Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) is on the verge of extinction. Only the heartwood and roots of a mature tree produce the aromatic oil, which in some countries is considered to be more precious than gold. Sandalwood is one of the most recognized scents on earth. It has been used in wood carvings, temple decorations, incense, perfumes, soaps, food, and skin care and as an essential oil for 4,000 years. Asian and Sanskrit manuscripts describe sandalwood to be sacred. In temples, sandalwood was used as a ritual oil to bless congregations, and to achieve higher consciousness in meditation.
Sandalwood is known to be an extremely powerful anti-septic. It has many therapeutic qualities that include being: antidepressant, antiseptic, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrizant, diuretic, expectorant, insecticidal, sedative, and tonic.
Sandalwood can be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of dry, cracked and chapped skin as well as: acne, greasy skin, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, laryngitis, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea, depression, insomnia, nervous tension, and stress-related complaints. It is used as a pharmaceutical disinfectant and as fragrance in: soap, detergents, cosmetics, perfumes, aftershaves, incense, and is sometimes employed as a flavor ingredient in major food categories, including soft and alcoholic drinks.