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April 2017--Sandlewood

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Sandalwood

Picture credited to JM Garg Available on Wikimedia Commons 1909

Santalum album

[SAN-tal-um AL-bum)] 

Family: Santalaceae 

Pharmaceutical Name: Lignum Santali Albi 

Names: Sandal; Santal; sanders-wood; White Saunders; Sandelholz, Weisser Sandelbaum (German); bois de santal, Santal blanc (French); sandalo (Italian); Sandalo, Sandalia (Spanish); chandan, safed chandan (Indian); tan xiang; (Chinese); danko (Japanese);  tanhyang (Korean); Chaudana (Sanskrit); Safed Chandan (Hindi) 

Description: a genus of 25 species of which S. album supplies its highly fragrant wood to burn as incense n eastern temples and on funeral pyres.  S. album is native of S.E. India, Malaysia and the island of Timor where it grows in dense moist forests.  It is a parasitic tree, attaching its roots to those of other trees and, although eventually reaching a height of 40 ft, it is one of the slowest growing of all trees.  For this reason it can be cultivated only in a semi-wild state, so that the tree can develop alongside its natural host.  It has opposite, oval leaves terminating in a point while the flowers are composed of four stamens only, arising from the calyx. After some 50 years the trees are felled for their heartwood and roots.  These parts are then cut up and consigned for distillation; all the other parts are discarded.  Every 200 lb of this material yields about 12 lb of essence, consisting mainly of santalol and santalene.  The predominant product is Indian oil, which is used in religious ceremonies as a body unguent.  The yellow wood yields, by distillation, a highly fragrant oil.  It is colorless and enters into the composition of many perfumes as “sandal” It is the base for all “green” and “woody” perfumes and is the chief ingredient of the Indian perfume, Abir.  The essential oil of sandalwood is also obtained from S. yasi, native of the Fiji Isles.  Its oil is mixed with coconut oil and used by the women to rub into the hair.  The Indian government has introduced tougher legislation to control the production of sandalwood and reduce the illegal felling of young trees so that it can sustain its sandalwood production in the long term.   

History: The aroma has been highly esteemed in China and India for thousands of years.  The wood is frequently burned as incense and plays a part in Hindu ritual.  The heartwood is most often used in perfumery, but has been taken as a remedy in China since about 500AD.  It is a sacred tree of India, sandalwood being mentioned in the old Sanskrit and Chinese books. In Indian religious mythology as surrounded by snakes, their venom reduced by the tree’s cooling fragrance.  Because the scent-yielding wood is in the center of the trunk or underground, it is a favorite wood for Hindu religious rituals, in which no offering, no matter how sweet its perfume, can be made to the sacred fire it it has been urinated on by any animal.  Devotees often rub the foreheads of religious idols with sandalwood paste and it is one of the woods placed on a Hindu’s funeral pyre, probably to overcome the smell.  Sandalwood is ground into a paste and worn on the forehead between the eyebrows as a caste mark by followers of the gods Vishnu and Shiva.  Ayurveda says there is a central nerve or node of nerves where these marks are applied so the application of cooling sandalwood at this spot serves to tranquilize a believer as well as indicating his or her religious preference.   Many old Indian temples, as well as furniture, were built from sandalwood probably because of its resistance to ants.  It was burnt at funerals, to help free the soul in death and was used in embalming by the Egyptians. 

Constituents: 3-6% volatile oil (which consists predominatly of the sesquiterpenols alpha- and beta-santalol), santene, teresantol, borneol, isovaleraldehyde, santalen, santalacid, santenon, santenonalcohol, teresantalacid, nortricyclosantalol, santalone, tri-cyclo-ekasantalal, resin and tannins.  The best quality sandalwood essential oil has a high santalol content and is manufactured from the heartwood of trees which are at least 30 years old.  The Indian standard for Mysore sandalwood oil is that it contain a minimum of 90% santalols. 

Fragrance: persistent, woody, sweet, spicy, orienta

Extraction: Steam distillation of the heartwood 

Color: Essential oil is pale yellow in color.   

Character: Mildly yang 

Energetics: Spicy, warm, acrid 

Meridians/Organs affected: spleen, stomach, lung 

Blends well with: basil, benzoi, bergamot, black pepper, cassie, clove, costus, cypress, atlas cedarwood, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, labdanum, lavender, lemon, mimosa, myrrh, neroli, oakmoss, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, rosewood, verbena, vetiver, violet, tuberose, ylang-ylang

Properties: Tonic, emollient, sedative, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic,  anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, bactericidal, cicatrizant, insecticidal,  and expectorant.   

Medicinal: Sandalwood is a classic for bladder infections.  It is taken to help the passing of stones, in kidney inflammations, and prostatitis.  The oil is cooling to the body and useful for fevers and infections when used as a massage.  The scent is calming, and helps focus the mind away from distracting chatter and creating the right mood for meditation..  Sandalwood has been used internally for chronic bronchitis and to treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results.  Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water for 20 minutes, and take up to two cups a day in quarter-cup doses.  The alcohol tincture is 20-40 drops, 4 times a day, not with meals.  In Ayurvedic medicine, a paste of the wood is used to soothe rashes and itchy skin.       For nosebleeds, the oil can be smeared up into the nose using a finger saturated with the oil.  In Chinese medicine, sandalwood is held to be useful for chest and abdominal pain.  It is also used to treat vomiting, gonorrhea, choleraic difficulties and skin complaints.  Promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain: for pain associated with stagnant qi in the chest and abdomen.  Contraindicated in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs.  The oil also stimulates the spleen, promotes white blood cell production and strengthens the immune system against infection. Very useful for chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throat, hiccups and dry coughs. 
           
Emotionally, sandalwood is profoundly seductive, dispelling anxiety and depression.  It casts out cynicism and obsessional attitudes, especially strong ties with the past, effecting a cure in cases of sexual dysfunction.  It comforts and helps the dying to make peace with the world.  It is used to awaken the power of kundalini and to connect that energy with the highest enlightenment.
           
About the erotic quality of the oil, scientists have discovered a connection.  Sandalwood smells similar to light concentrations of androsterone, a substance very similar in chemical structure to the male hormone testosterone and is released in men’s underarm perspiration.   

TCM:
Actions/Indications
:  Promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain: for pain associated with stagnant qi in the chest and abdomen. Recently used in treating coronary artery disease.   

Major Combinations: With Dan Shen and Xi Xin for chest pain associated with obstructed Heart qi.  With Sha Ren, Bai Dou Kou, and Ding Xiang for chest, epigastric, and abdominal pain due to stagnant qi. 

Contraindications: Contraindicated in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs. 

Dosage: 1.5-3g as a powder, 3-9g in decoctions (should be added near the end).  Good quality is hard, dense, oily, aromatic, and yellow.  

HOMEOPATHIC: Homeopaths use Santalum as a remedy for aching in the kidneys. 

Cosmetic: Sandalwood oil is very useful in skincare for dehydrated skin.  It also relieves itching and inflammation of the skin. Recommended for acne and as an aftershave. As a mild astringent it is also excellent to use in oily skin conditions.  Mix a teaspoonful of sandalwood oil with a large cupful of coconut oil and massage into the hair.  This will promote new hair growth and give the hair a brilliant gloss.  Mix 1 teaspoonful of sandalwood oil with a large cupful of coconut oil and massage into the body after bathing. 

Ritual Uses: Gender: cold; Planet: moon; Element: air: Basic powers: protection, purification, healing.  Sandalwood oil place on the forehead aids in focusing the mind.  The scent opens the highest spiritual centers and so makes an appropriate incense for rituals, exorcisms, and healings.  The powdered wood is strewn to the directions or offered to the fire to bring protection and consecration to any ceremony.  Mix it with lavender to enhance contact with the spirit world.  Mix it with frankincense for the highest spiritual octave.  The scents of frankincense and sandalwood have some of the highest vibrations inherent in any plant. They will resonate with aspect of ourselves or with Devic/Angelic beings of the highest order. 

 Indian Incense
7 parts white sandalwood
1 part ground cinnamon or cassia
½ part saltpeter
a few drops nutmeg oil
gum Arabic or tragacanth, diluted as required 

Persian Incense
4 parts white sandalwood
3 parts ground sumbul root
1 part gum frankincense
½ part saltpeter
a few drops rose or jasmine oil
gum Arabic or tragacanth, diluted as required 

Weight loss spell provides the extra power needed to achieve your weight loss goals.
Materials needed:
A glass bowl
A pie plate or pan
Sand
Green and light blue candles
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Herbs: parsley, sandalwood, and sage
                   Begin by putting the herbs, each kind one at a time, in the palm of your hand, and focus your energy and attention on their properties. (Tell the parsley to inhibit your appetite and help you feel more full, the sandalwood to bring you a healthy weight loss, and the sage to cleanse you of the urge to overeat) When your palm begins to tingle, and you can feel the herb thoroughly, it's ready. 
              When you've done this with each herb, place it in a small glass or other non-metallic bowl. Place them all in the same bowl. Pour the small amount of vegetable oil over them and mix until the herbs are well-coated and mixed together.
              Rub the herbal mixture on the candles while focusing on your weight loss goal and the properties of the herbs. I find it helpful to recite the names of the herbs, their properties, and my goal as a chant while I'm doing this.
             Light the candles.
              Put the sand into the pie plate, and draw your current body shape into it with your finger. (It's a good idea to wipe the herbal mixture off first!) Focus on this image. FEEL how you hate it and want it to change. Now, imagine how you want to look. Be realistic. You can't go from a size 16 to a size 6 overnight. It works best to take it by 20 lb/two size steps.

Aromatherapy Blends:
For Frigidity: 5 drops clary sage, 10 drops jasmine, 10 drops rose, 20 drops sandalwood, 45 drops tangerine
For Impotence: 10 drops clary sage, 20 drops jasmine, 20 drops Mysore sandalwood, 20 drops ylang ylang, 20 drops rosewood, 10 drops vetiver. 
For emotional shock, grief: 10 drops melissa, 10 drops neroli, 10 drops rose, 60 drops tangerine, 10 drops sandalwood
For acne: 10 drops bergamot, 5 drops juniper, 10 drops lavender, 20 drops palmarosa, 5 drops peppermint, 10 drops rosemary, 10 drops Mysore sandalwood, 30 drops lemon thyme
For sexual chakra: 20 drops jasmine, 30 drops ylang ylang, 20 drops sandalwood, 30 drops tangerine
         
Application through bath, compress, massage

 URINARY: 7 drops sandalwood, 3 drops juniper, 2 drops bergamot
RESPIRATORY: 7 drops sandalwood, 3 drops myrrh, 2 drops lavender
EMOTION: 6 drops sandalwood, 3 drops rose, 2 drops frankincense 

Culinary Uses:   In cookery, the subtle fragrance of sandalwood can enhance a variety of dishes.  In the past it was used to flavor dishes.  In the past it was used to flavor English custards and jellies and even meat sauces.  Milk infused with a few chips lends a delicate flavor to creams and rice puddings.  Try adding a little in clear jellies such as crab apple to accompany roast lamb or game.  Always remove the pieces before bottling.  Small amounts may be tied in a muslin bag with mixed herbs to flavor soups and stews.  Danish recipes for salted herrings sometimes call for sandalwood chips or shavings in the salting mixture. In Indian cookery a few pieces of sandalwood can be included in festive pilaus.  A little ground sandalwood mixed with water and rubbed over goose or duck is said to help reduce oiliness.   The wood is left for a few hours and washed off before cooking. 

Recipes:
Sandalwood Creams

4 oz whole-milk powder
1 cup water
½ tsp sandalwood shavings
4 oz sugar, caster
water
2 oz almonds, ground
4 cardamom seeds, ground

1 Tbsp pistachio nuts, sliced
           
Dissolve powdered milk in the water.  Add the sandalwood and leave for one hour.  Strain.  Heat the milk, simmer and stir until a thick paste is formed.  Dissolve the sugar in a little water and add to the milk.  Stir.  Add the almonds and cardamom, stirring in well.  Turn the mixture into tins to a depth of about 1 inch.  When cool cut into squares or diamond shapes, sprinkle with pistachios.  (Cooking with Spices) 

References:
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies
, Franzesca Watson, Thorsons, 1995; ISBN: 0-7225-3222-9
Aromatherapy Workbook
, Marcel Lavabre, Healing Arts Press, 1990; ISBN: 0-89281-346-6
Complete Aromatherapy Handbook,
 Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Sterling, 1990; ISBN: 0-8069-8222-5
The Complete Guide toAromatherapy,
 Salvatore Battaglia, The Perfect Potion, 1995; ISBN: 0-646-20670-2
Cooking with Spices
, Carolyn Heal & Michael Allsop, David & Charles, 1983; ISBN: 0-7153-8369-8
Cosmetics From the Earth
, Roy Genders, Alfred van der March, 1985; ISBN: 0-912383-20-8
The Directory of Essential Oils
, Wanda Sellar, C.W. Daniel, 1992; ISBN: 0-85207-239-2
A Druid’s Herbal
, Ellen Evert Hopman, Destiny, 1995; ISBN: 0-89281-501-9
Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica
, Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble, Eastland Press, 1993; ISBN: 0-939616-15-7
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
, Andrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1997, ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2
The Garden of Life
, Naveen Patnaik, Doubleday, 1993; ISBN: 0-385-42469-8
Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble, Eastland Press, 1986, ISBN: 0-939616-15-7
Herbal Defense, Robyn Landis, Warner Books, 1997; ISBN: 0-446-67242-4
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, Element, 1995; ISBN: 1-85230-721-8
Magical Herbalism, Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn, 1982, ISBN: 0-87542-120-2
Mastering Herbalism, Paul Huson, Stein and Day, 1975; ISBN: 0-8128-1847-4

Planetary Herbology
, Michael Tiera, Lotus Press, 1988; ISBN: 0-941-52427-2
Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Herbs and Spices
, Editor: Stanley Schuler, Fireside Books, 1990: ISBN: 0-671-73489-X 

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