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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

International Sandalwood Symposium, Hawaii

Sandalwood symposiumTwo extraordinary organizations, the United Plant Savers and the International Sandalwood Foundation, have joined to organize a four-day Sandalwood Symposium.

The Sandalwood Symposium brought together a diverse international group dedicated to conserving the world's Sandalwood trees.

The International Sandalwood Foundation, formed seven years ago by Danica T. Harbaugh-Reynaud and Daniel Reynaud, is dedicated to research and conservation of Sandalwoods around the world.

I was inspired by the wide range of professionals that attended and spoke at the symposium. Leading scientists and Sandalwood experts, researchers, landowners, growers, distillers, government organizations and representatives from natural products industries all participated. People from Australia, Figi, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, USA and Vanuatu gathered in Hawaii.

It was agreed that the aroma of Sandalwood comes primarily from the alpha and beta santalol content. As aromatherapists, we know that the santalols have been well researched for their medicinal actions. *

The species of Hawaiian Sandalwood (called Iliahi) currently used to produce the essential oil is Santalum paniculatum. There are six species of Sandalwood trees in the Hawaiian islands, and currently only the S. paniculatum is harvested to produce essential oil.

The essential oil of S. paniculatum is concentrated in the "butt" and the "heartwood" of the tree, unlike S. Album which also has essential oil in the roots. When harvesting the S. paniculatum, the roots of the tree are left intact so the tree can grow back.

Karen from Aromatics International connected with the Hawaiian grower and his family, and they sent her a sample of the Hawaiian Sandalwood oil. She had it tested with GC/MS, and it showed an impressive 70% santalol content.

sandalwood symposiumWhile in Hawaii, I met with the grower and his family, and was also given a sample of their Hawaiian Sandalwood. The essential oil has the beautiful rich, woody aroma characteristic of eveyone's beloved Indian Sandalwood.

At the conference, the Indian growers discussed the government ban on exporting any true Indian Sandalwood. The Hawaiian Sandalwood oil is an excellent option for purchasing Sandalwood essential oil. Karen at Aromatics International will have the oil for sale within the next month.

I'm happy to share anything I learned at the conference. If you have questions, please feel free to comment below.

*Medicinal actions (compiled by Robert Tisserand for the Aromahead Institute's Component Database):
analgesic (1)
antibacterial (6)
anti-fungal (candida) (13)
antimicrobial (12)
antitumoral (research on skin cancer) (7,8,9,10,11)
improves mood (5)
neuroleptic (1,2)
sedative (3,4)

References (complied by Robert Tisserand for the Aromahead Institute's Component Database)

  1. Okugawa H, Ueda R, Matsumoto K et al (1995) Effect of α-santalol and betα-santalol from sandalwood on the central nervous system in mice. Phytomedicine 2:119-126
  2. Okugawa H, Ueda R, Matsumoto K et al (2000) Effects of sesquiterpenoids from "Oriental incenses" on acetic acid-induced writhing and D2 and 5-HT2A receptors in rat brain. Phytomedicine 7:417-422
  3. Hongratanaworakit T, Heuberger E, Buchbauer G (2004) Evualuation of the effects of East Indian sandalwood oil and α-santalol on humans after transdermal absorption. Planta Medica 70:3-7
  4. Ohmori A, Shinomyia K, Utsu Y et al (2007) Effect of santalol on the sleep-wake cycle in sleep-disturbed rats. Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi 27:167-171
  5. Heuberger E, Hongratanaworakit T, Buchbauer G (2006) East Indian sandalwood and α-santalol odor increase physiological and self-rated arousal in humans. Planta Medica 72:792-800
  6. Ochi T, Shibata H, Higuti T et al (2005) Anti-Helicobacter pylori compounds from Santalum album. Journal of Natural Products 68:819-824
  7. Dwivedi C, Guan X, Harmsen W L et al (2003) Chemopreventive effects of α-santalol on skin tumor development in CD-1 and SENCAR mice. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 12:151-156
  8. Dwivedi C, Maydew E R, Hora J J et al (2005) Chemopreventive effects of various concentrations of α-santalol on skin cancer development in CD-1 mice. European Journal of Cancer Prevention 14:473-476
  9. Dwivedi C, Valluri H B, Guan X et al (2006) Chemopreventive effects of α-santalol on ultraviolet B radiation-induced skin tumor development in SKH-1 hairless mice. Carcinogenesis 27:1917-1922
  10. Kim T H, Ito H, Hatano T et al (2006) New antitumor sesquiterpenoids from Santalum album of Indian origin. Tetrahedron 62:6981-6989
  11. Bommareddy A, Hora J, Cornish B et al (2007) Chemoprevention by α-santalol on UVB radiation-induced skin tumor development in mice. Anticancer Research 27:2185-2188
  12. Jirovetz L, Buchbauer G, Denkova Z et al (2006) Comparative study on the antimicrobial properties of different sandalwood essential oils of various origin. Flavour & Fragrance Journal 21:465-468
  13. Viollon C, Leger D, Chaumont JP (1993) The antagonistic properties, in vitro, of specified natural volatile compounds with respect to germs of the vaginal flora. Plantes Medicinales et Phytotherapie 26:17-22
Founder at Aromahead Institute
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: Aromatherapy Education, Hawaiian Sandalwood

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