Sandalwood Oil Health Benefits, Uses, Quality & Best Products Compared

Author: Dr. Michael Tyler
Date: 01.10.2020
Reading time: 5:18 min

Sandalwood oil is obtained from the sandalwood tree and is now considered one of the most valuable essential oils. It is in fact not cultivated and the oil therefore comes exclusively from wild stock.

Name Sandalwood
Lat. Name Santalum album
Synonyms Balsampappel, Orris root, Santalholz, Sandelöl
Origin South India, Caribbean, Australia, Sri Lanka, Egypt
Price per 10ml 2,99

There are numerous inexpensive counterfeits on the market that do not have the therapeutic properties of real sandalwood oil. The scent of the oil has a typical wood note and is described as sweet and balsamic.  

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Psychological effect

For centuries it was known that the scent of sandalwood oil has unique effects on the mind. The oil simultaneously balances, relaxes and stimulates the psyche which helps against depressive moods, stress and irritability. It also helps overcome negative feelings such as frustration, anger and sadness.

The oil should stimulate the imagination and inspire us to create new things. Sandalwood oil promotes a calm and focused state. For this reason it is often combined with incense sticks. Sandalwood oil also has anti-anxiety effects and can also help us cope with sleep problems.

Physical effect

The medicinal effects of sandalwood oil were discovered long ago. In India, the oil has been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine, Indian herbal medicine for centuries. In the meantime, the knowledge of the unique effects of the oil also spread West. There are several scientific studies dealing with the secrets that sandalwood oil holds, and new and amazing research reports are being published frequently.

Urinary tract diseases

Urinary tract infections are often caused by bacterial pathogens. Almost all essential oils have a mild antibacterial effect, but this property is very pronounced in sandalwood oil. The special thing about it is that it specifically kills the types of bacteria that are responsible for urinary tract infections. This traditional knowledge has long been known in India and has been scientifically proven several times. If there are no severe symptoms, such as blood in the urine, the oil is very effective against these painful infections. The oil penetrates directly into the DNA of the bacteria and prevents the bug from multiplying.

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Digestive Problems

Sandalwood oil can aid digestion in different ways. The oil has a strong effect on blood circulation and thus stimulates the stomach wall to increase the secretion of gastric juice. This makes food that is difficult to digest easier to break down. It also has a strong antibacterial effect and bacteria play a central role in our digestion: If the wrong bacteria multiply too much in the stomach, the bacteria that help us to break down food are prevented from doing their job. This can lead to vomiting and heartburn. The sandalwood only kills these harmful bacteria and protects those that are important for our digestion.


Sandalwood oil also continues its work in the intestines: Everyone knows the unpleasant and often embarrassing feeling of flatulence. They arise when the intestinal fauna has been unbalanced and the food cannot be processed by bacteria. This creates gases - especially methane - which ultimately leave our body as flatulence. The sandalwood oil brings our intestinal fauna back into balance and thus remedies this undesirable phenomenon.


In India, sandalwood oil has been considered an aphrodisiac. It is said to help against frigidity and low libido. This property is probably due to its stimulating effect on the psyche. An actual organic effect has not yet been proven.

For the skin

Sandalwood oil has several positive effects on our skin. Owing to its properties promoting blood flow, it is very suitable for massages. Furthermore, with its muscle relaxant effects, it is commonly used for minor sports injuries. When the muscles are overworked, they tend to cramp and a light massage with sandalwood oil can counteract this. With the increased blood circulation, these areas warm up, which also combats the muscle spasm. Sandalwood oil can also be used against all kinds of inflammatory skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis and dry skin, and is therefore often added to creams and lotions.

Menopausal symptoms

Symptoms of menopause are often caused by fluctuating hormones. Sandalwood oil has a lot of biologically active ingredients, similar to hormones, that are processed by the body. This brings hormones back into balance and the symptoms are alleviated.



Sandalwood oil has a high proportion of sesquiterpene and, unlike many other essential oils, these do not have any irritating effect on the skin. You can safely apply the oil to the skin in its undiluted form, but you should note that in rare cases it can trigger allergies.

Therefore, a test beforehand is always reommended. This is done on a suitable area of skin - usually personal preference. Sandalwood oil is also ideal as a relaxing bath additive. Simply drizzle a few drops of the oil into your bath water.

If you want to use the oil as a classic fragrance oil, you can simply heat it up in a diffuser or a fragrance lamp.


Sandalwood oil is extremely valuable. In 2009, the price of 1 liter of sandalwood oil was over $ 1,600. The oil is obtained from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree using steam distillation. Trees that are more than 30 years old provide the highest quality. Approx. 20 kg of the wood are required to produce 1 liter of oil. Sandalwood oil is probably the most counterfeit wood oil in the world. In India, where the annual production was only 30 t in 2009, production is subject to strict legal regulations, as the tree population is severely endangered. In East Timor, the sandalwood tree has almost disappeared.


The main biologically active ingredients in sandalwood oil are

  • Santalol 
  • Santals
  • Bisabalol
  • Campherenol

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The sandalwood tree has its original distribution area mainly in Australia and India. It reaches heights of 4-20 m and thrives at heights of up to 2500 m above sea level. From the age of around 60 it is fully grown. The heartwood of the sandalwood tree is particularly valuable, from which it forms approx. 10 kg per year from the age of 15. The oil content in heartwood increases with suboptimal growth conditions. The tree does not tolerate waterlogging and is not hardy. Due to overexploitation, the price of the precious heartwood has risen from $ 3,500 to over $ 85,000 per kilogram since 1990.

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