SANDALWOOD ~ AUSTRALIAN Santalum album
There are many different species of Sandalwood, which grow as partially parasitic tropical trees. The most popular and commercially most in-demand species is Mysore Sandalwood (Santalum album). Alas - its popularity has brought its own demise: due to the high demand both inside India and increasingly throughout the world, this species has become threatened. It is the hardwood that produces the highly prized fragrant components, but Sandalwood is a slow growing tree so it takes many years to mature sufficiently before its hardwood has become rich in essential oils. In India, old trees have become extremely rare, which has caused the government to place strict export quotas on the essential oil - which in turn has given rise to a flourishing black-market economy, complete with gang-type warfare and violent crime. For the Indian Sandalwood trees the situation looked grim until recently, when Australia suddenly remembered that it too had a species of Sandalwood tree, which in the past had been used medicinally. In fact, it is even still 'official' in the Australian pharmacopoeia. The reason it had been forgotten was because of the advent of antibiotics, which had replaced its use in many conditions that had previously been treated with Australian Sandalwood oil. The only other market would have been the fragrance industry, but here Indian Sandalwood ruled supreme and Australian Sandalwood proved no match. Australian Sandalwood oil contains less santalol, which is the marker for high quality Sandalwood oil, and so has always been deemed inferior. But now things have changed. Indian Sandalwood has become scarce and expensive and may even become extinct unless the voracious fragrance market is willing to seek viable alternatives. Australian Sandalwood is the obvious choice, even though its scent is a little harsher and more resinous than that of Indian Sandalwood. According to scores of doctors who used it before antibiotics became available, Australian Sandalwood is said to be equal to Indian Sandalwood oil for therapeutic purposes. Agronomists are currently conducting research and experiments to find a way to increase the production of hardwood through selective breeding and other modern methods, which in turn would increase the yield of the santalol component in Australian Sandalwood. In time Australian Sandalwood may not just match Indian Sandalwood in terms of therapeutic value, but may rival its fragrance too. The situation at last looks promising for both the endangered Sandalwood trees, which thanks to Australian Sandalwood may get a chance to regenerate, and for perfumers and essential oil fans around the world.
In aromatherapy Sandalwood is mostly used for its emotionally balancing effect. It is helpful for treating psychological problems such as egotism, arrogance, stress related issues, impotence and frigidity. As a remedy it is used for infections of the urinary tract and respiratory conditions, such as sore throat and bronchitis. In aromatherapy skincare it can be used in balancing lotions, especially night creams that can be helpful for either dry or oily skin.
Australian Sandalwood can be used like Indian Sandalwood for meditation and charka balancing, though its energy is a little less refined and thus it acts more on the lower charkas. It can be used as an aphrodisiac and for tantra oil blends. It is protective and wards off evil influences and negativity. It may be used for grounding and centring.
A woody, aromatic, tenacious and somewhat resinous scent, not as sweet and refined as Indian Sandalwood. Blends well with Rose, Violet, Clove Bud, Lavender, Black Pepper, Bergamot, Geranium, Vetiver, Patchouli, Mimosa, Myrrh and Jasmine.