Botanical Name: Santalum austrocaledonicum
Part Used: Heart wood
Process: Steam Distillation
Vanuatu Sandalwood essential oil comes from one of about 20 species of the genus Santalum. It is an excellent alternative to the essential oil from the endangered Mysore Sandalwood (Santalum album) in India, for both aromatherapy and perfumery purposes.
Plant Description: Native to the islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Santalum austrocaledonicum is cultivated in Vanuatu on commercial plantations and in private village plots cultivated to assure sustainability. These shrub-like evergreen trees grow to a height of 40 feet and are hemi-parasitic; they are propagated close to suitable host species such as shrubs, grasses and other trees, e.g., the Acacia genus, so their roots can root-graft onto host roots in order to draw water and nutrients. Whole trees and their major root systems are harvested after reaching the age of at least 30 years but preferably when much older, as oil content and richness of aroma increase with age.
Oil Description: Pale yellow or brownish-yellow viscous liquid with a soft, rich, creamy, delicately sweet, woody-balsamic aroma and excellent tenacity. The santalol content of Vanuatu Sandalwood is relatively high compared to other sandalwood oils which accounts for its long-lasting fragrance.
Historical/Traditional Uses: Sandalwood has roots in the very distant past. For thousands of years, it has been used as an incense material, its smoke raising prayers in aromas meant to appease and delight the gods and goddesses, often in temples built from sandalwood. It was also a precious aromatic commodity transported to Greece, Rome and Egypt via caravans on the trade roads from India. Its long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and in the cultural and spiritual life of Asia cannot be overstated. The wood is often used to carve prayer beads and religious objects and for making furniture; it is added to the funeral pyres of the affluent, its aroma thought to support the journey of the deceased to a magnificent afterlife. The only known use of Santalum austrocaledonicum prior to the early 19th century was as fuel wood for the islanders. After a missionary visiting the island in 1825 noted the prolific stands of sandalwood, the trees were felled for export to near extinction until a five-year moratorium on exportation of the trees was established in 1987. Since that time, the government of Vanuatu allows a limited number of trees to be harvested for essential oil production and exportation, mainly to Europe and the US. In addition, the Vanuatu government has encouraged the establishment of a number of sandalwood plantations and propagation projects to facilitate support of the local economy and sustainability of viable old-growth sandalwood sources.
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Sandalwood essential oil is used as an antiseptic and a diuretic; it is indicated for bronchitis, gonorrhea, and kidney and bladder infections. It has anti-skin cancer and anti-candida properties and is excellent for use in skin care applications, being particularly useful for treating dry, itching and ageing skin. Sandalwood essential oil has a relaxing, sedative effect on the mind that promotes inner peace and stills the need to over-think, making it a natural choice for use in meditation. It is also indicated for stress-related issues, insomnia, depression and nervous tension. In perfumery, Sandalwood is one of the most valuable of raw materials and is found in many types of fragrances. For hundreds of years in India, oils from precious flowers have been distilled into Sandalwood oil to make perfume oils known as attars. It is a base note with excellent fixative value that blends well with basil, benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, cassie, clove, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, labdanum, lavender, lemon, mimosa, myrrh, neroli, oakmoss, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, tuberose, vetiver, violet leaf, and ylang ylang.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Vanuatu Sandalwood essential oil is non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.