Sandalwood essential oil – properties and uses
Sandalwood essential oil is an oil with very important properties. It is extracted from the citrus Sandalwood (Santalum album L.) or from the Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicata); the first is Indian sandalwood oil, the second is Australian sandalwood oil.
They are two plants belonging to the same family (Santalaceae) and therefore the two oils, which are very expensive, share many similar properties but also some specific ones.
This oil is extracted from the roots of these plants by steam distillation. It is characterized by a sweet, balsamic and woody scent. Its uses are varied, including that of perfume or deodorants.
Sandalwood oil is in fact a mixture of numerous compounds; in fact the oil obtained from the Australian sandal has about 125 different compounds and with particular important functions.
However it is, besides being known above all for its perfume, the most interesting properties are in the medical field for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Even the essential oil of Indian sandalwood is known for its scent and for its medicinal properties and the peculiarities and properties of these oils are such that the oil obtained from the album Santalum is in possession of ISO 3518: 2002 certification which certify the possibility to market this oil for its proven chemical properties.
Ultimately sandal oil is used for the following therapies: colds, bronchitis, skin disorders, inflammation of the oral cavity, general weakness, fevers, urinary tract infections, inflammation of the pharynx and biliary disorders. Recently it has been found that it possesses considerable quantities of antioxidant and anti-hyperglycemic products. The antimicrobial action is instead due to shikimic acid, which is also present in the essential oil of star anise. Further uses are those such as natural aphrodisiac, stimulants and to improve humoral states and in natural cosmetics it finds application for the treatment of facial impurities and eliminate acne.
For a correct sensitivity to ecological principles, however, it must be said that the massive exploitation of sandalwood, especially the Santalum album species, has put the wild plantations at risk of extinction. In fact, the sandal is widely cultivated but the only problem is that the harvest for the extraction and production of essential oil is possible only with plants of 40 years!