Chandan (Santalum Album)

One of the oldest and most valuable plants, Chandan is highly fragrant. The plant is known by its scientific name, Santalum album. This is a member of the Santalaceae family. The Chandan plant is an evergreen shrub with branches that are drooping and slender and can reach heights of up to 20 meters. When a tree is young, its bark may be dark brown, crimson, dark grey, or even black in hue. These barks have deep fissures and are internally colored crimson in elder plants. The stems' sapwood is odorless and white in hue. Heartwood, on the other hand, has a bright yellow-brown color and has a potent scent. The Chandan's leaves are oppositely arranged, ovate-elliptical in shape, 3 to 8 cm long, and 3 to 5 cm wide. The upper side of the leaf is bright green. Glabrous and glaucous describe them. The tips of the leaves may be rounded or pointed. The stem is lengthy, up to 15 cm, and grooved. The Chandan plant produces little, purple-brown blooms that are spherical in shape. The blooms' straws come in shades of red, green, or violet. These have six terminal or axillary, unscented peniculate cyme clusters that are 4 to 6 mm long. When ripe, the juicy, globular, purple to black fruits of this plant have an approximate 1 cm diameter. These are single-seeded, smooth, and have a firm endocarp and scar.

Sandalwood comes in two primary kinds, one of which is Indian and the other Australian. In India, the months of March and April are when flowers bloom. In the colder months, the fruits ripen. Flowers grow well in Australia in December and January. From June to September, fruits are in season. This plant cannot withstand waterlogging and needs around 20 to 25 inches of precipitation annually.

General Description

The origins of the term "Chandan" are Persian and Sanskrit. Srigandha, Safed Chandan, and White Sandalwood are further names for it.

This plant is mentioned extensively in Indian mythology, scripture, and folklore. Works by Milinda Pahna (200 BC), Anguttara, Kautilya, the Dhamma, Patanjali Mahabhasaya (100 BC), the Vinaya Pitaka (400–300 BC), the Arthashastra (200 BC), and Patanjali Mahabhasaya all contain references to it. In addition, it is known to be mentioned in the sacred scriptures Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Chandan and the essential oil derived from the plant's heartwood have both been used to treat a variety of diseases.  The perfume of Chandan essential oil stimulates and enlivens wisdom, courage, strength, and happiness by soothing the mind, nervous system, and mood. 

As it has sedative, aromatic, diuretic, diaphoretic, disinfecting, aphrodisiac, cardiotonic, expectorant, haemostatic, and antipyretic characteristics, this is also utilized for medicinal purposes. These properties can help cure issues including acidity, gonorrhea, bronchial, and skin disorders.

These functions are carried out by this plant with the aid of phytochemicals found within its constituent parts. Santalola, which has the molecular formula C15H24O, is the primary chemical component of essential oil. It contains a variety of alcohols and hydrocarbons, including santenol, nortricyclo-ekasantalene, aldehydes such nor-tricyclo-kasantalal 3,7,8, and the acids - and - santalic acids. Palmitone and hydropalmitone are present in the leaf wax.


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


India, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand are just a few of the nations that have chandan. These do well in sandy, lateritic, and loamy soil from sea level up to 1800 m. The woods of trees that grow on stony hills are highly fragrant.

It is primarily found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in India. It is spread throughout 3000 square kilometers in Tamil Nadu's Javadis, Chitteri, and Yelagri hills. Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Manipur are other states where it is present.

Other Names of Chandan

  • Sanskrit Name - Chandan, Malayaja, Tilaparnaka Shreekhanda, Chandradyuti, Malayaja, Gosheersha.
  • Hindi Name - Safed Chandan, Chandan, sandal
  • English Name - Sandalwood, sandal, sandal tree, White Indian sandalwood, 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 Name - Santal blanc
  • German Name - Weisser Sandel
  • Italian Name - Sandalo bianco
  • Indonesian Name - Chandan, chendana, cendana
  • Burmese Name - Santagu
  • Spanish Name - Sandalo blanco

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Madhura, Tikta

Sweet, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Ruksha 

Light, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Classical Categorization

The kapha and pitta doshas are easier to handle and keep under control.

Charak Samhita


Sushrut Samhita

  • Angamada Prassamana - a class of plants that eases physical pains
  • Varnya - a collection of herbs that improves skin complexion
  • Kandughna - category of plants that relieve itching.
  • Daha Prasamana - a group of plants that alleviate burning
  • Trishna Nigrahana - a family of plants that quench extreme thirst
  • Vishaghna - plants with anti-toxic properties
  • Guducyadi
  • Salasaradi
  • Sarivadi
  • Patoladi
  • Priyangvadi
  • Guducyadi
  • Sarivadi
  • Patoladi
  • Priyangvadi
  • Asanadi

Practical Uses

  • The plant's leaf extract helps the liver eliminate toxins by increasing glutathione, dismutase, and catalase levels while decreasing bilirubin levels.
  • This has a calming impact on the nervous system, relieves stress in the body, and treats issues including tension headaches and sleeplessness.
  • As it blocks local irritants and medications like NSAIDs, it is also useful in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
  • This plant exhibits anti-bacterial activity against numerous pathogens, including resistant Candida species, Herpes simplex virus Type 1, Helicobacter pylori, and Staphylococcus aureus.
  • As it treats skin cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, and other cancers, the ingredient a-santalol exhibits anticancer activity.
  • Nitric oxide (NO) levels are controlled by its antioxidant capabilities.
  • As it fights Herpes simplex viruses (HSV)-1 and 2, as well as virus-induced skin issues, this also demonstrates antiviral efficacy.
  • The plants' methanol extracts have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It treats Spermatorrhoea and has aphrodisiac properties.
  • This can be ground into a paste that helps heal wounds and improve the appearance of the skin.

Parts Used

  • Bark
  • Chandan essential oil


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

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