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Sandalwood is another essential oil that I keep at home to use when I need it for some help with coughs colds and other things. I think the warm woody notes are really soothing physically and mentally when inhaled
What is it?
Sandalwood (Santalum album) is known to be one of the oldest materials used for aromatic and perfumery purposes. There is documentary evidence of its use for over 4,000 years and the ancient Egyptians are known to have used sandalwood as well as other things in the process of embalming of bodies for mummification. Ayurvedic medicine has also used sandalwood for respiratory and urinary infections. In Chinese Medicine, sandalwood has been used for skin complaints, stomachache and vomiting.
Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree that has a brown trunk with slender branches and pinkish flowers. It is a parasitic tree and obtains its nourishment from attaching its roots to the roots of other trees. The essential oil from sandalwood can not be extracted until the tree matures which takes approximately thirty years. The tree is then cut and left till lie in the forest whilst ants eat the outer part of the wood. Once there is only the heart of the wood left. This wood is then used in the making of furniture incense and essential oil. The oil is extracted from the wood via steam distillation. With this process taking such a long time you can see why this oil is not a cheap one.
The oil itself is fairly thick oil with a yellowish color to it. The scent is a warm, rich and woody one.
What is it used for
This is relaxing oil so it has a calming effect to reduce tension and confusion. It is an ideal oil to use for depression and to help you manage stress levels in hectic lifestyles
It is very useful for any chest complaint such as persistent coughs the reason for this is it has a pronounced effect on the mucus membranes in your lungs.
It also helps with the genito-urinary tract and was a traditional cure for gonorrhea though I would have to say if you think you have that you're better seeing your GP first rather than try this oil! However it is said to be beneficial for cystitis suffers. So trying a vaginal douche or a bath in this oil with some water may help.
It is also said to have aphrodisiac qualities and for this reason was included in a lot of perfumes. For this reason if you are having problems with issues like frigidity and enjoying sex and relaxing it is said to be beneficial to use massage oil containing this as part of the blend.
Sandalwood has been used in cosmetics since Egyptian times and as well as reliving dry skin through its toning effects it also works at the opposite end of the spectrum in treating oily skin and acne due to its astringent properties.
Sandalwood oil blends well with Bergamot, Black pepper, Geranium, Lavender, Myrrh, Rose, Vetivert and Ylang-Ylang.
None of my aromatherapy text books warn of this oil being contraindicated for anyone. But as with everything if you search the Internet something pops up and some American websites warn against the use in pregnancy as there have been insufficient tests to prove it is safe.
How I use this oil and benefits I notice
Bathing-As with most oils my favorite way of using them is often in the bath I like a soak and think that the oils are absorbed well into the body this way. Plus with a busy house and a lively toddler this is one of the few places I get to relax. I tend to mix up the oils in the following way if I have a cough- I tend to do a mixture of 5 drops of each frankincense sandalwood and benzion all of which are great for encouraging deep breathing a loosening mucous. I tend mix the oils in some milk to help the oil disperse and then they don't just sit on the top on the bath water. I tend to make the bath as hot as I can cope with to allow the heat to release the aromas of the oils and to allow them to seep into my skin. The combination of the frankincense and sandal wood is also good for insomnia so when the racking coughs come this is a good blend I find not only to help me breath but to help me sleep too.
The other way I use sandalwood in the bath is if I want to help myself get in the mood as it were for a romantic evening with my husband. As with most busy mums I find that I am often tired and not in the mood for sex after a busy week at work and taking care of my son and I find a bath with Sandalwood and ylang-ylang about 10 drops each goes a long way to helping me get relaxed and into the mood as it were. Both of these oils have aphrodisiac qualities and I find when they are combined they help me unleash the inner tiger as it were. Again I blend them in milk to help the oils disperse.
Massage- I again I find a blend of sandalwood and ylang-ylang in a carrier oil such as almond can help me relax and enjoy a bit of a sensual massage ( this is the type of massage my husband does like to give!) and help me get into the mood at the end of a busy day. For those of you who have partners better able to give a normal massage without it been a sensual one I would recommend a back massage of this to help get rid of coughs as it can concentrate on the lung area to help get rid of that nasty mucous.
Another way that I use Sandalwood is in a compress for my throat when I have coughs and sore throats what you do is mix 6 drops to a bowl of warm waters soak a cloth or a flannel in the water for a few minutes then squeeze out some of the water and apply it to your throat for about 15 min. If I find it is starting to get a bit cold what I do is re-soak it and reapply to my throat a few times. In the same manner having a gargle with 2-3 drops of oil mixed in water also appears to help my sore throat just make sure you don't swallow the water. Though it is non toxic it doesn't really taste nice or add much benefit to your digestive system
Lotions and cream- At times of dry skin flare ups I make up a lotion with some sandalwood and a non perfume lotion. I apply this to my dry skin and find that by doing this over a course of about a week it does improve. I haven't tried it for either the anti-ageing properties or for acne but it is supposed to be good for those so again. I would suggest adding 20 drops per 100 grams of lotion
The final way I use this oil and this is my least favorite not because I don't like burning oil I do but it just seem to me to be an expensive thing to burn! Again you just use a regular oil burner with a few drops to help clear up coughs and reduce stress. I really don't use this that often as I prefer to inhale the oils in the bath as this feels less wasteful some how.
This is one of my favorite essential oils I would recommend it to people to use if they have a troublesome cough need to relax or as an aphrodisiac. At about £15 for a 5 ml bottle it is a luxury essential oil but one that does last and give great benefits. One word of caution though about Sandalwood because it is an expensive oil there have been instances of people diluting and adulterating this oil so make sure you buy one from a reputable dealer or you wont get the correct sandalwood (Santalum album) and you may end up with an inferior oil. Brands such as Tisserand can always be trusted even if you have to pay more.
Sandalwood Mysore essential oil has a musky, rich aroma which is not initially very strong. However, the perfume is a base note one and this means that it lingers for a long time. This fragrance is used a lot in religious ceremonies and burnt to aid meditation. It is said to create an exotic, sensual atmosphere although, I must admit rhat I find it makes me feel drowsy. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the wood of the sandalwood tree (Santalum album, family: santalaceae). The East Indies are one of the world's largest commercial producers. This oil is in the top price range. Uses: +++++ Skincare oil, Repair dry and damaged hair, Body fragrance, Antiseptic, Soothing agent, Astringent, Insect repellant, Skin conditioner, How to use: +++++++++++ Mix with carrier oil and use for massage. A couple of drops is sufficient, in about 10 mils of oil. Burn in a diffuser as a relaxant and insect repellant. If you have an open fire sprinkle onto logs and leave them for about half an hour before burning. The aroma is wonderful. This oil is very heavy and tends to have a long lasting aroma. It is best blended with one of the higher note fragrances (something more sharp). There are lots to choose from but I like to blend it with camomile. (Use 1 drop sandalwood, 2 drops camomile to 10 mils of carrier oil.) Easiest to use and most effective added to a warm bath. Warning: +++++++ Use only in recommended amounts. Follow instructions on bottle. Only buy if properly labelled. Write down, or remember the latin name so that you make sure that you get the correct oil. (This actually applies to all essential oils.) Sandalwood has anti-spasmodic properties and should not be used in pregnancy. Do not use in states of depression as this oil may cause an even lower mo
od. Verdict: ++++++++ This oil is wonderful in a warm bath just before bedtime. I find it helps me get a good night's sleep. However, my favourite way to use it is on logs, on an open fire (when there's one around!) This is an expensive oil so is perhaps best kept to pamper yourself from time to time. It really is exotic and luxurious.
Sandalwood is a thick and viscous oil, but once out of the bottle it has some valuable uses. It has a subtle long lasting satisfying woody aroma. Whilst it seems appealing to humans, mixed with Eucalyptus and a citrus oil such as Mandarin it makes for an effective insect repellent. I’ve tried it when camping in Scotland and I swear the midges had suitcases when they flew off! For a relaxing bath try a couple of drops with Clary Sage or Ylang-Ylang to ease away tension. Follow up with a body massage of the same blend to test its aphrodisiac reputation. For dry coughs especially, try blending Sandalwood with Ravensara and either steam inhaling or mix them with a carrier oil and rub on your chest at night to aid restful sleep.
Sandalwood was used in the ancient world for religious ceremonies, and it is one of the key oils used in the Ayurvedic health system. Widely used in perfumes as it has the most delightful sensual and dizzy aroma. It has many therapeutic uses; for calming and cooling the body, reducing infection or fever and alleviating inflamation. It has a sedative effect, therefore useful for burning around the home for a claming and soothing atmoshpere. Used as a massage oil, it is indicated for anxiety and mild depression. On a more physical level, Sandalwood can be used for sore throats, laryngitis etc. Apply a few drops to a handkerchief and breath the oil in. Alternatively add a few drops to some base oil and massage into the affected area(s). Use also for cystitis - add a few drops to bathwater or massage into the lower back and abdomen area.
Another favourite of mine. Sandalwood smells woody! But a kind of fruity-sweet woodiness! The men normally like this one as it doesn’t smell too girlyish. It’s more commonly used for insomnia, tension, stress and depression and is great to massage into men who have a little libido problem! (As well as women) It also works as a relaxing sedative so…. The massage will go down a treat! They say it has aphrodisiac properties, and it probably does, however.. I tend to mix it with frankincense in the bath, it leaves me feel relaxed and confident.