Known as bulnesia sarmientoi in it’s botanical wording, The guaiac tree grows freely in the jungles of Latin America. It grows wild in the Gran Chaco region, which covers a portion of Argentina and Paraguay. The guaiac’s lush, evergreen foliage is of short, bright-green, oval leaves. These leaves hide small blue flowers that lighten over time, ultimately becoming white. The fruit resembles a yellow-orange cherry, and the aromatic wood is protected by a thick, smooth, gray bark. Deemed harder than oak, the heartwood produces an essential oil with a sweet, woody, milky fragrance reminiscent of sandalwood. As with amyris, the tree’s age has an impact on the fragrance of its essential oil.
Locally dubbed “Palo Santo” meaning “sacred wood” in Spanish, guaiacwood is traditionally used as incense, burned to purify the atmosphere and ward off evil spirits. The essential oil of guaiacum wood was first marketed in 1891. It was not until 1938 that an oil-producing factory was built in the capital of Paraguay. Intensive use of this resource in woodworking in Latin America led to a dangerous depletion of the tree and, consequently, guaiacwood is now protected by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) to regulate trade of the plant, as with rosewood.
This semisolid oil is a sweetly smoky, earthy and mysterious base note. It has a touch of rose to the aroma, and years ago was used to adulterate Rose Otto.
Emotionally the oil is relaxing and calming, a wonderful de-stresser. The tree is called sacred by the natives of Paraguay, so the oil might also be a good addition to a sacred or meditative blend. We highly recommend you use this oil paired with something like a lavender oil for maximum relaxation from essential oil blends.
Physically it is said to be anti-inflammatory. Some sources recommend Guaiacwood Essential Oil as a venous or lymphatic decongestant. (I would blend it with Cistus for this use.) Hypothetically this would smell great and pair with Guiaiac wood. The blend would be delightful. This same decongesting effect would make Guaiacwood useful for treating the pelvic congestion that can accompany or cause PMS.
Other sources recommend using Guaiacwood in blends to treat gout, rheumatism or arthritis pains, as well as simple fluid retention.
Please note that this is a very thick oil. It can easily be spooned out of the bottle, if you have something small enough to do so. If not, the bottle will need to be warmed to turn the solid oil to liquid. It takes quite a bit of warming to do so.
Oil of guaiac is produced through steam distillation of a mixture of wood and sawdust from palo santo. It is sometimes incorrectly called guaiac wood concrete. It is a yellow to greenish yellow semi-solid mass which melts around 40–50 °C. Once melted, it can be cooled back to room temperature yet remain liquid for a long time. Oil of guaiac has a soft roselike odour, similar to the odour of Hybrid Tea roses or violets. Because of this similarity, it has sometimes been used as an adulterant for rose oil.
Oil of guaiac is primarily composed of 42-72% guaiol, bulnesol, δ-bulnesene, β-bulnesene, α-guaiene, guaioxide and β-patchoulene. It is considered non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and nonphototoxic to human skin.
Acknowledged by the German Commission E Monographs and the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia for rheumatism & rheumatoid arthritis. Used for gout & fluid retention as well. Some sources recommend guaiacwood as a venous and lymphatic decongestant, as well as pelvic congestion that contributes to PMS..
A very popular oil with perfumers because of its depth of aroma and fixative qualities. Some sources say it has skin healing benefits, and is indicated for fungal conditions on the skin.
Natives of the Chaco regions use the bark to treat stomach problems.
Please be aware that this is a very thick, paste-like oil, and will need to be warmed to about 104-122 degrees in order to liquefy.