Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree that has a brown trunk with slender branches and pinkish flowers. The essential oil from sandalwood can not be extracted until the tree matures which takes approximately thirty years. It is sought after for its aphrodisiac, relaxing and purifying characteristics.
The sandalwood tree can be found in East India, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Sandalwood’s essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from dried and powdered roots. It is used for its antidepressant, antiseptic, insecticidal, and sedative properties. Sandalwood’s essential oil has a deep, fruity aroma. In aromatherapy it is blended with bergamot, cypress, jasmine, lavender, lemon and vetiver.
Sandalwood has been used for centuries in many different cultures. In India the temples are built from sandalwood, because sandalwood seems to ward off white ants. It is used as part of India’s meditation ceremonies. The Hindus use it also in their ceremonies as a cleansing agent for the people’s sins.
The Egyptians used it in their embalming process. In ancient and present Chinese medicines it is used to treat stomachaches, vomiting, and skin complaints. The Ayurveda culture used it as a remedy for urinary and respiratory infections and for diarrhea. It was used in many Japanese ceremonies to honor Buddha. In the Muslim countries it is used during the burial process to promote a speedy ascend of the soul to heaven.
Sandalwood is a very sought after and highly appreciated essential oil in today’s aromatherapy. Due to the extraction process and the length of time the tree takes to grow it is an expensive but well worth the price essential oil. It works wonders for dry and aging skin; it removes the old skin and provides the new skin the nutrients the skin needs to grow healthier than before. It is often prescribed for major burn victims to aid in the healing process. Sandalwood is used for the immune system it aids in stimulating new growth of white blood cells which help the body fight infections.
Sandalwood is a very strong and potent essential oil; there is caution to avoid using directly on skin without mixing with base oil.