Amyris Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects

Popularly nicknamed as the “poor man’s sandalwood,” amyris essential oil holds a special place in aromatherapy. The amyris oil benefits include reducing the stress levels, releasing tension, minimizing stress, and preventing the ageing signs.

It is fortified with important compounds that can prominently uplift both your body and mind. Even though it might not be as pure as sandalwood, it features some incredible health perks, which you truly don’t want to miss on.

On that note, let’s comprehend about this essential oil in detail.

What Is Amyris Oil?

Amyris is well admired for its “intense scents” and is also known as West Indies/Indian sandalwood, for the reason that it originated from the West Indies.

The oil is extracted from the wood of its tree through the process of steam distillation. The Amyris tree is a medium-sized, sweet-smelling tree that grows to a height from 16 to 42 feet (or 5 – 13 meters).

It belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is bushy and blooms beautiful white flowers. Many people refer this to candlewood or torchwood for the reason that its wood comprises high amounts of oil and its ability to burn quick like a candle. (1)

what is amyris essential oil


Scientific Name Of Amyris Oil

Amyris balsamifera

History Of Amyris Oil

Until the 1800s, amyris was misunderstood as sandalwood. Though both sandalwood and amyris have the same smell and pretty much look similar, it is vital to note that both are completely different.

Only after its leaves were examined, it had its botanical name and was known to the world that it is entirely different from sandalwood.

Amyris is a well-known tropical evergreen plant that develops in tiny thickets on the wind-swept mountains of Haiti.

The natives of Haiti call it “candlewood” for the reason that it can burn like a candle once lit. This quality made the fishermen there to use it like a torch on the shorelines to trace crabs and different sea animals.

On the other hand, the peasants who resided in the Haitian mountains also used the amyris wood like a torch when travelling to the other local markets at nights.

It has customarily been used by the traders, fishermen, and farmers to lighten their paths. However, today, its wood is used for its essential oil. The huge branches and trunks are cut and “seasoned” at least for 6-7 months before the distillation process.

Earlier, the plant’s oil was used for cleaning wounds, relieving diarrhea, and treating respiratory issues. However, today, its uses are myriad.

amyris oil benefits

Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Amyris Oil

  • The color of amyris oil is known to be either pale yellow or light brown.
  • The consistency of amyris oil is thick and tacky.
  • The smell of amyris oil is sweet and mild.

Properties Of Amyris Essential Oil

The properties of amyris oil include the following: (2)

  • Antiseptic – prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause diseases
  • Decongestant – relieves nasal congestion
  • Sedative – induces good and healthy sleep
  • Emollient – soothes irritated or inflamed skin
  • Anti-aging – reduces the signs of ageing
  • Anti-anxiety – relieves anxiety and nervousness
  • Cicatrizant – heals wounds
  • Hypotensive – lowers high blood pressure levels
  • Nervine – Calms the nerves and reduces anxiety levels
  • Muscle relaxant – Relaxes tightened muscles
  • Stimulant – Increases nervous system or psychological activity
  • Stomachic – Promotes healthy appetite
  • Febrifuge – Reduces fever
  • Emenagogue – Promotes proper menstrual discharge
  • Insecticide – Repels and kills mosquitoes and other insects
  • Digestive – Assists in healthy digestion
  • Bactericidal – Kills all the bacterial agents
  • Aphrodisiac – Increases sexual desire
  • Anti-neuralgic – Treats nerve pain
  • Cholagogue – Helps proper bile discharge

Chemical Compounds Of Amyris Oil

The primary constituents of amyris essential oil include sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated sesquiterpenes, β-sesquiphellandrene, γ-eudesmol, elemol, valerianol, and α, β-eudesmol. (3, 4)

amyris oil benefits

Credit: Indiamart

Health Benefits Of Amyris Oil

Be it skin regeneration or relieving sexual tension, amyris comes in handy. The amyris oil benefits are explained in detail below:

1. Repels Mosquitoes & Insects

Amyris oil is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes and other small insects. This is due to the presence of elemol in it. So, the next time you step outdoors, make sure to make your own DIY repellent with amyris oil and spray it on your clothes. (5, 6)

2. Keeps The Skin Rejuvenated

When used regularly, amyris has the potential to prevent the early signs of aging. In fact, it makes a great addition to your skincare regime. Just adding 1-2 drops of it to your toner can prevent wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and saggy skin. It brings an amazing glow and works great when combined with ylang-ylang and lavender oil.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

The compound valerianol is one of the key reasons amyris works like a wonder in bringing down the high blood pressure levels. Besides this, this compound also works as a sedative and thus, promoting a sound sleep. Just diffuse a few drops of amyris oil and let its aroma work. (7)

4. Eliminates Respiratory Problems

The natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties of amyris oil help in eliminating the respiratory infections. It not only helps in soothing the infected respiratory tracts but also assists in eliminating the sore throats.

While it’s anti-inflammatory properties breaks the congestion, mucus, and phlegm, its antimicrobial properties kill the underlying pathogens that cause the infection. (8)

5. Alleviates Anxiety & Stress

Whether you are feeling frustrated or stressed, just diffusing a few drops of it can uplift your mood in minutes. It helps in calming the mind and relaxing the nerves. This is due to the presence of its rich antioxidants, which have a direct impact on your limbic system. Meaning that it works on your neurotransmitters to boost your mood and relieve anxiety. (9)

6. Stimulates Appetite

β-Eudesmol, one of the key oxygenized sesquiterpenes in amyris helps in stimulating your appetite naturally. It increases the GVNA (Gastric Vagal Nerve Activity), which controls your digestion and appetite. (10, 11)

7. Promotes Sleep

Amyris is well-known for its natural stimulant properties. No wonder, when you diffuse a few drops of it, you start feeling sleepy. Thus, making an incredible home remedy for people suffering from restless sleep and insomnia.

Whether you use this oil in the form of diffuser or hot water bath, it relaxes your tensed muscles, calms the nerves, and gives you an uninterrupted, peaceful sleep.  (12)

8. Moisturizes The Skin

Yet another great benefit of amyris oil is that it treats dry skin naturally. It helps with skin regeneration and is an effective treatment for flaky, dry skin. This is mainly due to its essential emollient properties.

It soothes the inflamed skin and nourishes the skin deeply. Be it wounds or other skin problems, this oil comes in handy.

9. Gives A Radiant Glow

Valerianol and α,β,γ-eudesmol (all three types) in amyris oil together do a great deed in eliminating the oxidative stress in the body. Thereby, reducing the chances of cancer to a great extent. (13)

Besides this, the rich antioxidants in it also keeps the aging signs at bay. It improves the overall skin health and prevents premature aging signs. When used regularly in your beauty regime, it adds elasticity to the skin, giving a radiant glow and making you look much younger from your actual age!

10. Kills Bacteria

The natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties of amyris oil make it a natural way to kill all the bacteria lurking at your home. No wonder they are used in various DIY cleaning solutions.

It not only kills all the germs and pathogens but also spreads out a sweet, natural fragrance throughout your home.

Uses Of Amyris Oil

  • Soap Making: It is frequently used as an alternative to sandalwood oil. This is because sandalwood is scarce and highly priced. Since amyris and sandalwood tend to have similar aromas, it works as an effective ingredient in soap making.
  • Moisturizing Creams: Its rich smell and anti-aging properties make it a great ingredient in DIY creams and other commercial beauty creams.
  • Perfumery: The rich fragrance of amyris essential oil makes it a key ingredient for perfumes, cosmetics, and other fragrances. “Givenchy Play Intense,” and “Yves Saint Laurent Magnificent Blossom” are some popular perfume brands that are using Amyris for their formulations.

What Blends With Amyris Oil?

Amyris oil blends amazingly with the essential oils listed below:

How To Use Amyris Oil?

uses of amyris oil


  • Bath Soak: Just add about 10-12 drops of amyris oil to your bathtub. Make sure that the water is hot (not boiling). Mix it well with water. You can even add some bath salts if required. Swirl it well to dissolve and soak yourself in it for 20-30 minutes.
  • Massage: Since every essential oil is potent, it is important to mix it with a carrier oil. Hence, an essential oil like amyris is no exception. Before using this oil for a massage, blend it with any carrier oil like almond oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil.
  • Inhalation: Diffuser is another great way to use an essential oil. Just diffusing a few drops of it and inhaling its aroma can help you deal with insomnia, stress, muscle tension, anxiety, and respiratory issues.

Side Effects Of Amyris Oil

Though amyris oil is considered safe and non-toxic for use, there are times when a few individuals might experience stomach upset, skin irritation, or other complications when dealing with certain medications.

  • Ingestion: Essential oils should never be ingested unless a doctor prescribes you. When ingested, amyris can give you a bad stomachache, vomiting, and nausea.
  • Chronic Illness: No expert will recommend amyris if you are on certain medications or suffering from a chronic disease. Hence, it is important to talk to a doctor before using it.
  • Skin Irritation: Every essential oil is potent and so is amyris. Hence, it might not suit every skin type. For instance, people with sensitive skin might experience itchiness when applied. Hence, it is good a do a patch test to prevent adverse reactions.
  • Pregnancy: If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, it is best not to use this oil. It is always safe to get your doctor’s advice.
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