Essential oils have a rich history which dates back to ancient Egypt, where the oils were used extensively in religious practices, cosmetics and as medicine. They were also placed in tombs and the residual fragrance survives even today. Sandalwood is one of the best known essential oils and is widely used today. Let’s discover more about the fascinating history of sandalwood essential oi.
The sandalwood tree
Sandalwood essential oil comes from the wood and roots of the sandalwood tree, which can be found in India, Australia and other areas in the Pacific and East Indian region. Sandalwood has a distinctive woody, floral aroma and has a warmth and complexity which makes it a sought after fragrance. Before the oil can be distilled from the sandalwood tree, it can take forty to sixty years for it to reach maturity. Once the trees are ready, the oil is typically extracted using steam distillation. Unlike other oils which can lose their fragrance, the oil can last for decades.
The history of sandalwood essential oil
The use of sandalwood essential oil is thought to date back 4,000 years and its use is mentioned in Chinese and Sanskrit manuscripts. The wood was also used by the ancient Egyptians, who imported it to extract the oil for use in medicine and rituals. They also carved objects from the wood itself. Indians have used sandalwood for centuries for the oil, to create incense, or to make jewellery. Tibetan and Chinese cultures have typically used sandalwood in traditional medicine as an antiseptic, and sandalwood also became important for the Buddhists and Hindus.
The benefits of sandalwood essential oil
There are many benefits that come from using sandalwood essential oil and it can be inhaled directly or applied in a diluted form to the skin. Some of the common uses of sandalwood essential oil include:
Anxiety – may assist in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and relieving stress. Try massaging with sandalwood essential oil mixed with a carrier oil.
Sleep issues – sandalwood essential oil can have a sedative effect on the body and promote REM sleep for better quality rest.
Mental alertness – although it has the ability to create calm, sandalwood essential oil also enhances mental alertness to enhance mental functioning.
Scalp care – boosts the health of your hair and scalp by adding shine and lustre to your hair. It can also assist if you suffer from dry hair.
Sexual health – sandalwood essential oil has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries due to its ability to promote emotional openness and boost the libido.
Antiseptic – contains antiseptic qualities and is known to assist with healing and reducing inflammation.
Skin health – promotes skin health by smoothing the skin and evening out imperfections. Due to the antiseptic qualities, it can also assist with acne and promotes healing.
Our Japanese bathing ritual is infused with sandalwood essential oil. Find out more today!