Essential Facts about Red Sandalwood
- Botanical: Pterocarpus santalinus
- Sanskrit: Raktacandana (rakta meaning ‘red’ and candana meaning ‘sandal’)
- Hindi: Chandan
- Other names: Red sanders, red sandalwood
- Rasa (taste): Bitter, sweet
- Guna (qualities): Heavy, dry
- Virya (action): Cooling
- Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Pungent
- Dosha (constitution): Pacifies Kapha and Pitta
Red Sandalwood is native to India and can be found in the southern parts of the Eastern Ghats.
It’s a small tree that grows to 5-8 meters in height and has dark gray bark and dark red wood.
The heartwood is typically ground into powder or distilled into oil for use.
Red sandalwood possesses antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent qualities.
Medicinal Uses of Red Sandalwood
Red sandalwood, like any other medicine used in Ayurveda, is said to possess a number of qualities. The qualities attributed to it are cooling, dry, bitter, satiating, and nourishing, as well as rakshogna – useful for helping to treat psychological disorders.
This combination of properties means that red sandalwood can be a useful agent for helping to manage fatigue, toxicity, thirst, fever, vomiting, and skin conditions.
Because of its cooling properties, it’s especially beneficial in warm weather. These are some of the most popular and effective uses for red sandalwood.
Helps Fight Pimples
Red sandalwood is known to be useful for helping to get rid of pimples on the skin due to it’s antibacterial qualities. To free yourself of pimples, include a bit of turmeric in a red sandalwood paste and apply the mix onto your face. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off.
This mixture can also be used to lighten scars and treat pigmentation issues.
Wards Off Skin Diseases
Red sandalwood is one of the primary ingredients in Asanadi Kashayam, a popular Ayurvedic medicine that is used to help ward off skin diseases. This particular concoction is also used to help prevent obesity and ward off some of the symptoms of diabetes.
Fights Signs of Aging
There are a number of physical signs and symptoms that can indicate your age: things like liver spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin are all signs that we are getting on in years.
A strong mixture of red sandalwood and chamomile is believed to help fight signs of aging. Both substances are loaded with antioxidants and can help to detoxify and strengthen the skin.
Another one of the most popular traditional uses of red sandalwood is helping to fight fevers. Red sandalwood is one of the chief ingredients in the Ayurvedic medicine Guduchyadi Kashayam, which is made to help the treatment of fevers, burning skin, and vomiting.
Red sandalwood is also beneficial in treating digestive and respiratory issues as well as for blood purification.
Application and Dosage of Red Sandalwood
Red sandalwood is typically used topically. To make a simple red sandalwood mixture for topical use, ground the heartwood into a powder and mix that with water. This paste can be applied to the skin anywhere on the body.
Red sandalwood is also generally safe for consumption, but people with amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea should avoid using red sandalwood. An Ayurveda specialist can help you determine appropriate dosage. In the meantime, you can consider consuming an Ayurvedic formula which contains red sandalwood, like Chyawanprash.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)