Chandana, Ananditam, Taliaparnam
It is commonly found in the comparatively
dry regions of peninsular India from Vindhya mountains
southwards, especially in Mysore and Tamil Nadu,
ascending to an altitude of c. 1,200 m. It has also been
introduced into Rajasthan, parts of Uttar Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, where it has become
naturalized at some places, but the sandalwood produced
in these areas is usually of an inferior quality.
Morphology Description (Habit)
A small to medium-sized, evergreen semi-parasitic
tree, with slender branches, sometimes reaching up to 18 m. in
height and 2.4 m. in girth. The bark is reddish or dark-grey or
nearly black, rough, with deep vertical cracks on old trees;
leaves glabrous, thin, elliptic- ovate or ovate-lanceolate,
1.5-8 cm. x 1.6-3.2 cm., sometimes larger, flowers straw-coloured,
brownish purple, reddish purple, or violet, unscented, in
terminal and axillary paniculate cymes; the drupe globose, 1.3
cm. diam., purple-black, with hard, ribbed endocarp; the seeds
globose or obovoid.
The main constituent of sandalwood oil is
santalol. This primary sesquiterpene alcohol forms more than 90
per cent of the oil and is present as a mixture of two isomers,
a -santalol and ß-santalol, the former predominating. The
characteristic odor and medicinal properties of sandalwood oil
are mainly due to the santalols. The other constituents reported
in sandalwood oil include: the hydrocarbons santene, nor-tricycloekasantalene
and a- and ,ß-santalenes; the
alcohols santenol and teresantalol; the aldehydes nor-tricycloekasantalal,
and isovaleraldehyde; the ketones l-santenone and santalone; and
the acids teresantalic acid occurring partly free and partly in
esterfied form, and a-and ß-santalic acids 1.
Both the wood and the oil have long been employed
in medicine. They are credited with cooling, diaphoretic,
diuretic and expectorant properties, and sandalwood finds
several applications in household remedies: a paste of the wood
is applied to burns; in fevers and headache, it is applied to
the forehead and upper eyelids. The oil was at one time official
in many pharmacopeias and was prescribed for the treatment of
gonorrhea. It is reported to be active against Eberthella
typhosa and Escherichia coli. The oil from the seeds
is used in skin troubles2.
Guenther , V, 183, 185-86; II,
265-69, 79, 112-16, 229, 257, 350, 438, 494, 611; Ghatgey &
Bhattacharyya, Perfum. essent. Oil
Rec., 1956, 47, 353; Bhati, Flavour Ind., 1970, 1, 235.
2. Chopra, 1958, 243; Claus, 1961,
211; I.P.C., 189; Thum- gappa, Indian Perfum., 1968, 12, pt II,
11; Youngken, 286; Wren, 267; George & Pandalai, Essential Oils
& Aromatic Chemicals, A Symposium, Coun. Sci. Industr. Res., New
Delhi, 1955, 154.
dried heartwood, essential oil
ˇKarma: Pittahara, medhyam, vajikarana,
anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, expectorant, hemostatic, anodyne,
antipyretic, diaphoretic, alterative, diuretic, astringent, disinfectant
to mucus membranes, refrigerant
ˇPrabhava: ahladana (gives happiness) (Dash 1991, 32;
Frawley and Lad 1986, 213; Nadkarni 1976, 1099; Varier 1996, 57)
Pittakopa, gastric irritability, dysentery, biliousness,
jaundice, cough, bronchitis,
fever, inflammatory skin diseases, herpes,
skin cancer, poisoning, thirst, hemorrhage, burning sensations,
headache, memory loss, psychopathies, cardiac debility (Frawley and Lad 1986, 213; Nadkarni
1976, 1099; Varier 1996, 57)
Vatakaphakopa; beware of common adulterants to the oil, such as
castor and cedar wood oil.
cytochrome p-450 inducement in high doses long term (Jones et al 1994).
Essential oil reported to have a "baneful effect upon the kidneys" in
larger doses (Nadkarni 1976, 1102).
ˇChurnam: 250 mg 5 g b.i.d. - t.i.d.
ˇKashaya: 100 mL b.i.d. - t.i.d.
ˇTincture: 1 2 mL b.i.d. - t.i.d.
ˇEssential oil: 5 20 gtt (encapsulated, suspended in Acacia
gum powder or similar) t.i.d.
The essential oil of Santalum album was found to inhibit the
replication of Herpes simplex viruses-1 and 2. This effect was
dose-dependent and more pronounced against HSV-1 (Benencia and Courreges.
The essential oil of Santalum album displayed chemoprotective
effects on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-(DMBA)-initiated and
12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate(TPA)-promoted skin papillomas, and
TPA-induced ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity in mice. Treatment
with Santalum album oil significantly decreased papilloma
incidence by 67%, multiplicity by 96%, and TPA-induced ODC activity by
70% (Dwivedi and Abu-Ghazaleh. 1997). The essential oil of Santalum
album was found to enhance glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity
and acid soluble sulphydryl (SH) levels in the liver of adult male Swiss
albino mice, suggesting a possible chemopreventive action. (Banerjee et
Santalum ellipticum was found to have a hypotensive activity (Bourke
et al 1973).
Santalbic acid extract from Santalum acuminatum was fed to
Sprague-Dawley rats for 10 and 20 days such that it made up 12.6% of
total energy content in a semi-synthetic diet. Santalbic acid was found
in the lipids of plasma, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, kidney, heart
and liver but not in brain. Hepatic microsomal cytochrome P-450 activity
in animals fed for 20 days was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than in
controls (Jones et al 1994).
Chandana has long been esteemed in India as not only a useful
medicine, but as an important construction material (as it is resistant
to certain species of ants), and as an important fragrance in Hindu
ceremonies (Nadkarni 1976, 1100). Chandana is specific to
Paittic disorders, applied topically as a paste made with water for
inflammatory skin conditions such as herpes,
scabies, pruritis, prickly
heat, and insect bites, and internally as an emulsion in the treatment
of gastric irritability, dysentery, thirst, and heat stroke.
tachycardia (i.e. "tobacco heart") Chandana will have a calming
nervine effect, slowing heart rate and promoting contentment and
relaxation (Nadkarni 1976, 1102). The essential oil of Chandana
is a very popular remedy for afflictions of the urinary tract, such as
gonorrhea and pyelitis, and can be used in similar dosages for
irritating coughs and bronchitis. An emulsion of the wood mixed with
sugar, honey and rice is used to check gastric irritability (Nadkarni
1976, 1101). When mixed with zinc oxide ointment (10%, v/v), the
essential oil is a useful adjunct in the treatment of herpetic lesions,
reapplied every few hours over a period of days until the inflammation
ceases. Owing to its astringent and cooling qualities, Chandana
is a useful hemostatic and a specific to a group of diseases called
rakta pitta, all of which are characterized by hemorrhage.
S et al. 1993. Modulatory influence of sandalwood oil on mouse hepatic
glutathione S-transferase activity and acid soluble sulphydryl level.
Cancer Lett. Feb;68(2-3):105-9
Benencia, F. and M.C. Courreges. 1999. Antiviral activity of sandalwood
oil against herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2. Phytomedicine.
Bourke, E.L. et al. 1973. A hypotensive agent in Santalum ellipticum.
Planta Med. Mar;23(2):110-4
Dash, Bhagwan. 1991. Materia Medica of Ayurveda. New Delhi: B.
Frawley, David and Vasant Lad. 1986. The Yoga Of Herbs: An Ayurvedic
Guide to Herbal Medicine. Santa Fe: Lotus Press.
Dwivedi, C and A. Abu-Ghazaleh. 1997. Chemopreventive effects of
sandalwood oil on skin papillomas in mice. Eur J Cancer Prev.
Jones G.P. et al. 1994. Effect of feeding quandong (Santalum
acuminatum) oil to rats on tissue lipids, hepatic cytochrome P-450
and tissue histology. Food Chem Toxicol. Jun;32(6):521-5
Kirtikar KR and BD Basu. 1993. Indian Medicinal Plants. 2nd ed.
Vol. 1-4. 1935. Reprint. Delhi: Periodical Experts.
Nadkarni, Dr. K.M. 1976. The Indian Materia Medica, with Ayurvedic,
Unani and Home Remedies. Revised and enlarged by A.K. Nadkarni.
1954. Reprint. Bombay: Bombay Popular Prakashan PVP.
Varrier, P.S. 1996. Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500
species. Edited by PK Warrier,
Pitta / Kapha Nambiar and C Ramankutty. vol 5.
Hyderabad: Orient Longman.
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