Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sandal wood tree story in pictures is on the site below: (Part 2)

The Sandal wood tree story in pictures 
 Sandal paste has a special significance in our Worship- we refer to the sweet scent of Chandana esp in Pooja
We invoke the Gods with Gandha -sandal paste too- esp Shree Mahalakshmi Devi  pooja. 
Step 9 – Aroma

We continue to venerate the Goddess by offering her chandan, or sandalwood paste, kumkum, abir, and gulal. Chandan has always been considered sacred in our traditions. It is stimulating and cooling, and it quiets the mind. Swami Chinmayananda said, "Sandalwood perfumes even the axe that hurls it down! The more we rub the sandalwood against a stone, the more its fragrance spreads. Burn it, and it wafts its glory through the entire neighborhood." Such is the grace of God.--(gandhaan samarpayaami)
The details of the origin from the Sandal Tree is on the site below, with :photos of Sandaltree-products and all; Abt 14 pages with > 100 photos from Sapling to tree to products to even the logs of sandalwood a full series is on Google at -
Have reproduced  a few pages below for easy ref- in order to create awareness on this subject as many have not seen the the sandalwood tree- only the products are shown in cities in the stores.

My Mother had a Sandal wood Fan-(see pic.) and it was made of fine Sandalwood --in Burma where we lived earlier in 50s. Tanaka is the Burmese word--name, for Sandal paste prepared by grinding a stick of sandalwood on a flat grinding stone /plate and used on face and body as a coolant and to refresh;also a perfume. 
Today Aroma therapy has caught on. I have used the  Attar Sandal oil and like it -not all may agree as perfume is very much a personal choice and taste. But, I have always like Chandan paste and the oil very much; perhaps because it reminds me of my late Mother. 
  sandalwood hand fanThe Indian sandalwood tree has become endangered in recent years, and in an attempt to curb its possible extinction the Indian government is trying to limit the exportation of sandalwood.
The tree is already government controlled, and removal is prohibited whether on private or temple grounds until the tree is thirty years old. This has not stopped many poachers from cutting trees down as soon as authorities are not watching. Smuggling of sandalwood has created socio-economic and law and order problems in areas bordering the state of Tamil Nadu.



Family:  Santalaceae

:  White Sandalwood, Yellow Sandalwood, East Indian Sandalwood
Geographical Source: 
Native to tropical asia, especially India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia.  The region of Mysore exports the highest quality of oil.
Extraction:  Steam distillation of the heartwood of the Sandalwood tree.

Sandalwood heartwood 

Characteristics: A pale yellow, greenish or brownish viscous liquid with a deep soft sweet woody scent.  The aroma of sandalwood has real staying power and you don't need much to experience its benefits.

Principal Constituents: About 90% santalols, 6% sesquiterpene hydrocarbons; santene, teresantol, borneol, santalone among others.

Therapeutic Actions:  Antidepressant, antiseptic (urinary and pulmonary), aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, diuretic, expectorant, sedative.

Benefits of Sandalwood:
>Genito-uritary tract:  Sandalwood is recognized as having a pronounced effect on the genito-urinary tract and is helpful for cystitis (along with Bergamot).   If you're troubled by a urinary tract infection, try adding 5 drops of sandalwood and 5 of bergamot to a tepid sitz bath and well, sitting, for about 20 minutes each time.  
>Lungs: This oil is a good pulmonary antiseptic and great for coughs ~ especially those nagging, dry persistent ones ~  as well as chronic bronchitis and sore throat (use 3 drops in a gargle with 1 teaspoon saltwater).   Sandalwood's relaxing properties might also help someone with a cough to get a good night's sleep.
One of the more pleasant aspects of Sandalwood is it's well-known aphrodisiac properties, equally useful in cases of frigidity and impotence.  Try a blend of 1 oz carrier oil with 5 d sandalwood and 2 d ylang ylang for a sensual massage.  You can use any vegetable oil as a carrier.  This blend is gentle enough that it won't burn delicate "nether-regions".  Scientists have done research and discovered that Men's underarm perspiration releases androsterone, a substance very similar in chemical structure to the male hormone testosterone.  Androsterone in light concentrations smells similar to sandalwood which seems to send out barely perceptible erotic signals to the opposite sex.
  • Sandalwood's calming and harmonizing effect acts like deep, slow waves and is a good choice for in the diffuser as a fabulous aid to your meditation session. It helps to realize the divine within. 
  • Its grounding and calming action is helpful for coping with our hectic 21st century lifestyle and can be particularly helpful when in the grip of fear or obsession. 
  • Sandalwood is good for helping cut ties with the past and to move through grief and feelings of isolation.  It opens us to receive love, warmth and understanding.   I've often fantisized how great it would be to get all the world leaders together for a meeting in a giant hot tub with sandalwood heavily diffused in the room!
  • Sandalwood is one of the world’s most widely used essential oils, prized for its scent in perfumery, for its therapeutic effects in Chinese, Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine systems, and for its ability to focus the mind in meditative yogic traditions.
    Sandalwood essential oil is most often extracted via steam distillation from the wood of the sandalwood tree, with the heartwood of the roots producing the highest-quality oil. Sandalwood is an evergreen tree, growing to a height of 9 m, with leathery leaves and small purple flowers. Native to southern tropical Asia, the tree is parasitic, gaining its nutrients from one of several other tree species. Because it can only be grown this way, and as a result of its seemingly strict set of environmental conditions, sandalwood is difficult to propagate. To add to the challenge of successful cultivation, sandalwood takes nearly 30 years to mature before yielding oil of any worth.
    Sandalwood oil has a woody, balsamic, sweet and slightly musky aroma; it is a pale yellow, greenish or brownish liquid with excellent tenacity (the aroma tends to last a long time) and superior fixative properties. There are several varieties available, with Sandalum album considered the most important therapeutically. The Mysore region of eastern India is thought to produce the highest quality of this oil type, although its harvesting is creating a strain on the area’s natural environment. Recently, an oil of the Austrocaledonia species has been produced on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu from successfully cultivated sandalwood trees. This oil has a fantastic aroma, with a woody, smoky scent that is an excellent base note in perfume and cosmetic blends.
    In the West, sandalwood oil is perhaps best known as a natural, woody, sweet body perfume used “as is”, or as a familiar aroma in many cosmetics, aftershaves and the like. In the East, however, sandalwood’s importance in cultural and spiritual traditions cannot be overstated. The wood is carved into furniture and religious icons, used to build temples and burned as incense in a great variety of ceremonies. The oil is used to anoint the dead. In Myanmar, women sprinkle it on passers-by on the last day of the year. In Hindu marriages, sandalwood is burned in a tent so that the smoke surrounds the bridal couple. For the meditative yogi, the oil and incense encourage a serene state of mind.
    Sandalwood is valued in the traditional Indian medicine system of Ayurveda. It is indicated for inflammatory, intestinal and genito-urinary conditions that require cooling. Modern aromatherapy considers the oil an effective skin care agent for dry skin, general irritation and acne; it can help in cases of bronchitis, catarrh, dry persistent coughs, laryngitis and sore throats; it may relieve diarrhoea and nausea, and can be supportive in cases of cystitis. Sandalwood essential oil is also a great tonic for the hyperactive mind.Finally, sandalwood is one of the few essential oils that improve with age. Because of increasing demand, the price of the oil is climbing significantly every year.

    Source: Weipa



  1. Few get to actually see a Sandalwood Tree. Most of us have only used the products of Sandalpowder or Agarbatti or scent-or sandal paste used as a Coolant. Sandal Tree growing is a Mission as it takes 7-10 years to grow a tre from sapling -and the subject merits much respect and attention from all. NOt only is it a Divine Tree -it is the only source of our Pooja dravya (essential materials) -May we lern to Protect and nurture such Growers and Trees-see Part 1 post on a Grower in Karnataka.

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