Latin Name: Amyris Balsamifera
Part of Plant Used: Wood & Branches
Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Amyris essential oil is also called West Indian Sandalwood Oil because its aroma is very similar of sandalwood. It is obtained by steam distillation from the bark and branches of the Amyris balsamifera tree. Due to its high oil content, this wood burns by itself, just like a candle wick, and therefore is called candle wood by the locals. It is a less expensive alternative to pure sandalwood.
This oil has been used to clean wounds, and also treat influenza or diarrhoea. It is said to be very effective at alleviating vaginal infections and cystitis. When used in a vaporiser, it helps ease tension and anxiety, insomnia, and can also acts as an aphrodisiac, helps to relieve impotence and frigidity. Can be used to treat coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Its calming properties are helpful during meditation. It is also a muscle relaxant and emollient.
The botanical origin of the tree yielding this oil was unknown until 1886 when the main differences between Amyris balsamifera and true sandalwood were identified by microscopic examination of the leaves. The Amyris balsamifera tree grows wild in Haiti. To ancient humans the essential oils were considered more valuable then gold for their healing and aromatic properties.