Most people are familiar with Indian sandalwood as a fragrance and as an essential oil in aromatherapy that calms the mind and reduces anxiety. Few are aware of the full scope of Indian sandalwood as a wellness ingredient that has proven physical and psychological benefits.
The benefits of sandalwood lie in its chemical makeup. Sandalwood’s main sesquiterpenes are alpha-santalol and beta-santalol. Alpha-santalol holds most of the therapeutic benefits of sandalwood, as it can act upon the body’s regulatory systems to reduce anxiety and increase relaxation.1,2 Its antioxidant properties also address skin inflammation. Beta-santalol is thought to be largely responsible for defining Indian sandalwood’s soft, sweet, creamy, woody aroma.
In Indian sandalwood, these compounds make up more than 70% of the oil. This is up to three times more than any other sandalwood species, making Indian sandalwood the most potent in terms of efficacy and olfaction.
Our sense of smell is a direct pathway to our emotions and memory in the brain, and what we smell instantly impacts us. Indian sandalwood oil helps the body release tension and reduce anxiety; its potent molecules surpass the blood-brain barrier, trigger receptors like GABA and stimulate the body’s parasympathetic system, even upon inhalation.1,2
Vanessa Ligovich is the chief marketing officer at Quintis (https://quintis.com.au), an Australian manufacturer of ethical and reliable raw sandalwood products.