13 Amazing Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Sandalwood oil has a classic scent and a very interesting agglomeration of benefits. It can be used as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, and an astringent. In addition to that, it also has cicatrizant, carminative, diuretic, disinfectant, emollient, expectorant, and hypotensive properties. Sandalwood essential oil is a great memory booster, sedative, and tonic.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

The essential oil of sandalwood is extracted through steam distillation of wood from matured sandalwood trees which are 40-80 years old, although 80 years is preferred. The older the tree, the better the oil reserve and the stronger the aroma. The main constituents of the essential oil of sandalwood are beta santalol, santyl acetate, and santalenes.

Types of Sandalwood

As far as quality is concerned, Indian Sandalwood (botanical name Santalum album) is considered the best. There are two more varieties, namely the Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum ellipticum), which is quite expensive, and the Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum), which is not too beneficial but is commercially more in use. The Indian variety is expensive and on the verge of extinction.

Sandalwood oil and sticks, a white bowl filled with sandalwood powder, and mortar and pestle

Sandalwood oil blends well with citrus oils like Bergamot or Graapefruit. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil and the paste of sandalwood is used in medicines, skin and beauty treatments, and numerous industrial products including mouth fresheners, edibles, incense sticks, room fresheners, deodorants, perfumes, soaps, lotions, and creams. It has some really remarkable medicinal properties, which we will explore in greater detail below.

Antiseptic

The essential oil of sandalwood is very good as an antiseptic agent. It is safe for both internal and external applications. When ingested, it helps protect internal wounds and ulcers from infections. Similarly, when applied to the skin, it protects wounds, sores, boils, and pimples from developing infections or from becoming septic.

Anti-inflammatory

Both sandalwood paste and its essential oil are very effective as anti-inflammatory agents. A 2016 report published in Journal of Herbmed Pharmacology revealed that Indian sandalwood has a nice cooling effect and that it provides relief from all types of inflammation in the brain, digestive, nervous, circulatory, and excretory systems that result from infections, fever, side effects of antibiotics, poisoning, insect bites, or wounds. Sandalwood essential oil is particularly beneficial in cases of nervous and circulatory inflammations.

Antispasmodic

Being a relaxant and sedative in nature, this oil works great against spasms. A report published by the Department of Biology, Genetics Institute (CGRC), University of Florida, USA, sandalwood oil relaxes nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, thereby ending spasms and contractions. Thus, it is helpful in treating problems associated with them such as cramps, aches, and coughs.

Astringent

Although it is very mild, this essential oil has some astringent properties which induce contractions in the gums, muscles, and skin. A 2010 report titled, Santalum Album Linn: A Review on Morphology, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Aspects, reveals that sandalwood oil is known for its astringent properties that make it useful as a disinfectant in genitourinary and bronchial tracts, diuretic, expectorant, and stimulant. This proves beneficial in terms of strengthening the gums. Additionally, it also helps in the strengthening of muscles and tightening of the skin.

Cicatrizant

The essential oil of sandalwood soothes the skin and helps scars and spots to heal much faster. It is an old practice to use the paste of sandalwood as a skin pack. The same effect can be obtained by using this essential oil. This oil is now extensively used in skincare soaps, lotions, and creams.

Diuretic

Due to its relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties, sandalwood essential oil soothes inflammation in the urinary system and induces relaxation, thereby promoting the easy passage of urine. It also increases the frequency of urination and the volume of urine. This helps in treating infections and inflammation in the urinary system because it flushes out dangerous toxins through the urine.

Disinfectant

It is the disinfectant property of sandalwood essential oil that justifies its wide use in religious ceremonies and cosmetics. Its fragrance keeps away microbes and small insects, which is why it is extensively used in incense sticks, sprays, fumigants, and evaporators to disinfect large areas.

A 2017 report published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences suggests that sandalwood oil, among its many properties, is a disinfectant to the mucous membrane in genitor-urinary and bronchial tracts. Moreover, this oil can be mixed with bathing water or other lotions or oils to apply on the skin and wounds to ensure their protection from infections. This oil can also be safely taken with milk to cure internal infections, such as those of the throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines, and excretory tracts.

Skin Care

Sandalwood oil soothes the skin, relieves it from inflammation and irritation, cures infections and keeps you feeling fresh and cool. Dr. Corey Levenson of Santalis Pharmaceuticals, Texas, USA, reveals that sandalwood oil has shown great promise in the clinical trials for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, eczema, common warts, and a severe condition known as molluscum contagiosum.

Treats Coughs

Sandalwood essential oil behaves as an expectorant and is particularly effective in treating coughs. It also fights viral infections which initially caused the cold, cough, flu, mumps, or any other illness.

Antiphlogistic

Sandalwood oil has antiphlogistic properties and gives relief from inflammation resulting from fever and viral infections.

Lowers Blood Pressure

This is a very useful property of sandalwood essential oil. It can be taken with milk or even water to reduce blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. The paste of sandalwood has the same effect when topically applied to various parts of the body.

Memory Booster

It improves memory and stimulates your concentration power. It also keeps the brain cool and relaxed and saves you from undue stress and anxiety.

Sedative Effect

This oil sedates inflammation, anxiety, fear, stress, and restlessness. Furthermore, it induces relaxation, calmness, concentration, inner vision, and positive thoughts.

Other Benefits

Some people use sandalwood essential oil as a deodorant to relieve body odor.

How to use Sandalwood Oil?

Before using sandalwood oil it is important that you source it from a reliable place. Because this oil is high in demand, there are producers taking advantage and producing synthetic material. The best way to ensure the authenticity of sandalwood essential oil is to check the nutrition label. You want to pick the one that is extracted from Santalum album.

  • Sandalwood essential oil blends well with bergamot, lavender, myrrh, rose, vetiver and ylang-ylang oils if you want to use it for aromatherapy.
  • You can also apply it directly to your skin for relief from rashes.
  • Add it to your bath.
  • Diffuse it for a relaxing time.
  • Mix it in your body lotion.

Word of Caution: No risks have been associated with sandalwood essential oil, except that it is recommended not to be used raw on the skin. For application on the skin, it should be mixed with some type of carrier oil.

Did You Know?

Sandalwood has reserved a place of dignity and respect in many civilizations and religions of the world, especially in Hinduism, where it is considered holy and indispensable in almost all of the social and religious rituals and ceremonies; from the birth of an individual until their death. It is offered to various Hindu gods and goddesses, mixed with flowers and other ceremonial offerings, used to embalm bodies and apply on foreheads in some communities in India, and it is also burnt with the pyre when cremating the dead.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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