Sandalwood (Santalum Album)

The essential oil of sandalwood is extracted through steam distillation of pieces of wood from matured Sandalwood trees which are 40-80 years old, although 80 years is preferred. The older the tree, the more oil is available, and the aroma is stronger. Sandalwood oil is commonly known for its woodsy, sweet smell and is frequently used as a base for products such as incense, perfumes, cosmetics, and aftershave. It is easily blended with other oils, making it desirable as a mix into other fragrances. Traditionally, sandalwood oil has been a part of religious traditions in India and other Eastern countries. The sandalwood tree itself is considered holy and used for various religious ceremonies, including decorating for weddings or for the birth of a baby.

Sandalwood Essential Oil Benefits

1. Mental clarity

One of the primary sandalwood benefits I that it promotes mental clarity when used as an incense or fragrance. This is why it is frequently used for meditation, prayer, or other spiritual rituals. A 2006 study evaluated the effect of sandalwood oil on attention and arousal levels.

Those who received the sandalwood oil, when compared to control subjects, felt more mentally aware and demonstrated behaviors linked to increased attention and cognitive clarity.Try inhaling some sandalwood oil next time you have a big deadline that requires mental focus, but you still want to remain calm during the process.

2. Relaxing and calming

Not only is sandalwood beneficial for mental clarity, it also helps to create a feeling of relaxation and peace. The 2006 study discussed above found that although sandalwood was relaxing when smelled or rubbed on the skin, it did not promote drowsiness like lavender. Instead, it promoted what researchers referred to as a harmonious feeling, more of a present, clear, but calm awareness.

Another study, published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, found that patients who were receiving palliative care felt much more relaxed and less anxious when they received aromatherapy with sandalwood prior to receiving care, when compared to patients who did not receive sandalwood.

3. Memory booster

Since one of sandalwood’s benefits is clarity, it also can work as a memory booster. It is difficult to remember important things when we are overwhelmed and stressed out, therefore using sandalwood oil to promote mental clarity can help improve memory.

4. Natural aphrodisiac

Sandalwood is also an aphrodisiac that can help increase libido, especially for men and provide energy.  Sandalwood is great when added to a massage oil or topical lotion.

5. Astringent

 Sandalwood is a mild astringent, meaning it can induce minor contractions in our soft tissues, such as gums and skin. Many aftershaves and facial toners use sandalwood as one of their primary ingredients to help soothe, tighten, and cleanse the skin.

6. Anti-viral and antiseptic

 Sandalwood is an excellent anti-viral agent. It has been found to be beneficial to prevent replication of common viruses, such as herpes simplex. It can be applied to the skin to reduce inflammation from mild skin irritation such as superficial wounds, pimples, warts, or boils. Make sure to always test the oil on a small area before applying it directly to the skin or mix it with a base oil first. It has also been used for centuries to treat urinary and chest infections. If you have a sore throat, you can also gargle with a cup of water with a few drops of sandalwood oil added.

7. Anti-inflammatory

 Sandalwood is also an anti-inflammatory agent that may provide relief from mild inflammation such as insect bites, contact irritations, or other skin conditions. A 2014 study found that the active ingredient in sandalwood called santalol did help decrease inflammation markers in the body called cytokines. It is believed that santalol acts in a similar manner as NSAID medications, but without the potential negative side effects.

8. Expectorant

Sandalwood is excellent at treating coughs, since it has relaxing properties. It can also help fight bacteria or viruses that are the underlying cause of coughs and other respiratory illness. Add a few drops to a tissue or washcloth and inhale to help reduce the severity and duration of a cough.

9. Hypotensive

Sandalwood has been studied for its potential to decrease blood pressure. A 2004 study found that when subjects had sandalwood oil applied directly to the skin, without smelling it, there was a decrease in systolic blood pressure when compared to control groups.

10. Helps with endometriosis

 Endometriosis is a painful condition caused by skin from the uterus growing outside the uterus. Taking three drops of sandalwood essential oil daily may help reduce pain and decrease inflammation.

11. Anti-aging

Sandalwood is high in antioxidants that can help reduce damage caused by free radicals, which promote aging. Try adding 5 drops of sandalwood oil to an unscented lotion and applying it directly to the face for anti-aging benefits.

12. Anti-spasmotic

 Due to the relaxing sandalwood benefits, it can act against spasms of nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Try infusing in an oil lamp or in some of the ways below.

 Sandalwood Essential Oil Use


Try inhaling a few drops of sandalwood essential oil before stretching, yoga, or other relaxing time to help set the mood. You can even use before quiet time, prayer time or journaling time to increase your ability to focus.

2. Focus

The best way to get the mental clarity benefits of sandalwood is to apply a few drops, about 2-4, to the ankles or wrists at times of high stress or overwhelm throughout the day. You can also directly inhale the oil if you do not want to apply it directly to your skin. You can also use it in a diffuser to allow everyone in the house to enjoy it. Or add a few drops to the bath water at the end of a long day.

3. For the Body

Sandalwood is frequently used as a skin care product and is especially useful when mixed with a base oil to treat dry skin. Get creative by mixing sandalwood with other essential oils to create your own blend. For example, mix 4-5 drops of sandalwood with rose and vanilla oil and adding it to an unscented lotion for a romantic, fragrant, woodsy blend.Or you can try making your own homemade men’s cologne by mixing sandalwood with various other essential oils to create an earthy, manly scent. You can also use sandalwood as a base for your own homemade hair conditioner. Sandalwood is a great addition to conditioner to help prevent dandruff.

4. Cleasing & Home Use

The strong aroma of sandalwood essential oil allows it to be used in the home in various ways:

  • Add a few drops to a log before burning it in the fireplace, a few drops on the radiator, or a drop or two to a light bulb ring to fill the whole house with an amazing and relaxing smell.
  • Use it in your car by placing 2-3 drops on the A/C vent to help maintain a calm alertness during rush hour.
  • Since sandalwood has antiseptic properties, it can also help disinfect the washing machine, just add 10-20 drops per load.
  • Sandalwood oil can be added to the hot tub to a foot bath to promote additional relaxation.

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