Growing up, I was taught that sandalwood in Hawai'i was exploited to near extinction in the 1800s. You can imagine how surprised I was when doTERRA announced that they will be offering Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil at their 2012 annual convention. Sandalwood, especially Hawaiian Sandalwood is prized for it's unique aroma. It was high in demand hundreds of years ago and is still high in demand for today. It promotes healthy-looking, smooth skin and is frequently used in meditation for its grounding and uplifting properties Hawaiian Sandalwood also known as 'Iliahi is from the island of Hawai'i (Big Island). Some companies refer to this essential oil as "Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood." There are several species of sandalwood that are native to Hawaii that can be found no where else in the world.
Species of Hawaiian Sandalwood
- Santalum ellipticum (coastal sandalwood) or ‘iliahialo’e
- Santalum freycinetianum (Freycinet sandalwood) found on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Lānaʻi, Maui, and Molokaʻi
- Santalum pyrularium found on Kauai
- Santalum involutum found on Kauai
- Santalum haleakalae (Haleakala Sandalwood) found only on Maui
- Santalum paniuclatum found only on the island of Hawai'i
doTERRA offers Santalum paniculatum. Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniuclatum) has a more complex profile with a higher santalol content than Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) which most companies offer as "Sandalwood" and Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum).
Kamehameha Schools, the largest landowner in Hawai'i, owns 120,000 mountainside land Kealakekua north to Pohakuloa, which contains majority of the sandalwood forest. doTERRA works with a company that purchased 2,800 acres of forest land adjacent to Lupea in 2010. This property has over 3000 tons of sandalwood. Only dead sandalwood is harvested and chipped up for essential oil production. Distributing Hawaiian Sandalwood on a commercial level has given the partners resources to aid in reforestation. Challenges include forest fires (less than 24 drops of rainfall each year) and wildlife. doTERRA's partners built fences to keep wildlife out and placed extinguishers every half mile of the property. The fences won't keep rats away from the sandalwood's fruit and seeds, so they grow seedlings in the nursery and replant them when they are large enough. These efforts were featured in an article "Tree of Life" in Hawaiian Airline's in flight magazine Hana Hou. doTERRA was listed as a purveyor of Hawaiian Sandalwood. By purchasing Hawaiian Sandalwood from doTERRA, not only are you helping the reforestation efforts of Hawaiian Sandalwood, you are also supporting Hawaii's economy. Hawaiian Sandalwood was featured on "Tree of Heaven" Hana Hou Volume 17, No. 3 June/July 2014