Sandalwood is steam distilled from the wood of the evergreen tree. Its oil contains up to 90% santalol. It is mainly imported from India and Indonesia. Indian Sandalwood export has been reduced because it has been over-exploited to the point of near extinction. In place of Indian sandalwood one can use Australian Sandalwood as its properties are nearly identical. It has a slightly green woodsy scent. The Australian Sandalwood is from sustainably harvested farms. In skincare, East Indian Sandalwood is wonderfully soothing for treating dry, cracked and chapped skin and its slight astringent and powerful antiseptic qualities make it effective for skins prone to oiliness and acne. It is also good for dry, persistent coughs, due to its sedating nature. It is one of the best essential oils to use in the treatment of bronchitis through inhalations and external application on the chest and throat. In Ayruvedic medicine this oil is valued for its powerful urinary antiseptic qualities. Sandalwood also has the reputation of being an aphrodisiac.
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