Our Complete Guide to Amyris Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions
Also known as West Indian Sandalwood, Amyris essential oil is a wonderful woody-smelling oil that offers many benefits. Traditionally used medicinally and in everything from soap to perfume, this oil is incredibly popular the world over. Many people use amyris essential oil to improve sleep quality or repel pests, so it really is a multi-purpose natural product.
Although it has an enormous number of uses and benefits, there are a few guidelines to follow when using amyris essential oil. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about its many amazing properties and how to use it as safely and effectively as possible.
- What is amyris essential oil?
- Amyris essential oil - quick facts
- How is amyris essential oil made?
- Benefits of amyris essential oil
- Relaxes and calms the nerves and relieves stress
- Improves sleep quality
- Skin care and hair care
- Infection and cough support
- Repels mosquitoes and insects
- How to use amyris essential oil
- Topical use
- Amyris essential oil research
- Amyris and its antimicrobial and antioxidant effects - 2013, 2021
- Amyris and its relaxation properties – 2021
- Side effects of amyris essential oil
- Contraindications of amyris essential oil
- Where to buy amyris essential oil
- Amyris essential oil FAQs
- What does amyris essential oil smell like?
- Are amyris and sandalwood the same?
- In summary
What is amyris essential oil?
Amyris essential oil comes from the amyris tree. This small bushy evergreen tree is part of the Rutaceae (citrus) family, and it was mistaken for sandalwood up until the late 1800s. Botanists studied the leaves of the tree, and it was discovered that it was completely different and offered its own unique benefits. It was then given its own botanical name.
The amyris tree can grow up to 60 feet (18 meters) tall and it produces beautiful white flowers that develop into delicious, dark blue edible fruit. This beautiful tree is famed for the amount of oil it contains, and there are many myths and legends of farmers and travelers using its branches as torches on various adventures. The oil itself is known for its delightfully sweet, earthy, woody, balsamic and complex aroma. Amyris oil is a fantastic fixative oil, and this makes it ideal for use in soaps and candles to help their ingredients and scents set. It also has many medicinal and physical benefits which we will explore below.
Amris essential oil has been found to contain compounds such as elemol (a bug repellent), eudesmol, valerianol (found in valerian root, a known sedative), eugenol (a powerful antimicrobial) and coumarins.
Amyris essential oil - quick facts
🌼 Latin name: Amyris balsamifera
🌼 Also known as: Balsam torchwood, West Indian sandalwood, candlewood
🌼 Countries of origin: Haiti, Dominican Republic, tropical Americas, India
🌼 Scent note: Base-Middle note with a medium aroma.
🌼 Annual Production: 15 to 75 tons annually
🌼 Popular uses: Hair care, cosmetics, skincare, sleep, relaxation, energy, meditation, home fragrance, aphrodisiac
How is amyris essential oil made?
Amyris trees are found in the Bahoruco forest of the Dominican Republic and the forests of Haiti, although the tree is also now cultivated in other countries such as India. Some of the distillers in the Bahoruco forest have been farming amyris trees and making high quality, ethically sourced amyris essential oil for over 40 years. The distilling business in Haiti isn't as reliable or successful as the living wood of the trees is often smuggled out for the production of charcoal. Therefore, most of the amyris essential oil that’s available comes from the forests of the Dominican Republic.
It’s in these forests where the environmentally friendly task known as “cleaning the forest floor” takes place. The distillers pick up the dead, dry wood and leaves off the forest floor and use these for distillation. This helps to prevent forest fires and gives young, green saplings a better chance to thrive.
Once all the leaves and bark (or sometimes the trees themselves) have been collected in this eco-friendly manner, they’re put through a hammer mill. It takes almost 4 days for this process to withdraw enough oil for distillation. The oil that’s removed is taken to the distillery and put through an elaborate steam distillation process.
The amount of oil produced using this process can be anything from 2 to 4 percent, depending on which part of the tree was used, its age and its moisture content. After the steaming, evaporation and condensing process, a fresh wood oil with an intense aroma is produced. After production, the oil goes into a storage space for 2 to 3 months, allowing it time to settle and for the aroma to develop into the signature sweet and woody fragrance. By the time it's ready for bottling, amyris essential oil ends up being a thick, pale yellow-brownish oil.
Benefits of amyris essential oil
Amyris essential oil has a wide range of benefits. Some of the main benefits of amyris oil include:
- 🌼 Relaxes and calms the nerves and relieves stress
- 🌼Improves sleep quality
- 🌼 Skin care and hair care
- 🌼Infection and cough support
- 🌼 Repels mosquitoes and insects
Let's take a look at each of these benefits of amyris oil in more detail.
Relaxes and calms the nerves and relieves stress
Amyris essential oil is one of the best oils for relaxing and soothing nerves. It radically reduces feelings of stress and irritability, which is also why so many people rely on amyris essential oil to improve sleep quality.
Improves sleep quality
In today's day and age, who couldn't benefit from a better sleep regimen? Using amyris essential oil to improve sleep quality is an excellent natural alternative. The oil acts as a sedative and has calming and soothing effects on the nervous system. This promotes a deeper and healthier sleep cycle.
Skin care and hair care
Amyris is a crucial component in several anti-aging skincare treatments on the market. Because it is rich in powerful antioxidants produced in the body (which decrease as you age), it can help regenerate the skin as well as slow down the aging process. It is also commonly used for hair care, and it can be used to stimulate the follicles and promote a healthy scalp.
Infections and coughs
Amyris essential oil helps enormously in killing an assortment of germs. It can be used for all kinds of infections from the skin to the lungs. It is a powerful antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and a strong anti-spasmodic and can be used for skin infections and coughs.
Repels mosquitoes and insects
One of the unusual and convenient benefits of using amyris essential oil is its ability to repel most insects including mosquitoes and even ticks. This makes for a natural and effective bug repellent!
How to use amyris essential oil
Amyris essential oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on what your specific needs are.
Here are some of the most useful ways to use amyris essential oil:
- 🌼 Inhalation
- 🌼 Topical use
Let’s take a look at each of these uses of amyris essential oil in more detail.
Inhaling amyris is one of the best ways to really deeply feel and experience its effects. Inhalation of the oil brings about feelings of calm and relaxation and can improve concentration while working. When diffused, you can use amyris essential oil to calm feelings of tension and improve sleep quality.
Alternatively, you can inhale amyris oil by rubbing a drop or two on your palms with a carrier oil and rubbing them together then cupping your nose and breathing deeply. This is a wonderful way to bring the calming and relaxing effects of the oil quickly into the pathways of your brain and nervous system.
Inhaling amyris is also a great way to use it for coughs and respiratory infections. You can also add it to a bowl of hot water, cover your head and breathe in the vapor deeply for 5 minutes.
Dilute a few drops of amyris essential oil in your favorite face cream or serum and apply it daily to see the incredible regenerative and anti-aging effects it can have on your skin. When used consistently with the right carrier oils or creams, it can help reduce or delay the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and other skin issues.
Get yourself a skin-supporting carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, and add 10 to 20 drops of amyris oil to a 200 ml bottle. Apply a few drops of this “skin-glow-serum” to your face and chest area before you go to bed, and you’ll see your skin become healthier with time.
Infections: Applying amyris essential oil to the skin can help prevent infections and reduce the presence of bacteria, yeast and fungi on your skin. Be sure to dilute a few drops in an ounce or two of carrier oil such as jojoba oil before applying it to your skin, and always do a patch test first to check for sensitivity and reduce the risk of irritation.
Relaxation & sleep: Using amyris essential oil with a carrier oil in aromatherapy massage is a wonderful way to relieve stress, promote calm and relaxation and even prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Bug repellent: Adding a few drops of amyris essential oil to a carrier oil makes an excellent bug repellent that’s chemical free and 100% natural.
If you want to enjoy amyris essential oil's benefits for hair, put a few drops in your favorite shampoo or conditioner and massage it into your scalp. Its antioxidant properties, antimicrobial properties and the massaging action will encourage hair growth and promote a healthy scalp.
Amyris essential oil research
Amyris essential oil has not been heavily researched, but its power and effects are notable and worth investigating further. Here is some of the most notable research to date.
Amyris and its antimicrobial and antioxidant effects - 2013, 2021
This article was published in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research in 2013. The authors studied the antibacterial and antifungal activities of amyris against the multi-drug resistant pathogens of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans and found it effective, suggesting it as a possible the treatment of various microbial infections, especially drug-resistant infections.
They also found that amyris contained an abundance of the powerful antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD).
A recently published study found that amyris was among three out of 49 essential oils that had sufficient antimicrobial activity against pathogens that cause respiratory tract infections and that eugenol was the main compound responsible for its effectiveness.
Amyris and its relaxation properties – 2021
In an article published in the Asian Journal of Beauty & Cosmetology in 2021, researchers combined amyris with lavender and sweet orange essential oils and conducted numerous tests on different areas of the brain. Looking at brain wave activity, they found that these oils interestingly both relaxed the brain and awakened it, improving concentration. Therefore, amyris can be expected to have direct effects on stress, anxiety, energy levels and the quality of sleep.
Side effects of amyris essential oil
There are very few known side effects of amyris essential oil. Some of the minor recorded side effects have been mild to severe skin irritation, stomach upset or specific complications relating to certain medical conditions or medications. In extremely concentrated amounts, the oil could have potentially harmful effects on the central nervous system.
Amyris essential oil could result in skin irritation, particularly in those with sensitive skin. Carry out a patch test by applying a small amount to an obscure patch of skin and wait 2-3 hours for any reaction before using it on larger areas of your body.
As with every essential oil, it is best to talk to a qualified medical professional before using it. The oil shouldn’t be ingested or come into direct contact with the eyes or the mucus membranes, and it should always be kept out of the reach of children.
Contraindications of amyris essential oil
Chronic Disease: Using amyris essential oil is not recommended if you have a terminal illness, cancer, epilepsy, kidney or liver disease, or blood pressure issues. Speak to your doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions or prescriptions that might complicate your use of this essential oil.
Ingestion: There is no reason to ever consume this essential oil as it can cause severe stomach upset, nausea or vomiting.
Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best not to use amyris essential oil. Speak to your doctor to find out if it is safe to diffuse or inhale while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Where to buy amyris essential oil
Amyris essential oil is widely available online, although it might be harder to find in stores. When purchasing amyris oil, make sure that you buy 100% pure essential oil - not an extract. This will ensure that you purchase a high quality product that offers the maximum therapeutic and healing benefits. All-natural, organic and chemical-free amyris essential oil is always your best choice.
Here are some of the places where you can purchase amyris essential oil to improve sleep quality and for other purposes.
At volant, all our essential oils are produced using only the highest-quality plants that are harvested and distilled with care and consideration for your needs and the needs of the environment. Our blends Ocean and Energy use amyris essential oil which is 100% pure, organic and contains no additives or synthetic ingredients. We always ensure that you receive the best quality possible while maintaining our high ethical standards.
Amazon has a wide range of varying essential oils. However, not all essential oils sold here are pure, organic, or come from a trustworthy and ethical source. Should you choose to shop for essential oils on Amazon, please remember that Amazon is a marketplace, not a store. This means that there are a variety of businesses selling essential oils and not all meet the same high standards. It’s important to thoroughly check the ingredients and reviews of any essential oil that you choose to purchase.
Most local pharmacies sell different kinds of essential oils. If you want to see and smell oils in person before you purchase them, this could be an option, although amyris is not as common an essential oil as some others. If you choose to buy your amyris essential oil from a pharmacy, remember to check the ingredients list properly to ensure that what you’re buying is 100% pure essential oil and not an extract.
doTERRA is a well-known company that manufactures a variety of organic essential oils, including amyris. Whether you want to enjoy amyris essential oil benefits for skin, hair or to improve your quality of sleep, doTERRA will have what you’re looking for.
Amyris essential oil FAQs
What does amyris essential oil smell like?
Amyris essential oil smells sweet and warm. It has qualities of vanilla, woody forests, balsamic sweetness and notes of cedar.
Are amyris and sandalwood the same?
No, they are not the same. Amyris has often been mistaken for sandalwood, but it has different aromatic scents and therapeutic benefits, although some of them overlap, like their effects on the brain for sleep, aphrodisiac qualities and relaxation benefits.
If you have read this informative guide and would like to benefit from everything amyris essential oil has to offer, you’ll need a trustworthy supplier. At Volant, we can attest to using only the best quality plants to produce our pure, organic and high-grade essential oils. You are guaranteed to receive a bottle that was organically and ethically sourced and pure and chemical-free. We’re here to help if you have any questions about amyris essential oil. Contact us at email@example.com and we’ll be in touch!