Sandalwood East Indian essential oil, The queen of the sandalwoods, is a small tree that grows primarily in India. The wood of its stem, which grows from 20 to 30 feet high, is heavy and straight-grained and varies in colour from white, when young, to yellow or orange when older. The tree has oval leaves which are covered with a whitish bloom; its small flowers, varying in colour, grow in numerous clusters.
Sandalwood is parasitic, burrowing its roots into nearby trees to gain sustenance for the first seven years of its life, leaving the other surrounding trees to die. To produce oil this tree must be over 30 years old, preferably around 40-50 years when it has reached its oil production peak.
Sandalwood East Indian is now only being used for the distillation of oil whereas it used to be used in embalming but the principal reason for this is the over-harvesting of the tree coupled with the 30 year period required for the regeneration. As with all of our oils, we acquire our oils ethically. In this case it is through State sponsored auctions in India.
This particular species IS on The CITES registered endangered species and is restricted as a result.
Reported Attributes of Sandalwood East Indian Essential Oil:-
Traditional and Emotional uses reportedly include:-
Used in Perfumery, cosmetics, and aromatherapy. Australian Leaf Sandalwood is considered to have strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and is quite the best of all the Sandalwoods available for these purposes according to aromatherapists and herbalists. Sandalwood Mysore and East Indian Sandalwood are considered the best in perfumery terms. African Sandalwood has yet to achieve any status.
Sandalwood East Indian Blends Well With:-
The Essential Oil blends very well with any top or middle note essential oils. Favorites include: Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Rosewood, Patchouli, Vetiver. It is also interesting to note that blending Sandalwood Mysore or East Indian Sandalwood with Rose Absolute oil makes for a great sensual and aphrodisiac blend.
The ‘true’ sandalwood is the wood of trees in the genus Santalum; found in southern India and Sri Lanka, Hawaii, and many south Pacific islands. It is most commonly used for incense, aromatherapy, perfume, and fine woodworking. Although not commonly used as a construction material, temples have been built with sandalwood in India and retain the aroma after centuries. It is said to have been used for embalming the corpses of princes in Ceylon since the 9th century. Jewelry boxes, fans, and ornate carvings continue to be made in many parts of Asia using sandalwood.
It is currently endangered and consequently very expensive. Although all sandalwood trees in India are government-owned and their harvest is strictly controlled, many trees are illegally cut down and smuggled out of the country by local gangs. Sandal essential oil prices have risen by up to $1500-2500 per kg per year in the last 5 years. Some countries regard the sandal oil trade as ecologically harmful because it encourages the overharvesting of sandalwood trees.
Some thirty species of sandalwood occur throughout Asia, Australia and the Pacific region. Six of the species are native to Australia.
West Indian sandalwood (Amyris balsamifera) is not a member of the sandalwood family; the chemical components of amyris essential oil are entirely different from those of the oil obtained from plants in the Santalum genus.
Sandalwood is considered in alternative medicine to bring one closer with the divine. Sandalwood essential oil, which is very expensive in its pure form, is used primarily for Ayurvedic purposes, and treating anxiety.
In Buddhism, sandalwoods are considered to be of the Padma (lotus) group and attributed to the Bodhisattva Amitabha. Sandalwood scent is believed to transform one’s desires and maintain a person’s alertness while in meditation.
Sandalwood, along with agarwood, is the most popular and commonly used incense material by the Chinese and Japanese in worship and various ceremonies.
Firekeeping priests, who have maintained sacred fires for centuries, accept sandalwood twigs from Zoroastrian worshippers as their contribution for sustaining the fire.