Wood, essential oil.
Both sandalwood as well as the vital oil extracted from it has effectual antiseptic properties that are very beneficial in healing disorders relating to the urinary and genital organs like cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder and gonorrhea, sexually transmitted diseases that leads to swelling and irritation of the genital mucous organs. Physicians practicing Ayurvedic medicine use a paste of the sandalwood to comfort rashes and prickly skins. Chinese herbal medicine practitioners use the sandalwood to alleviate chest and abdominal pains. The sandalwood oil forms the foundation of many fragrances that possess an outstanding wood base shade. Incidentally, like other timbers, sandalwood too has a woody aroma, barring the fact that it has a vivid and an unsullied advantage along with some normal substances that have similar, but independent functions. If the essential sandalwood oil is used in reasonable ratios in a scent, it acts as a superb fixative or a liquid sprayed for protection that increases the additive properties of other perfumes. Incidentally, the vital oil extracted from sandalwood is used extensively in the cosmetic industry and hence is relatively very costly. Since, most nations have declared the pure sandalwood trees as a secluded variety, there is always a wide inconsistency between the demand and supply of this precious tropical aromatic tree and the gap is never met. However, a section of unscrupulous businessmen trade different species of trees as 'sandalwood' and it would be worth mentioning that there are over 19 varieties of plants in the santalum species only that can be passed as sandalwood! In fact, many unscrupulous merchants regularly pass on oil extracted from species that are intimately linked to different genus of the santalum species as well as the oil extracted from the West Indian sandalwood, scientifically known as 'Amyris balsamifera' from the Rutaceae family, as the oil from pure sandalwood. Hence, there is need to adopt caution while dealing in sandalwood oil. The vital oil extracted from the sandalwood was used extensively as an important medicine till the period between 1920 and 1930. During this period, the sandalwood oil was primarily used internally as an internal medication to treat urinary as well as genital disorders and externally as an antiseptic. Chemical analysis of the sandalwood oil has been found to enclose about 90 per cent of beta-santalol, the main ingredient that possesses anti-microbial actions. It has been found that the anti-microbial action of beta-santalol in the sandalwood oil helps it to keep the skin free from blackheads (small plug up of shady greasy substance jamming a follicle on the skin, particularly on the face) and blemishes. However, it is essential to dilute the sandalwood oil with a carrier oil before applying the substance on the skin. As the sandalwood oil is very potent, it is advisable not to use it without carrier oil. Or else, it may prove to be detrimental.
The sandalwood tree is indigenous to the eastern parts of India. Currently, the tree is commercially cultivated in different parts of tropical southeast Asia as the sandalwood tree is prized for its aromatic timber as well as the necessary oils extracted from it. There is no specific season for felling the trees and they are usually cut down on maturity.
Sandalwood contains 3-6% volatile oil (which consists predominantly of the sesquiterpenols alpha- and beta- santalol), resin, and tannins.
The essential oil extracted from sandalwood is beneficial for toning up the skin as well as healing skin disorders when applied externally. To treat the infected areas on the skin dilute a few drops of sandalwood oil in water and soak the affected area with the solution directly. This will not only help in healing the skin infection, but also tone up the epidermis.
Although the essential oil extracted from sandalwood is not known to have any serious side effects, sometimes people have complained of moderate skin irritation following the external application of sandalwood oil.