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White Sandalwood and Red Sandalwood: Uses, Benefits and Much More

Disha Jain
Disha Jain

Although Sandalwood has many species but only two of them i.e.White Sandalwood and Red Sandalwood are most widely cultivated. Due to its therapeutic and cosmetic value White Sandalwood is quite expensive. It possesses many medicinal properties and are used in alternative medicines. Read the major difference between them. 

Scientific Name & common name: Scientific name of White sandalwood is Santalum album and of Red Sandalwood is Pterocarpus santalinus.  

White Sandalwood is commonly known as Indian Sandalwood, and Red Sandalwood is known as red sanders, red saunders, Rakt Chandan and  Laal Chandana. 

Conservation status :  

White Sandalwood : Vulnerable ( recognized by IUCN); due to over - exploitation , to protect it now laws are made to stop it's exploitation 

Red Sandalwood : Endangered (recognized by IUCN) but later reclassified as "threatened" ; due to over - exploitation , a certificate is required to export it 

Native of :  

White Sandalwood - southern India and Southeast Asia ; mostly in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu 

Red Sandalwood - southern parts of the Eastern Ghats in India ; majorly in forest tract of Andhra Pradesh  

Height :  

White Sandalwood - 4 metres to 10metres 

Red Sandalwood - 5 metres to 8metres 

Description :  

White Sandalwood -  

  • Tropical tree 

  • The woods are heavy in weight, yellow coloured,  fine-grained, and, unlike many other aromatic woods, they retain their fragrance for decades.

  • They can live upto 100 years of age.

  • It can live as a parasite in the roots of other tree's but without much harm to the host.

  • The colour of the heartwood could be from pale green to white.

  • Leaves are thin and fruits are produced after 3 yrs. .

Red Sandalwood - 

  • small deciduous tree

  • Wood is extremely hard 

  • Requires lot of sunlight and warm climate

  • Not frost tolerant 

  • Leaves are 3-9 cm long

  • Dark greyish bark

  • This type of tree doesn't have fragrant wood.

  • Development of heartwood can take upto 30 yrs. 

Soil description : 

White Sandalwood - Slightly alkaline soil (pH range : 6.5 - 7.5) 

Red Sandalwood - can survive on a variety of soils even on degraded soils 

Value - 

White Sandalwood :  

  • Considered sacred in some religions

  • Great market range because of its fragrance and medicinal qualities.

Red Sandalwood : 

  • Good market value because of the rich red colour of its wood.

Uses : 

White Sandalwood -  

  • It's oil and powder is used in health and beauty incentives as it works as an antiseptic and astringent and also work against skin conditions like acne, eczema.

  • use in treatment of respiratory ailments like common cold, bronchitis, and sore throat.

  • help in treatment of UTIs , cardiovascular disease , liver and gallbladder problems

  • white Sandalwood is also used as a flavouring agent for some foods

  • It's oil is used in soaps, perfumes, candles, medicine for its fragrance.

  • The isomers sanatol of sandalwood oil is used in aromatherapy products.

  • The outer wood is cast-off to make beads and is use to make idols.

Red Sandalwood - 

  • Used as a flavouring agent in alcoholic beverages.

  • Helpful in treating in digestive tract problems and fluid retention.

  • Can be use for "blood purification".

  • Red Sandalwood can be used for removal of tan, blemishes, dullness and acne.

  • In Ayurveda, red Sandalwood is use to treat eye disorders.

  • Can be use as an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic agent.

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