in the Far East since ancient times. Both the oils from the wood and burning the wood as incense are used.
Sandalwood is one of the most expensive essential oils available. Once you know the process of extraction of the essential oil, you will understand why. Sandalwood is a tree so to extract the essential oil first you have to grow the tree. The oil comes from the roots and heartwood. Sandalwood trees take 20-40 years to mature. The best oil comes from trees that are between 40-80 years old.
Sandalwood oil is used in much more than just religious ceremonies. It is a part of your everyday life. The FDA gives it a GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) rating as a food additive. The budding perfumery industry in France in the 1920s began making use of sandalwood for its slightly sweet, woody scent. Since it has a slightly masculine scent it is used in many men’s care products. Adding a vanilla scent changes the scent to a more unisex scent that can also be worn by women.
Now let’s look at some of the many sandalwood benefits for both the mind and the body.
Has A Calming Effect
Aromatherapy with sandalwood can have a calming effect. It has been used to relieve the symptoms associated with depression, stress, and anxiety. If you are feeling anxious you can inhale a few times directly from the bottle or you can diffuse sandalwood essential oil in your home or office to help you deal with stress or anxiety.
Can Help With Mental Focus And Clarity
Sandalwood has been used for centuries during prayer, meditation, and spiritual rituals. One study looked at the effects of sandalwood and alpha-santalol against placebo on arousal. The measures of arousal included self-reporting of “alertness, attentiveness, calmness, mood, relaxation, and vigor”. Both substances increased arousal in the test subjects.
Shows Promise In Preventing Cancer
The main effective constituent of sandalwood oil is alpha-santalol. Alpha-santalol has been shown in studies to affect cancer cells. One study looked at the effect alpha-santalol had on skin cancer cells. The study found that ” alpha-Santalol could be an effective chemopreventive agent for skin cancer”. Animal studies and studies done with laboratory cancer cell lines have shown that sandalwood and alpha-santalol have an anti-cancer effect.
May Help You Sleep
Since alpha-santalol has a calming effect it stands to reason that inhaling sandalwood oil may also help you sleep. In an animal study, it was found that rats that inhaled sandalwood had “a significant decrease in total waking time and an increase in total non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep time”. If you have trouble sleeping you may want to try inhaling sandalwood or using it in a diffuser near your bed. If you really want to get a restful sleep you can try your own blend with sandalwood and either lavender or chamomile. Both of these oils can promote relaxation and sleep also.
Practitioners of traditional medicine in India use sandalwood as a natural aphrodisiac. It has the effect of increasing desire and sexual arousal. It may be effective in relieving male sexual dysfunction also. Add several drops to massage oil and give your partner a sensual massage. Alternatively, you can put a few drops in a diffuser next to the bed to help awaken passions.
Another great sandalwood benefit is its antiseptic effects. It has been shown to prevent the replication of the herpes virus, both Type-1, and Type-2. You can add a few drops to a carrier oil and use it as a home treatment for cold sores. You can use it for minor cuts and other skin conditions to prevent infection. It has anti-inflammatory properties which make it effective in treating inflammatory skin conditions also. It is useful to treat acne as it also has antibacterial properties as well.
Sandalwood can be beneficial when you have a wet cough such as with a cold or the flu. Inhaling sandalwood has the ability to help you cough up mucus. It can also be helpful to fight the cold or flu virus as it has antiviral properties. For a double punch to a cold or flu, you can add a few drops to warm water and gargle to help kill off viruses and it can also help as a home remedy for a sore throat.
If you make your own beauty products, or you purchase them, you can add a few drops of sandalwood and mix in to help tone and tighten then skin. Mix it with an unscented lotion and apply it to the face or other problem areas.
Since sandalwood has antibacterial properties it can kill the bacteria that cause body odor. Two of my favorite uses for sandalwood is adding it to my homemade body wash and adding it to my homemade deodorant. You can find my recipe for easy homemade body wash here. You can find the recipe for an easy homemade deodorant in which I use tea tree oil and sandalwood here.
With all these sandalwood benefits it would seem reasonable to get and keep some sandalwood essential oil on hand. The great thing about sandalwood essential oil is that it gets better with age. Since it is a little bit expensive it’s a good benefit that it won’t spoil like some of the citrus essential oils.