Uses Of Sandalwood
The sandalwood tree provides extremely versatile products which have been used around the world for thousands of years. The sandalwood tree’s rich wood and valuable essential oil thus have a long history of ancient use in aromatherapy, body care, Ayurveda, perfumery, woodworking, spiritual traditions, and even cuisine, and today sandalwood is still valued by many of these industries. With this incredible variety of applications, it’s not surprising that sandalwood is such a revered resource.
Ayurveda, or Ayurvedic medicine, originated in India over 3000 years ago and is still an intrinsic part of India’s healthcare today, making it one of the world’s oldest medical systems. Ayurveda promotes the use of herbs, specialized diets, and other holistic health practices, and sandalwood is one of its main remedies. According to Ayurveda, the three life energies in the body are Pitta (fire), Kapha (earth), and Vata (air). These life energies are balanced in a way that is unique to each individual’s constitution, and when this balance is disturbed, an individual can experience physical or emotional health issues. Sandalwood is known to reduce Pitta and Vata when they are aggravated, and it also has a neutral effect on Kapha. Because of sandalwood essential oil’s relaxing and cooling properties, one of its most important applications in Ayurveda is to soothe the nervous system by easing nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, and nerve pain. Sandalwood also balances the circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems. As explained in the Body Care section, it acts as a disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant, and sedative. Sandalwood essential oil is often used as a massage oil, rubbed on hemorrhoids and over reproductive organs for bladder infections (Kerala Ayurveda, http://homeofayurveda.org/tag/sandalwood-in-ayurveda/, 2013).
Sandalwood essential oil is used both in ancient traditions and in today’s world in a variety of body care applications. Based on sandalwood’s long history of cultural uses, it seems that nearly every physical ailment can benefit at least somewhatfrom sandalwood essential oil’s powerful properties. Sandalwood oil is a natural relaxant and sedative, and it possesses many antispasmodic benefits, including working as a natural muscle relaxant to treat spasms, contractions, and cramps.
Due to sandalwood’s relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps treat infections and inflammation in the urinary system; sandalwood’s ability to induce relaxation and soothe inflammation promotes the easy passage of urine and flushes out toxins.
Sandalwood oil is particularly effective in skin care and is said to offer more skin care benefits than any other essential oil, aiding both dry and greasy skin. Some of these skin care benefits include:
- restoring and softening the skin by increasing its ability to retain moisture
- relieving localized rashes, inflammation, and itching
- healing and fading scar tissue or stretch marks
- cooling and healing eczema and psoriasis
- soothing and reducing acne
- reducing dandruff.
Sandalwood essential oil is a cleansing, astringent addition to massage and facial oils, bath oils, aftershaves, lotions, and creams. It’s a safe oil for all skin types, and it is particularly useful for dry, sensitive, or inflamed skin. Sandalwood essential oil is known in aromatherapy to be relaxing, cooling, centering, and sensual, promoting good sleep and positive thoughts. Because of these properties, it is often used to soothe anxiety and depression.
Sandalwood essential oil is known in aromatherapy to be a peaceful source of grounding and acceptance in times of emotional distress and loss, thus explaining why it has been used all over the world in funeral rituals to comfort mourners and aid in the deceased’s safe passage to other worlds. It is also used to boost concentration, and it has long been considered an excellent aid in meditation and prayer, which is discussed in more detail under Spiritual Traditions.