(NaturalNews) Sandalwood is an expensive oil but a worthwhile investment when one considers its wonderful properties. It is excellent for combating the ravages of aging skin - promoting hydration and moisture. It relieves the symptoms of both chest and urinary tract infections. For the mind, it reduces anxiety, tension and confusion.
Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood, is a threatened species near to extinction. Sandalwood trees are slow-growing, taking thirty to sixty years for a tree to reach full maturity. The tree is cut and distilled; the yellowish, fragrant wood is sold in thin scrapings. The demand for oil has resulted in over-harvesting of the trees. This means the price for pure sandalwood oil is very high - usually blended oils are sold at a lower price.
According to Esoteric Oils, the therapeutic properties of sandalwood oil are antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, sedative and tonic. It is considered a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing oil.
How to Use Sandalwood Oil
Steam inhalation helps with skin care conditions such as acne, eczema, respiratory ailments and laryngitis. Stress related disorders and depression can also be alleviated in this way. Add a few drops to a basin of steaming hot water, cover the head with a towel and inhale.
Massage: Massaging with sandalwood enhances its soothing effects. For a great skin care oil, blend 3 drops of sandalwood with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil. For a more intense, sensual massage oil, add 2 drops of jasmine or rose essential oil.
Skincare: Sandalwood oil is great for cleansing the skin and is a wonderful oil to add to massage and facial oils, bath oils, aftershaves, lotions and creams. The astringent action has a great toning effect, and it can also be used for oily skin conditions. It prevents the skin from forming ugly scars and fights dry eczema.
Sandalwood is especially useful for chapped, dry, sensitive and/or inflamed skin. Revitalize dehydrated skin by applying a warm compress to the afflicted area. Adding a few drops to an unscented, natural cream or blending with jojoba oil will aid in the healing of damaged, scarred skin. For dry skin, blend 10 drops of pure sandalwood with 6 drops of geranium and 30ml sweet almond oil and massage into the skin.
Hair: Dry hair will benefit by simply adding a few drops of sandalwood oil to rinsing water.
Chest infections and coughs: Add a few drops of sandalwood to a vaporizer to help clear bronchitis, coughs, chest infections and asthma. It is also useful for cases of nervous tension, stress and depression.
Sandalwood oil blends well with oils such as bergamot, geranium, lavender, myrrh, rose and ylang-ylang. Be wary when purchasing sandalwood oil, as cheap imitation oils are often promoted as the genuine product.
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.