Sandalwood Oil(Santalum Album)

Sandalwood grows mainly in India in the state of Karnataka. The state accounts for about 70 per cent of the production, the rest mainly coming from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The tree grows naturally in fertile tropical forestlands with abundant rainfall. It is also cultivated.

The tree is a root parasite. Soon after germination, the seedling finds a host and derives nourishment from it. It grows about 10 meters high, has a girth of one-and-a half- meters and lives for over a 100 years.

Only trees older than 30 years are exploited for wood. India has over 70 varieties of this exotic species. About ten of them have been found to be hardy and are cultivated. A 30-year-old tree usually yields 100 to 250 kilograms of scented hardwood and the quantity increases if the tree is older.

Till 1916, Karnataka, then the princely state of Mysore, was exporting sandalwood to France and other European countries for the extraction of oil. But during World War I when huge stocks of wood piled up in the state, an oil-extraction unit in Mysore and another one at Shimoga was set up. Since then, Mysore became synonymous with sandalwood oil

Sandalwood products are obtained from the sandalwood tree (Santalum album), which is a member of the Santalaceae family. It is known as white sandalwood, Mysore sandalwood, East Indian sandalwood, sandal, Chandan (Hindi), and tan xiang (Mandarin). The white sandalwood is an evergreen tree which grows to 50 feet. It naturally occurs in Eastern India in the states of Mysore, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnatika. It grows in a dry and rocky environment and reproduces by suckers and by seeds. The environmental conditions required by this tree are rather strict and not completely understood. Due to a combination of the environmental requirements and the necessity of living off a host plant, sandalwood is not easy to propagate. Even so it has been long cultivated in other Southeast Asian locations, including Indonesia which produces some good quality essential oil.

Sandalwood is a parasitic tree, which obtains nutrients from several other plant species. While there are other species of sandalwood, including red sandalwood, Australian sandalwood (S. spicaum) and New Caledonian sandalwood (S. austrocaledonicum), these are quite different than true Santalum album and have very different properties and fragrances. There is another tree that yields an essential oil which is sometimes called West Indian sandalwood or amyris (Amyris balsamifera). It is from Haiti and other islands in the West Indies and is not related to true sandalwood. It is however, sometimes used as a sandalwood substitute especially in products such as sandalwood soap, where using the true sandalwood would be too expensive.

Benefits / Uses

Sandalwood oil may help in cracked and greasy skin, moisturizer, bronchitis, diarrhea, nausea, depression, nervous tension, insomnia, stress related complaints. It was used for regeneration, yoga & meditation. Use also in bath, skincare, diffuser, perfume, massage, inhalation, compress.This relaxing oil has a harmonizing and calming effect which reduces tension and confusion and is ideal for use in depression, hectic daily lifestyles and states of fear, stress, nervous exhaustion, chronic illness and anxiety.

It is very useful for any chest complaints as it has a pronounced effect on the mucus membranes of both the pulmonary as well as genito-urinary tract - making it very effective for complaints of the urinary tract as well.

Chronic chest infections, sore throats and dry coughs as well as bronchitis and asthma can benefit greatly from this oil, as well as cystitis and bladder infections, also helpful with sexual problems such as frigidity and impotence.

On the skin, sandalwood oil relieves itching and inflammation of the skin, and is most effective in relieving dehydrated skin - making it great for anti-ageing skincare - and the astringent action has a great toning effect and is also used with great results in oily skin conditions and to prevent the skin from forming ugly scars and for fighting dry eczema