Sandalwood Oil, or the Aroma of the Gods

Sandalwood is historically native to South India, but some species can be found in Australia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Malaysia. This sacred tree is mentioned in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu scriptures. Today, sandalwood is still used by Hindu followers during prayers and ceremonies. Ayurveda uses sandalwood oil as an aromatherapy treatment for infections, stress and anxiety. It is worth noting that Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) oil, which is widely used in the manufacture of cosmetics, differs markedly from the original Indian variety (Santalum album). In recent years, the Indian and Nepalese governments have controlled the cultivation of sandalwood due to over-cultivation. This led to an increase in the price of sandalwood essential oil, the price of which reached two thousand dollars per kilogram. In addition, the maturation period of sandalwood is 30 years, which also affects the high cost of its oil. Do you believe that sandalwood is related to mistletoe (a plant that parasitizes the branches of deciduous trees)? This is true. Sandalwood and European mistletoe belong to the same botanical family. The oil contains more than a hundred compounds, but the main components are alpha and beta santanol, which determines its healing properties. A study published in Applied Microbiology Letters in 2012 noted the antibacterial properties of sandalwood essential oil against several types of bacteria. Other studies have shown the effectiveness of the oil against E. coli, anthrax, and some other common bacteria. In 1999, an Argentine study looked at the activity of sandalwood oil against herpes simplex viruses. The ability of the oil to suppress viruses, but not kill their cells, was noted. Thus, sandalwood oil can be called antiviral, but not virucidal. A 2004 Thailand study also looked at the effects of sandalwood essential oil on physical, mental and emotional performance. The diluted oil was applied to the skin of several participants. The test subjects were given masks to prevent them from inhaling the oil. Eight physical parameters were measured, including blood pressure, respiratory rate, eye blink rate, and skin temperature. Participants were also asked to describe their emotional experiences. The results were convincing. Sandalwood essential oil has a relaxing, calming effect on both the mind and body.

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