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Santalum album Linn wood and its oil: An aromatic Unani traditional medicine with versatile pharmacological activities

  • CELLMED
  • Abbr : CellMed
  • 2018, 8(3), pp.14-14
  • Publisher : Cellmed Orthocellular Medicine and Pharmaceutical Association
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine

Arshiya Sultana 1 Khaleequr Rahman 2 Arshiya Sultana 1

1Department of Ilmul Qabalat wa Amraze Niswan (Obstetrics and Gynecology), National Institute of Unani Medicine
2National Institute of Unani Medicine

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Santalum album Linn. [Family: Santalaceae] is commonly known as white sandalwood, sandal safaid and safed chandan. It is one of the most valuable trees and second costliest wood in the world. Sandalwood and its oil is extensively used in the Unani and other traditional systems of medicine as it has blood purifier, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, exhilarant, cardiotonic, antiseptic, nervine tonic and expectorant properties. It is used in skin, cardiac, liver, gastrointestinal, respiratory, integument and urogenital disorders. These uses are supported and proven by many in vitro or in vivo studies. The proven pharmacological activities of S. album are antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anti-fatigue. The research has proven that sandal oil or its constituents have anti-microbial activity. Sandalwood oil showed skin cancer preventive effect in mice and its constituent alpha santalol showed the anticancer property. The methanolic extract of wood was confirmed for antioxidant, free radical scavenging, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. α and β santalols present in sandal oil showed sedative effects. Sandalwood tea had a significant effect on heart muscles of frog and showed increased myocardial contractility. Its oil showed significant changes in hepatic xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. Sandalwood oil and its major constituents showed less acute oral and dermal toxicity in laboratory animals. Hence, the aforementioned studies justify the uses of sandalwood and its oil mentioned in the classical Unani literature. However, further clinical trials are suggested to confirm its efficacy and safety in humans.

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