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  Latin Name Santalum album
English Name  Sandal wood
Hindi Name Chandan, Safed Chandan
Part Used Heart wood

Sandalwood is a small tree that grows primarily in India. Wood and volatile oil of Santalum possesses various useful properties. 1They are credited with cooling, diaphoretic, diuretic and expectorant properties and sandal wood finds several applications in household remedies: a paste of the wood is applied to burns, in fevers and headache, it is applied to forehead and upper eyelids. The oil was at one time official in many pharmacopeia and was prescribed for the treatment of gonorrhea. It was reported to be active against Eberthella typhosa and Escherichia coli. The oil from seeds is used in skin troubles.

The main constituent of essential oil is santalol, present as a mixture of two isomers alpha- and beta-santalol. The characteristic odour and medicinal properties of sandal wood oil are mainly due to the santanol. 2The essential oil from heartwood exhibited antibacterial activity. HESP (Hydrolysed exhausted sandal powder) oil an essential oil obtained by acid hydrolysis of the non-steam volatile matter of the spent sandal powder followed by steam distillation of the hydrolysate is distinctly more efficacious in pharmacological activities than the oil of sandal wood. HESP oil showed significant antitremorogenic, anti- inflammatory, anti-mitotic, antiviral and anticancer activities. The sandal wood extract is an ingredient of pharmaceutical composition which showed good response against leucorrhea.

3Santalum album is included in Traditional medicinal plants of cold desert Ladakh-used against kidney and urinary disorders. 4Sandalwood oil, the essential oil of Santalum album L., was tested for in vitro antiviral activity against Herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2 in Argentiana. It was found that the replication of these viruses was inhibited in the presence of the oil.



1. The Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol. IX, 208-224, 2005
2. The Wealth of India, First Supplement Series (Raw Materials) Vol. 5: R-Z, page 49-52, 2004
3. PMID: 18550306, J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jul 23;118(2):331-9. Epub 2008 May 2.
4. PMID: 1037425, S TA NU. 1976 Sep-Dec;6(5-6):307.

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