Sandalwood is a fabulous oil for an aromatherapist. It’s really high in sesquiterpene alcohols (or sesquiterpenols), which make it sedative and calming, as well as anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory. All good stuff for relaxing a client and/their skin and muscles. Because of its sedative properties, it’s also a really nice ‘mind expander’, helping to calm over-active thoughts and enhance positivity.
During my revision, I definitely had an over-active mind on occasion. Trying to get to sleep the night before the exam was hilariously difficult (and I say hilarious in the slightly hysterical sense of the word). Vaporising the oil can help to bring on restful sleep but I also used A’kin’s Sandalwood Body Wash for a quick evening shower on my revision days. It’s a lovely woody smell, combining Australian sandalwood with Patchouli, Clove and Ylang ylang for a deeper, muskier edge. The body wash doesn’t have a particularly powerful smell so don’t expect to be knocked over backwards. But it was slightly lingering on the skin and a few deep breaths, combined with the ritual of having a shower, did help me to switch off a bit at the end of the day. Plus A’kin use far less harsh foaming agents in their products – lauryl glucoside as opposed to SLS.
A quick note about Sandalwood. The most famous oil therapeutically is Indian Sandalwood – or Santalum album. However, the Indian Sandalwood tree is now endangered and the Indian Government are working hard to regulate the production of the oil. Unfortunately, to produce the oil, you need to destroy the tree, making it harder to harvest them sustainably, and there are also ongoing problems with poachers on Indian plantations. If you’re buying Sandalwood, it’s important to check your supplier and question them. Check where their sandalwood comes from. Is it from a sustainably-managed site? Can they even answer your question? If not, don’t buy. The alternative is Australian Sandalwood or Santalum spicatum – as in A’kin’s body wash. Santalum spicatum is more likely to be sustainably produced and, while therapists are split on whether it is as powerful a tool as Santalum album, I do think we should be putting the planet first.
Ingredients: aqua (purified Australian water*) *BP 2007 standard, citric acid (botanical source), cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine (from coconut), disodium cocoamphodiacetate (from coconut), glycerin (botanical source), glyceryl laurate (botanical source), lauryl glucoside (from coconut, palm & glucose), sodium citrate (botanical source), sodium gluconate (from GMO free corn), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (from palm), sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (from palm), sorbitol (from GMO free maize), pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, syzygium aromaticum (clove) flower oil, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil, fusanus spicatus wood (West Australian sandalwood) oil