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Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Cam

Search Health Information    Sandalwood

Sandalwood

Uses

Botanical names:
Santalum album

Parts Used & Where Grown

Sandalwood trees grow in India and other parts of Asia. The wood is renowned for carving and also yields the volatile oil used in herbal medicine.

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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
1 Star
Infection
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Sandalwood oil was used traditionally by herbalists to treat skin diseases, acne , dysentery, gonorrhea, and a number of other conditions.1 In Traditional Chinese Medicine, sandalwood oil is considered an excellent sedating agent.

How It Works

Botanical names:
Santalum album

How It Works

The volatile oil contains high amounts of alpha- and beta-santalol. According to a test tube study, these small molecules possess antibacterial properties.2 This makes it a potential topical treatment for skin infections. Synthetic sandalwood oil does not contain these active ingredients. Internal use of sandalwood is approved by the German Commission E for the supportive treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract (usually the urinary bladder).3 However, clinical trials are lacking to support this use.

How to Use It

The German Commission E monograph suggests 1/4 teaspoon (1–1.5 grams) of the volatile oil for the supportive treatment of urinary tract infections .4 This should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. Treatment should not exceed six weeks. For external use, a few drops of sandalwood oil are dissolved in 6 ounces (180 ml) of water and applied directly to the infected area of skin several times daily.

Interactions

Botanical names:
Santalum album

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Botanical names:
Santalum album

Side Effects

Some people may experience mild skin irritation from topical application of sandalwood oil.5 People with kidney disease should not use sandalwood internally. Until more is known, sandalwood oil should be avoided for internal use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Infants and children should not take sandalwood oil internally.

References

1. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 426–7.

2. Okazai K, Oshima S. Antibacterial activity of higher plants. XXIV. Antimicrobial effect of essential oils (5). J Pharm Soc Japan 1953;73:344–7.

3. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 199.

4. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 199.

5. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 199.

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