Sandalwood is a medium sized evergreen tree with small dull purplish flowers in small bunches and roundish, purple black succulent fruits. It has opposite leaves, shining on the upper surface, and almost drooping branches, dark rough bark and scented mature wood. The wood is bitter, sedative, cooling and a cardiac tonic.
Sandalwood yields an essential oil which contains santaloe. Its oil is a stimulant and an antiseptic. It has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes.
Botanical Name: Santalum album
Indian Name: Chandan
Below are some of the medicinal properties of sandalwood:
- Sandalwood paste is a valuable remedy for prickly heat. It prevents excessive sweating and heals inflamed skin. Dry sandalwood powder can be mixed in rose water and applied over parts where there is profuse sweating.
- Sandalwood powder mixed with milk or made into pills, as also sandalwood oil, is useful in the treatment of gonorrhea. Sandalwood oil is used in treating, dysuria (painful and difficult urination) and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder). It is taken is doses of five drops in the beginning and gradually increased to 10 to 30 drops. Its efficacy can be increased by the addition of ajwain water or infusion of ginger.
- Sandalwood is also effective in gastric irritability. About 22 grams of a watery emulsion of the wood mixed with sugar, honey and rice water should be administered in the treatment of such a condition.
- Sandalwood paste applied on the temple relieves headache and bring down the temperature in fever.
- An emulsion or a paste of the wood is a cooling dressing in inflammatory and eruptive skin diseases such as erysipelas, an inflammatory disease of the face and prurigo, an itchy eruption. The oil is useful for scabies too. This oil mixed with twice its quantity of mustered oil is used for removing pimples. In summer, regular application of sandalwood paste on the body, especially for children has a refreshing effect which heals any tiny infected spots.
- It is also useful in the treatment of dysentery. It should be administered as for gastric irritability.