This past week my fellow aromatherapy students and I were finalizing an order of supplies from our teacher, Jan Benham. We know that she has high grade EOs from reputable suppliers. One of the items we have been wanting to get for a while is Sandalwood (Santalum album) EO. And finally (fingers crossed), we may actually get some!
Sandalwood EO comes from the Santalaceae family. Sandalwood trees are found in India and the EO is distilled from the heartwood of the tree. The trees must be mature – 40 to 80 years old, the older the better. It is great for skin care, especially dry, chapped skin and acne and can be used on all skin types. Sandalwood EO encourages a state of deep relaxation. It helps stimulates the pineal gland which produces melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate your sleep and is beneficial for the immune system.
So why is it such a difficult EO to obtain? In addition to the many healing uses of Sandalwood, it is also used in many spiritual ceremonies. It has been highly sought after for years. And the sources are dwindling. It is a difficult tree to grow. Sandalwood is a parasitic evergreen tree – growing off of other plants. The Indian government does have strict regulations in place concerning production and export to help protect Sandalwood but the demand has lead to the illegal cutting of trees and often trees being cut too early.
Fortunately Jan does have an supplier of ethically produced Sandalwood. And while the price is high, it is also one of few EOs that gets better as it ages so there is not the same concern about having it sit on your shelf. And it is a powerful EO – a little goes a long way – and we can use it effectively in a 10% jojoba dilution. So fingers crossed that it will be here soon!