Amyris oil is packed with benefits that can greatly uplift your body and mind. Although it is not considered as valuable as true sandalwood, it offers amazing health perks that will make you want more of this herbal oil. Read on to learn more about amyris oil.
What Is Amyris Oil?
Amyris (Amyris balsamifera) comes from the Rutaceae botanical family. It is also known as West Indian/Indies sandalwood, which originates from the West Indies, specifically in Haiti.1 It grows to a height of 60 feet (18 meters). The plant bears white flowers that grow into black-bluish fruits, which are edible.2 It is now widely cultivated in West Indies and in South and Central America.3
The bark of the fallen dried tree is steam distilled to extract the essential oil. Though their properties are different and have no direct relation to each other, amyris oil is often used as an alternative to East Indian sandalwood oil.4
Due to its high oil content, amyris plant is also known as torchwood or candlewood as it easily ignites and can be used as a torch. At night, fishermen frequently use it when catching sea crabs along the shore. It is also used by farmers when traveling at night to bring their wares in the city or village.
Uses of Amyris Oil
You can count on amyris oil in times of depression as it helps uplift your spirit and mind. It is also utilized in meditation and therapeutic massage.
The essential oil is used as a base fixative in making perfumes and soaps.5 It is also added in creams, cosmetics, incense and perfumes for additional fragrance. Also, the herbal oil is suitable for use in a bath, inhaler, mist spray, steam inhalation, steam room and sauna.
Composition of Amyris Oil
Amyris oil is made up of various properties such as valerianol (22 percent), beta-eudesmol (17 percent), gamma-eudesmol (11 percent) and elemol (10 percent).6 The essential oil is described as having a yellowish-brown color and a burning taste, and of giving off a sweet balsamic odor.
Benefits of Amyris Oil
Amyris oil has antiseptic, sedative, decongestant and emollient properties. It is beneficial for helping calm your mind and muscle relaxation,7 as well as minimizing stress and tension and releasing anxiety. This herbal oil helps in improving mental clarity and makes you feel at peace.
In addition, the essential oil works great in skin regeneration and helps slow down aging. It has a cooling property that assists in relieving irritability, frustration and sexual tension. Amyris oil is a great choice among poets, artists and musicians as it said to help improve creativity and imagination.
How to Make Amyris Oil
The essential oil is extracted through steam distilling the trunks and branches of the plant, which are put through a hammer mill. It takes almost three and a half days to exhaust oil from one charge of wood material. A steam boiler is used for distillation.
Usually, the yield of oil ranges from 2 to 4 percent depending on which part of the tree was used, its age and its moisture content. When steam distilling fresh wood, it produces oil with a harsh odor and lower specific gravity. However, when stored for two to three months, the odor changes and improves.8
How Does Amyris Oil Work?
Adding a few drops of the essential oil to an oil burner or diffuser works great in relieving the mind from any anxiety or stress. It can also be added to therapeutic massage oils to provide relaxation. It blends well with cedarwood, citronella, ginger, ho wood, lavender, oakmoss, Peru balsam and ylang ylang. The herbal oil can also be used topically as long as it is diluted with a carrier oil.
Is Amyris Oil Safe?
Amyris essential oil is generally safe to use. It is considered to be non-toxic, non-sensitizing, and non-irritating. However, it may cause irritation for those with sensitive skin. Also, amyris oil is not intended for oral ingestion. Before using it topically, I recommend conducting a skin patch test first to know if you have any irritations to it. Always dilute it with a carrier oil.
Side Effects of Amyris Oil
Aside from the possible skin irritation in sensitive individuals, there is no known side effect from using amyris oil. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have terminal illness, I suggest consulting first with a medical professional before applying the oil.