Common Name: Sandalwood
Latin Binomial: Santalum spicatum
Production Method: Steam or water distilled
Countries of Origin: Australia
Description of Oil: pale-dark yellow, greenish or brownish; soft, sweet-woody, almost animal-balsamic tenacious odor
Description of Plant: A small evergreen with brown-grey trunk and smooth slender branches. It has leathery leaves and pinky-purple flowers.
History, Folklore and Myth: Uses dating back 4000 years include embalming by Egyptians, religious ceremonies, treatment for gonorrhea, and to help free the soul at death during funerals.
Properties and Uses: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, emollient, expectorant, and sedative are the beginnings of extensive uses of sandalwood. Could be used as a preventative to skin cancer. It is a wonderful oil to use during meditation, indicated for agitated emotional states.
Precautions and Contraindications: No known adverse skin reactions or carcinogens. There is a theoretical risk of interaction with drugs metabolized by CYPD6 enzyme.
Other Interesting Information: The tree must be over thirty years old before it is ready for the production of sandalwood oil. Because the tree must be killed in order to extract the essential oil, it has become increasingly rare in India and is obtained from areas that are over-harvested, illegally harvested, and facing ecological threat. Presently, numerous agroforestry projects are starting to rebalance the existence and growth of sandalwood trees.