Chandan, Santalum Album

Descriptions of the Plant

Chandan is known as one of the oldest and precious plant with great fragrance. The scientific name of the plant is Santalum album. This belongs to the family Santalaceae. Chandan plant is an ever green plant that can grow up to 20 m attain girth up to 2.4 m wide with branches which are drooping and slender. The bark of the tree can be of dark brown color, red color, dark grey or of black color in the young plants. In the older plants, these barks are with deep cracks and of red color from inside. The sapwood of the stems is white in color and odorless. On the other hand, heartwood is of yellow brown color with strong fragrance. Leaves of the Chandan are ovate elliptical shaped, 3 to 8 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide, usually present oppositely and have shiny green appearance from the upper side. These are glabrous and glaucous. The tips of the leaves can be either pointed or rounded. Its stalk is grooved and long up to 5 to 15 cm. flowers of the Chandan plant are of purple brown color and small in shape. The straw of the flowers are of red, green or violet color. These are 4 to 6 mm long with 6 terminal or axillary, unscented clusters of peniculate cymes. Its fruits are fleshy indehiscent, globose, purple to black in color, about 1 cm in diameter when ripe. These have a hard endocarp and scar which are smooth, stalk less and single seeded.

There are two main varieties of sandalwood, one is Indian and other is Australian. In Indian one, Flowers flourish in the months of March and April. The fruits ripe in the cold season. In Australian, flowers flourish in December and January. Fruits appear in June to September. This plant requires approximately 20 to 25 inches rainfall every year and cannot tolerate water logging.

General Description

Chandan word is derives from Sanskrit and Persian (chandan). Generally it is known as White sandalwood, Safed Chandan and Srigandha.

This plant has a great reference found in Indian mythology, scripture and folklore. It is found in literatures like Arthashastra (200 BC), Patanjali Mahabhasaya (100 BC), Vinaya Pitaka (400-300 BC), Milinda Pahna (200 BC), Anguttara, Kautilya and Dhamma. It is also known to be mentioned in the holy books Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Chandan and its essential oil derived from its heartwood has been used to treat various ailments. The scent of the essential oil of Chandan calms the mind, nervous system, and mood thus awakens and enliven intelligence, courage, strength and happiness. This is also used for medicinal purpose as it has sedative, aromatic, diuretic, diaphoretic, disinfectant, aphrodisiac, cardio tonic, expectorant, haemostatic and antipyretic properties which can help to treat problems like acidity, gonorrhea, bronchial and skin ailments.

This plant do all these activities with the help of phytochemicals present inside the plant parts. The main chemical constituent of essential oil is santalola which is composed of C15H24O. It has hydrocarbons like santene, nortricyclo-ekasantalene, aldehydes like nor-tricyclo-kasantalal 3,7,8 and the acids α-and β- santalic acids and alcohols like santenol, α-santalol, beta-santalol, teresantalol and more. The leave wax contain hydropalmitone and palmitone.

Classification

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass - Rosidae
  • Order - Santalales
  • Family - Santalaceae
  • Genus - Santalum

Habitat

Chandan is found in countries like India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. These flourish well from the sea level up to 1800 m in sandy, lateritic and loamy soil. Trees found on stony hills have high content of scent in their woods.

In India, it is found mainly in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, it distributed over 3000 sq. kms in Javadis hills, Chitteri hills and Yelagri hills. It is also found in states like Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur.

Names of the Chandan

  • Sanskrit name - Chandan, Malayaja, Malayaja, Gosheersha, Tilaparnaka Shreekhanda, Chandradyuti.
  • Hindi Name - Safed chandan, chandan, sandal
  • English name - White Indian sandalwood, sandalwood, sandal, sandal tree, East Indian sandalwood
  • Malayalam Name - Candanam
  • Bengali Name - Chandan, peetchandan, srikhanda
  • Tamil Name - Chandanm, Sandanam
  • Telugu Name - Tella Chandanm
  • Gujarati Name - Sukhada, sukhet
  • Punjabi name - chandan
  • Kannada name - shrigandha, chand
  • French - Santal blanc
  • German - Weisser Sandel
  • Italian - Sandalo bianco
  • Indonesian - Chandan, chendana, cendana
  • Burmese - Santagu
  • Spanish - Sandalo blanco

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Madhura, Tikta Taste Sweet, Bitter
Guna Laghu, Rooksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Sheeta Potency Cold
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Classical Categorization

It helps to control and manage the kapha and pitta doshas.

Charak Samhita Vagbhata Sushrut Samhita
  • Angamada Prassamana - Group of herbs that relieves bodyaches
  • Varnya - Skin complexion enhancing group of herbs
  • Kandughna - Itching-relieving group of herbs.
  • Daha Prasamana - Group of herbs that relieveburning sensation
  • Trishna Nigrahana - Group of herbs that relieve excessive thirst
  • Vishaghna - Anti toxic group of herbs
  • Guducyadi
  • Salasaradi
  • Sarivadi
  • Patoladi
  • Priyangvadi
  • Guducyadi
  • Sarivadi
  • Patoladi
  • Priyangvadi
  • Asanadi

Ancient Verse about Chandan

Ancient Verse about Chandan

The Bhavprakash nighantu, Edition of 1998, verse11 to 13, page no. 186 - 187.

It states that it is known with the names of Srikhanda, chandan, madhrashri, Tilaparnaka, Gandhasara, Malayaja and Chandradyuti.

Best Chandan is white in color, bitter in taste, after being rubbed gives yellow color and if it broken in pieces gives red color. It appears white from the outside. It is considered as best if it is rough in texture.

This has properties like cold potency, dry and light nature, pacifies pitta in the body, it manages fatigue, weakness, thirst, heat and blood impurities.

References

The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: Edition of 1998, verse11 to 13, page no. 186 - 187.

Practical uses of Chandan

  • The leaves extract of the plant tends to decrease the levels of bilirubin and increases the level of dismutase, catalase and glutathione, hence help to remove toxins from liver.
  • This shows effect on nerves, act as nerve relaxant and cure problems like headaches, insomnia and nervous tension.
  • It is also helpful in treating gastric ulcers as it inhibits Local Irritants and Drugs like NSAIDs.
  • This plant shows anti-bacterial activity against various bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, Herpes simplex virus Type 1 and resistant Candida species.
  • The component a-santalol shows anticancer ativity as it is helpful in skin cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer and more.
  • It shows antioxidant properties as on regulatory effect on nitric oxide (NO) levels.
  • This also shows antiviral activity as it combats Herpes simplex viruses (HSV)-1 & 2 and virus induced skin problems.
  • The methanol extracts of the plants shows great anti-inflammatory activities.
  • It acts as aphrodisiac and used to treat Spermatorrhoea.
  • The paste made from this can help to improve the skin complexion, stop burning sensation and clears wounds.

Parts Used

  • Bark
  • Chandan essential oil

Dosage

  • Powder - 3 to 4 grams
  • Oil - 5 to 10 drops

Planet Ayurveda Products that Use this Herb

Natural Glow Powder

This product contains Chandan as one of its herb. This is good for skin complexion and to maintain healthy skin tone.

Chandanadi Vati

This maintains pitta and kapha of the body. It maintains blood circulation, digestion and metabolism. This formulation has Chandan.

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