Even if you don’t know the scent of sandalwood, you have probably smelled its woody, sweet and exotic scent at some point. Sandalwood products, including the oil, are obtained from the sandalwood tree, which is a member of the Santalaceae family – a family known for producing essential oils. However, the trees are starting to dwindle as more and more people are using the oil in their daily lives, which means the price of sandalwood oil is going up and up.
Typically the oil we use comes from the white sandalwood. The white sandalwood is an evergreen tree which grows quite tall and beautiful. While the tree can be grown elsewhere, it is found naturally in Eastern India.
To get the oil, we typically use the heartwood of the tree. Then, we steam for the essential oil. Basically it is a process in which heated steam is passed through the powdered wood, and what comes out on the other end is the pure oil.
So now that we know how you get it – how can you use it?
To get a break from your daily anxiety, use a few drops of the oil in your hands (or a piece of cloth), and then place your hands over your nose and breathe deeply for at least thirty seconds. Sandalwood oil has an extremely aromatic scent that will instantly trigger the endorphins in your brain and calm you down.
Just be careful that you don’t inhale too deeply or you can get a sneezing attack!
If you (or someone you love) is having a difficult time getting in the mood, mix a few drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as sweet almond, jojoba, avocado oil) on the souls of their feet and massage it in. Sandalwood essential oil can be blended with other essential oils to create romantic atmosphere , for example ylang-ylang, patchouli, rose and jasmine.
For the dry or flaky skin that comes with eczema, you can naturally treat your skin with something that actually smells good! Mix a few drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply on the worst areas of your skin and rub them in, typically after you take a bath or shower. The oil has soothing qualities and will also reduce any inflammation that you have.
Word to the wise, however, DO NOT use sandalwood oil if you have any broken skin, as it can create an infection. For more eczema treatments read my article 11 Natural Treatments for Eczema
If you have dry, brittle hair that never seems to retain moisture, sandalwood oil might become your new best friend! Mix a few drops in with your conditioner and then follow the instructions on the bottle. The longer you let the mixture sit, the better the results will be. The oil will help your hair just like Argan oil or other hair oils will, but it is much less expensive. Do not use too much, however, or your hair will become greasy. For more information read my article How to Use Essential Oils for Healthy Hair
If you have tried everything you possibly could for hiccups and haven’t seen a result, try sandalwood oil! Mix a few drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil and rub it over your throat and diaphragm to relax the muscles that are causing the spasms. Whatever you do, do not try to eat or drink the sandalwood oil.
If you are having trouble sleeping, simply massage a few drops into your forehead or your chest and breathe deeply. The smell will naturally lull you to sleep in no time!
Word to the wise: to avoid staining your pillowcases if you use too much or sleep on your belly – either put an old pillowcase on or make sure you don’t roll over in your sleep.
If you are having a difficult time blocking out the rest of the world, a few drops of sandalwood oil on your chest or a sandalwood oil candle or a few drops in a diffuser (like this one or like this one ) will help you to focus. Concentrate on the smell instead of whatever was distracting you, and you will be able to get in the zone” much more easily. You can also combine it with these 7 Simple and Effective Meditation Techniques to Reduce Stress
Women have used sandalwood oil for years to relieve the symptoms of menstrual cramps. Simply mix a few drops of the essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage into the lower belly or onto your reflex points on your feet. Cramps are actually just muscle spasms, so you will be able to calm the muscles and reduce your pain You can also read my article about The Top 16 Essential Oils to Relieve Pain and Inflammation
Remember: oil stains so be careful what you put on after you rub it into your skin.
If you develop a rash or contact dermatitis, use sandalwood oil to downplay some of the side effects of the rash: itching, swelling, soreness, and hives. Rub a few drops of the essential oil mixed with a tablespoon of carrier oil into the affected area every few hours. Cover the skin with a long sleeve shirt or pants if you can, as this will help to keep the skin nourished.
Do not apply sandalwood oil to a rash that is open or oozing, as that can lead to even more burning on your skin or an infection.
For extra rough or scaly skin, include a few drops of essential oil in a carrier or moisturizer to get a deep penetration of the roughest layers of skin. Many spas will use this when they do pedicures because it allows them to slough off the skin easily. Also read my article How to Use Essential Oils for Healthy Skin
Mix one drop of sandalwood essential oil to your skin care products each time you moisturize or wash your face. For the best results, use it with a quality moisturizer that you put on at night before you go to bed. This works best for people who have dry skin – if you have oily skin, you will only be exacerbating the problem. Find more good essential oils to treat acne in my article The Best Essential Oils for Acne
No matter what your problem is, if it is too bad, you will need to see your doctor. However, for some of the common problems that ail us on a daily basis, sometimes using an essential oil like sandalwood oil is a great way to start.