Sandalwood - traditional medicine

The heartwood of the sandalwood tree, volatile oil from the wood and roots and the seeds are used as medicines.

Ayurvedic medicine

In Ayurvedic medicine the wood can be ground up with water to form a paste. The paste has a cooling effect on the body and can be applied to the foreheads of people with fevers. The paste is also sometimes mixed with coconut water and taken as a drink to decrease thirst. An infusion of sandalwood powder made with water or rose water is used to treat headaches, scorpion stings, dry skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, prickly heat and other inflammatory skin conditions. It has also been used to treat warts and forms of skin cancer. Clinical trials are being carried out to investigate this.
A photograph of sandalwood housed in Kew's Economic Botany Collection.
This sandalwood is collected from Mysore was used as a medicine.

The infusion has also been used as a deodorant and as a mouthwash to treat bad breath. Oil from the heartwood is used as a skin lotion to treat itching and inflammatory conditions.

Sandalwood is mixed with honey, sugar and rice-water to treat digestive disorders.
The oil can be added to candles or burnt as incense in rooms with patients that have mental health problems or are very stressed as the perfume has a calming effect. These calming properties probably explain why it has been used to aid meditation and prayer. It is reported to calm the mind, and soothe tension and anxiety.

This information is provided for general interest only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Further information on using herbal medicines is available.