The mesmerising, riveting, rejuvenating, woody, warm, sweet aroma of Sandalwood is one that is familiar to many an Indian. Traditionally used in sacred rituals and ceremonies, the use of sandalwood to purify, heal and calm continues widely even today.
The Santalum tree is a woody, semiparasitic tree with glossy green elliptical leaves. It is native to Southern parts of India, Australia (Sandalum spicatum), Sri Lanka, Hawaii, Indonesia, and few other places. While the Australian sandalwood tree oil is mainly used in perfumery, Indian Sandalwood, scientifically known as Santalum album, finds its use in medicines, skin applications, cosmetics, flavouring and aromatic products. It is called Chandana in Sanskrit. Indian Sandalwood is indigenous to the southern parts of India.
The tree grows to an average height of 30 feet and requires 30-60 years to mature for harvest.
The sandalwood oil is extracted from the heartwood through a distillation process — the older the tree, the stronger the fragrance. The oil’s main constituents are α- Santalol (alpha santalol), β – Santalol (Beta santalol), santyl acetate and santalenes. Alpha Santalol has many healing properties, while beta santalol is the reason for the strong fragrance. Different varieties of sandalwood have these constituents in different measures. Types, location, age of harvest and season of harvest — all these factors have an influence on the fragrance and therapeutic efficacy of the oil extracted.
Some of the therapeutic properties of Sandalwood oil are: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, sedative, diuretic, disinfectant, anti-microbial, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, hypotensive, cicatrisant, regenerating, anti-phlogistic and emollient.
Skin and Hair: It improves skin tone, diminished blemishes and evens out complexion. It remedies problems like dryness, itching, flaking and wrinkling. It helps address body odour. Sandalwood oil repairs damaged cells, moisturises skin, eliminates toxins and smoothens the skin’s texture. It is used in acute dermatitis. Its anti-microbial property helps fight off some strains of bacteria and fungus. And for the same reason, is used in the treatment of dandruff. It is antiseptic and so, helps heal cuts, sores and burns. Sandalwood and Turmeric are used together as a paste in ceremonies running up to wedding as a beauty enhancer.
Calming and relaxing the mind: Sandalwood and its products are used in meditation and spiritual rituals due to its calming and reviving effects on the mind. Its sedative property helps relax your mind. It helps relieve panic attacks and nervous tension.
Relieves pain and inflammation: The anti-inflammatory property of Sandalwood treats inflammation in the whole body arising from fever, infections, wounds, venomous bites, insect bites, poisoning, etc.
Excellent diuretic: Sandalwood oil is used in treating bladder inflammation, cystitis, urethritis, etc.
Use in gynaecology: It helps treat menorrhagia, leucorrhea and vaginitis.
Use in psychiatry: In Ayurveda, Sandalwood is a constituent of many treatments directed at mental health. It is used to treat depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, speech problems, improving memory and concentration in conditions like autism, managing epilepsy, seizures, etc.
Medimix soaps and handwashes , widely popular in India, has for years brought the benefits of sandalwood to happy and satisfied users. They make sure that your basic grooming step — your daily bath — not just cleanses, but also brings you skincare therapy. Medimix’s Sandal and Eladi oil soap, which is traditionally handmade, brings excellent results in skincare, rejuvenates your senses, leaving you smelling heavenly. The sandal oil, along with the other medicinal herbs, effectively reduces dark spots, blemishes and pigmentation. Sandalwood’s moisturising effect helps keep your skin supple. With regular use, your skin stays fresh, clear, even-toned and glowing. Medimix’s Sandal Handwash draws on sandalwood’s antiseptic and antibacterial properties, working to kills germs, keeping you away from infection and smelling good.