Getting started with essential oils can be a daunting endeavor, especially for individuals who have little to no experience. However, learning how to use essential oils to address various mental and physical ailments can be a useful skill. While every essential oil has their own healing properties, some essential oils are better for beginners than others. Beginners should look for essential oils that have multiple uses and are non-toxic and non-irritants, as this will prevent them from causing harm should they accidentally misuse the oils.
Essential oils have been in use throughout history. They are essentially aromatic essences derived from plants and herbs. They are not actually “oils,” but hydrophobic in nature — their molecules stick together and do not mix in water like oils. The process by which they are extracted from the plants is very tedious and often performed through distillation, in which the aromatic part or the essential oil is carefully separated from the plant.
Sandalwood is a small tree or shrub indigenous to the Mediterranean geographic area. The older the tree, the richer the fragrance of the oil for making perfume and incense. Trees between 40 and 80 years of age are best for making commercial products. The Indian Sandal is considered to be the highest quality sandalwood. In addition to the fragrance extracted from the herb for making incense and cosmetics, the wood and the oil are used for astringent, digestive, antiseptic, antispasmodic and diuretic purposes. The main active ingredients in sandalwood are santalenes, beta santalol and santyl acetate.