A little-known essential oil, Buddha wood is also known as false sandalwood since it is sometimes used as a substitute for the more well-known and expensive sandalwood essential oil. The tree itself has extremely aromatic wood, similar to that of sandalwood. Even so, both the scent and properties differ.
Although you may not yet be familiar with Buddha wood essential oil, it is a wonderful addition to your medicine cabinet. It has a delightful deep, woody aroma, and is often used to relieve stress and anxiety, soothe painful muscles and repel insects.
Buddha wood essential oil comes from the Eremophila mitchellii tree, native to the Australian bush. The word “eremophila” comes from the Greek word “eremos,” meaning desert. This tree is more of a shrub than an actual tree and certainly loves a desert climate. 1 It is also commonly referred to as “Australian desert rosewood.”2 “Mitchellii” comes from Sir Thomas Mitchell, an Australian explorer who first discovered this plant.3
The tree grows so easily that it is often considered a pest on Australian land, so it is not cultivated for oil production. It can grow up to 10 meters tall, and in Western Australia, it’s not even allowed to be grown! Because of this, the oil is wildcrafted – meaning that the plants are gathered from their natural environment instead of cultivated.
Buddha wood essential oil is steam distilled from the bark and heartwood of the tree. The resulting oil is deep amber in color and has a rich, rugged, resinous, woody and slightly smoky aroma. Although the scent sounds fairly intense, it is often used in high-end perfumes as it isn’t overpowering. The oil itself is actually quite vicious, so you may need to have some patience if you are trying to get it out of a dropper.
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Historically, indigenous people of Australia used this plant for its antibacterial properties and used it to treat minor wounds. Its twigs were often burnt to promote general well-being, and the wood was used to make carvings. Around 1925, an Australian chemist first noted the unique properties of Buddha wood essential oil and recommended its use as a perfume fixative.4
It was not until recently that the medicinal properties of this oil have become more widespread knowledge.
Buddha wood essential oil is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and sedative.
The major constituents of this essential oil are eremophilone, 2-hydroxyeremophilone, and 2-hydroxy-2-dihydroeremophilone. Try saying that three times fast! The most interesting fact is that none of these have ever before been found in nature. All of these are ketones, meaning that they are known to be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and help relieve sore muscles and joints. Eremophilone is known for being an effective insect repellent, repelling ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, and bedbugs.5
Uses for Buddha Wood Essential Oil
The list of healing properties of Buddha wood isn’t nearly as extensive as some of the more popular essential oils, although it is relatively new in the aromatherapy scene so we’ll likely see new benefits arise in the coming years.
Even so, you shouldn’t overlook this powerful essential oil! Whether you’re looking for a new natural deodorant or you’re simply trying to get a better night of sleep, Buddha wood essential oil may be just the thing you need.
Eases Muscle and Joint Pain
One of the most popular ways to use Buddha wood essential oil is in a massage oil. Due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, it is especially good at relieving pain from sore muscles.
This essential oil is also helpful for those suffering from rheumatism or arthritis since it helps to ease pain and inflammation in the joints.6
For a relaxing massage, mix a couple of drops of Buddha wood essential oil in a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba or coconut. Massage directly into the affected area for relief.
The delightfully complex aroma of Buddha wood essential oil is perfect to diffuse through your home. Its soothing scent helps to ground you and bring you back to the moment. By simply taking a few minutes to breathe it in, you can reduce feelings of stress and doubt.
It is also a popular meditation oil due to its ability to calm the mind and clear it of negativity.
Improves Sleep Quality
If you’re having trouble falling asleep or can’t seem to get a proper night of sleep, Buddha wood essential oil may be what you’ve been looking for. Because of its mild sedative properties, simply breathing in the aroma can help ease tension, calm your mind and get your body ready for sleep.
Try diffusing the oil throughout your room about 15-20 minutes before you lay down to rest. You can also mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and lightly spray your sheets and pillow.
Much of the research around Buddha wood has revolved around its ability to repel termites. Luckily, it is also great for repelling all of those pesky insects that like to bother humans! From mosquitoes to ticks, to fleas, Buddha wood essential oil is a great natural insect repellent.
For a non-toxic insect spray, mix 10–15 drops of Buddha wood essential oil with water in a spray bottle and spray on any exposed skin.
Diffusing Buddha wood essential oil throughout your home can help to get rid of any unwanted odors and replace them with a delightful woodsy scent. You may also add a few drops of oil to your bath and soak up all of its healing properties. Because this essential oil is antibacterial, it can help reduce bacteria that cause odors on the body leaving you smelling fresh and clean.
Protects Against Harmful Microbes
Studies have shown that when used undiluted, Buddha wood essential oil can protect against Escherichia coli (which causes food poisoning and urinary tract infections), Staphylococcus aureus (more commonly known as a Staph infection), Salmonella typhimurium (which causes food poisoning), Alcaligenes faecalis (which causes urinary tract infections) and Candida albicans (which can cause fatigue, joint pain, flatulence and weight gain).7
If you are using this essential oil undiluted, you should always conduct a patch test first. If you are attempting to treat anything other than a minor cut or scrape, check with your doctor beforehand.
Maintains Healthy Immune System Function
Buddha wood essential oil helps to stimulate the immune system, increasing its efficacy and keeping you healthy.8 Although you can’t take this oil internally, you can mix a couple of drops into a carrier oil and massage onto the bottoms of your feet. Diffusing this oil throughout your home can also help rid the air of harmful pathogens and keep your immune system in top shape.
How To Use Buddha Wood Essential Oil
The most common use for Buddha wood essential oil is as an aid in meditation. It is thought that this oil helps to take the focus away from your physical body and keep your mind free of any physical ailments. It is used in sacred ceremonies to purify the surroundings and remove negative energy and helps to encourage acceptance of difficult situations.10
If you are having a difficult emotional time, using this oil to aid in a simple meditation may help ease your burden. Begin your day by taking 15 minutes to clear your mind. Place a few drops of Buddha wood into a diffuser and let the scent permeate the room. Close your eyes and really focus on the aroma. Breathe in slowly while counting to five, and then breathe out slowly counting to five again. Let the scent envelop your mind and clear it of all negativity. Try not to let your thoughts get in the way of this process. If a thought enters your mind, quickly push it away.
At first, it may be difficult to clear your mind for more than a couple minutes at a time. If you focus on making meditation a part of your daily routine, you’ll find that you’ll soon be able to clear your mind for longer. Beginning your day with a simple meditation can make you feel calmer and more relaxed throughout the rest of the day.
Safety and Precautions
Buddha wood essential oil is known to be safe for both aromatic and topical use, but it should not be used internally.
Always be sure to purchase 100% pure oils, preferably organic, and always conduct a patch test before attempting to use topically to ensure you won’t have a negative reaction. Buddha wood essential oil is known to be harsh on those with sensitive skin, so you should always dilute it in a carrier oil when applying directly to sensitive areas.
Since Buddha wood essential oil isn’t one of the more well-known therapeutic oils, not enough studies have been conducted to determine any potential long-term side effects. Because of this, you should use this oil sparingly and with a hint of caution. If unsure, you should always check with your doctor first before using.
If pregnant or breastfeeding, it is advised to avoid the use of any essential oils. Consult your doctor before attempting to use this oil to treat a chronic condition. Since not much is known about the long-term safety of this oil, you should keep it out of the reach of children.
If stored correctly in a cool, dark place, Buddha wood essential oil should last for 5–7 years.
This little-known essential oil has a lot of healing properties! If you haven’t heard of Buddha wood essential oil before, now is the time to add it to your collection.
Whether you are looking to reduce stress, get rid of pain or simply make your home smell wonderfully woodsy, this essential oil may be the answer.
You can use it topically to repel insects, ease muscle and joint pain, and protect against common harmful microbes. You can also use it aromatically to reduce odors, treat insomnia and rid yourself of negative emotions. Buddha wood essential oil is a wonderful addition to your medicine cabinet when used properly and with caution.
Even simply diffusing this oil throughout a room can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and make your home feel more welcoming. It is perfect for a relaxing night alone or as a delightful surprise for guests.