There are 16 species of sandalwood (Santalum). The evergreens range in size and grow in a variety of climates—throughout India to the Australian desert to subtropical New Caledonia — at elevations from sea level to over 8000 feet. Santalum are semi-parasitic. Although the trees can photosynthesize on their own, the roots reach out to host plants to absorb nourishment. There are often 4-5 host trees nearby.
The most well-known sandalwood tree is the Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood. The majority of these trees grow in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The slow growing Indian sandalwood has the highest oil content (6 to 7%). The essential oil found in the heartwood of the trees starts to form after 10 years old. The trees are harvested after 30 years. The current production of sandalwood trees is not enough to meet the current demand. The forestry departments in India are regulating the amount of Sandalwood used for oil. Our sandalwood is from a reputable source.
The sandalwood oil is distilled from the heartwood and roots of the sandalwood tree resulting in 60kg of oil per ton of heartwood. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been valued since ancient times.
The amount of heartwood in a tree varies based on soil, climate, age and other factors. The heartwood ranges from yellowish to dark brown. The highest oil content is found in the root and in the center of the heartwood. The oil decreases moving up the tree and out from the center.
Sandalwood oil is a sweet, warm, woody essential oil with a deep, rich base. It is used in incense, body fragrances & soaps, and has been part of medicine for thousands of years. Sandalwood holds a sacred place in India. It is used in religious ceremonies. Sandalwood paste is integral to pujas. Malas and deities are carved of this great wood. The smell remains at the alter due to sandalwood deities and on the mala beads.
For Massage: mix sandalwood oil with almond: 1 part to 10. Once they are mixed, oil will only remain good for 2 – 3 years. If separated, sandalwood oil can stay good for many years.