Did you know sandalwood is the oil of sacred devotion? It helps with all kinds of spiritual worship including prayer, and meditation. It teaches reverence and respect for God. Sandalwood has been used since ancient times. More than 4,000 years ago, it was used to calm the mind, still the heart, and prepare the spirit to commune with Deity. In India, it’s been valued for at least 2,000 years as one of the most sacred trees, and an important part of devotional rituals.
Sandalwood is a tree with a extremely aromatic wood. It is economically and culturally important to many countries around the Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean regions where it grows or is traded. The wood is used for making furniture, ornaments, sacred objects, carvings, and joss sticks (incense). The essential oil is used in medicine, perfume, and aromatherapy.
The tree is medium sized 12-15 meters tall. The tree reaches its full maturity in 60 to 80 years, which is when the center of the slender trunk (the heart wood) has achieved its greatest oil content. Both the heartwood and roots are fragrant and contain the oil; the bark and sapwood, however, are odorless. The Sandalwood tree is never cut down, but uprooted during the rainy season, when it is richer in precious essential oils.
Essential oils may have also been used in Indian medicine, but were popularized in the west by the perfume industry, and so became applied medicinally in the western world after the 1920’s by French aromatherapists. Sandalwood is very beneficial to the skin; it can help reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes and it promotes a healthy, smooth complexion.