Proven Health Benefits and Uses of Sandalwood Essential Oil (Science Based)

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Proven Health Benefits and Uses of Sandalwood Essential Oil
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Sandalwood essential oil has woody, sweet-smelling aroma with many health benefits. Sandalwood oil is good for helping you to relax, treating various skin issues, relieving muscle pain, and helping you to think clearly. Using sandalwood for your skin is especially good because it helps treat rashes, eczema, acne, and promotes wound healing.

You can also use pure sandalwood oil in an aromatherapy essential oil blend. This way you can massage sandalwood oil to soothe muscle aches, put it in your diffuser to help you sleep better, or apply it to your skin to relieve irritation.

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There are many types of sandalwood essential oils with Indian sandalwood oil the most popular. The best kind of sandalwood essential oil comes from the Mysore district of India. This is sometimes referred to as “Mysore sandalwood oil.”

In this article, you will learn about the many science-based reasons why using sandalwood essential oil is good for your health. You will also find out many different ways to use sandalwood oil on your skin, in a diffuser, in your bath, or in aromatherapy.

What is Sandalwood Essential Oil?

Sandalwood essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the heartwood of sandalwood trees. Indian sandalwood oil comes from the Santalum album tree and Australian sandalwood is from the Santalum spicatum tree.

Sandalwood essential oil contains a number of volatile oils that have medicinal and therapeutic properties. Researchers have identified that compounds in sandalwood oil called santalols have many beneficial health uses. (1)

For example, alpha-santalol and beta-santalol are useful for their sedative properties to help relax nerves and sleep better. (2)

Sandalwood oil has a deep rich smell that has woody overtones. Some people say that sandalwood essential oils smell like freshly-cut wood. Other people say that the scent of sandalwood reminds them of a sweet, piney fragrance from woodlands.

Compared to other essential oils, sandalwood oil can be more expensive. This is because sandalwood trees are starting to dwindle as the essential oil is becoming very popular.

What is Sandalwood Oil Good For?

Using sandalwood oil in aromatherapy is good for addressing a number of psychological issues like anxiety, stress, sleeping problems, irritability, or brain fog. You can also mix sandalwood essential oil in a carrier oil and use it to reduce skin inflammation, soothe itchiness, and relieve dry skin.

Researchers have identified that sandalwood essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent properties. Along with its calming woody aroma, this makes sandalwood oil excellent for many topical preparations. (3)

The santalols in sandalwood oil are responsible for the sedative effect of inhaling the scent. This means that sandalwood is also good for using if you suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, or have sleep disorders. (3)

As well as being good for soothing skin irritation and calming your mind, sandalwood also has anti-spasmodic and decongestant properties. Because of this, sandalwood aromatherapy is also useful for clearing congestion, getting rid of a cough, or reducing the effects of allergies. (3)

The Benefits of Using Sandalwood Essential Oil

Let’s look in more detail at how you can use sandalwood oil for your skin, hair, and mind. You will also find helpful essential oil recipes to get the most benefits from sandalwood oil.

Sandalwood Essential Oil Helps Alleviate Anxiety

Due to its anti-anxiety properties, one of the most popular uses of sandalwood oil in aromatherapy is to help soothe anxiety, fear, grief, or irritability.

Various studies have shown that sandalwood is a great essential oil to help cope with stressful and worrisome situations.

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For example, researchers found that sandalwood aromatherapy was helpful in reducing anxiety in women undergoing breast cancer treatment. Massaging an essential oil blend including sandalwood helped to induce feelings of calm. (4)

Other studies have found that santalols in sandalwood have a relaxing and sedative effect when a person is undergoing physiological problems. The effects of inhaling sandalwood helped to stimulate positive emotions and make a person calmer. (5)

How to use sandalwood oil aromatherapy to feel calmer

To help relax easier and lift your mood quickly, try inhaling sandalwood scent straight from the bottle. You could also put a few drops of the essential oil on a tissue to inhale any time you need emotional support.

If you suffer from anxiety and low self-esteem, find out what other essential oils you can use to help beat feelings of depression.

Sandalwood Oil is Good for Your Skin

Because it reduces inflammation and soothes irritation, Mysore sandalwood essential oil has many uses in dermatological preparations.

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology reported in 2017 that Indian sandalwood oil can be used to treat acne, psoriasis, eczema, and help wounds heal quicker. Researchers have found that compounds in sandalwood have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. (6)

One lab trial involving mice found that the benefits of applying sandalwood oil to the skin could also help to inhibit the spread of skin cancer. (7) Other studies have shown that sandalwood oil helps to reduce the number of papillomas. (8)

Use sandalwood oil as an anti-wrinkle application

You can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by adding sandalwood essential oil to an oil blend.

Mix 4 drops of sandalwood oil, 4 drops of lavender oil, and 4 drops of clary sage oil with 1 oz. (30 ml) of sweet almond oil or other carrier oil. Store in a dark glass bottle. Apply a few drops of the anti-wrinkle blend to your dry skin every evening.

You can experiment with other essential oils to combat wrinkles and aging skin.

Use sandalwood oil for effective wound healing

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities of sandalwood essential oil are useful for promoting healthy wound healing.

To treat small cuts and grazes to prevent infection, mix 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil. Apply the sandalwood essential oil remedy to the damaged skin 2-3 times a day to help heal your skin and prevent scars from forming.

Find out how to take care of wounds properly to help prevent infections and scars.

Use sandalwood essential oil to help get rid of scars

Another reason to massage sandalwood aromatherapy oil into your skin is that the fresh aroma stimulates the proliferation of new skin cells – Research has found that even breathing in the scent of sandalwood can promote healthy wound healing! (9)

Find out what other essential oils you can use on your skin to help reduce the appearance of scars.

Use sandalwood essential oil to heal a skin rash

Scientific studies into the healing power of sandalwood oil have shown that it can help to soothe irritated skin. In some studies, sandalwood oil compounds were as effective as topical non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs when applied to the skin. (10)

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Mix 3-4 drops of sandalwood essential oil with 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil or other carrier oil. Gently massage onto your red, irritated skin to soothe itching and promote skin healing.

If you are bothered with rashes on your skin, learn about natural ingredients that can help soothe patches of red itchy skin.

Sandalwood Oil Helps Soothe Eczema and Psoriasis

Applying a sandalwood essential oil blend topically to your skin can help to treat various inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Researchers have found that applying Indian sandalwood essential oil helps to treat the symptoms of psoriasis. Sandalwood helped to suppress tissue inflammation and reduce the appearance of patchy, scaly skin. (11)

If you have contact dermatitis or allergic dermatitis, then applying Indian sandalwood can help to soothe irritated skin. Scientific studies have shown that sandalwood inhibits inflammatory responses in the skin and helps to treat skin conditions such as chronic eczema. (12)

How to use sandalwood essential oil for eczema and psoriasis

To help take the itch and pain out of skin inflammation, you should use sandalwood oil together with coconut oil. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it the perfect carrier oil for treating dermatitis. (13)

Mix 2 drops of sandalwood oil and 2 drops of lavender oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply the sandalwood remedy 2-3 times a day to soothe skin inflammation and moisturize dry skin.

If you have larger patches of psoriasis or eczema, you can add the sandalwood/coconut oil blend to your bath. Use 10-12 drops of essential oils per 1 oz. of carrier oil (if the coconut oil is solid, place the coconut oil container into a bowl of warm water and leave the container in the bowl until the coconut oil melts). Soak in warm water with the oil mixture for 20 minutes to help heal your skin.

For more information on how to treat irritating skin conditions, please see my article on the best essential oils for getting rid of eczema.

Sandalwood Essential Oil is Good for Treating Acne

One of the benefits of sandalwood oil for your skin is that its antimicrobial properties help to treat acne outbreaks.

Dermatologists have found that sandalwood essential oil is effective against strains of Propionibacterium acnes – the bacteria strain that causes some flare-ups of acne. In addition, sandalwood oil helps reduce skin redness and inflammation which makes it a great anti-acne essential oil. (6)

Other studies have shown that an over-the-counter (OTC) acne cream containing salicylic acid and sandalwood oil helped to treat moderate facial acne. After applying the sandalwood acne cream, nearly 90% of acne sufferers noticed improvement in their condition. (14)

How to use sandalwood oil to combat acne outbreaks

You can make your own anti-acne skin toner to help cleanse your skin from impurities and control oily skin.

Mix 4 drops of sandalwood oil, 4 drops of lavender oil and 4 drops of tea tree oil with 1 oz. of witch hazel. Store in a dark glass bottle. Apply the sandalwood toner to your skin to remove grime and help keep your skin pimple-free.

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Learn about other essential oils that are great for getting rid of acne from your face, neck, or back.

Sandalwood Oil Has Antibacterial Properties

The wonderful aroma of sandalwood essential oil is a reason why many people add it to their massage blends. However, the fact that sandalwood oil helps kill off bacteria is another reason to use it.

Researchers have discovered that sandalwood extracts have antibacterial properties against a number of bacterial strains. (15)

Sandalwood Oil is Antiviral and Helps Get Rid of Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)

You can also use sandalwood essential oil on your lips or nose to treat herpes infections that cause cold sores.

The journal Phytomedicine reported that the antimicrobial properties of Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) are effective against viral infections. Sandalwood oil helped kill off both herpes simplex viruses-1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2). (16)

Other studies have shown that sandalwood oil is especially effective against HSV-1 which is the strain of the virus responsible for cold sores (fever blisters) on lips. (17)

How to use sandalwood essential oil to get rid of fever blisters

As with most essential oils, you shouldn’t apply pure sandalwood oil directly to your skin or lips.

Add 3-4 drops of sandalwood oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply some of the oil blend to your cold sore frequently throughout the day to reduce swelling and redness. Continue using the sandalwood blend until your cold sore has gone away.

Further reading: How to Get Rid of Fever Blisters (Cold Sores): Effective Home Remedies (Science Based).

Sandalwood Essential Oil Can Help to Relieve Bronchitis

There are a number of reasons why using sandalwood oil is good to help treat upper respiratory conditions like bronchitis.

Researchers have identified the sandalwood compound santalol as having a sedative effect on the nervous system. This relaxing effect can also relax the lining in the airways that help prevent the formation of mucus. Inhaling sandalwood can also stop you from coughing so much from the respiratory infection. (18)

How to use sandalwood oil to get rid of coughing and chest infections

To help treat the symptoms of bronchitis and help you breathe easier, you should breathe in the aromas of sandalwood.

Fill a large pot with boiling water and add a few drops of sandalwood oil and eucalyptus oil. Put your face over the pot and cover your head with a towel to prevent the vapors from escaping. Inhale deeply for 10-15 minutes to help clear your chest congestion and sinuses.

You can also add a few drops of sandalwood essential oil to your diffuser during the night to help you sleep better if you have bronchitis.

Find out what other essential oils are useful for clearing your airways and getting rid of the symptoms of a chest infection.

Sandalwood Oil May Reduce Allergy Symptoms

The soothing and anti-inflammatory effect of sandalwood essential oil aromas in your airways helps to relieve many allergic reactions.

The good effects of using sandalwood essential oil to treat allergy symptoms were reported on in a 2016 study. Researchers found that a combination of essential oils including sandalwood helped to improve the symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis). The positive effect of inhaling sandalwood scent also boosted the mind and gave patients more energy. (19)

How to use sandalwood essential oil for treating allergies

Put a few drops of sandalwood oil and a few drops of chamomile oil in your diffuser. Inhale regularly when you have a runny nose, coughing, or respiratory irritation due to allergic reactions.

Find out the top 15 essential oils for allergies (backed by science).

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Sandalwood Essential Oil Promotes Good Cognitive Health

The smell of sandalwood’s pleasant aromas also helps to stimulate your mind and boost your mood.

Studies into the use of East Indian sandalwood oil in aromatherapy have found that alpha-santalol in sandalwood has a positive effect on mental health. Researchers discovered that breathing in sandalwood aromas promotes alertness and good mood. (20)

Other studies have found that inhaling sandalwood essential oil scent has a protective effect on cognitive function. Researchers noted positive effects when people with age-related cognitive dysfunction were exposed to sandalwood aromas. (21)

Some studies have shown that sandalwood is among the essential oils that can help deal with anxiety, depression, and stress. (22)

How to use sandalwood to improve your mental health

To help stimulate your mind and alleviate anxiety, add 3-4 drops of sandalwood essential oil to a tablespoon of sweet almond oil or other carrier oil and mix well. Massage the sandalwood oil blend onto to your temples to help improve your cognitive performance.

A few drops of sandalwood essential oil in your diffuser also work wonders if you need to improve your concentration.

Sandalwood Essential Oil Improves Sleep Quality

The sedative effect of inhaling the sweet woody scent of sandalwood can help to prevent sleep disturbances and help you fall asleep faster.

Interestingly, researchers have found that sandalwood helps improve sleep patterns both by inhaling the aromas and massaging sandalwood oil into your skin. One study found that the relaxing effect of santalol is effective when absorbed into the bloodstream. (23)

How to use sandalwood to sleep better

You can put a few drops of sandalwood on a tissue and put it in the lining of your pillow to help you sleep better.

Or, you can add a few drops of sandalwood oil and bergamot oil to your bedroom diffuser to help get a better night’s sleep.

For more information on how to treat insomnia, please read my article about the best essential oils for getting to sleep quickly.

Sandalwood Oil May Help Lower Blood Pressure

If you have hypertension, then using sandalwood essential oil may help bring your blood pressure down.

Although some research indicates that sandalwood can elevate blood pressure, studies on the physiological effects of sandalwood show that it can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure. Scientists noted that inhaling sandalwood can be effective to lower the physical symptoms of stress. (24)

How to use sandalwood essential oil for hypertension

If you feel that stress is causing your blood pressure to rise, inhale deeply sandalwood essential oil straight from the bottle. Take in 10 deep breaths to help calm your mind and lower your blood pressure.

Find out about some of the best natural remedies to help treat hypertension and reduce your risk of a stroke.

Sandalwood Aromatherapy Oil Can Help Relieve Muscle Pain

An essential oil blend using sandalwood is good for easing tension from stiff muscles to ease the pain.

Researchers have found that massaging sandalwood into your skin has a similar pain-relieving effect as popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory applications. Sandalwood acts as a COX inhibitor in a similar way as ibuprofen cream works for pain relief. (13)

How to use sandalwood essential oil to treat sore muscles

You can use sandalwood in combination with other essential oils that help to ease muscle pain.

Mix 4 drops of sandalwood essential oil, 4 drops of peppermint oil, and 4 drops of lavender oil with 1 oz. of virgin olive oil (or other carrier oil). Gently massage the pain-relieving oil blend into your sore muscles until the oil is absorbed. Apply 2-3 times a day until your muscle stiffness and pain have gone for good.

You can also treat muscle pain by soaking in a bath with a cup of Epsom salt added and a few drops of sandalwood oil and chamomile essential oil diluted in a carrier oil.

Find out some of the other fantastic essential oils that help to promote muscle recovery and soothe sore muscles.

Sandalwood Oil May Help Promote Hair Growth

A combination of essential oils including sandalwood essential oil is good for hair because it can help hair grow faster.

One trial on mice found that applying sandalwood oil can help stimulate hair follicles to promote hair growth. (25)

However, there seems to be more convincing evidence in using other essential oils such as lavender oil, peppermint oil, or rosemary oil for hair growth.

How to use sandalwood essential oil to treat hair loss

To help stimulate hair growth, mix 2 drops of peppermint oil and 2 drops of sandalwood oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage into your scalp and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse out with your favorite shampoo. For best results, use the sandalwood essential oil hair mask daily.

You can also add sandalwood essential oil to your shampoo to help boost hair growth. Add 4 drops of pure sandalwood oil and 4 drops of rosemary oil for every ounce of shampoo. Use as you would with any regular shampoo but leave in your hair for 5 minutes before rinsing out. Avoid eye contact.

Precautions and Side Effects of Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood is a sweet aromatic essential oil that provides a nice relaxing scent to any room. There are very few side effects when using sandalwood oil as you would with any other essential oil.

As with most essential oils, you shouldn’t put pure sandalwood essential oil directly on your skin. Always dilute it with a carrier oil first like sweet almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.

Some people report that sandalwood oil can cause skin inflammation; therefore, you should always do a test patch before using. However, sandalwood essential oil is not classed as a skin irritant. (26)

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

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