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The Special Qualities of Sandalwood Essential Oil

aroma Feb 27, 2023

Sandalwood essential oil is highly revered in ancient traditions for its many properties to calm and steady the mind and emotions, but also for its antimicrobial properties for the skin and respiratory related conditions. So what is it about this soft balsamic scent that whispers earthy tones to our mind and body that makes it so special?




What are the benefits of Sandalwood essential oil?

Sandalwood is one of the oldest known scents recorded. Used by Buddhists and Hindus in rituals and special carvings for ritual ceremonies over millennia it is a highly revered and special tree, but the purple flowers create a beautiful scent. In Ayurveda, the aroma is sattvic which is a scent that promotes coming to one’s true nature without disturbance or complication, so one can come into peacefulness with subtle and gentle ease. 

There are two main types of Sandalwood essential oil: Indian and Australian which are known for essential oil. It is important in the use of Sandalwood to ensure that you are not using an “endangered” or “at risk” species. Please see the list below for your purchasing choices. It can take from 15 to 50 years to harvest a sandalwood tree for essential oils, this is partly the contribution to its decline in availability. 

Regardless of the longevity of its use and the wide application, more research on the benefits is required. 

    1. Emotional Calm: Bring a person to feel equilibrium and release anxiety even when faced with unchanging difficult circumstances (1). This means that when feeling overwhelmed Sandalwood can help to level the feelings and centre the mind(3).
    2. Uplift from Depression: It may relieve stress and depression(2) through its ability to connect to the heart and deep centre. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used to calm the heart and mind (3). With this uplift from a low mood, there is the possibility to reignite the passion for life (5). 
    3. Relief for disturbed sleep: Studies suggest that Sandalwood can help restore good sleep when taken as an inhalation (4). 
    4. Quell ‘hot conditions’: These can be physical and emotional. Dispelling the fire of anger, irritation and frustration that may manifest itself in physical form as inflammation in the body, cold sores, burnt skin and redness in scars (3). 
    5. Skin rejuvenation with antimicrobial and antiviral properties: applied to the skin Sandalwood may reduce the inflammation in the physical conditions in point 4 above but also reduce redness in scars as part of massaging into the scar site with vitamin E oil as a base carrier. There are also indigenous traditions for application in candida conditions too (3), (6) and (7).
    6. Spiritual awareness, heightened consciousness, peace of mind and the cessation of non-beneficial thoughts: Spiritual traditions use Sandalwood in particular in ceremonies for these purposes. Hawaiian traditions include the use of Sandalwood for protection from disruptive energies. Many traditions will use incense rather than essential oils for ceremonial purposes - this provides the combined use of air carrying the intention whilst it is transmuted through the burning resin as smoke. The quality of treatment of Sandalwood applied on mala beads and other spiritual items is important to ensure energetic vibration, so always check the provenance of the resin or incense used. 


Contraindications / warnings: There are no known side effects of this essential oil, but skin sensitivity can mean redness may arise when applied directly to the skin. This often happens with poor quality essential oils.



How to use Sandalwood essential oil

The slightly different variants of Sandalwood balance with aromas differently. Focusing on the most commonly sold Australian Sandalwood it blends well with bergamot, lavender, mandarin, neroli, palo santo, rose, vetiver, ylang-ylang, patchouli, jasmine, frankincense, lemon myrtle, lemon tea tree, and kunzea. 

  • Uplifting bathtime: Use a tablespoon of almond oil to make the soak richer for the skin, and pre-blend 4 drops of Sandalwood essential oil with 2 drops of Grapefruit and 4 drops of Jasmine Absolut into your perfectly warm bath. Add candles at the edges and dim the lights!   
  • A simple protection ceremony for sleep: A good night's sleep is invaluable. There are many levels at which we sleep - some of us tap into the collective fears when we rest. Protect yourself from this by using a little sandalwood essential oil in your bedtime ritual. Watch the video!



Find out your next essential oil aroma

In NidRa Aroma candles we use a very small amount of Australian Sandalwood due to the ‘at risk’ category of this beautiful essential oil. This also impacts the price of the oil, so its inclusion may be substituted with Patchouli to make the candle price more affordable for some clients. 



Release frustrations, enjoy stable moods and drop into kindness for all with Australian sandalwood, patchouli, Tasmanian lavender and Fragonia.


Get calm, clear negative impulsivity so you can intuit right actions from the heart space with patchouli, Tasmanian lavender, Australian Sandalwood and Clary sage and Lemon balm.


Remain steadfast to your intentions through the various adventures that life may bring you with patchouli, clary sage, lavender and fragonia. 


If you are interested in one of my bespoke blends that align to your intention and energetic shifts, then let me know. A candle brings ritual, but a bottle blend may be more appropriate to your setup. So get in touch and find out! 





Endangered Sandalwood and Your Consumer Choice

Please check the latin names of the sandalwood when you purchase it to confirm if it is any of the categories below as recognised by the IUCN



Involute Sandalwood or S. involutum, 

Santalum pyrularium

Lanaiense, a variety of Forest Sandalwood (S. freycinetianum)


At Risk:

  1. album and S. haleakalae (Hawaiian) and S. spicatum


Least Concern:

Red Sandalwood or Adenanthera pavonina

Santalum lanceolatum




This information is for general interest only and is not to be taken as advice: therapeutic, medical or otherwise. We do not make a claim of any therapeutic advice offered in the writing. Please seek professional advice for the appropriate use of essential oils for your situation. 


Research used for blog:

  3. Nature’s Essential Oils by Cher Kaufmann pg. 
  5. Neal’s Yard Remedies: Essential Oils edited by Claire Cross 2016
  6. Greg Trevena, “A Guide to Australian Native Essential Oils, 6th Edn.” 2021
  7. Healing Essences Aromatherapy Treatment Guide 2020


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Nids Nidra acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures; and to Custodians past, present and emerging.


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