You may hear about the sacred sandalwood of India, famous for its fragrance and ayurvedic uses. Amyris is a similar plant from a different family with some common characteristics, also known as the sandalwood of the West Indies. From this tree we can have the special Amyris essential oil.
This slow-growing small plant can grow up to 12m. The plant has dark glossy green leaves with three to five oval leaflets and produces white flowers with a sweet smell all year around.
The leaves, twigs, and wood are most commonly used to produce essential oil in steam distillation. The fragrant pale yellowish oil is highly demanded in the perfumery and cosmetics industries.
What Is Amyris Essential Oil?
The wood of Amyris balsamifera contains most of the Amyris essential oil and is suitable for steam distillation. The plant growth is slower, and mature woods yield the best oil. After the distillation, you may get pale amber-yellowish oil or brownish.
The oil smells mildly sweet, fruity, balsamic, and woody. Due to the smell, it is an important note for perfumery. You may have seen the presence of Amyris essential oil in your skincare product and soaps. It is a potent aromatherapy oil and is popular in other tropical use like massage.
Unlike most essential oil, Amyris is quite affordable. Due to mass production in Haiti and Jamaica, you can purchase the oil from your nearest store.
Origin And Cultivation of Amyris Essential Oil:
- Amyris is derived from the Greek meaning “strongly fragrant.” The plant is native to the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and the Central American countries of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
- In the late 15th century, Christopher Columbus first discovered and used Amyris plant wood as a torch, which was called the torch plant for a long time. Later people found its similarities with sandalwood and named it West Indian sandalwood, although they do not have much in common.
- In the 17th century, the plant was first cultivated for the valuable wood for essential oil and got attached to the perfume industry.
- Recently Haiti and Jamaica, along with other nations like India, Thailand, etc., produce most of the Amyris plants in large plantations. Some of the wood directly goes to the steam distillation facility and produces the best quality Amyris essential oil.
- Others go for the furniture industry and produce a lot of wood waste. The wood waste is mixed with twigs and leaves to produce cheaper, low-quality oil, which is primarily toxic and ineffective essential oil.
Nutritional Value of Amyris Essential Oil:
- Amyris contains dozens of constituents, some of which are more important than others. Concerning some limitations of this article, we discussed the most vital constituents in detail and skipped the insignificant ones.
- Amyris oil contains a small amount of α-Pinene, which has strong Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, and Neuroprotective Properties.
- A small amount of Β-elemene’s presence in Amyris oil can arrest our cell proliferation cycle and speed up the recovery process, ultimately boosting our immune system.
- The oil contains a small amount of Limonene, primarily a flavoring agent with versatile use and effects. It promotes weight loss, prevents bronchitis and cancer, and cures them.
- Agarospirol (14%) in Amyris Essential Oil gives it its solid and intense aroma. You may find similar compounds and characteristics in agarwood as well.
- Amyris Essential Oil contains large amounts of 7-epi-α-eudesmol (23.6%) and γ-eudesmol (12.3%), which are kind of Sesquiterpene that carries this essential oil’s core odor and flavor. Due to both aromatic and flavoring components, Amyris essential oil is valued in the perfume industry.
- As a chemical, Drimenol (5.3%) is famous for its antifungal properties, and Amyris essential oil contains a lot of it. That makes it one f the most potent essential oil with antifungal activity.
- In the flavoring industry, β-sesquiphellandrene (3.8%) is well known because of its peppery-minty or mild citrusy flavor. Amyris essential oil also contains this chemical, giving it a pungent smell and intense flavor.
- A high level of α-curcumene (3.5%) is present in Amyris Essential oil, an excellent anti-inflammatory agent famous for its anti-inflammatory activity. Besides, Torreyol (3.2%) is well regarded due to its antioxidant activities.
Features of Amyris Essential Oil:
Serial Features Description
01. Botanical Name: Amyris elemifera
02. Plant Family: Rutaceae
03. Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
04. Plant Parts Typically Used to extract the essential oil: The woods are the best part of the plant to produce high-quality essential oil. You may find low-quality oil distilled from twigs, leaves, and waste from Amyris furniture building.
05. Color: From Light to amber yellow, sometimes brownish yellow.
06. Consistency: Moderately viscous and tired yellow to transparent.
07. Perfumery Note: It belongs to the Base note
08. Strength of Initial Aroma: The initial aroma is mild, not too strong but lasts for a long time
09. Aromatic Description: Balsamic, mildly sweet, fruity, and a bit woody fragrance.
10. Major Constituents: Agarospirol (14%), 7-epi-α-eudesmol (23.6%), γ-eudesmol (12.3%), Hedycaryol (10.9%), Drimenol (5.3%), β-sesquiphellandrene (3.8%), α-curcumene (3.5%), Torreyol (3.2%), β-agarofuran (2.9%), α-Pinene, β-elemene, α-Selinene (2.6%)
Sandalwood vs. Amyriswood Essential Oil:
Some compare Amyris essential oil to the famous sandalwood oil. But they need to have something familiar based on constituents. Amyris is similar to sandalwood oil in some characteristics, but they belong to different plant families.
- Sandalwood originated in India, but Christofer Colombus discovered the Amyris plant along with America. They thought the island was part of India as they considered Amyris kind of Sandalwood plant.
- Sandalwood contains a high amount of santalol and its derivatives; on the other hand, Amyris contains β-caryophyllene, cadinene, amyroline, etc., which are entirely different from each other. The chemical difference is also found in their perfumery notes.
- Sandalwood essential oil is expensive and hard to get, but Amyris oil is comparatively affordable with some similar use and benefits to Sandalwood.
- You may use and get some benefits from Amyris essential oil, but you can not use Amyris essential oil as a substitute for Sandalwood essential oil.
Health Benefits of Amyris Essential Oil:
Amyris essential oil is a comparatively new addition to the essential oil industry. Due to its broad uses and benefits, it has gained popularity rapidly. You may find some of the benefits quite helpful to your course. To get more information about the use and benefit of Amyris essential oil, you may read the following description.
01. Immune System Booster: The antifungal and antibacterial properties of Amyris oil work against the pathogen that causes some illnesses. The eradication of some pathogens helps your immune system to perform better. Along with the protection, Amyris essential oil contain a high amount of antioxidant that works as an immune system booster. Some constraints like Β-elemene in the oil directly influence your immune system.
02. Improves your Skin Health: Amyris essential oil is rich in antioxidants like valerianol, eudesmol, etc. These antioxidants improve not only your overall health but also the condition of the skin. It helps your skin cells regenerate and recover from common skin problems. The oil also has a good amount of α-Pinene, an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that can save your skin from inflammation and reduce other sufferings from skin irritation.
03. Anti-Aging Properties: The regenerative boost that occurs on the skin cell due to the use of Amyris oil can repair and improve the condition of your skin. This skin restoration saves your skin from premature aging. As an emollient, Amyris essential oil naturally softens the skin and gives it a better texture that prevents your skin from aging. Its antibacterial, antifungal properties can clean the pores and stop the microbes from growing on your skin, preventing the breakout of your skin cell.
04. Reduce Insomnia and Provide Good Sleep: Insomnia and sleeplessness due to a restless mind and cramped muscles are relatively common problems nowadays. The inhalation of the Amyris oil through aromatherapy or humidifier is an excellent way to calm your mind and reduce muscle tension. The serenity after the therapy can give you a deep and long sleep. Regular use of essential oil can bring stability to your sleep routine.
05. Sharpens your Cognitive Ability: Some constraints in Amyris essential oil, like α-Pinene, which has solid neuroprotective properties, can give you a cognitive boost. Someone suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like dementia can use Amyris essential oil to improve their cognitive function. Amyris aroma inhalation can stimulate neural pathways and increase focus and concentration in your everyday life.
06. Treat Cough and Cold: The anti-inflammatory abilities of Amyris oil can soothe sore throats. Its antibacterial properties can ease cold and cough symptoms and speed up curing. In recent research, Amyris essential oil shows significant resistance against some pathogens that causes respiratory problem like a cough. As a result, Amyris can ease your suffering. Moreover, it can prevent the causes of your suffering through resistance against pathogens.
07. Alleviates Toxicity from your System: Daily dose of Amyris essential oil can stimulate your urination, perspiration, and the digestive system, which can be helpful to maintain the lower toxicity level in your body. You can diffuse the oil in your house and bring the toxin level down to the body of you and your loved ones.
08. Cure Respiratory Infection: Amyris oil is well known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Those attributes can suppress and destroy the pathogen that causes some respiratory problems. If you have respiratory problems, the inflammatory properties of Amyris can soothe the suffering. It can also clear out congestion, phlegm, and mucus associated with respiratory problems and provide quick relief.
09. In Anxiety and Stress Medication: Amyris essential oil contains some chemicals like α-Pinene that can ease the nervous system and relief anxiety and stress medication. Aromatherapy with Amyris essential oil is the best way to deal with stress and anxiety. Direct inhalation of the oil or massage can also reduce stress and help you to relax.
10. Anti-microbial Properties: Amyris essential oil can protect you from some harmful microbes, bacteria, and fungi. It contains some chemical constituents like Drimenol, which has natural resistance against fungi and other microbes. It can primarily protect your skin from the infection caused by those microbes and improve your immune system to fight well against them.
How to Use Amyris Essential Oil:
As a potent essential oil, you may feel the impact of Amyris while using it. You must use the oil carefully with the proper knowledge of using it. It may become harmful if you do not use it carefully with adequate knowledge. The following part will discuss the best ways to use Amyris essential oil.
01. Inhalation: One of the easiest ways to use Amyris essential oil is inhalation. You can either breathe the raw oil or inhale the mild vapor after mixing it with tepid water. The most efficient way to inhale the oil is through aromatherapy. You can set up a humidifier and diffuse the oil in your living room. It will give you the impact of the Amyris essential oil as fast as possible.
02. Massage: Massage is another effective way to use essential oil. You can massage the raw oil in the body part it requires. Considering the potent character of the oil, it is safe to mix it with some carrier oil like Argan oil, Jojoba oil, coconut oil, Rosehip oil, Apricot kernel oil, olive oil, etc. The carrier oil will reduce the effect on sensitive skin but provide the necessary benefit.
03. Mixed With Other Products: You can mix the oil with your regular skin or hair care products and get similar benefits. Mixing with other products saves time and effort and helps you use essential oil without any other hustle. All you have to do is take a few drops of Amyris essential oil and mix it with the product before using it.
Precautions and Side Effects of Amyris Essential Oil:
Amyris essential oil is less likely to give you any side effects. However, a few people may face some side effects on rare occasions. You may face the following side effects if you belong to the unfortunate few.
01. Skin Irritation: It can irritate sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin should use only a few drops for a few hours and check for a reaction. If you do not have any reaction or skin inflammation, you may use the essential oil without much thought. In contrast, the oil may be reactive to your skin, and you should avoid the oil entirely.
02. Upset the Stomach: Like most other potent essential oils, you can not take Amyris oil orally. It will provide you with severe stomach problems; You may face nausea and constant vomiting. The external use of Amyris essential oil is strong enough to give you all the benefits.
03. Pregnancy: Some hormonal activities may be hampered due to potent essential oil like Amyris during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Because of that, it is encouraged to consult the doctor before having essential oil. With the consultation, aromatherapy with Amyris oil may be helpful to some pregnant women during pregnancy or post-pregnancy depression.
Where to buy Amyris Essential Oil:
Amyris essential oil is one of the few affordable in this expensive industry. It is also easy to be deceived due to low-quality and counterfeit oils. The best quality product extracted from timber is slightly pricy but way better than lower quality products extracted from twigs, brunches, and furniture wastage.
- You can buy Amyris essential oil from your local store like Walmart, Costco, Macy’s, etc. You can find most of the famous brands there. Online platforms are convenient alternatives to retail stores. You can depend on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Macy’s, etc. All those stores can connect you with dependable sellers selling essential oil.
- In recent times famous essential oil producers like doTerra, Plant Therapy, aroma magic, Aura Cacia, Rocky Mountain Oil, etc., have established their outlets and websites, from where they sell various essential oil like Amyris. Although their products are slightly more expensive, you can depend on them for the best and most reliable products.
- In the ear of consumerism, you may find your local brand and variant that import and sells Amyris along with other essential oils. You can buy from them to save some bucks, but you must consult someone with adequate knowledge about essential oil first.
- Christopher Columbus discovers Amyris’s plan during the discovery of the West Indies.
- It is valued for its essential oil, but the primary user of Amyris wood belongs to the Furniture industry.
- You can find the name Amyris is associated with Sandalwood, but both are entirely different plants with very different properties and benefits.
- It is a familiar base note in the perfume industry.
- It has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties.
The west Indian plant that resembles Sandalwood is very different in attributes and usefulness. Unlike Sandalwood oil, Amyris is a unique and affordable essential oil that you can use and have benefitted. Easy access to the oil and its myriad benefit makes Amyris one of the most reliable essential oil in the market.
The commercial cultivation of Amyris’s plan makes it more consumer-friendly and provides financial progress to those who cultivate it. You can also use the oil as a healthy alternative to chemical-based products. It will protect your health and ensure the livelihood of some poorest regions of the world.