Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is known by its botanical name as Santalum Album and was a highly treasured oil by ancient cultures. It dates back 4000 thousand years to the Egyptians who built buildings and embalmed with it. Solomon used it in 1Kings 10:12 in the construction of the temple and the King’s house. It was popular up until the 30’s because of its antimicrobial properties and fell out of use as modern medicine took over. The oil has found renewed popularity as many have become educated in the use of aromatherapy.
Santalum Album is an endangered species, making it extremely expensive. It is native to the southern part of India and owned by the government. The harvesting is strictly controlled and the best Sandalwood comes from the Mysore Region. Because of over-harvesting, it now is only used to make essential oil.
Sandalwood trees take thirty to sixty years to mature to the point where essential oil can be made. The tree itself is an evergreen tree which grows up to thirty feet high. It is a parasitic tree, which means it will actually burrow its roots into another tree. It has a brown-gray trunk, many smooth slender branches, leathery leaves and small pink-purple flowers.
The wood is yellow, heavy and fine grained. The uniqueness of this wood versus others, is that it maintains its fragrance for decades. It is harvested and steam distilled to make the precious essential oil which is used by many aromatherapists. The oil is a colorless to pale yellow liquid. The aroma is a rich, balsamic sweet fragrance giving it the reputation as luxurious and exquisite.
For those who make perfume, its consistency is medium and has a striking base note. Sandalwood used in small measures in perfumes is a fixative and allows other fragrances to be enhanced. It is also used in body care products for the fragrance it provides.
Some of the symptoms Sandalwood essential oil is good for are: bronchitis, chapped and dry skin, depression, laryngitis, leucorrhea, oily skin, scars, sensitive skin, stress, and stretch marks. Since it is calming, it can aid while in prayer. It also is good for urinary tract infections, acne, pulmonary infections and menstrual problems.
According to the Essential Oils Desk Reference:
Sandalwood is high in sesquiterpenes that have been researched in Europe for their ability to to stimulate the pineal gland and the limbic region of the brain, the center of emotions. the pineal gland is responsible for releasing melatonin, a powerful antioxidant that enhances deep sleep. Sandalwood is similar to frankincense essential oil in its support of nerves and circulation. It is always advisable if pregnant or under a doctor’s care to consult your physician before using.