Next to the African blackwood, sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world. And what makes it so pricey?
To start with, sandalwood is a class of wood that comes from the trees in the genus Santalum, which refers to a group of slow-growing woody flowering trees and plants. Sandalwood’s aroma lasts longer compared to other aromatic trees, and this is what makes this wood so special and highly valued.
Many species of sandalwood trees require lots of time to grow in order to be fully matured and considered commercially viable. Some trees may take as long as 80 years before being harvested. The older the tree, the stronger the aroma. Indian sandalwood is considered as the highest-quality species.
Sure, because it is a wood, it naturally exudes a woody smell. But you will be surprised that a lot of people may not arrive at a consensus when it comes to the sandalwood’s distinct aroma. Many say that sandalwood’s smell is too harsh or powerful; others say that it gives off a pine-like scent, while some people think that it has delightfully sweet, spicy or even creamy notes.
Why should moms like us bother knowing about sandalwood? You may have heard of sandalwood oil, and believe me, it has some impressive benefits – and you should consider it!
The main product derived from sandalwood is sandalwood oil. It is extracted through a process called steam distillation, where extremely heated steam is passed through powdered sandalwood. In turn, the steam carries the essential sandalwood oil that is locked within the wood’s cellular structure. After the steam goes into a condensation process and finally cools, the resulting product becomes the hydrosol (“floral water”) and the sandalwood essential oil.
Sandalwood oil has a handful of uses, including:
- Sacred balms
- Food flavoring
How to make Sandalwood Oil
- Sandalwood chips or powder
- Carrier oil(such as jojoba, coconut, or almond oil)
- Glass jar with a lid
- Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
- Dark-colored glass bottle with a dropper
1. Start by choosing premium sandalwood powder or chips. Because of its high oil content and potent perfume, Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) is the finest choice.
2. Put the sandalwood powder or chips in a clean glass jar, then top it off with your preferred carrier oil. Leave a thin layer of oil over the chips or powder and use enough oil to completely cover the sandalwood.
3. To ensure that the sandalwood is evenly covered with oil, thoroughly stir the mixture.
4. Shake the jar every day to encourage the infusion of sandalwood’s essence into the oil, then cover the jar with a lid and keep it in a cold, dark place for at least a week.
5. To separate the sandalwood from the oil after a week, pass the mixture through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. To get the most oil out of the cheesecloth, squeeze it tightly.
6. To prevent deterioration and loss of potency due to light and air, put the strained oil into a dark-colored glass bottle with a dropper.
Health Benefits of Sandalwood Oil
With its irresistible aroma, the sandalwood oil can bring a lot of health benefits:
Skincare – Just rub a drop of sandalwood oil on your skin and it can alleviate your itching problems. It also helps in curing various skin infections. Worrying about wrinkles? Sandalwood oil is also known to prevent or slow down aging. It also helps in getting that clear, clean and bright skin that you’re dreaming of.
Anti-anxiety and depression – In traditional Indian ceremonies, burning sandalwood is thought to drive away anxiety, depression, and restlessness. The aroma of the sandalwood oil is enough to keep your blues at bay. That’s why it is often used in aromatherapies.
Sleeping aid – Did we mention “restlessness”? If you’re feeling that way, don’t reach for the sleeping pill that can potentially harm you. Instead, use a sandalwood oil. Throughout the centuries sandalwood oil has been lauded as a potent aid for insomnia. Most species of sandalwoods contain active compounds called α-santalol and β-santanol, which work as a sedative.
Soothing and calming agent – With its aroma, sandalwood oil is known to be effective in bringing a sense of calm, peace and relaxation. Paradoxically, it doesn’t cause drowsiness like the other essential oils to do (such as lavender). Instead, a whiff of sandalwood oil engenders a relaxing feeling, yet it also keeps a person stimulated and alert at the same time – physically and mentally.
Anti-inflammatory – Sandalwood oil is also excellent as an anti-inflammatory remedy which works like certain conventional medicines (like ibuprofen), only without the side effects.
Anti-microbial and antiseptic – Sandalwood oil is also known as an anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent. Studies have shown that it even helps in preventing the spread of viruses (such as herpes simplex). It has also been used for centuries as a cure for certain infections.
Anti-spasmodic – Sandalwood oil also helps in countering nervous spasms, muscle spasms and spasms in the blood vessels.
Is sandalwood oil safe for pregnant and lactating moms?
When used properly, sandalwood oil is considered quite safe for use during pregnancy and can even help expectant moms in relieving the usual pregnancy pains and symptoms. These include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, swelling in certain parts of the body, stress, insomnia, spasms, and a lot more!
Sandalwood oil is also perfectly okay for nursing moms! Apart from its calming properties, sandalwood oil is also considered helpful for oily skin. Some moms who have just given birth and are breastfeeding their newborns tend to experience skin problems like acne and oily skin, so sandalwood oil seems to be the ideal cure for that!
You have never imagined that a mere wood can bring a lot of health benefits to your mind, body and overall well-being until you discover the amazing sandalwood!
If you are interested in purchasing sandalwood oil, it is better to get an unadulterated, 100% pure sandalwood oil. There are cheap bottles of sandalwood oil that are being sold online (particularly on Amazon), but beware of them – cheap can mean poor quality. Remember that sandalwood oil is one of the most expensive essential oils around, but once you buy a genuine sandalwood oil from a trusted supplier, its benefits will definitely outweigh the cost. Find out more about Sandalwood at sandalwoodheaven.com!
Sandalwood is most likely harmless when used in reasonable levels, but prolonged use could be dangerous. These are the adverse effects that occur most frequently:
- The skin is itchy (due ti the use of sandalwood incense)
- Uringe with blood (kidney damage)
- Related skin surface contact, allergic skin responses
But if such a reaction occurs after using it, get medical help right once. Consult the Ayurvedic doctor who prescribed it to you; they will be able to determine the cause and provide a successful treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does sandalwood cure acne?
Yes, because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, it is used to treat acne.
2. Is sandalwood good for skin?
Yes, when applied to the skin, it provides a lot of advantages. It is applied topically to treat wounds, lessen acne, and prevent wrinkles. Also, it helps with lice, molluscum contagiosum, psoriasis, and eczema. You must speak with a dermatologist or ayurvedic doctor.
3. Can sandalwood be eaten?
When cooking, sandalwood oil is used as a flavor or preservative to add to food.
4. Can sandalwood be applies to face everyday?
Sandalwood is secure and suitable for daily usage. If you have allergies, you should avoid it because you could get contact dermatitis (a skin rash that is caused due to contact with a particular substance). Only use it if doctors have prescribed it to you.
5. What is sandalwood good for?
It is helpful for treating a variety of skin disorders. Infections including gonorrhea, bronchitis, vaginitis, and UTI can all benefit from it. Treatment of ulcers is another use for it. Additional research is needed, but sandalwood also holds promise as an antipyretic, sedative, and treatment for Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer. To suggest the usage of sandalwood for these disorders, we need additional scientific evidence, as well as more human investigations. For more accurate information, speak with an Ayurvedic doctor.
The sandalwood tree produces a fragrant wood that has been used for generations in traditional medicine and spiritual rituals. Numerous advantages of sandalwood include its anti-inflammatory effects, use in aromatherapy, and advantages for skin care.