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.
For centuries sandalwood has been used for many purposes all over the world. Admirers of sandalwood oil have been known to call it “liquid gold.” As a versatile commodity, sandalwood has been used in religious rituals, for medicinal purposes, cosmetics and as a fragrance. The wood has also been used for carving spiritual deities and religious figures for decorative purposes to be displayed in temples. The sandalwood tree is revered and associated as a sacred natural resource, playing an important role in Indian devotional ceremonies. Due to the pleasant and soothing fragrance of sandalwood, it was also used as incense and commonly burned in Hindu and Buddhist temples .
Sandalwood soothes the skin and tightens it. The oil fades scars and spots. For these reasons, it is often used to make soaps and lotions. Often applauded for its antiseptic qualities, it is also used in beauty treatments to treat the skin.
The interest in herbs and alternative medicine is growing. Based on the many medicinal uses of sandalwood, this herb is definitely worthy of consideration for people seeking natural solutions to a variety of common health problems. Sandalwood can be taken as a tonic internally, or used topically in combination with other ingredients as a soothing lotion.
Sandalwood’s anti inflammatory properties offer relief from fever, infections, digestive upsets, insect bites, poisoning and ulcers. Brain and excretory system inflammation can also be treated with sandalwood. In particular, the oil is considered extremely beneficial in providing relief for circulatory and nervous inflammation health problems.
As a diuretic, sandalwood is useful for improving urinary tract infections. By soothing the inflammation in this area of the body, urine passes easily through the system. The quantity of urine and frequency of urination is improved, which elevates overall health.
Another part of the body that is believed to benefit from the herb is the brain. Accepted as an aid in increasing memory and concentration, sandalwood can impact a person’s ability to learn and focus. The anti inflammatory characteristics also serve to repress anxious feelings and like fear and anxiety that plague so many people.
Other health benefits attributed to sandalwood include improved blood pressure, healing of viral infections and elimination of cramps and coughing. Boils, pimples and wounds also respond well to sandalwood. Considered an expectorant, sandalwood aids in healing the common cold and flu symptoms.
As people continue to seek out medical and cosmetic products that are natural and safe, sandalwood provides a contemporary solution to many of life’s challenges. Proven as a versatile product with many applications, sandalwood is worthy of consideration as something to keep on hand in any household. Proven over time, this herb of choice offers a safe and inexpensive solution to common health and cosmetic needs.