1. Mental clarity
One of the primary sandalwood benefits is that it promotes mental clarity when used in aromatherapy or as a fragrance. This is why it’s often used for meditation, prayer, or other spiritual rituals.
A study published in the international journal Planta Medica evaluated the effect of sandalwood oil on attention and arousal levels. The researchers found that sandalwood’s main compound, alpha-santalol, generated high ratings of attentiveness and mood. (7)
Inhale some sandalwood oil next time you have a big deadline that requires mental focus, but you still want to remain calm during the process.
2. Relaxing and calming
Along with lavender and chamomile, sandalwood commonly makes the list of essentials oils used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety, stress and depression. (8)
A study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that patients who were receiving palliative care felt much more relaxed and less anxious when they received aromatherapy with sandalwood prior to receiving care, compared to patients who did not receive sandalwood. (9)
3. Natural aphrodisiac
Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine traditionally use sandalwood as an aphrodisiac. (10) Since it’s a natural substance that can increase sexual desire, sandalwood helps to increase libido and may help men with impotence.
To use sandalwood oil as a natural aphrodisiac, try adding a couple of drops to the massage oil or topical lotion.
Sandalwood is a mild astringent, meaning it can induce minor contractions in our soft tissues, such as gums and skin. Many aftershaves and facial toners use sandalwood as one of their primary ingredients to help soothe, tighten, and cleanse the skin.
If you’re looking for an astringent effect from your natural body care products, you can add a couple of drops of sandalwood oil. Many people also use sandalwood oil to fight acne and dark spots. (11)
5. Anti-viral and antiseptic
Sandalwood is an excellent anti-viral agent. It has been found to be beneficial to prevent replication of common viruses, such as herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2. (12, 13)
Other uses include the reduction of inflammation from mild skin irritation such as superficial wounds, pimples, warts or boils. Just make sure to always test the oil on a small area before applying it directly to the skin or mix it with a base carrier oil first.
If you have a sore throat, you can also gargle with a cup of water with a few drops of anti-viral sandalwood oil added to it.
Sandalwood is also an anti-inflammatory agent that may provide relief from mild inflammation such as insect bites, contact irritations or other skin conditions.
A 2014 study found that the active compounds in sandalwood can decrease inflammation markers in the body called cytokines. It is believed that these active compounds (santalols) act in a similar manner as NSAID medications minus the potential negative side effects. (14)
Sandalwood is an excellent expectorant that can be helpful in the natural treatment of colds and coughs. Add a few drops to a tissue or washcloth and inhale to help reduce the severity and duration of a cough. (15)
Sandalwood is high in antioxidants that can help reduce damage caused by free radicals, which promote ageing. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory.
According to a scientific review titled “Sandalwood Album Oil as a Botanical Therapeutics in Dermatology” published in 2017, clinical trials reveal sandalwood oil’s ability to help naturally improve acne, eczema, psoriasis, common warts, and molluscum contagiosum. (16)
Try adding five drops of sandalwood oil to an unscented lotion and applying it directly to the face for natural anti-ageing benefits or to help treat acne and other minor skin concerns.
9. Urinary Tract Infections
While clinical trials to back up this benefit are lacking, internal use of sandalwood is approved by the German Commission E for the supportive treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract. The German Commission E monograph recommends a quarter teaspoon (1–1.5 grams) of sandalwood essential oil for urinary tract infections. This treatment should only occur under a doctor’s supervision and is not meant to be longer than six weeks. (17)
10. Anti-cancer effects
Studies using an animal model demonstrate that sandalwood oil and its active component, alpha-santalol, act as chemopreventive agents. A topical application containing five percent sandalwood oil demonstrates chemopreventive effects on chemically induced skin cancer in animal subjects.
Meanwhile, lab research shows that alpha-santalol reduces tumour incidence and multiplicity in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. (18)
ere’s a few ways to try sandalwood essential oil:
Inhale a few drops of sandalwood essential oil before stretching, barre or yoga class or other relaxing time to help set the mood. Use it before quiet time, prayer or journaling to increase your ability to relax and focus.
The best way to get the mental clarity benefits of sandalwood is to apply a few drops, about 2–4, to the ankles or wrists at times of high stress or overwhelm throughout the day. You can also directly inhale the oil if you do not want to apply it directly to your skin. Use it in a diffuser to allow everyone in the house to enjoy it. Or add a few drops to bathwater at the end of a long day.