Botanical name is Santalum album.
Chandan or Indian sandalwood is a small tropical tree, and is the most commonly known source of sandalwood. This species has historically been cultivated, processed and traded since ancient times.
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.
Certain cultures place great significance on its fragrant and medicinal qualities. The high value of the species has caused its past exploitation, to the point where the wild population is vulnerable to extinction. Indian sandalwood still commands high prices for its essential oil, but due to lack of sizable trees it is no longer used for fine woodworking as before.
The height of the evergreen tree is between 4 and 9 metres. They may live to one hundred years of age. The plant parasitises the roots of other tree species, with a haustorium adaptation on its own roots, but without major detriment to its hosts. An individual will form a non-obligate relationship with a number of other plants. Up to 300 species (including its own) can host the tree’s development – supplying macronutrients phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium, and shade – especially during early phases of development. It may propagate itself through wood suckering during its early development, establishing small stands. Fruit is produced after three years, viable seeds after five. These seeds are distributed by birds.
It 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.
Medicinal Uses of Chandan:
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: Santalum 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.