What Is Sandalwood – How To Grow Sandalwood In The Garden


By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Most people who are into aromatherapy and essential oils are aware of the unique, relaxing fragrance of sandalwood. Because of this highly desired fragrance, native varieties of sandalwood in India and Hawaii were nearly harvested to extinction in the 1800s. So great was the demand for sandalwood by greedy kings of Hawaii that much of the agricultural workers had to grow and harvest only sandalwood. This resulted in many years of terrible famine for the people of Hawaii. Many areas of India suffered similarly to provide merchants with sandalwood. Besides just a fragrant essential oil, what is sandalwood? Continue reading for sandalwood tree information.

What is Sandalwood?

Sandalwood (Santalum sp.) is a large shrub or tree hardy in zones 10-11. While there are over 100 species of sandalwood plants, most varieties are native to India, Hawaii or Australia. Depending on variety and location, sandalwood may grow as 10-foot-tall (3 m.) shrubs or trees up to 30 feet tall (9 m.).

They are often found in areas with poor, dry clay or sandy soils. Sandalwood trees are tolerant of high wind, drought, salt spray and intense heat. They prefer full sun but will grow in part shade. They are used in the landscape as hedges, specimen plants, shade trees and xeriscaping plants.

The flowers and wood of sandalwood are harvested for the plant’s fragrant essential oil. Plants are harvested between 10-30 years of age because the natural essential oils increase in potency with age. Besides just smelling nice, sandalwood essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-spasmodic. It is a natural astringent, stress reducer, memory booster, deodorant, and acne and wound treatment.

In India, Hawaii and Australia, sandalwood bark and leaves were used as a laundry soap, shampoo for dandruff and lice, and to treat wounds and body aches.

How to Grow Sandalwood Tree

Sandalwood trees are actually semi-parasitic. They send out specialized roots that attach to the roots of host plants, from which they suck xylem from the host plant. In India, sandalwood’s tendency to use Acacia and Casuarina trees as host plants caused the government to enforce growing restrictions on sandalwood.

Care for sandalwood plants is very simple because they are so tolerant of tough growing situations, but they must be provided with host plants to grow properly. For the landscape, sandalwood host plants can be plants in the legume family, shrubs, grasses or herbs. It’s not wise to plant sandalwood too close to other specimen trees that they may use as host plants.

Male and female plants must both be present for most varieties of sandalwood trees to produce fruit and seed. To grow sandalwood from seeds, the seeds require scarification. Because it is mostly the heartwood, leaves or flowers of sandalwood that are used herbally, one plant is usually sufficient in the landscape, but if you wish to propagate more plants from seed, you will need to make sure you have male and female plants.

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Western Australian sandalwood

The Western Australian sandalwood story is one of our oldest – the Aboriginal people have used this resource for thousands of years, understanding both the healing properties and its use as a food source.

Western Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) is a slow-growing hemiparasitic, long-lived small tree which occurs naturally in the southern two thirds of Western Australia.
The sandalwood industry is one of the oldest export industries in the State, with the first exports recorded in 1844. Today, there is still a strong demand for Western Australian sandalwood both locally and overseas, for its use in incense, perfume, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.


How To Start Sandalwood [Chandan] Tree Cultivation In India…

Sandalwood trees are popular for its beautiful fragrance and its wood materials are used from centuries. In India, sandalwood tree also popular as a Chandan or Srigandha and it is the most expensive tree plant.

It is an evergreen tree and it is mostly used in cosmetic, therapeutic, commercial and medicinal. The maximum height of sandalwood tree is 13 to 16 meter and 100 cm to 200 cm girth. Sandalwood tree found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and Pacific Islands.

sandalwood tree family: Santalaceae
sandalwood tree scientific name: Santalum album

In Indian tradition, Sandalwood trees are a special place and it used from cradle to cremation. It is also used in Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical, aromatherapy, soap industry, and perfumery so, the commercial value of sandalwood tree or oil is very high in the Indian market.

Sandalwood has many varieties and these different varieties are available in the worldwide. Basically, there are two famous varieties of sandalwood which have a very high commercial value in the market. Sandalwood leaves are also used for animal fodder.

Indian sandalwood
Australian sandalwood
The Sandalwood trees are ready for harvesting after 30 years of cultivation. If you are using organic cultivation method then you can get the sandalwood tree in 10 to 15 years. In India, there are two sandalwood colors are available white, yellow, and red.

The best part of this sandalwood farming is that you can also grow sandalwood tree as an intercrop in Malabar Neem plantation.

Sandalwood Tree Cultivation Details Required

If you are farmer or investor and planning for sandalwood tree cultivation then you can require proper climate, soil, land, plant selection, fertilizers, and irrigation. Before start cultivation, you must make proper project planning, calculate the expenses and profit, and note how much investment required for this cultivation.

Which type of climate required for sandalwood?

Sandalwood tree can almost grow in every type soil, climate and temperature. Sandalwood tree crop requires hot atmosphere and it grows better in humid climatic conditions.

Sandalwood tree cultivation also needs the temperature in between 12° and 35°C. It is the perfect temperature for good growth of sandalwood tree. At 600 and 1050 meters altitudes, this sandalwood tree plant grows well.

Soil Requirement of Sandalwood Tree Cultivation

If you are planning for the sandalwood tree cultivation then you may require well-drained soils which have a good organic object. The red sandy loam soils are also suitable for the sandalwood tree and you get the high yield crop.

A Soil test is must require for checking the nutrient requirements for the sandalwood plantation are present or not in the soil. Sandalwood tree cultivation requires pH of the soil in between 6.5 to 7.5 with a little bit of alkaline.

Before starting plantation of sandalwood tree plow the field until you get excellent tilth and weed free soil. Also, prepare the soil in such a way that the water in heavy rain or floods is easily come out from the drain.

Sandalwood cultivation process can be done by seeds and vegetatively through tissue culture.

Common Pests and Diseases in Sandalwood Tree Cultivation

Insect Pests Of Sandalwood

Defoliators
Calodia kirkaldyiNielson
Cardiococcus bivalvata(Green)
Eumeta crameri(Westwood)
Hotea nigrorufaWalker
Hyposidra talacaWalker
Nyctemera lacticinia(Cramer)
Purpuricenus sanguinolentus(Olivier)
Tajuria cippus(Fabricius)
Teratodes monticollis(Gray)
Toxoptera aurantii(Boyer de Fonscolombe)
Trabala vishnou (Lefèbvre)
Diseases of sandalwood

Pulvinaria psidii Mask
Coccid
Black Spot fungal
Phytoplasma
Phellinus noxius
How To Plant Sandalwood Tree?

In sandalwood tree cultivation sowing mainly done by the seeds. When sandalwood tree plants are 15 to 20 years old then in August to march you can collect the seeds from the sandalwood.

The collected seeds are well-treated and dried in sunlight before seminate on nursery beds. There are two types of seed beds are available in the nursery for the sowing sandalwood seeds.

sunken
raised beds
After in 7 to 8 months, a seedling grows up to 30 to 35 cm on nursery beds and they are ready for the transfer in the main field.

When you prepare soil or land for cultivation then at the same time also digging 45 x 45 x 45 cm size of a pit for planting the sandalwood seedlings.

Before planting the seedlings make sure any water will not stable in pits. If some water in pits then relinquishes the pits below the sunlight for some days. You must keep the 10 feet plant to plant distance. After four years of planting, you will get the flower on sandalwood tree.

Where Did You Get Baby Plant?

If you do not want’s to grow this commercial crop from seeds, then purchased them from the market and plant them with a suitable method of sandalwood plantation. But, take care them while buying from the market.

In the market, there are many private and govt. nurseries are present, from where you can buy the baby sandalwood plants and can grow them in your field. But, purchasing them from a genuine source is a smart thing.

You can also buy the sandalwood baby plant through online.

How Much a Sandalwood Baby Plant Cost?

For growing sandalwood plants via planting sandalwood baby plants, they should be purchased from a genuine and certified source.

Generally, sandalwood plants are the most valuable plant in India but for commercial plantation, you have to plant more numbers of plants on your farm. Usually, a single baby plant cost up to Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 per plant but for commercial plantation, you have to plant more numbers of plants on your farm, you can get a baby plant @ Rs. 100 from a genuine source.

Irrigation For Sandalwood Tree Cultivation

If you have limited water then you can use the drip irrigation method for sandalwood tree cultivation. In sandalwood cultivation crop require less water so, you can apply the drip irrigation in the interval of 2 to 3 weeks. Sandalwood tree young plants require irrigation only in hot and summer seasons they do not require irrigation in the rainy condition.

Fertilizers For Sandalwood Tree Cultivation

In sandalwood farming, you may choose to use the Bio-fertilizers, organic and chemical fertilizers for getting the high yield of a crop. You can also use any rotten farmyard manure (FYM).

Cow dung
Garden compost
Vermin-compost
Manure made from green leaves
The bio-pesticides made from the following materials and it’s used for the controlling any pests and diseases of sandalwood cultivation.

Chitrakmool
Neem (kernel, seeds & leaves)
Dhatura
Cow’s urine

Harvesting Time Of Sandalwood Tree

Sandalwood tree grows well and matures after 30 years from planting so, it will be ready for harvesting. In latest technology there are many tree cutting instruments are available in the market so you can use any instrument for harvest sandalwood tree. The heartwood of sandalwood trees are transferred into the mill and soft woods are removed.

By using some machine this hard sandalwood is transferring into powder. This sandalwood powder soaks in water for 2 days after it’s used for making oil and other cosmetic products.

Sandalwood Tree Name And Productions Places

Sandalwood Tree Common Name In India

Safed Chandan
Chandan
Sandal and Sandalwood
Santalum album
ShiriGandha
Aninditha
Arishta Phalam
Bhadhrashraya
Sarpavasa
Chandrakanta
Gandhasara
Thailaparna
Malayaja
Sandalwood Tree Local Names In India

Chandan (Hindi)
Gandhapu Chekka (Telugu)
Cantana (Tamil)
Raktacandanaṁ (Malayalam)
Śrigandhada (Kannada)
Candana (Marathi)
Candana (Gujarati)
Canana (Punjabi)
Candana (Bengali)
Where sandalwood tree found in India?

Andhra Pradesh
Telangana
Bihar
Gujarat
Karnataka
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra
Tamil Nadu
Snadalwood Tree Varieties And Cost

Various Sandalwood varieties in World

Indian sandalwood (Santalum album)
Australian Sandalwood(Santalum spicatum)
Red sandalwood(Pterocarpus santalinus)
Santalum ellipticum
Santalum austrocaledonicum
Santalum freycinetianum
Santalum acuminatum
Santalum lanceolatum
Santalum haleakalae
Osyris lanceolata
Myoporum sandwicense
Adenanthera pavonina
Eremophila mitchellii
Myoporum platycarpum
Baphia nitida
Santalum obtusifolium
What is the cost of sandalwood?

The market price of sandalwood is in between Rs 3,000 to 6,000 per kg and sometimes it will be Rs 10,000 per kg.

Health Benefits of Sandalwood

Sandalwood tree paste and its essential oil work as very effective anti-inflammatory agents.
Mostly, sandalwood trees are used for making perfumery products and deodorants.
Sandalwood tree oil is used for reducing stress and hypertension.
Sandalwood is mainly used in religious rituals in India.

Benefits Of Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood Oil Skin Benefits

Get Bright, Clean And Flawless Skin.
Cures Skin Infections And Itching.
Prevents Skin Aging.
Sandalwood Oil Health Benefits

Get Rid Of Inflammation.
Prevents Spasms.
Used As An Antiseptic Agent.
Boosts Renal Health.
Keeps Blood Pressure Under Control.
Say ‘No’ To Body Odor.
Great Health Tonic For Kids.
Drives Away Stress And Anxiety.
Fights Viral Infections.
Helps Boost Memory.

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Sandalwood Oil Miscellaneous Benefits

Keeps Bugs And Germs At Bay
Sandalwood Yield Per Tree

If you are planning for the sandalwood tree cultivation then you will have a patience for wait its yield and profit because sandalwood tree takes a long time for growing to compare to any other trees.

If you provide proper climate conditions, soil and irrigation to sandalwood tree so, per year it can grow 5 cm girth. Almost, You can get the 10 to 25 kg sandalwood tree wood depends on the tree growth.

Sandalwood tree growths are depending on the many factors.

Selection of land
Selecting the sandalwood spices
Host plant management
Irrigation management
Pest and disease control management
Age of Sandalwood Tree (in years). Girth (in cm). Hear wood yield (in kg).
10 10 1
20 22 4
30 33 10
40 44 20
50 55 30
Subsidy For Sandalwood Cultivation

There are many banks are available in India which provides the facilities of subsidy and loan to farmers for sandalwood tree cultivation. You can directly contact these banks for more current subsidy or loan information.

NABARD
NMPB (National medicinal plants board)
Sandalwood Plantation Cost And Profit

The profit and cost of sandalwood tree cultivation are depended on the market conditions and it will change year to year and region to region. Generally, in a one-acre land, you can grow the 400 to 440 sandalwood tree plants.

Sandalwood tree cultivation costs depend on the many factors. In India sandalwood plantation cost per acre is 6,00,000 INR.

Plant cost
Labor cost of planting
Drip cost
Soil working
Weed control
Pests/disease cost
The Cost of sandalwood tree heart wood is 6,000 Rs/kg. From one acre land normally, you will expect 5000 kg yield of sandalwood crop.

After, 15 to 20 years total expected price is 5000 x 6,000 = 3, 00, 00,000 (3 crore).

Total cost/expenditure + other costs = 6,00,000 INR

6,00,000 + land cost per acre 20,00,000 INR = 26,00,000

Profit: 3,00,00,000 – 26,00,000 = 2,74,00,000/acre.

In the local market, these sandalwood trees are very demanded. So, you can get the good returns from this Sandalwood tree cultivation. This all information that is required for any farmer or investor to grow the sandalwood tree.


Sustainable management

The Forest Products Commission (FPC) is responsible for the commercial harvesting, regeneration, marketing, and sale of wild WA sandalwood from Crown land (including land subject to pastoral leases).

We also manage about 6,000 hectares of sandalwood plantations located in the South West, Wheatbelt and Mid-West regions. These plantations have not yet reached maturity and will likely be included in harvest plans in 2026 when the oldest plantations are at least 25 years of age.

The commercial harvesting of sandalwood on Crown land is controlled under the Forest Products Act 2000 and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

We harvest up to 2,500 tonnes of wild sandalwood each year, mainly from the semi-arid and arid Rangelands areas of the state. This harvest consists of approximately 50 percent green sandalwood (or live trees) and 50 percent dead sandalwood.

Wild sandalwood harvested by the FPC is certified to the international standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS ISO 14001). This means that our practices have been through a rigorous, independent environmental review process. Certification provides customers with assurance that their sandalwood products originate from responsibly managed forests.

Wild sandalwood is also retained through conservation reserves, comprised of approximately 21 million hectares managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). This area occurs within sandalwood’s natural distribution.


Contents

  • 1 Nomenclature
  • 2 True sandalwoods
    • 2.1 Unrelated plants
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Uses
    • 4.1 Fragrance
    • 4.2 Technology
    • 4.3 Food
  • 5 Distillation
  • 6 Religion
    • 6.1 Hinduism
    • 6.2 Jainism
    • 6.3 Buddhism
    • 6.4 Sufism
    • 6.5 East Asian religions
    • 6.6 Zoroastrianism
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 Further reading
  • 10 External links

The nomenclature and the taxonomy of the genus are derived from this species' historical and widespread use. Etymologically it is ultimately derived from Sanskrit चन्दनं Chandanam (čandana-m), the sandalwood tree, meaning "wood for burning incense" and related to candrah, "shining, glowing" and the Latin candere, to shine or glow. It arrived in English via Late Greek, Medieval Latin and Old French in the 14th or 15th century. [1]

Sandalwoods are medium-sized hemiparasitic trees, and part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe. Notable members of this group are Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) others in the genus also have fragrant wood. These are found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.

  • S. album is a threatened species indigenous to South India, and grows in the Western Ghats and a few other mountain ranges such as the Kalrayan and Shevaroy Hills. Although sandalwood trees in India, Pakistan, and Nepal are government-owned and their harvest is controlled, many trees are illegally cut down. Sandalwood oil prices have risen to $200 per liter recently. Red sanders is endemic to Seshachalam, Veliganda, Lankamala, and Palakonda hill ranges, distributed in districts of Kadapa, Chittoor, and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region and parts of Nellore and Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh, Mysore region of Karnataka (formerly Mysore State), and Marayoor forest in Kerala, Southern India, is high in quality. New plantations were created with international aid in Tamil Nadu for economic exploitation. In Kununurra in Western Australia, Indian sandalwood is grown on a large scale. This species is the primary source of sandalwood used in commercial oil production and should not be confused with West Indian Sandalwood, Amyris balsamifera.
  • S. ellipticum, S. freycinetianum, and S. paniculatum, the Hawaiian sandalwood (ʻiliahi), were also used and considered high quality. These three species were exploited between 1790 and 1825 before the supply of trees ran out (a fourth species, S. haleakalae, occurs only in subalpine areas and was never exported). Although S. freycinetianum and S. paniculatum are relatively common today, they have not regained their former abundance or size, and S. ellipticum remains rare. [2][3]
  • S. yasi, a sandalwood from Fiji and Tonga.
  • S. spicatum is used by aromatherapists and perfumers. The oil concentration differs considerably from other Santalum species. In the 1840s, sandalwood was Western Australia’s biggest export earner. Oil was distilled for the first time in 1875, and by the turn of the 20th century, production of Australian sandalwood oil was intermittent. However, in the late 1990s, Western Australian sandalwood oil enjoyed a revival and by 2009 had peaked at more than 20,000 kg (44,000 lb) per year – much of which went to the fragrance industries in Europe. Although overall production has decreased, by 2011, a significant percentage of its production was heading to the chewing tobacco industry in India alongside Indian sandalwood – the chewing tobacco market being the largest market for both oils in 2012.
  • Other species: Commercially, various other species, not belonging to Santalum species, are also used as sandalwood.

Unrelated plants Edit

Various unrelated plants with scented wood and also referred to as sandalwood, but not in the true sandalwood genus:

  • Adenanthera pavonina - sandalwood tree, red or false red sandalwood
  • Baphia nitida - camwood, also known as African sandalwood
  • Eremophila mitchellii - sandalwood false sandalwood (also sandalbox)
  • Myoporum platycarpum - sandalwood false sandalwood
  • Myoporum sandwicense - bastard sandalwood, false sandalwood
  • Osyris lanceolata - African sandalwood
  • Osyris tenuifolia - east African sandalwood

Producing commercially valuable sandalwood with high levels of fragrance oils requires Indian sandalwood (S. album) trees to be a minimum of 15 years old – the yield, quality and volume are still to be clearly understood. Yield of oil tends to vary depending on the age and location of the tree usually, the older trees yield the highest oil content and quality. Australia is the largest producer of S. album, with the majority grown around Kununurra, in the far north of the state by Quintis (formerly Tropical Forestry Services), which in 2017 controlled around 80 per cent of the world's supply of Indian sandalwood, [4] and Santanol. [5] India used to be the world's biggest producer, but it has been overtaken by Australia in the 21st century. Over-exploitation is partly to blame for the decline. [6] [7]

Australian sandalwood (S. spicatum) is grown in commercial plantations throughout the wheatbelt of Western Australia, where it has been an important part of the economy since colonial times. As of 2020 [update] WA has the largest plantation resource in the world. [8]

Sandalwood is expensive compared to other types of woods, so to maximize profit, sandalwood is harvested by removing the entire tree instead of sawing it down at the trunk close to ground level. This way wood from the stump and root, which possesses high levels of sandalwood oil, can also be processed and sold. [9]

Australian sandalwood is mostly harvested and sold in log form, graded for heartwood content. The species is unique in that the white sapwood does not require removal before distilling the oil. The logs are either processed to distill the essential oil, or made into powders for making incense. Indian Sandalwood, used mainly for oil extraction, does require removal of the sapwood prior to distillation. As of 2020 [update] , Australian Sandalwood oil sells for around US$1,500 per 1 kilogram (2.2 lb), while Indian Sandalwood oil, due to its higher alpha santalol content, is priced at about US$2,500 per kg. [8]

Sandalwood is often cited as one of the most expensive woods in the world, along with African blackwood, pink ivory, Agarwood and ebony. [10] [11]

Fragrance Edit

Sandalwood oil has a distinctive soft, warm, smooth, creamy, and milky precious-wood scent. It imparts a long-lasting, woody base to perfumes from the oriental, woody, fougère, and chypre families, as well as a fixative to floral and citrus fragrances. When used in smaller proportions in a perfume, it acts as a fixative, enhancing the longevity of other, more volatile, materials in the composite. Sandalwood is also a key ingredient in the "floriental" (floral-ambery) fragrance family – when combined with white florals such as jasmine, ylang ylang, gardenia, plumeria, orange blossom, tuberose, etc.

Sandalwood oil in India is widely used in the cosmetic industry. The main source of true sandalwood, S. album, is a protected species, and demand for it cannot be met. Many species of plants are traded as "sandalwood". The genus Santalum has more than 19 species. Traders often accept oil from closely related species, as well as from unrelated plants such as West Indian sandalwood (Amyris balsamifera) in the family Rutaceae or bastard sandalwood (Myoporum sandwicense, Myoporaceae). However, most woods from these alternative sources lose their aroma within a few months or years.

Isobornyl cyclohexanol is a synthetic fragrance chemical produced as an alternative to the natural product.

Sandalwood's main components are the two isomers of santalol (about 75%). It is used in aromatherapy and to prepare soaps. [12]

Technology Edit

Due to its low fluorescence and optimal refractive index, sandalwood oil is often employed as an immersion oil within ultraviolet and fluorescence microscopy.

Food Edit

Aboriginal Australians eat the seed kernels, nuts, and fruit of local sandalwoods, such as the quandong (S. acuminatum). [13] Early Europeans in Australia used quandong in cooking damper by infusing it with its leaves, and in making jams, pies, and chutneys from the fruit. [13] In Scandinavia, pulverised bark from red sandalwood (Pterocarpus soyauxii) is used - with other tropical spices - when marinating anchovies and some types of pickled herring such as matjes, sprat, and certain types of traditional spegesild, inducing a reddish colour and slightly perfumed flavour. [14] [15] [16]

Present-day chefs have begun experimenting in using the nut as a substitute for macadamia nuts or a bush food substitute for almonds, hazelnuts, and others in Southeast Asian-styled cuisine. [17] The oil is also used as a flavour component in different food items, including candy, ice cream, baked food, puddings, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and gelatin. The flavouring is used at levels below 10 ppm, the highest possible level for use in food products being 90 ppm.

Sandalwood must be distilled so that the oil can be extracted from within. Many different methods are used, including steam distillation, water distillation, CO2 extraction, and solvent extractions. Steam distillation is the most common method used by sandalwood companies. It occurs in a four-step process, incorporating boiling, steaming, condensation, and separation. Water is heated to high temperatures (60–100 °C or 140–212 °F) and is then passed through the wood. The oil is very tightly bound within the cellular structure of the wood, so the high heat of the steam causes the oil to be released. The mixture of steam and oil is then cooled and separated so that the essential oil can be collected. This process is much longer than any other essential oil's distillation, taking 14 to 36 hours to complete, but generally produces much higher quality oil. Water, or hydro, distillation is the more traditional method of sandalwood extraction which involves soaking the wood in water and then boiling it until the oil is released. This method is not used as much anymore because of the high costs and time associated with heating large quantities of water. [ citation needed ]

Hinduism Edit

Indian sandalwood is very sacred in the Hindu Ayurveda and is known in Sanskrit as chandana. [18] The wood is used for worshipping the god Shiva, and it is believed that goddess Lakshmi lives in the sandalwood tree. The wood of the tree is made into a paste using sandalwood powder, and this paste is integral to rituals and ceremonies, to make religious utensils, to decorate the icons of the deities, and to calm the mind during meditation and prayer. It is also distributed to devotees, who apply it to their foreheads or necks and chests. [19] Preparation of the paste is a duty fit only for the pure, so is entrusted only to priests when used in temples and during ceremonies.

The paste is prepared by grinding wood by hand with granite slabs shaped for this purpose. With the gradual addition of water, a thick paste forms (called kalabham "കളഭം" in Malayalam language and gandha ಗಂಧ in Kannada) and is mixed with saffron or other such pigments to make chandanam. Chandanam, further mixed with herbs, perfumes, pigments, and some other compounds, results in javadhu. Kalabham, chandanam, and javadhu are dried and used as kalabham powder, chandanam powder, and javadhu powder, respectively. Chandanam powder is very popular in India and is also used in Nepal. In Tirupati after religious tonsure, sandalwood paste is applied to protect the skin. In Hinduism and Ayurveda, sandalwood is thought to bring one closer to the divine. Thus, it is one of the most used holy elements in Hindu and Vedic societies. [ citation needed ]

Jainism Edit

Sandalwood use is integral part of daily practices of Jainism. Sandalwood paste mixed with saffron is used to worship tirthankar Jain deities. Sandalwood powder is showered as blessings by Jain monks and nuns (sadhus and sadhvis) to their disciples and followers. Sandalwood garlands are used to dress the body during Jain cremation ceremonies. During the festival of Mahamastakabhisheka that is held once in every 12 years, the statue of Gommateshwara is then bathed and anointed with libations such as milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion. [20]

Buddhism Edit

Sandalwood is mentioned in various suttas of the Pāli Canon. [21] In some Buddhist traditions, sandalwood is considered to be of the padma (lotus) group and attributed to Amitabha Buddha. Sandalwood scent is believed by some to transform one's desires and maintain a person's alertness while in meditation. It is also one of the most popular scents used when offering incense to the Buddha and the guru.

Sufism Edit

In sufi tradition, sandalwood paste is applied on the sufi’s grave by the disciples as a mark of devotion. It is practiced particularly among the Indian Subcontinent disciples. In the Tamil culture irrespective of religious identity, sandalwood paste or powder is applied to the graves of sufis as a mark of devotion and respect. [22]

East Asian religions Edit

In East Asia, sandalwood (檀木), along with agarwood (沉香木), is the most commonly used incense material by the Chinese, Korean and Japanese in worship and various ceremonies. However, some sects of Taoists, following the Ming Dynasty Taoist Manual, do not use sandalwood (as well as benzoin resin, frankincense, foreign produced) incense and instead either use agarwood, or better still Acronychia pedunculata, in worship. [23] In Korean Shamanism, sandalwood is considered the Tree of Life.

Zoroastrianism Edit

Zoroastrians offer sandalwood twigs to the afarganyu, the urn in which the fire is kept at the fire temple (called agiyari in Gujarati and dar-e mehr in Persian), to keep the fire burning during religious ceremonies. After the firekeeping priests complete the ceremony, attendees are allowed to come up to the afarganyu and place their own pieces of sandalwood into the fire. Fire has been a sacred symbol in the Zoroastrian religion since ancient times and it is considered very important to keep the fires in the temples constantly burning. Because of its high sensitivity to fire, sandalwood works very well for this. Also, the wood has been accepted by the Yasna and Yashts as an appropriate fuel for the fire. It is offered to all of the three grades of fire in the fire temple, including the Atash Dadgahs. Sandalwood is not offered to the divo, a smaller lamp that is kept in the homes of Zoroastrians. Often, money is offered to the mobad (for religious expenditures) along with the sandalwood. Sandalwood is called sukhad in the Zoroastrian community. The sandalwood in the fire temple is often more expensive to buy than at a Zoroastrian store. It is often a source of income for the fire temple. [ citation needed ]


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