Sandalwood for Acne
Sandalwood, otherwise called sander's wood and Santalum album, is a small evergreen tree known for its appealing aroma and medicinal qualities. While further scientific analysis is needed to confirm sandalwood's healing actions, its antibacterial and disinfectant properties are used by herbalists in treating skin problems including sunburn, dry skin and acne outbreaks. Before trying any herbal remedy, including sandalwood, you should talk to a physician.
The sandal tree, native to India, Australia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands, grows to a height of 30 feet and has smooth, gray-brown bark. Its narrow, drooping branches bear small, slender leaves, pyramidal-shaped flowers and fleshy, black, pea-sized fruit. The tree's oil is extracted from the powdered, dried roots and heartwood.
According to Dr. C. Norman Shealy, author of the book "Healing Remedies," the best sandalwood oil originates from India, where it has been used for medicinal and religious purposes since 2,000 B.C. The Japanese have used sandalwood for centuries as an incense material in Buddhist ceremonies and the aromatic wood makes scented carvings.
The best-quality sandalwood oil came from the Mysore forests of India, which are now depleted of mature trees. Although government agencies protect the Mysore forests and regulate exports of sandalwood oil, immature trees still are harvested by poachers.
Used for centuries by the women of India to beautify complexions, sandalwood tones and moisturizes the skin. Its bactericidal, antiseptic and astringent actions encourage wound-healing and relieve symptoms associated with acne flareups. The website BeautyandGroomingTips.com states that sandalwood yields significant benefits in reducing excess oil production that clog pores and cause blemishes. Sandalwood oil also contains key constituents that soothe and rehydrate your complexion as well as qualities that regenerate skin tissue.
Sandalwood comes in powder, perfume, oil, gargle, lotion, bath, inhalation or compress form. "Sandalwood oil is cooling and calming--almost like a sedative for the skin," says New York-based Ayurvedic practitioner Practima Raichur in the book "Alternative Cures." Raichur suggests adding 20 drops of sandalwood oil to 1 oz. of almond or coconut oil and applying it to your blemishes every three to four hours.
BeautyandGroomingTips.com recommends a sandalwood face mask for acne outbreaks. Mix 1 tsp. sandalwood powder with 1 tbsp. honey and 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder. Leave the mask on your affected areas for 20 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
Do not use undiluted sandalwood oil directly on your skin, because it can cause skin rash. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid using sandalwood, as should children.
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