The word sandalwood in English and Chandan in Hindi represents the precious and scented wood. Sandalwood is the name of different fragrant woods. These woods are yielded by the tree Santalum and Santalaceae, which are often used for the essential oil it contains. The botanical name of sandalwood is Santalum album. Sandalwood is cherished for its fragrance and medical and religious qualities.
Sandalwood tree is a small ever green tree with an average height of 12 to 15 metres. These trees are heavy and yellow in color as well as fine-grained.The purplish brown flowers that grow in these trees are small and unscented. The roots of the tree contain high percentage of oil while stem portion of tree contains higher percentage of santalol content.
Santalum trees must be at least eight years of age to produce good and valuable sandalwood as well as fragrance oils. The largest producer of Santalum album now is Australia with a majority being grown in Western Australia. Unlike most trees, sandalwood is harvested by toppling the entire santalum tree instead of sawing them down at the trunk. This way, valuable wood from the stump and root can also be sold or processed for pure sandalwood oil. The major quantity of the sandalwood oil is used for manufacturing perfumes and cosmetics.
Sandalwood essential oil provides perfumes with a striking wood base note. Popular perfume compositions are prepared by extracting the volatile essences of flowers (Jasmine, Kendra, Rose) on to sandal oil. Pure sandalwood oil does not smell different from other wood scents, but 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 of other fragrances. Sandal oil has earned a prominent place in agarbathi, cosmetic fragrance and soap industries. Apart from its importance of being a fragrance, it finds use in medicine.
Sandalwood oil is a popular remedy in Gonorrhoea, Chronic foetid bronchitis and Cystitis, gleet, urethral haemorrhage, bronchial catarrh. In remittent fevers this oil acts as a diaphoretic. It diminishes the rapidity of heart’s action. Sandalwood oil mixed with its double the quantity of mustard oil is a good application for pimples on nose. The chief use of sandalwood oil in medicine is in the symptomatic treatment of dysuria. 100% pure sandalwood oil has beauty enhancing properties like it softens and soothes the skin, relieves dehydrated skin, itching and inflation of the skin. It acts as an astringent which has great toning effect on the skin and fights oily skin, dry eczema and skin cancer.
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