Guaiacwood Essential Oil (Gonopterodendron sarmientoi)


Guaiacwood may also be referred to as Gran Chaco, Bulnesia Sarmientoi. It is typically processed in Paraguay, Argentina using steam or hydro distillation as a method for extracting oil from the wood.


Guaiacwood oil (pronounced gayak) scent is described as sweet, woody and also spicy, powdery, even exotic by some. It is used in perfumery for its invigorating effect on the mind, its natural fixative properties and its suave fragrance. Guaiacwood oil comes from a small tree, commonly named vera or palo santo. The oil is steam distilled from the bark and is almost solid at room temperature, but liquefies quickly in a warm bath.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Balsamic Earthy Musky Resinous Slightly floral Soft Warm Woody

  • Common Name(s): Gran Chaco, Bulnesia Sarmientoi
  • Synonyms(s) for Gonopterodendron sarmientoi: Bulnesia gancedoi, Bulnesia sarmientoi, Plectrocarpa sarmientoi

  • Botanical Family: Zygophyllaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Gonopterodendron
  • Chemical Family: Ethers, Sesquiterpenols
  • Perfumery Note: Base
  • Color: Yellow to light brown pasty mass
  • Countries of Production: Paraguay, Argentina
  • Indigenous Country: Paraguay
  • Cultivation: Wild Harvested
  • Processing Methods: Steam or Hydro Distillation
  • Part Typically Used: Wood
  • Shelf Life: 8 years
  • Wild Harvested Wild Harvested
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Benefits & Uses

May be benefitial for addressing the following ailments:

Anxiety Arthritis Gout Muscular Inflammation Rheumatoid Arthritis Stress

Therapeutic Benefits of Guaiacwood:

Anti-anxiety Anti-inflammatory Anti-oxidant Anti-rheumatic Anti-septic Calming Cicatrisant CNS tonic Cooling Diuretic Lymph decongest Lymphatic support Tonic Tonifying

Other Uses for Guaiacwood:

It is sometimes used in skin formulations for its antioxidant properties that help rejuvenate and protect the skin from free radicals as well as helps boost the immune system. Its properties include is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, and diuretic.

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Guaiacwood:

Guaiacwood essential oil potency can lead to irritation of the skin, so it is important to dilute it with a carrier oil like almond, jojoba, or coconut oil and conduct a patch skin test before applying the essential oil to larger areas of the body. Additionally, though it can be used to reduce some swelling, it is discouraged to use Guaiacwood essential oil on swelling caused by injuries such as scrapes and bone fractures.

Safety Precautions for Guaiacwood:

Guaiacwood essential oil is a natural diuretic, and using this essential oil may decrease the body’s ability to eliminate the compound lithium, so individuals taking lithium should consult with a physician before using Guaiacwood essential oil.

Avoid Guaiacwood if:

Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities of Guaiacwood:

1st Chakra - survival and support, 7th Chakra - higher information, Balancing, Grounding, Introspective, Meditative, Purifying, Source Energy