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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Sandalwood Oil

Sunday, 10 January 2010

sandalwood oilSandalwood trees are native of the highlands of Southern India, and the Eastern and Pacific regions of the Indian Ocean. As tree grows, essential oil of sandalwood develops in the root and heartwood, which is then extracted through the process of steam distillation. Sandalwood essential oil is clear in color with a slight yellowish hue and is generally medium to thick in consistency. It is considered to be a «base note» oil, meaning it is among the longest lasting of all the essential oils (it can linger for as long as an entire week). Sandalwood oil fragrance is described as floral, but also woody with a musk tone.

Sandalwood oil has been used since ancient times for a variety of purposes. For instance, it was used for embalming bodies in ancient Egypt. The use of the oil can be traced back to nearly 4000 years; it was mainly used by Romans and Greeks along with Egyptians. In India, sandalwood tree is actually regarded as sacred and has long been used for crafting religious artifacts such as figurines and statues. Powdered wood from sandalwood trees are also used to make incense in countries such as China and India as it is among one of the most aromatic of all the natural fragrances.

The benefits and applications of sandalwood oil are manifold:

  • The oil has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; it is used for the treatment of ulcers, wounds, boils, infections and also internal inflammations.
  • The oil is used for the treatment of different kinds of urinary tract infections, including cystitis and gonorrhea.
  • It stimulates the immune system of the human body.   
  • The oil has antifungal effect.
  • Sandalwood oil is used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases.
  • If you're depressed or simply stressed out, aromatherapy with sandalwood oil will soothe away the blues of a hectic lifestyle, so it is recommended for insomnia, to relieve stress and depression.
  • Sandalwood oil is known as an aphrodisiac. It increases sensuality, enhances sexual desire and sexual activity.
  • Sandalwood oil reduces the discomforts of all types of skin conditions - skin itches, inflammations or blemishes.
  • The oil is also helpful in the treatment of rhinitis, cough and common cold.
  • The oil is used in many perfumes for its aroma.
  • Sandalwood oil is used for hair and body care, especially for the softening of roughened skin on the feet and on the elbows.

Traditionally, sandalwood oil is used in cosmetology for skin care. Owing to its unique properties, sandalwood oil is suitable for both oily and dry skin. Sandalwood essential oil has a harmonizing and antiseptic effect which is beneficial for oily skin prone to acne. It is also used in the treatment of furunculosis. Sandalwood oil is also a suitable ingredient for aftershave or facial oils as it helps to soothe inflamed skin but is also an excellent cleanser as well. Most any skin type will benefit from products containing sandalwood essential oil, but it is best for dry, chapped skin in particular. To nourish dry skin, mix three drops of sandalwood oil with an equal amount of rose oil to one ounce of natural cream containing no scent or man-made chemicals. For aromatic facials, use eight drops of sandalwood essential oil with four drops of geranium, along with light carrier oil, such as sweet almond, and apply gently to the face. For immediate results, this is one of the most effective essential oil uses.

One of the best known uses of sandalwood oil is in perfumery. It is used as a base note to give retention and body to perfume. Its subtle but linear odor helps fragrance performance in the end product. Today, the use of sandalwood has been considerably reduced due to less availability and cost increases. Instead, chemicals with similar odor profile are used in perfumery and cosmetic applications. Sandalwood is used in creams, lotions, talcum, moisturizers, bath salts, body butter, hair care products, personal fragrances, deodorants, etc.

It also affects the moods and emotion. Sandalwood is relaxing and helps restore a sense of calm, making it helpful in nervous conditions and sleep disorders. It can also soothe aggression and reduce phobias. Sandalwood is calming and comforting to the soul. It balances the base and crown charkas, thus helping relax the conscious mind for meditation.

Try using sandalwood essential oil for aromatherapy and massage by adding three drops of the oil for every teaspoon of carrier oil and gently massaging into the skin. To stimulate the senses even further, add a drop of jasmine oil into the mixture before blending.

Although there are no special health precautions to be aware of when using sandalwood essential oil for aromatherapy, no type of oil should ever be taken internally or applied to the skin before being diluted unless specifically directed by a well versed aromatherapy practitioner. Also, pregnant women or those with certain medical conditions such as heart or liver disease, epilepsy, and cancer should exercise extreme caution when using aromatherapy and essential oils. People who are prone to allergies are recommended to test sandalwood oil for allergic reactions. To do this, apply a small amount of oil on the skin behind your ear or on the inner side of the elbow and wait for one hour. If after this time the skin is not red or inflamed, the oil can be used. Sandalwood oil can only be used externally; it can not be taken orally.

To longer preserve the beneficial properties of sandalwood oil, it should be kept in glass bottles in a cool dry place, shielded from direct sunlight.

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