Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Santalum
Botanical name: Santalum album Lin
Sanskrit: Chandanam, Srikhandam
English: Sandal tree, White sandal tree
Hindi: Chandan
Malayalam: Chandanam
The height of the evergreen tree is between 4 and 9 metres. They may live to one hundred years of age. The tree is variable in habit, usually upright to sprawling, and may intertwine with other species. The plant parasitises the roots of other tree species, with a haustorium adaptation on its own roots, but without major detriment to its hosts. An individual will form a non-obligate relationship with a number of other plants. Up to 300 species (including its own) can host the tree's development - supplying macronutrients phosphorus,nitrogen and potassium, and shade - especially during early phases of development. It may propagate itself through wood suckering during its early development, establishing small stands. The reddish or brown barkcan be almost black and is smooth in young trees, becoming cracked with a red reveal. The heartwood is pale green to white as the common name indicates. The leaves are thin, opposite and ovate to lanceolate in shape. Glabrous surface is shiny and bright green, with a glaucous pale reverse. Fruit is produced after three years, viable seeds after five. These seeds are distributed by birds.
It is one of the important components in toxicology. Furthermore it is also used in the preparation of decoction, medicinal ghee and its paste is used for applying on the snake bitten area (Viper bite). Victims of snake bite (viper) are made to drink the grinded powder of sandal and this is an important treatment for Viper bite in Ayurveda.
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