Sandalwood essential oil is an important export commodity in several countries and has been used since ancient times for its fragrance and medicinal properties (1).
Different kinds of sandalwood are found in different countries. The East Indian sandalwood oil obtained from Santalum album, in particular, is widely used to treat various human ailments (2).
Both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine have been using sandalwood oil to treat a variety of ailments. The US FDA has listed it as a natural flavoring ingredient, and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has listed it as a potent medicine (3).
These facts tell us a lot about sandalwood essential oil already. In this post, we will specifically tell you why you must use this oil and the ways it can benefit you.
Table Of Contents
What Are The Medicinal Properties Of Sandalwood Essential Oil?
- Skin softening
- A Prickly-Heat Solution
What Are The Benefits Of Sandalwood Essential Oil?
1. Promotes Sleep
Santalol, an active component of the oil, helps reduce the total waking time and increases the total non-rapid eye movement (NREM) phase of sleep.
Santalol is absorbed into the blood via the respiratory mucosa and is hence effective in promoting sleep. The essential oil can help individuals who have trouble falling asleep (4).
2. Stimulates Hair Growth
Researchers from the University of Manchester found that applying sandalwood oil to the scalp could improve hair growth in humans. The oil stimulates a particular receptor cell in the scalp (called OR2AT4) and prolongs hair growth (5).
Alpha-santalol, another major constituent of sandalwood oil, inhibits tyrosinase and cholinesterase (enzymes that catalyze the production of melanin pigments). Due to this activity, the oil is an active ingredient in several skin care products.
Sandalwood essential oil is also enriched with sesquiterpenoids (molecules that deliver oxygen molecules to cells), which act as coolants and relaxants (6).
4. Treats Acne
Sandalwood essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-proliferative properties. Hence, it can be a promising treatment for acne and other skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, warts, etc.
Adolescents and adult subjects with moderate facial acne who used sandalwood oil saw an improvement in their symptoms without any side effects (3).
5. Reduces Anxiety
Aromatherapy using sandalwood oil is effective in reducing anxiety. In studies, sandalwood oil could reduce anxiety in women who were undergoing breast biopsies and in palliative care patients (7), (8).
6. Fights Inflammation
Sandalwood oil inhibits oxidative enzymes and protects against oxidative stress. As per research, the oil suppresses the production of several pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines (compounds produced during inflammation) (3).
7. Treats Urinary Tract Infections
As it is volatile, sandalwood oil also has a disinfecting action that treats infections of the urinary tract.
Sandalwood oil also possesses antipyretic, antiseptic, and diuretic properties and can be effective in treating diseases of the urinary tract (9).
8. Acts As An Antiseptic Agent
Sandalwood oil has antiseptic properties and can effectively treat bronchitis, cystitis, dysuria, and urinary tract infections (9).
As it is a potent antiseptic and astringent, it may be used to treat inflammatory skin disorders like psoriasis (10).
9. Boosts Immunity
Aromatherapy with essential oils like that of sandalwood can boost your immunity by prompting your body to heal itself. The oil promotes white blood cell production, fights microorganisms, and also improves immune responses in your body.
10. Boosts Memory
Sandalwood essential oil can be used to promote mental clarity and boost memory (11).
A study conducted using mouse models has demonstrated significant improvement in learning and memory following the use of the essential oil (12).
11. Controls Blood Pressure
Sandalwood essential oil contains mildly sedative ganglionic blockers or hypotensive agents that help lower blood pressure (11).
In another study, sandalwood essential oil could significantly reduce systolic blood pressure (13).
12. Reduces Stress
Aromatherapy using essential oils has been effective in reducing stress.
Researchers investigating the physiological effects of sandalwood essential oil on human beings found that the oil could alleviate the physiological reactions to stress. The oil was also found to ease recovery after being exposed to stress (13).
13. Helps Relieve Menopause Symptoms
Essential oils have specific properties that ease and balance menopausal symptoms. Sandalwood oil contains sesquiterpenols that calm your nervous system down – and this might help ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
In clinical studies, the oil has also been found to offer relaxing properties (14).
14. Reduces Body Odor
Sandalwood essential oil possesses a delightful aroma that can alleviate unpleasant body odor. It is valued highly for its fragrant heartwood and is used in perfumes for its excellent fixative properties (15).
15. Helps Relieve Stomach Issues
Sandalwood essential oil has been used in Chinese medicine to treat stomach pain and vomiting. The oil exhibits antiviral and antibacterial activities against Helicobacter pylori (the leading cause of stomach ulcers) (16).
The benefits are amazing, aren’t they? Sandalwood essential oil has other interesting uses too. Check them out in the following section.
What Are The Other Known Uses Of Sandalwood Essential Oil?
- In Massaging
Sandalwood oil has been extensively used in aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massages. The oil has been reported to reduce anxiety in patients under palliative care, who were treated with aromatherapy massages (17). Massaging with sandalwood essential oil also makes your skin very soft (15).
- In Cosmetics
The cosmetic use of sandalwood essential oil has been described in ancient literature. It has been used to make soaps, perfumes, and aromatherapy products. Its wide range of medicinal properties makes sandalwood essential oil one of the best and most reliable ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products (15).
- In Ayurveda
Sandalwood oil has been used in Ayurvedic massages and medicines to treat various ailments such as diarrhea, intrinsic hemorrhage bleeding piles, vomiting, poisoning, hiccoughs, urticaria, eye infections, and the inflammation of umbilicus (11).
- In Bath
Sandalwood oil has maintained the original fragrance and properties of soaps intact. The essential oil provides smoothening, hydrating, anti-aging, and moisturizing effects. It also has excellent cleansing, toning, and astringent properties, which make it a prominent ingredient in soaps and creams (15).
Sandalwood essential oil has been long used in food as a flavoring agent. It has no reported adverse effects and is considered safe (18).
- In Perfumes
- In Aromatherapy
Sandalwood essential oil has been widely used as an aromatherapy agent. Its main component is alpha-santalol, whose antimicrobial properties make it an ideal ingredient in aromatherapy products (15).
The uses of the essential oil are extensive. But we recommend you check the next section as well. The oil might show some adverse effects in some individuals – though they aren’t serious.
What Are The Side Effects Of Sandalwood Essential Oil?
A few possible side effects of the oil could be dermatitis, itching, and gastrointestinal distress (16).
Severe toxicity could cause seizures, coma, and CNS depression (16). Please consult your doctor if you are susceptible to any of these conditions.
The oil showed no side effects when used within the recommended dosage. This is especially true with its use as a flavoring agent.
As a flavoring ingredient, its recommended dosage is 0.0074 mg of the oil per 1 kg (18).
No drug interactions have been reported with the use of this oil (16).
From being used in perfumes to offering enormous medicinal benefits, sandalwood essential oil has a multitude of uses. And it’s no wonder that this oil has been used since time immemorial for its wide range of medicinal properties.
We hope you have liked this post. Do share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the box below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What essential oils can you blend with sandalwood essential oil?
How to make sandalwood essential oil at home?
Purchase sandalwood chips or sandalwood powder online or from health stores.
- If you have purchased sandalwood chips, use a mortar pestle or a coffee bean grinder to crush them.
- Mix the powder with a cup of olive oil and let it sit for a week. Keep shaking it occasionally.
- Strain the mixture and push down the sandalwood powder to extract as much oil as possible.
- Store this home-made sandalwood essential oil in a glass bottle (in a cool, dark place).
Remember that the homemade oil can be as potent as one that you buy from the store – and it can be strong enough to cause allergic reactions. Thus, exercise caution. Please do a patch test before using.
Why is sandalwood essential oil so expensive?
A short supply and a high demand for sandalwood are the main reasons the essential oil is expensive. Also, it takes about 15 years for a sandalwood tree to produce a viable quantity of heartwood. Harvesting takes over 25 to 30 years.
- “Sandalwood and sandalwood compounds” ResearchGate.
- “East Indian sandalwood…” RSC Advances, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Sandalwood album oil as a…” The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Effect of santalol on the…” Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Olfactory receptor OR2AT4…” Nature Communications.
- “TLC-bioautographic evaluation…” National Product Communications, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Aromatherapy with essential oils” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
- “Evaluating the effectiveness of aromatherapy…” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Santalum” ScienceDirect.
- “East Indian sandalwood oil is a…” Frontiers in Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Santalum album linn…” Academia.
- “Sandalwood oil treatment during growth…” ResearchGate.
- “A pilot study on the…” National Product Communications, US National Library of Medicine.
- “Menopause…” Australasian College of Health Sciences.
- “White Sandal, a precious medicinal…” Plant Archives.
- “West Indian sandalwood oil” Toxicology Data Network.
- “Evaluating the effectiveness of…” ScienceDirect.
- “Safety assessment of sandalwood…” Food and Chemical Toxicology, US National Library of Medicine.
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