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Information @ a glance
Sandalwood's name is
derived from the Sanskrit chandana. It has always been valued for
its fragrance and its resistance to insects and grew to be a vital
accessory in Hindu rituals.
Sandalwood is a medium
sized evergreen tree with almost dropping branches dark rough bark and
sweet scented, fragrant mature wood. Sandalwood is very much indigenous
to India. It is cultivated in the states of Karnataka & Tamil nadu
and also grows wild in forests of southern India.
Sandalwood yields an
essential oil. This oil is used to produce soaps, perfumes incense stick
cosmetics, beauty aids, medicines. High priced decorative dolls &
ornamental pieces are made out of Sandalwood.
Sandalwood is dependent on
other plants for minerals and water, but still needs sunlight to make
its own sugars, which is why it has green leaves despite having roots
which attach themselves to the roots of other plants. There are around
300 species of plant which can be parasitized by sandalwood.
Sandalwood is a parasite and needs a host tree to provide water and
nutrients via the root system. Usually, the sandalwood tree kills the
host, so investment schemes feature a variety of host trees.
Sandalwood & the Sandalwood oil have been used in unani as well as in
Ayurveda for many centuries. The wood is bitter sedative cooling and a
cardiac tonic. It is very useful in arresting bleeding and in promoting
the flow of urine. Sandalwood oil is an akin & mucous membranes.
ayurveda has mentioned use of sandalwood in all types of urinary
troubles like burning micturition, urinary tract infection, oligurea
i.e. diminished amount and frequency of urine, dysurea i.e. painful and
difficult micturition etc. Sandalwood helps in dilating of the ureters
is a general medical observation.
On the skin, sandalwood
essential oil helps to moisturize and hydrate ageing, dry or flaky skin,
relieving itching and inflammation and its astringent action balances
oily skin conditions. It has anti phlogiston, antiseptic,
anti-spasmodic, carminative, astringent, diuretic, emollient,
expectorant, sedative and tonic properties.
Market & Report
Santalum spicatum, the
spicy sweet smelling timber that was first exported from Fremantle in
the 1840s, is now fetching more than $10,000 a tones for the best
produce commercially valuable sandalwood with high levels of fragrance
oils, harvested santalum trees have to be at least 40 years of
age, but 80 or above is preferred. However, inferior sandalwood produced
from trees at 30 years old can still fetch a decent price due to the
demand for real sandalwood.
India and Indonesia are the
two major producers and exporters of sandalwood oil but reliable
production data are not available. Domestic consumption, which is
certainly high in India and probably greater than the combined total for
the rest of the world, is therefore also difficult to estimate.
USA and France are the
two largest importers of Indian sandalwood oil. The market in the Soviet
Union has collapsed and imports into the Middle East are