What is Sandalwood ?
Did you know that sandalwood is a hemiparasitic tree. In order to survive, it has to attach itself to the roots of other trees to obtain its nutrients. Despite this the sandalwood tree doesn’t actually kill its host tree. Nature never ceases to amaze us!
Grown in Western Australia, spicatum is a small evergreen tree.
The oil is obtained via steam distillation and powdered wood chips from the heartwood. And the
tree must be 30 years old before the wood can be obtained. And any tree yields only 2% oil content.
Its key chemical constituent is santalol and santalene and has a soft woody balsamic aroma. The oil has powerful antimicrobial properties for inhibiting fungal infections and yeast infections and cold sores. It reduces inflammation of aching joints when applied in a massage oil while its analgesic action eases pain. It has a sedative effect so a few drops in the diffuser mixed with sweet orange is a perfect way to drift off to sleep. It even rids the air of germs and acts as an insect repellent in a water spray.
Most notably it is an expectorant and excellent as a chest massage in base oil to fight symptoms of colds and flu. Its deep resinous aroma can even heighten mindful practice and nourish the soul.
The top note of this oil is rather bitter almost resinous unlike the sweetness of its Indian counterpart, album. It is a base note oil and excellent fixative in perfumes.
Aust sandalwood has been exported since early days 1844 for use as incense to China because its aroma was considered inferior to Indian sandalwood. More than 50,000 tonnes was exported to China for incense.
In 1929 the Australian government introduced the Sandalwood Act to manage the harvesting of wild spicatum. By 2016 new legislation was passed to manage harvesting because of the growing demand from the perfume houses for this amazing fixative.
It blends beautifully with all citrus oils and with other woods. Ylang ylang and sandalwood are an excellent aphrodisiac for those finding it hard to connect or show love to self and others. Simply combine a few drops each in a tsp of base oil and apply to shoulders and back on neck.