Sandalwood refers to wood from trees in the genus Santalum. Sandalwood trees grow in India, Asia, and places like Hawaii. There are many types of wood that have desirable fragrances such as cedar and cherry trees but the scent of those trees fades pretty quickly compared to the sandalwood. The sweet, warm, woody, and soft scent of sandalwood stays strong for decades. Sandalwood’s sweet aroma has been around and highly valued for many centuries.
Indian Sandalwood is sacred in Ayurveda and is known in Sanskrit as Chandana. Sandalwood is considered to be sacred and holy in Jainism, Buddhism, Sufism, and Zoroastrianism, as well as Chinese and Japanese religious and spiritual practices. This wood is known for its spiritual, mental, and physical healing benefits. Today’s walk through Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet will take us down the essential oils section where we will find five of the many healing benefits of Sandalwood.
Healing With Sandalwood
Sandalwood has been used medicinally for centuries for the mental clarity, focus, and calming effects. Here are five healing properties of sandalwood.
- Antiviral & Antiseptic: Sandalwood contains powerful antiviral and antiseptic properties. The antiviral properties are even strong enough to stop the Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 from replicating and further spreading. Sandalwood’s natural antiviral agents and antiseptic properties prevent the replication of several common viruses (Herpes Simplex is just one of them). The essential oil can be used on the skin (make sure to use a carrier oil!) to cleanse wounds, acne, zits, pimples, boils, and warts. It will help keep the area super clean and it will also ease inflammation, making them less visibly noticeable.
- Anti-inflammatory: One of the active ingredients found within sandalwood that helps ease inflammation is Santalol. It helps decrease inflammation and swelling. The Santalol present in sandalwood acts very similarly to various NSAIDs found in pain relief medication -- minus any negative side effects. Sandalwood works well for mild swelling and inflammation of the skin. Used with a carrier oil or added to massage lotion, the sandalwood essential oil can also help ease minor aches and pains.
- Mental Clarity: Sandalwood essential oils, incenses, candles, and diffusers are all great ways to get some mental clarity. The enchanting fragrance of sandalwood is incredible – a warm, subtle woody aroma. It is used during prayer, rituals, and meditation due to the fact that it helps clear the mind. It is believed that it heightens awareness and focus, too. Sandalwood of various species has been used for years in different cultures for the mind clearing and memory-boosting benefits.
- Reducing Anxiety: Once again, sandalwood’s magical fragrance comes into play. Using sandalwood essential oil in combination with a carrier oil such as sweet almond has shown positive results to reduce levels of anxiety in palliative care patients. Palliative care is specialized medical care designed for people with serious illnesses and diseases. This form of care focuses on providing stress relief. Sandalwood is used in aromatherapy and massage therapy.
- Anti-aging: Sandalwood can be found in numerous skin and beauty care products for far more than just the fragrance. Sandalwood has high amounts of antioxidants available for our body. These antioxidants are responsible for reducing damage done to our skin by havoc-wreaking free radicals. Free radicals promote aging through the damage they cause, so eliminating the free radicals adds to skin’s youthfulness. You can just add a few drops to unscented body or face lotion and enjoy.
Sandalwood is an amazing tree and essential oil. It is also used as an antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, and astringent, and has pain-relieving properties.
I hope this week’s walk through the medicine cabinet finds you well and in a good way! Essential oils are incredible medicines for the mind, body, and spirit, all the same. Sandalwood fits into all three of those categories, helping you function in all ways. Your body, mind, and spirit can all be uplifted and receive amazing healing benefits. Happy Healing!
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