About Sandalwood Oil
The sandalwood oil is not only popular in Indian but also it was famous in China, Myanmar and Sri Lanka etc. An ancient Buddhist scripture said once “None but the Mali Mountains contain Sandalwood … “ – Moho Chi Kuan – Chih-I . It means Sandalwood is one of the oldest materials and has been used for at least 4000 years. Sandalwood is very important ingredient in Japan incense industry’s both traditional and modern formulas.
Sandalwood oil is extracted from Santalum album from the Santalaceae family and also known as East Indian sandalwood, santal, saunders and sandalwood Mysore.
Today, the Mysore is one of the largest areas having Sandalwood forest. These day the whole area is virtually depleted and the remaining trees too immature to produce quality “Chandan Tail” or Sandalwood Oil. The highest quality sandalwood can be extracted from the Tamilnadu Trees of Sandalwood Or East Indian Santalum Album.
About Sandalwood Plant :
Type of plant: Tree
Botanical Name: Santalum Album
The sandal trees are grows almost exclusively in the forest of Karnatika, followed by Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, Timor island of Indonesia etc. The tree is medium sized 12-15 meters tall. The tree reaches its full maturity in 60 to 80 years, which is when the center of the slender trunk (the heart wood) has achieved its greatest oil content. As the tree grows, the essential oil develops in the roots and heartwood, which requires at least 15 to 20 years. Full maturity is reached after 60 to 80 years. The core of dark heartwood gradually develops, which is covered by outer sapwood. The sandalwood tree is never felled, but uprooted in the rainy season, when the roots are richer in the precious essential oil. Vietnam and New Caledonia have well controlled plantations of genuine Sandalwood. The best quality oil comes from the Indian province of Mysore and Tamil Nadu where the harvest of Sandalwood trees is protected by the state government. Sandalwood is an evergreen, parasitic tree that burrows its roots into other trees and it can grow up to 9 meters (30 feet) high and has a brown-gray trunk, many smooth slender branches, leathery leaves and small pink-purple flowers. It can take thirty to sixty years for a tree to reach full maturity, when it is cut and distilled. The yellowish wood is sold in thin scrapings. It is commonly agreed that the best essential oils are from Mysore in India. The documented use of Sandalwood goes back 4000 years and caravans from India to Egypt, Greece and Rome were a familiar sight. Many temples were built from Sandalwood and the Egyptians used it in embalming. Sandalwood was much in demand as incense; it had a calming effect during meditation. Once Sandalwood was used for making furniture and caskets, but as it is nearly extinct, it is only used for the distillation of oil.
Sesquiterpenes; Sesquiterpenols; Sesquiterpenals; (includes 80 to 90% terpeniod alcohols including a and B-santalols (67%), which is a mixture of two primary sesquiterpenic alcohols) santalic and teresantalic acid, aldehyde, pterocarpin and hydrocarbons, isovaleric aldehyde, santene, santenone.
What is hydro distillation
It is the traditional method of extraction . it is fairly rare these days . instead of having steam pass through the powdered wood in hydro distillater the powder is allowed to soak in water . a fire from below the vessel then heats the water & carries off the steam which is allowed to cool . the oil is then removed from the top of the hydrosol.