Santalum album seeds, Indian Sandalwood

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Santalum album seeds, Indian Sandalwood 

 

Indian sandalwood, scientist prefer calling it Santalum Album L, sandal; white sandalwood tree (English), synonym as Sirium myrtifolium L. It is a type of small tropical species, elegant, evergreen tree with an average growth of 4-20 meters tall with slender dropping branches, the diameter of up to 20cm long. The plant is considered to belong to Magnoliopsida: Rosidae: Santalaceae, familyand genus (santalum). Information regarding the origin of the species remains unclear. However, south East Asia-India and Malaysia have had significant claims.

With regards to its vulnerability, the plant outperforms in tropical and subtropical areas usually at an altitude of 1,200 meters to 1,500 meters occasionally. Temperature growth rates range from 10-380c, however, it can sustain temperatures below 100c up to 20c.annual rainfall is reported to range 450mm-2500mm and sometimes hit the optimum of between 800-1400mm. Rich, moist well-drained fertile soil is preferred. Leaves are considered thin and opposite, ovate with 3cm to 8cm by 3cm to 5cm slightly pale; it is green in colour which contains chlorophyll hence enable photosynthesis to take place. Pointed tip Stalk grooved 10cm long. It produces purple-brown coloured Flowers 4mm to 6mm long with unscented in terminal. The plant tends to rely on nitrogen-fixing trees during unfavourable conditions.

This type of plant is considered to have a very long history of use. It is extensively cultivated with long-term viability considering that it takes many years furthermore it is in dry and shrub forests such as in monsoon thicket. Seeds production occurs after 5 years of plant maturity.

S. album being drought hardy the bark is at times is chewed. However, sandalwood contains up to 6% oils, tannins and resin. The oil is taken orally in the treatment of genital orders, digestive problems and abdominal pains. Indians consider this species as part of agroforestry species; it acts as wind-breaker. The powder is prepared from the heartwood combined with other materials which are later used to make incense sticks. Part of the oil essentially obtains is used in making of soaps and medicines. Plant species have shown a special significance especially to Buddhists and in Hindu devotional practices.

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