The common name for Santalum album is Sandalwood. The Indian common name is Chandan. This herb belongs to the same family as European mistletoe. It is normally found in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Australia, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands.
Santalum album is an aromatic wood that retains its fragrance for decades. Essential oils can be extracted from this wood. Both the wood and the oil produce a remarkable fragrance. However, Indian sandalwood is an endangered species and is ingenious to South India.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SANTALUM ALBUM
Santalum album is a medium sized hemi parasitic tree. It has a dark and rough bark with drooping branches. It produces dull purplish flowers in bunches. It has opposite leaves shining on the upper surface. This herb is also used for many religious purposes in many religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Japanese, Islam and Chinese religions. It is used in worship and also for various other traditional ceremonies.
Sandalwood is an expensive wood; the sandalwood oil in India is popularly used by the cosmetic industry. The main source of sandalwood, Santalum album is a protected species and demand for it cannot be met. Many species of other plants are sold as sandalwood.
THERAPEUTIC USES OF SANTALUM ALBUM
Santalum album was also used as a popular medicine during 1920 – 1930. It was mainly considered to be an antiseptic. Its main component is beta santaloi, it is known for its anti microbial properties. It is also used in aromatherapy as well as in soaps.
This Herb Can Act As:-
Santalum album is rich in various essential minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, magnesium, nitrogen, sulfur and nitrate. It also has traces of copper, zinc, iron and manganese.
CARE FOR ALIMENTS
Santalum album is helpful in relieving various diseases and aliments such as:-
- Gastric Irritability: Santalum album is quite effective in relieving excessive gas. A watery emulsion of the wood is mixed with sugar, honey and rice water should be consumed orally.
- Dysentery: Sandalwood is also useful for relieving dysentery. It is to be consumed in the same way as gastric irritability.
- Genital – Urinary Disorders: Santalum album is beneficial in the management of gonorrhea. Sandalwood power can be mixed with milk and are made into pills and can be consumed. Sandalwood can also be used in relieving dysuria and cystitis.
- Prickly Heat: Sandalwood paste is popularly known to relieve prickly heat. It helps to stop excessive sweating and relieves inflamed skin. In order to relieve abundant sweating one can apply dry sandalwood oil mixed with rose water to various parts of the body.
- Skin Diseases: Santalurn can relieve different types of skin diseases such as erysipelas. It is an inflammatory disease of the face and prurigo, which is an itchy eruption. An emulsion or paste of the wood can be applied in order to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Sandalwood oil is quite effective for removing scabies. The oil can be used for relieving acne or pimples as well.
- Fever: When Santalurn is applied on the temple it helps to get rid of headaches and lowers down the temperature of the fever.
- Relieving Powers: Both sandalwood as well as sandalwood oil is useful in arresting secretion of bleeding as well as promoting the flow of urine. It also has a soothing effect on skin and mucous membranes.
USE IN AROMATHERAPY:
The smell of Sandalwood itself as well as sandalwood oil is very quite fragrant, relaxing, reduces confusion and helps in balancing the mind. It also helps to clear up dry cough and boosts the digestive system.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING SANTALUM ALBUM
Patients have kidney diseases should not use sandalwood internally. People having sensitive skin might experience mild skin irritation from topical application of sandalwood oil. Pregnant as well as breast feeding women should avoid the internal use of sandalwood oil. Children as well as infants are advised not to take sandalwood oil internally. Before using any herb it is advisable to consult a physician.
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