Sandalwood is a medium-sized evergreen tree with almost drooping branches, dark. rough bark and scented mature wood, It has opposite leaves, shining on the upper surface, with sm~1 dull purplish flowers in small bunches and roundish, purple-black: succulent fruits. Its trade name sandalwood is based on its Indian; name.
Sandalwood is believed to be indigenous to India. It id cultivated in Karnataka, Coorg, Coimbatore and the southern parts of Tamil Nadu. It also grows wild.
Sandalwood occupies a very important place in Hindu religious rituals. The Parsis use it for the fire in their temple> Its wood was highly prized during ancient India and China owing to its sweet odour. This tree finds a mention in the earliest Sanskrit and Chinese literature.Sandalwood yields an essential oil which contains santaloe,
Both the sandalwood, and the essential oil obtained after fractional distillation, have been used in Ayurveda for many centuries. The wood is bitter, sedative, cooling and a cardiac tonic. It is useful in arresting secretion or bleeding and in promoting the flow of urine. Moreover, sandalwood oil is a stimulant and an antiseptic. It has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes.
Sandalwood powder mixed with milk ?r made into pills, as also sandalwood oil, is considered beneficial in the treatment of gonorrhoea. Sandalwood oil is used in treating, dysuria (painful and difficult urination) and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), It is taken in doses of five drops in the beginning and graduallr increased to 10 to 30 drops. I its efficacy can be increased by the addition of ajwain water or infusion of ginger.
Sandalwood is valuable 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 is also beneficial in the treatment of dysentery. It should be administered as for gastric irritability.
Sandalwood paste is a popular household 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.
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 mustard oil is u3ed 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.
Sandalwood paste applied on the temple relieves headache and brings down the temperature in fevers.