Sandalwood

Karen Contreras, founder of Urban Plantations

Rohini Plantations came up with the idea to make Farmers Financially healthy with Good returns for their valuable Investment in respective crop. In Andhra Pradesh Farmers are taking a Path of suicide due to crop failure and other financial commitments which they are not able to fulfilled after working so hard during the year. Though Govt of Andhra Pradesh launched so many schemes keeping farmers present problems which also includes Loan waiver, Subsidy scheme, Cultivation method, Providing seeds etc, to motivate them to keep at Par as they are once the Backbone of our Country.

After considering so many parameter of Investments and returns on a particular product in the present market whether its LIC Policy, Mutual Bond, Land and other investment option available and as far as Farmers point of view we advised and consider the “Sandalwood Plantation” is the most cost effective mode of Investment specially to those Farmers who lost the hope to get Income through agriculture.

Grow Sandalwood Plants in your fields today !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

History / Traditions
Sandalwood has a sacred 4,000 year old history of being mentioned in Sanskrit and Chinese manuscripts. The oil was used in religious ritual, and many deities and temples were carved from its wood. The wood is soft to carve and is frequently used in sacred fragrant carvings. The ancient Egyptians imported the wood and used it in medicine, embalming and ritual burning to venerate their gods. In Buddhism, it is considered to be one of the three incenses integral to Buddhist practice, together with Aloes wood and Cloves. Depression, anxiety and insomnia were thought to be improved by sandalwood. It was believed to promote spiritual practices, peaceful relaxation, openness and "grounding." It is used in many death ceremonies to help the crossing over, and to comfort mourners. It is also used in many forms of initiation rites to open the disciples mind to receive consecration. In the Zoroastrian Temples it burns in there sacred fires to soothe the troubles of all humanity. It is used by the Jewish, the Buddhist, the Hindus, as well as almost every other belief system for its vast diversity in attributes.

Santalum album L.

An ancient Buddhist scripture states: "None but the Mali Mountains contain Sandalwood. . ." -- Moho Chi Kuan -- Chih-i

One of the oldest incense materials, Sandalwood has been in use for at least 4,000 years.  Sandalwood is a very important ingredient in Japanese incense, in both traditional and modern formulas.

Today, the Mysore forests are virtually depleted and the remaining trees too immature to produce quality Sandalwood or Sandalwood oil. It is my belief that the highest quality Sandalwood is coming out of Tamil Nadu where more mature trees can be found.

The sandal tree, botanically known as Santalum Album belongs to the family Santalaceae. The sandal tree grows almost exclusively in the forests of Karnataka, followed by Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, Timor Islands 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 atleast 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 are protected by the state government.

"The sandal tree does very well on it's own, and seems to appear in places it was never seen before. However all attempts by man to proliferate and increase the growth of the species have yeilded declining plant populations. It appears very resistant to manipulation!" -- (source: Christopher Mc Mahon)

Other species

Pterocarpus santalius or santalum rubrum (red sandalwood) solely used for colouring and dyeing. Other varieties come from the Sandwich islands, Western Australia and New Caledonia. The Australian (S. spicatum or Eucarya spicata) produces a very similar oil but with a dry-bitter top note. Other varieties growing in the West Indies, Venezuelan, Jamacian, and Hatiai are Amyris balsamifera L. , and is not even in the same family.

Chemical Constituents

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.  

Today all exports of Sandalwood are closely supervised and regulated by the Indian government and limited supplies of high quality sandalwood oil are coming out of Tamil Nadu. However, the Mysore forests are still being plundered by bandits and poachers who rape the forests of immature trees.