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SANDALWOOD ~ The many bodily benefits

Sandalwood has many bodily benefits in its various forms, is a part of many rituals in Indian homes. Its paste is as much a part of religious rituals as marriages. Along with turmeric paste, sandalwood paste is traditionally considered to be a beauty enhancer. But its virtues extend way beyond just beauty. Sandalwood is a very fragrant wood obtained from the trees of the Santalum genus. Pure sandalwood is obtained from the Indian member of this family called Santalum Album. There are other members in this family whose wood have similar properties, but the wood and oil lose their fragrance in a few months or years. For centuries, the multiple properties of sandalwood have been used in beauty treatments and medicines. The parts of the tree used are the wood, bark and essential oil. It is used both by itself and in combination with other ingredients in creating remedies for many conditions and problems of the skin. It is also a coolant for the body and is used as such in summer. Here are some many benefits of sandalwood used in a variety of products available from Sandalwood has been used for thousands of years to calm the mind and relieve anxiety, reduce signs of aging and skin inflammation. It has spiritual significance and is said to bring devotees closer to god, and acts as a fixative in fragrances, ensuring they last longer on the skin. Aromatic Sandalwood Mantra-Incense sticks allow the subtle, woody smell of Sacred Sandalwood incense to fill your space with a delectable aroma that is peaceful and calming. Relaxation, attention, and purification are some of the benefits of burning Sandalwood Incense sticks. Mantra-Incense Sticks are designed to provide an intoxicating aroma that can help to calm the environment and increase positive energy. Raise your spirits and boost confidence, optimism, and cheerfulness by burning these luxurious, long-lasting, and mesmerising incense sticks.

  1. Aides bright and flawless skin: Sandalwood paste applied to the skin soothes skin eruptions, rashes and itches. It promotes healing through the formation of scar tissues. Sandalwood oil can clear up scars, blemishes, spots or eczema on the skin and prevent their recurrence. A sandalwood and rose water pack can give relief from prickly heat caused by excessive sweating on the face, neck, back or anywhere else on the body. Also, a pack made of sandalwood powder mixed with coconut and almond oil can remove sunburn and mute suntan from any part of the body. A few drops of sandalwood oil mixed with moisturizer and applied to the face daily makes the skin soft.

2. Cures skin infections: Sandalwood oil has cooling properties that can soothe itchiness of skin and clear up skin infections. It is known to reduce skin inflammation and eruptions and acne. To remove acne marks, make a mixture of sandalwood powder with some turmeric and camphor and apply it to the face or any affected part of the body. Leaving this mixture overnight gives the best result. For psoriasis and eczema and allergies, mix sandalwood powder with very little camphor and water and apply to relieve the itch

3. Prevents skin aging: As we age, our skin also begins to show the signs. The skin becomes looser and sags, age spots show up and the skin loses the glow of youth. Sandalwood oil can slow down this process. If it is used as soon as the signs of aging are noticed, it can make a great deal of difference. It can also work on skin that has already been affected, if used regularly. It is useful in reducing stretch marks as well. A face mask made of sandalwood powder, fuller’s earth or multani mitti with green tea will give extremely good results in preventing aging of the skin.

4. Gets rid of inflammation: It can be used to treat both internal and external inflammation. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, sandalwood has a soothing effect and provides relief from internal inflammation. It can be ingested in tonic form to soothe a sore nervous system, circulatory system, digestive and excretory system. If any system of the body is infected due to any reason, then sandalwood oil is the most natural healer. It cools down the affected area.

5. Controls spasms: Sandalwood oil is an excellent massage oil. A massage with the oil can relax muscles that have become stiff and inelastic due to a sedentary lifestyle, or sore due to exercise. The sedative effect of the oil works both at the superficial and the internal level to soothe the muscle walls. Other than muscle fibres, it works on the nerves and blood vessels relaxing them and relieving severe spasms and muscle contractions. It also helps in treating other effects of muscle contractions, such as coughing cramps and throbbing pains. Rubbing sandalwood oil mixed into a carrier oil over the throat and diaphragm relaxes the muscles and stops hiccups. When massaged over the lower belly region it helps to relieve the symptoms of menstrual cramps.

6. Heals wounds: Sandalwood oil has anti-septic properties and has been used for a long time to heal wounds. Being anti-microbial, it prevents wounds, scratches, lesions, boils and acne from getting infected or developing gangrene. Along with external applications, this essential oil can also be taken internally. To ingest this oil, a few drops can be added to warm milk to make a soothing drink. This mixture, taken regularly can help protect the digestive system from ulcers, and infections of the throat, gullet and renal system

7. Boosts renal health: Sandalwood oil is a very good diuretic agent. It is used as a natural treatment for urinary tract and kidney infections. It cleans the kidneys by promoting urination and attacks the infection from within. By relieving soreness of the excretory system and inducing a cooling effect, the passage of urine becomes easier and the amount of urine is increased. Additionally, its antiseptic properties can be used to treat inflammation of the genital organs and urinary bladder.

8. Moisturises hair: A few drops of sandalwood oil can be mixed in the hair conditioner to add moisture to hair. This is very effective for hair that is dry, brittle and prone to breaking. It is better to let it stay in the hair for a while to get the best results. However, only a small quantity of the oil should be mixed into the conditioner or the hair may become greasy. Besides these, sandalwood has powerful disinfectant properties. This partly explains its use in religious rituals. Burning sandalwood incense sticks can drive away bugs and microbes. It is an essential part of many insect repellents. Adding a few drops of this oil to a light bulb in a room or to the ac vent in the car can make the room and car smell fresh and remain disinfected. A few drops of sandalwood oil in the washing machine with the wash load can keep the machine disinfected.

7. Health Benefits of Sandalwood Oil. Sandalwood is a type of essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy. Sourced from various types of sandalwood tree of the genus Santalum, sandalwood oil contains aromatic compounds thought to be beneficial to your health. Due to its coveted fragrance, sandalwood oil is used as an ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics, and soaps. There are also food-grade oils approved for use as a food flavoring (mainly for chocolates and candies). Sandalwood oil is also frequently incorporated into religious ceremonies or spiritual practices. Buddhists believe that the scent of sandalwood can help maintain alertness and focus during meditation.

Also known as, Sacred sandalwood, Chandra (in Sanskrit), Tan Xiang (in traditional Chinese medicine)

In both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, sandalwood oil is believed to be beneficial in treating both physical and mental disorders, including anxiety, bronchitis, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, gallbladder problems, high blood pressure, indigestion, insomnia, liver problems, low libido, sore throat, and urinary tract infections. Few of these health claims are strongly supported by research. In aromatherapy, inhaling the aroma of sandalwood oil or absorbing it through the skin is thought to transmit messages to parts of the brain involved in controlling emotions, known as the limbic system. These messages are believed to affect both an emotional and physiological response. (By way of example, the reduction of stress typically translates to a reduction in blood pressure.) Although research on the health effects of sandalwood oil is limited, there is some evidence of its therapeutic benefits. Here is what some of the current research says: 

Anxiety: Several preliminary studies have suggested that sandalwood oil may help alleviate anxiety,in a pilot study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, researchers found that receiving an aromatherapy massage with sandalwood oil subjectively reduced anxiety in people undergoing palliative care. Similarly, a four-week study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the same type of aromatherapy massage (provided twice weekly in half-hour sessions) helped relieve anxiety in women with breast cancer.1 Despite the promising results, the conclusions of both studies were limited by the subjective measures used to evaluate anxiety. Moreover, it is not known whether the essential oil or massage provided greater relief since there were no study controls.

Insomnia: Sandalwood oil shows promise as a means of promoting healthier sleep, according to an animal study published in the Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology.2 According to that 2007 research, beta-santalol (a compound that comprises 20 percent of sandalwood oil) had a mild sedative effect in lab rats when inhaled, decreasing waking time and increasing rapid eye movement (REM) consistent with deep sleep.

Mental Alertness: Despite its calming effects, sandalwood oil appears to enhance mental alertness. As contradictory as this may seem, sandalwood oil is believed to deactivate behavioral responses (delivering a calming effect) while activating a physiological response (as measured by blood pressure, heart rate, and other factors). According to a study published in Planta Medica, sandalwood oil, when inhaled or applied to the skin, triggers a mild increase in blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure, breathing rate, eye-blink rate, pulse rate, and skin temperature. These stimulatory effects are believed to enhance mental functioning. The compound associated with these physiological effects is known as alpha-santalol.

Moisturizes : Conventional body-care products can be overloaded with harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, or parabens, preservatives, microbeads and other dubious ingredients. Natural body butters are thicker and richer than body creams and they are suitable for sensitive and dry skin. They can contain high amount of natural butters from shea, cocoa or mango butter to natural oils like almond, jojoba, grapeseed or coconut to protect your skin. How many times have you skipped applying a moisturizer after cleansing your skin? Don’t feel too bad if you have, because we’ve all done it at one point or another. The benefits of moisturizer can’t be argued — you need to keep your skin hydrated to maintain a youthful, happy glow

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