Sandalwood – Uses, Health Benefits & Risks

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How is Sandalwood Acquired?

Sandalwood is acquired from trees belonging to the Santalaceae and genus Santalum families. They are mainly known for their fragrance. There are various trees that belong to this family, but the East Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and Australian sandalwood (S. spicatum) are the most common varieties. The medium height of the tree is 12-15 meters. And it takes at least 15-20 years for the root and heartwood to develop the essential oil. For the tree to get to its full maturity, it takes 60-80 years. 

This is when the centre of the tree trunk and the roots have achieved their maximum oil content. The bark of the tree is odourless. The sandalwood tree is always uprooted and not cut. 

Benefits of Sandalwood

  • Sandalwood oil may help repair wounds as it has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Sandalwood may be used for acne treatment as it is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. 
  • It may help people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a condition in which a person develops itchy, red, scaly patches on their skin and scalp. When sandalwood oil is applied to the patches, it tends to reduce the effect of the disease. 
  • Sandalwood may be used for eczema, as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It might reduce the itchiness caused by the disease. Eczema causes red, itchy, scaly skin that eventually begins to bleed because of the itching.
  • The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of sandalwood may be used to reduce wrinkles, tan, and scars. Sandalwood has been traditionally used for cosmetic purposes for a long time.
  • Sandalwood also shows memory-enhancing properties. Hence, it might potentially be used for memory loss, Alzheimer’s and sleeping disorders. However, further research needs to be done on these.
  • Sandalwood might be used to treat ulcers and poxvirus as it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. 
  • Sandalwood may be used in the treatment of scabies, a skin infection that causes redness, itchiness, skin burrows and inflammation. It is generally seen in the skin between fingers.
  • Sandalwood oil can be used in Aromatherapy to reduce anxiety.
  • Sandalwood is also used to treat dandruff. It also prevents hair fall and promotes hair growth by regulating the excess sebum secretion in the scalp. 
  • It helps relax the muscles, hence reducing muscle spasms. Sandalwood oil can calm the nerves, muscles and blood vessels by reducing the contraction and spasms. 
  • Aromatherapy with sandalwood oil promotes immunity by increasing white blood cell production, hence keeping diseases away.
  • Sandalwood tightens the skin and strengthens the gums and muscles.
  • Dysuria, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and cystitis may be treated with sandalwood essential oil because of its antiseptic properties. 
  • Sandalwood provides relief from colds, fever, mumps and other viral infections as it has antiphlogistic properties. 

Side Effects of Sandalwood

It is not ideal to consume sandalwood. But in some Ayurvedic treatments sandalwood is given as medicine. Taken in small quantities, sandalwood is safe to consume. But if consumed in large quantities, it might lead to kidney damage, this can be observed through blood in the urine. Some people might also be allergic to the incense of sandalwood and some may be allergic to it on the skin, they may experience itchy skin and allergies.

It is advised to seek medical attention if one finds that they are allergic to sandalwood.


Sandalwood cannot be grown in a private property in India. Even though sandalwood farming was illegal, later the government lifted the ban. At present people who want to do sandalwood farming need to ask permission and get license from the government and forest department. Sandalwood has a lot of benefits for the health and is used in perfumes as well. 


1. Can sandalwood be used every day?

Yes, sandalwood can be used on the skin every day.

2. What are the uses of sandalwood?

Because of its strong and sweet smell, sandalwood has been used in the cosmetic industry. It is also used in perfumes, incense sticks, folk medicine, soaps, candles, and for cultural and religious purposes.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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