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Amyris Essential Oil

Amyris balsamifera

This essential oil is a less expensive alternative to Sandalwood.

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Essential Facts

Notes & Use

What Stillpoint "Nose"

  1. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Amyris essential oil is often used in aromatherapy for its calming and soothing properties. Its aroma may help reduce feelings of stress and promote a sense of relaxation.
  2. Sleep Aid: Amyris oil's calming properties also make it potentially beneficial for improving sleep. It can be used in a diffuser in the bedroom before sleep or incorporated into a relaxing bedtime routine.
  3. Skin Care: Amyris essential oil is sometimes used in skin care products due to its potential moisturizing properties. It might be beneficial for dry or mature skin. Always remember to dilute it in a carrier oil before applying to the skin.
  4. Perfumery: While not exactly a therapeutic use, Amyris oil is often used as a natural fragrance in perfumes due to its rich, woody aroma. It's also used as a more affordable substitute for true Sandalwood oil.
  5. Meditation Aid: The grounding and calming scent of Amyris can be helpful during meditation or yoga practices, promoting a sense of peace and tranquility.
  6. Insect Repellent: Amyris oil is often used as a natural insect repellent, keeping mosquitoes and other insects at bay.

Traditional Use of Amyris

  1. Lamp Oil: The amyris tree is also known as the "candlewood" tree because of its high oil content. Historically, the wood of the tree was used as a natural torch or lamp oil due to its burnability.
  2. Perfumery: Amyris oil has been used in the perfume industry due to its sweet, warm, and woody aroma. It is often used as an affordable alternative to true sandalwood oil.
  3. Stress reduction amyris essential oil has been traditionally used to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Its calming scent is believed to help improve sleep quality and create a soothing environment..
  4. Insect Repellent: Amyris oil has been traditionally used as a natural insect repellent, warding off mosquitoes and other insects.
  5. Medicinal Uses: While scientific research is limited, traditional uses of Amyris balsamifera in folk medicine include treating coughs, improving digestion, and alleviating general aches and pains.


Amyris balsamifera is the botanical name of the plant more commonly known as Amyris, or West Indian Sandalwood. This species is part of the Rutaceae family, which also includes citrus fruits and rue. Here's a brief overview of the botany of Amyris:
  1. Habitat: Amyris balsamifera is native to the Caribbean, particularly Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as Central America. It thrives in tropical climates and is often found in coastal and lower mountainous regions.
  2. Morphology: The Amyris tree is a shrub or small tree that usually grows to about 18 feet (6 meters) tall, although it can occasionally reach heights of up to 60 feet (20 meters). It has compound leaves and small white flowers. The bark is light-colored and slightly rough.
  3. Wood and Resin: Amyris wood is dense and high in oil content, which led to its historical use as a torchwood. When the wood or bark is injured, it secretes a type of resin. This resin, as well as the wood and branches of the tree, are steam distilled to produce amyris essential oil.
  4. Fruit and Seeds: The tree produces small, round fruits that contain seeds. These seeds can be used for propagation of the plant.
  5. Cultivation and Harvesting: Amyris trees are relatively hardy and resistant to harsh conditions, including poor soil quality. The trees can be propagated by seeds, and the wood and resin used to make the essential oil are typically harvested from mature trees.

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities of Amyris

  1. Grounding: Amyris essential oil is often used for its grounding properties. Its warm, earthy, and woody aroma can help create a sense of stability and rootedness, making it a good oil to use during meditation or any practice where a grounded state of mind is beneficial.
  2. Relaxation and Peace: Amyris oil is believed to promote relaxation and peace, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. It's often used in the evening or before bed to encourage a peaceful night's sleep.
  3. Clarity and Insight: Some people believe that Amyris essential oil can help clear mental clutter, promote focus, and encourage insight. This makes it a popular choice for use during prayer, contemplation, or any activity that requires mental clarity.
  4. Opening of the Third Eye: In some spiritual practices, Amyris is thought to assist in opening the third eye chakra, which is associated with intuition, imagination, wisdom, and the ability to think and make decisions.
  5. Spiritual Growth: The grounding yet uplifting quality of Amyris is believed to aid in spiritual growth and development. It may help users to remain "rooted" while exploring higher realms of consciousness.

Traditional Folklore

Amyris balsamifera, known as West Indian Sandalwood or simply Amyris, is a tree native to the Caribbean and Central America. The wood and resin of the Amyris tree have been used in various ways throughout history, and as such, the tree has a place in the folklore and traditional practices of the regions where it grows.
Amyris is often referred to as "candlewood" due to the high oil content of its wood, which burns like a candle. In the past, the wood was used to make torches, which may have given rise to local folklore and myths about the tree bringing light, clarity, and guidance.
In local traditions, Amyris has been used for its perceived therapeutic properties, and it might have been incorporated into traditional healing practices and rituals. Its calming and grounding aroma may have been used to promote a sense of peace and tranquility during spiritual practices.
The oil, derived from the wood and resin of the Amyris tree, has a rich, warm, and woody aroma and has been used as a more affordable alternative to true sandalwood oil in perfumery. This might have contributed to folklore and traditions related to the tree's symbolic representation of warmth, grounding, and sensuality.

Aroma-Chemistry of Amyris

  1. Sesquiterpenes: Amyris oil is rich in sesquiterpenes, a class of compounds known for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These include valerianol, beta-eudesmol, and gamma-eudesmol.
  2. Elemol: This compound contributes to the oil's soothing and skin-healing properties and is also thought to repel insects.
  3. Valerianol: Valerianol is another sesquiterpene that is found in amyris essential oil. It may contribute to the calming and sedative properties of the oil.
  4. Beta-eudesmol and gamma-eudesmol: These compounds are believed to contribute to the oil's potential benefits for respiratory health.
Recipes & Blends

Recipes and Blends

  1. Soothing Diffuser Blend:
    • 3 drops Amyris essential oil
    • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
    • 2 drops Bergamot essential oil
    This blend creates a soothing and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a long day. Add the oils to a diffuser and enjoy the calming aroma.

  2. Grounding Massage Blend:
    • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (such as Jojoba or Sweet Almond oil)
    • 5 drops Amyris essential oil
    • 3 drops Frankincense essential oil
    • 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil
    Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil, and use the blend for a grounding and centering massage. Apply the mixture to the body, focusing on areas like the neck, shoulders, and feet.

  3. Meditation Room Spray:
    • 15 drops Amyris essential oil
    • 10 drops Palo Santo essential oil
    • 5 drops Vetiver essential oil
    • 2 ounces of distilled water
    Combine the essential oils with the distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray the blend around your meditation space to create a serene and grounding ambiance.

  4. Sensual Bath Blend:
    • 4 drops Amyris essential oil
    • 3 drops Ylang-Ylang essential oil
    • 2 drops Patchouli essential oil
    • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (such as Coconut or Apricot Kernel oil)
    Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil, and add the blend to a warm bath. Soak and indulge in the luxurious and sensual aroma.
Safety Etc.

Safety Information for Amyris

According to Tisserand & Young, there are no known safety concerns with Amyris essential oil. 


Tisserand & Young Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. Edinburg 2014 
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT 1997
Battaglia, S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition.  Queensland, Aust. 2003


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