Herbs > Ayurvedic Herbs and their Healing Power > Sandalwood
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni
The colloquial name for sandalwood is chandan
and its botanical name is santalum album.
Sandalwood is known to Indian culture from ages and
is specially included in most of the ritual
performances. Offering chandan tilak in
worship of a god is a common practice in countries
like India, Nepal etc. This is a precious plant and
needs governmental permission for plantation and
Sandalwood is a medium sized tree with
dark rough bark and beautiful green leaves making
branches drooping by their weight. Leaves are
opposite and shiny, flowers are small, in bunches and
purplish in color and fruits are round, juicy and
fleshy. Mature wood is rich in oil and is scented as
well. This has given the plant higher status in the
botanical world. The wood is highly prized owing to
its very pleasant odor.
Sandalwood is used in powdered
form or in oil form, which is extracted from
wood of bark or branches by process of distillation.
Both powder and oil are bitter in taste and have
sedative properties. Sandalwood is famous for its
cooling properties. According to one ayurvedic school
it is a very good cardiac tonic.
Ancient ayurveda has mentioned use of
sandalwood in all types of urinary troubles like
burning micturition, urinary tract infection,
oligurea i.e. diminished amount and frequency of
urine, dysurea i.e. painful and difficult micturition
etc. Sandalwood helps in dilating of the ureters is a
general medical observation. This property can be
used in case of renal calculi.
Sandalwood is useful in gastric troubles
also. It reduces gastric irritability. One ayurvedic
sanhita (ancient megabook) has recommended use of
sandalwood water for dysentery. Logically this
medicine is more of a use in drug/food intolerance
because it has cooling properties. We also can try
this medicine in drug/food born allergies.
Sandalwood has important role in skin
problems. It can be used both internally as well as
externally. Internally it can be taken in the form of
powder. Powder is recommended with milk. Now a days
we get ready made pills prepared out of sandalwood
powder. Another way of administering the medicine is
through water. A piece of sandalwood in kept in water
overnight and this water can be used as a medicine
when cooling result is the need. Using oil extract of
medicine is the third way of administering the drug.
10 to 20 drops of oil are consumed orally as per the
need of the situation.
Sandalwood paste is a famous household
remedy for skin conditions. In acne, prickly heat,
insect bites, dermatitis/ eczema , urticaria i.e.
allergic condition and minor burns and scalds
sandalwood paste is better option. In heals inflamed
and irritated skin and gives relief. It can act as
effective deodorant to persons who complain excessive
sweating. It is a drug of choice in ecthyosis i.e.
dry skin condition, , palmoplanter keratoderma i.e.
dry skin condition of palms and soles,
psoriasis i.e. noninfectious inflammatory disease of
skin and all other itchy skin conditions.
It is also used in case of headache. A
paste applied on forehead helps in relieving
headache. Sponging with sandalwood water helps in
bringing down temperature in pyrexia due to any
reason in addition to freshness.<
In general sandalwood is used as a
cooling agent. It is effective medicine in
genitourinary troubles and in many skin conditions.
It adds to glory and luster of skin and hence used in
treatment of skin in beauty parlors very regularly.
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