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Rakesh Kumar* Nishat Anjum and Y.C. Tripathi


Santalum album L. (Santalaceae) commonly known as Indian Sandalwood is one of the oldest and precious sources of natural fragrance with immense medicinal and commercial significance. S. album has been grown in India for the last 25 centuries and esteemed all over the world for its sweet, long-lasting and medicinally valued fragrant oil. Sandalwood and the essential oil derived from sandal heartwood have been used in various traditional systems of medicine, like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine in the treatment and prevention of wide range of ailments. The versatile therapeutic and healthcare importance of sandawood is attributed to the rich source of phytochemicals particularly sesquiterpeness. A thorough bibliographic investigation was carried out by analyzing worldwide accepted scientific database (Pub Med, SciFinder, Scopus, ACS and Web of Science), recognized books, Indexed as well as non indexed journals. Modern pharmacological studies have demonstrated a wide range of pharmacological activities ranging from antibacterial to anticancer. No significant toxicity has been indicated by sandalwood oil and its individual constituents, however, further study on chemical constituents and their mechanisms in exhibiting certain biological activities are needed to understand the full phytochemical profile and the complex pharmacological effects of this plant. The increased commercial exploitation of Sandalwood and low productivity of this endangered plant has raised the concern over its conservation and productivity enhancement through modern tools and techniques. The review discusses traditional uses, ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biological activities of sandalwood in order to divulge its medicinal and industrial worth and gaps requiring future research.

Keywords: Santalum album, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, Biological activity, Research prospects.

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