Sandalwood Essential Oil

Type of plant: Small tree growing to 30 feet in height with bark that can be red, brown, or black, with long leaves, small red flowers, and small black fruits

Part used: Chipped heartwood and root

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: Known as East Indian sandalwood or white sandalwood because the heartwood is sometimes white. The tree is harvested when mature at 30–40 years by uprooting it during the rainy season. Production in the traditional growing area of Mysore Province is strictly controlled by the Indian government, which maintains a sustainable growth policy. The sandalwood tree is parasitic in that as a sapling it gathers water and nutrients from the roots of host plants, yet this relationship does not cause damage to the host. Sandalwood has been used in incense, as a perfume, and in medicine for thousands of years. The trees can live for 100 years, and when more abundant they were used to build ever-fragrant temples and carved religious sculptures.

Principal places of production: India, Indonesia

When buying look for: A pale-yellow, slightly viscous liquid maturing into a darker yellow, with a soft, rich, sweet, warm, woody aroma

Therapeutic properties: Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, calmative, cicatrizing, diuretic, emollient, nervine, pectoral, restorative, sedative, tonic

Therapeutic uses: Coughs, sore throat, heavy legs, swelling, urinary infection, cystitis, vaginal infection, scarring, insomnia, anxiety, nervous tension, nervous exhaustion, depression

Blends well with: Benzoin, cananga, cardamom, chamomile roman, clary sage, coriander seed, frankincense, geranium, ginger lily root, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, lemon, linden blossom, mandarin, neroli, orange (sweet), palmarosa, patchouli, petitgrain, rose absolute, rose otto, rosewood, spikenard, tuberose, valerian, ylang ylang

Precautionary advice: No contraindications known