Monthly Archives: July 2020

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood header

Family: Santalaceae

Synonyms: East Indian sandalwood, Mysore sandalwood, white sandalwood

Aroma: Warm, sweet, woody, and lingering.

Colour: Yellowish

Plant: A small, evergreen, parasitic tree with small purple flowers that grows up to 15 metres high. To survive the roots of the sandalwood tree must attach themselves to the roots of another tree but they don’t kill the host tree supplying them with nutrients. The tree must be over 30 years of age before it is cut down for oil.

Main Growing Areas: Southern India, Western Australia

Major Constituents: cis-alpha- santalol, cis-beta-santalol, epi-beta-santalol, alpha- santalal

Interesting snippets: It was used in ancient India for religious ceremonies.
The wood was used by the ancient Egyptians in medicine, for embalming the dead and ritual burnings to worship the gods.

sandalwood handicraftsThe wood is used for carved objects of high quality and has been referred to as botanical ivory.

Powdered sandalwood is burned as incense in Buddhist and Hindu temples.

In 1998 Indian sandalwood was listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species in India.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Steam distilled from the inner heartwood of the tree. 11.25 kgs of wood produces approximately 0.45 to 0.7 kgs of oil.

Therapeutic actions: Chronic infections of the pulmonary and genito-urinary tracts. Dry and inflamed skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, varicose veins, swollen lymph nodes, cold sores and sore, dry throat.

Emotional and Spiritual: Calming helping to reduce tension and confusion, nervous depression, insomnia and fear.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that sandalwood aids people who want to make human contact and overcome isolation. It helps them accept others with an open heart and diminish their egocentricity. Sandalwood fosters openness warmth and understanding.

Robbie Zeck writes that when seeking an overview, guidance or wise council concerning a particular aspect of your life, take time out for quiet reflection. Imagine standing on the highest mountain where the view is clear and expansive. Sandalwood will support you in shifting you from your present point of view, to a different kind of viewing point.

Gabriel Mojay states that sandalwood is indicated for states of obsessive worry and worldly ‘over-attachment’. Whenever we over-invest in seeing specific outcomes to our efforts – especially out of a neurotic need for security – sandalwood helps to re-establish an acceptance of reality as it is.

Loughran and Bull write that sandalwood quiets the mind, promotes a meditative state to better receive and integrate healing energy. She also encourages states of higher consciousness and a sense of unity.

Sal Battaglia believes that sandalwood has a strong affinity with the water element’s Zhi (Will). Zhi represents willpower, ambition, self-actualization and the will to live. It is the will we draw on to survive ordeals, overcome obstacles and preserve against hardships. It also represents collectivity – our sense of being part of a whole.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that sandalwood is a fragrance that stretches out to the universe into the hallowed space between heaven and earth, to contact the divine presence. Sandalwood brings our wisdom into a meditative state, quieting us so we can hear and rejoice in the choral singing of the universal soul.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:Sandalwood Aroma Insight cardCONTEMPLATION
Contemplate life: go inside to realize the answers you seek. When working from inside, we have a peace and strength to see exactly how life’s events really are. Allow yourself to be still, away from the busyness of the external world. Sandalwood helps keep your space as your own: strong and free of other people’s negative energies, so that you can operate efficiently and enjoy life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I allow my inner awareness to guide me to the answer.

Contemplations for the Soul Card:Are you looking for answers?
Are you forever busy giving yourself no time to think?
Are you feeling emotionally drained wondering what the future will bring?
Do you feel frustrated, anxious and worried about your future security?
Take time out for contemplation today.
If you are seeking the answer to a problem you can simply go for a walk or sit in nature and allow your mind to wander.
Use your imagination to explore possible solutions to your problem. Worry and anxiety will only cloud your mind.
Take some slow deep breaths and allow your intuition to give you the answer.
Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

Safety: In general, non-irritating, non-sensitising and non-toxic. Because 0.34% of dermatitis patients reacted to patch testing with 2% sandalwood oil and the fact that there is a risk of photoallergic reactions especially in Japanese people Tisserand and Young recommend a maximum use level of 2%

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy & Subtle energy techniques, Frog Books (2000)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)