What is Sandalwood Essential Oil & How Can You Use it for Your Health?
Sandalwood is a lesser-known essential oil for most people, but it happens to be one of my favorites. It has a masculine, woody scent, but it’s gentle enough to do amazing things for your hair and skin. I like to alternate between the Hawaiian and Indian sandalwood; they both have the same aroma and benefits. You can’t go wrong with either one!
History of Sandalwood Oil
“Sandalwood is one of the longest-established medicinal aromatic plants, and has had a continuous history of human use for at least 3,000 years” (source). Even back then, sandalwood was used in personal care, mostly for skin and complexion.
Some, like the ancient Egyptians, used sandalwood as medicine and for embalming. Others used it for mental health, including treatment for depression, anxiety and insomnia. In China during the Tang dynasty (581 AD), it was used to treat respiratory disorders.
Today, the dry woody aroma of sandalwood is used to enhance mood, promote healthy skin, and balance emotions.
Benefits & Uses of Sandalwood Oil
1. Healthy Hair
During the changes of season, it’s important to maintain the moisture in our skin and hair. Especially before and after a cold, dry winter. For me, I need to add extra shine and moisture to dry strands of hair.
To use: apply one to two drops sandalwood to wet hair. It is restoring and moisturizing to your strands and will leave you feeling like you just left the salon.
2. Healthy Skin
One of the top benefits of sandalwood is the ability to promote a smooth complexion and healthy looking skin. It’s known to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. I have added sandalwood to my skincare routine and my skin has felt rejuvenated.
To use: fill a large bowl with steaming water, apply one to two drops of sandalwood essential oil to your face, and cover your head with a towel. Next, place your face over the steaming water. This at-home spa treatment will leave your skin feeling nourished.
You can also try this night cream recipe:
- 2 drops sandalwood
- 3 drops frankincense
- 3 drops myrrh
- 2 tbsp carrier oil (I like fractionated coconut oil)
Click here to purchase the products for this recipe.
BONUS: Restore dry skin with this sandalwood, peppermint and melaleuca shaving cream recipe found here.
3. Enhance Mood
The sweet, woody aroma has been used as a mood enhancer for centuries. By diffusing sandalwood in your home, it can create an uplifting, calming atmosphere.
To use: after a long day of work/school, diffuse sandalwood in your favorite diffuser or add one or two drops in the bath. You can also use this recipe in a spray bottle:
- 12 drops sandalwood
- 8 drops jasmine
- 8 drops ylang ylang
- 1 tbsp alcohol
- 4oz distilled water
BONUS: take advantage of the grounding benefits by diffusing sandalwood at bedtime to promote a relaxing environment for a good night’s sleep.
4. Supports Cellular Health
With over 37 trillion cells in the human body, it’s important to maintain a healthy cellular system. Each of these cells has a specific lifespan and will eventually die and be replaced by a new cell. This is a normal, natural process that facilitates the renewal of the body. The rate at which cells divide and die (apoptosis) is an important factor in the health of the body (source).
Researchers at South Dakota State University published a study that explores the ability of sandalwood oil to help maintain normal cell division and apoptosis in the body (source).
To use: take 1-2 drops in a capsule. You can also apply diluted oil to the affected area or diffuse.
5. Supports Healthy Hormone Levels
Sandalwood is a natural substance that is thought to support healthy hormone levels. Sandalwood may also help to increase libido.
To use: take 1-2 drops in a capsule, or apply to pulse points and lower abdomen.
6. Supports Healthy Brain Function
Sandalwood is often used to support mental clarity, that’s why it’s recommended for meditation or spiritual rituals. The oil’s main compound, alpha-santalol, can support attentiveness and mood.
To use: Apply 1-2 drops to base of skull, or take 1-2 drops in capsule daily.
Due to its unique aroma that holds both sweet and woody notes, sandalwood oil blends well with a variety of other oils when diffused. The sweet scents of sandalwood essential oil make it a good pairing for floral essential oils like lavender, jasmine, and geranium. Sandalwood also blends well with citrus oils like bergamot or grapefruit, due to its sweet, uplifting nature. You can also blend sandalwood essential oil with warm, spicy oils like frankincense (source).
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