Sandalwood (Santalum album)


Endemic in Indonesia, Australia, and the Indian peninsula, the Santalum album tree is the primary source of sandalwood and sandalwood oil. Both are used in Hindu religious ceremonies. In Ayurvedic medicine, East Indian sandalwood is an important remedy for both physical and mental disorders. Sandalwood is also a popular fragrance for incense and perfumes.
There is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of sandalwood for any indication. However, preliminary aromatherapy studies with sandalwood have indicated that it may have anxiolytic (reducing anxiety) and stimulating properties.

Related Terms

Alpha-santalol, beta-santalol, East Indian sandalwood, sandal, sandalwood oil, Santalaceae (family), Santalum album, white sandalwood.
Note: This monograph does not include false sandalwood (Myoporum sanwicense) or red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Alertness (Grade: C)
Preliminary study indicates that sandalwood oil may increase alertness; however, more research is needed in this area.
Anxiety (Grade: C)
Sandalwood is frequently used in incense and aromatherapy. Early study indicates that sandalwood may reduce anxiety in palliative patients. Additional study is needed in this area.