Sandalwood (Santalum album)

 

Botanical Name :Santalum album
Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Santalum
Species: S. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Santalales

Common Name: Indian sandalwood or sandalwood

Habitat :Santalum album is native to semi-arid areas of the Indian subcontinent. It is now planted in India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Northwestern Australia.It occurs from coastal dry forests up to 700 m elevation. It normally grows in sandy or stony red soils, but a wide range of soil types are inhabited. This habitat has a temperature range from 0 to 38°C and annual rainfall between 500 and 3000 mm.

Description:
Santalum album is a hemiparasitic  evergreen tree and the height  is between 4 and 9 metres. They may live to one hundred years of age. The tree is variable in habit, usually upright to sprawling, and may intertwine with other species. The plant parasitises the roots of other tree species, with a haustorium adaptation on its own roots, but without major detriment to its hosts. An individual will form a non-obligate relationship with a number of other plants. Up to 300 species (including its own) can host the tree’s development – supplying macronutrients phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium, and shade – especially during early phases of development. It may propagate itself through wood suckering during its early development, establishing small stands. The reddish or brown bark can be almost black and is smooth in young trees, becoming cracked with a red reveal. The heartwood is pale green to white as the common name indicates. The leaves are thin, opposite and ovate to lanceolate in shape. Glabrous surface is shiny and bright green, with a glaucous pale reverse. Fruit is produced after three years, viable seeds after five. These seeds are distributed by birds.
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True sandalwoods:
Sandalwoods are medium-sized hemiparasitic trees, and part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe. Notable members of this group are Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum); others in the genus also have fragrant wood. These are found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.

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*Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood, is a threatened species. It is indigenous to South India, and grows in the Western Ghats and a few other mountain ranges like the Kalrayan and Shevaroy Hills. Although sandalwood trees in India and Nepal are government-owned and their harvest is controlled, many trees are illegally cut down. Sandalwood oil prices have risen to $2,000 per kg recently. Sandalwood from the Mysore region of Karnataka (formerly Mysore), and marayoor forest in kerala, Southern India is high quality. New plantations were created with international aid in Tamil Nadu for economic exploitation. In Kununurra in Western Australia, Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) is grown on a large scale.click to see

*Santalum ellipticum, S. freycinetianum, and S. paniculatum, the Hawaiian sandalwood (?iliahi), were also used and considered high quality. These three species were exploited between 1790 and 1825 before the supply of trees ran out (a fourth species, S. haleakalae, occurs only in subalpine areas and was never exported). Although S. freycinetianum and S. paniculatum are relatively common today, they have not regained their former abundance or size, and S. ellipticum remains rare.

*Santalum spicatum (Australian sandalwood) is used by aromatherapists and perfumers. The concentration differs considerably from other Santalum species. In the 1840s, sandalwood was Western Australia’s biggest export earner. Oil was distilled for the first time in 1875, and by the turn of the century there was intermittent production of Australian sandalwood oil. However in the late 1990s WA Sandalwood oil enjoyed a revival and by 2009 had peaked at more than 20,000kg per year – much of which went to the fragrance industries in Europe. By 2011 WA Sandalwood oil whilst reducing in overall volume had a significant amount of its production heading to the chewing tobacco industry in India alongside Indian Sandalwood – the chewing tobacco market being the largest market for both oils in 2012.

Edible Uses:
Australian Aboriginals eat the seed kernels, nuts, and fruit of local sandalwoods, such as quandong (Santalum acuminatum).

Medicinal Uses:
* Acne * Air Fresheners * Aphrodisiac * Aromatherapy * Ayurvedic * Bronchitis * Deodorants/Perfumes * Insect Repellent * Sleep/Insomnia
Properties: * Anodyne * Antifungal * Antispasmodic * AntiViral * Aphrodisiac * Aromatic * Astringent * Carminative * Diuretic * Expectorant * Sedative
Parts Used: Heartwood
Constituents:  santalol

Sandalwood oil has been widely used in folk medicine for treatment of common colds, bronchitis, skin disorders, heart ailments, general weakness, fever, infection of the urinary tract, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints and other maladies. Recently, the in vivo anti-hyperglycemic and antioxidant potentials of ?-santalol and sandalwood oil were demonstrated in Swiss Albino mice. Additionally, different in vitro and in vivo parts of the plant have been shown to possess antimicrobial  and antioxidant properties, possibly attributed to sesquiterpenoids, shikimic acid

Sandalwood oil is one of the few fragrances that is equally popular among men and women. It’s uplifting scent has been considered an aphrodisiac since ancient times. It aromatherapy it is often used to treat depression and emotional sexual dysfunction. A mild yang oil, it is emollient, tonic and sedative, making sandalwood one of the most useful oils for the skin. Sanalwood oil is classic choice for dry and dehydrated skin. It relieves itching and inflammation, and as a mild astringent can also profit those with  oily skin as well In Ayurvedic medicine sandalwood oil is prescribed as a tonic, to treat ulcers and abscesses, and to treat mucus discharge.

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Sandalwood essential oil was popular in medicine up to 1920-1930, mostly as a urogenital (internal) and skin (external) antiseptic. Its main component beta-santalol (~90%) has antimicrobial properties. It is used in aromatherapy and to prepare soaps. Due to this antimicrobial activity, it can be used to clear skin from blackheads and spots, but it must always be properly diluted with a carrier oil. Because of its strength, sandalwood oil should never be applied to the skin without being diluted in a carrier oil.

Sandalwood is a classic for bladder infections. It is taken to help the passing of stones, in kidney inflammations, and prostatitis. The oil is cooling to the body and useful for fevers and infections when used as a massage. The scent is calming, and helps focus the mind away from distracting chatter and creating the right mood for meditation.. Sandalwood has been used internally for chronic bronchitis and to treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results. Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water for 20 minutes, and take up to two cups a day in quarter-cup doses. The alcohol tincture is 20-40 drops, 4 times a day, not with meals. In Ayurvedic medicine, a paste of the wood is used to soothe rashes and itchy skin. For nosebleeds, the oil can be smeared up into the nose using a finger saturated with the oil.

In Chinese medicine, sandalwood is held to be useful for chest and abdominal pain. It is also used to treat vomiting, gonorrhea, choleraic difficulties and skin complaints. Promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain: for pain associated with stagnant qi in the chest and abdomen. Contraindicated in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs. The oil also stimulates the spleen, promotes white blood cell production and strengthens the immune system against infection. Very useful for chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throat, hiccups and dry coughs.

Emotionally, sandalwood is profoundly seductive, dispelling anxiety and depression. It casts out cynicism and obsessional attitudes, especially strong ties with the past, effecting a cure in cases of sexual dysfunction. It comforts and helps the dying to make peace with the world. It is used to awaken the power of kundalini and to connect that energy with the highest enlightenment. About the erotic quality of the oil, scientists have discovered a connection. Sandalwood smells similar to light concentrations of androsterone, a substance very similar in chemical structure to the male hormone testosterone and is released in men?s underarm perspiration.

Other Uses:
Sandalwood essential oil provides perfumes with a striking wood base note. Sandalwood smells somewhat like other wood scents, except it has a bright and fresh edge with few natural analogues. When used in smaller proportions in a perfume, it is an excellent fixative to enhance the head space[clarification needed] of other fragrances.
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Sandalwood oil in India is widely used in the cosmetic industry. The main source of true sandalwood, S. album, is a protected species, and demand for it cannot be met. Many species of plants are traded as “sandalwood”. Within the genus Santalum alone, there are more than nineteen species. Traders will often accept oil from closely related species, such as various species in the genus Santalum, as well as from unrelated plants such as West Indian Sandalwood (Amyris balsamifera) in the family Rutaceae or bastard sandalwood (Myoporum sandwicense, Myoporaceae). However, most woods from these alternative sources will lose their aroma within a few months or years.
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Isobornyl cyclohexanol is a synthetic fragrance chemical produced as an alternative to the natural product.

In Technology:
Due to its low fluorescence and optimal refractive index, sandalwood oil is often employed as an immersion oil within ultraviolet and fluorescence microscopy.

Sandalwood is most important in many religions functions :
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In Hinduism:
Sandalwood paste is integral to rituals and ceremonies, to mark religious utensils and to decorate the icons of the deities. It is also distributed to devotees, who apply it to the forehead or the neck and chest. Preparation of the paste is a duty fit only for the pure, and is therefore entrusted in temples and during ceremonies only to priests.

In Buddhism:
Sandalwood is considered to be of the padma (lotus) group and attributed to Amitabha Buddha. Sandalwood scent is believed to transform one’s desires and maintain a person’s alertness while in meditation. Sandalwood is also one of the more popular scents used when offering incense to the Buddha.

In Islamism:
In sufi tradition sandalwood paste is applied on the sufi’s grave by the disciples as a mark of devotion. It is practiced particularly among the Indian subcontinent sufi disciples. In some places sandalwood powder is burnt in Dargah for fragrance. In some parts of India during the Milad un Nabi in the early 19th century, the residents applied sandalwood paste on the decorated Buraq and the symbols of footprints of the Prophet Mohammed. In some places of India during the epidemic it was common among the South Indian devotees of Abdul-Qadir Gilani (also known as pir anay pir) to prepare his imprint of a hand with sandalwood paste and parade along the bylines, which they believed would cause the epidemic to vanish and the sick to be healed. Among the Tamil culture irrespective of religious identity, sandal wood paste and powder is applied on the graves of Sufi’s as a mark of devotion and respect.

In Chinese and Japanese religions:
Sandalwood, along with agarwood, is the most commonly used incense material by the Chinese and Japanese in worship and various ceremonies.

In Zoroastrianism:
Zoroastrians offer sandalwood twigs to the firekeeping priests who offer the sandalwood to the fire which keep the fire burning. Sandalwood is offered to all of the three grades of fire in the Fire temple, including the Atash Dadgahs. Sandalwood is not offered to the divo, a homemade lamp. Often, money is offered to the mobad (for religious expenditures) along with the sandalwood. Sandalwood is called sukhar in the Zoroastrian community. The sandalwood in the fire temple is often more expensive to buy than at a Zoroastrian store. It is often a source of income for the fire temple.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santalum_album
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail53.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandalwood

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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