ABOUT
SANDALWOOD
"Do you know that sandalwood is so valuable that it is known to the world as the green gold? And that Indian sandalwood is regarded as the most expensive wood in the world? "
The statements you’ve just heard might be shocking, but they are true.
The value of sandalwood has been widely known throughout the centuries and prices for this precious wood continue to soar as the demand for this ‘green gold’ increases. Whether shocking or not, these facts can definitely change the way you look at sandalwood.
Introduction

Sandalwood belongs to the same botanical family as the European mistletoe and is known scientifically as santalum. This type of tree is mainly grown in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. Sandalwood is particularly prized because it is able to retain its fragrance for decades. Both the wood and oil are extracted from sandalwood because they emit a distinctive scent, which can be used for perfumery or toiletries products. The white sandalwood, or scientifically known as santalum album, is the more sought-after species in the market.
Often praised for its high economic value, sandalwood tree is also recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the unique trees that could produce up to seven times the oxygen level as compared to other plants.
History
To understand how sandalwood came to prominence, let’s take a retrospective look to the history of sandalwood. In ancient times, sandalwood’s usages was often related to spiritual purposes. The ancient emperors and nobles had special preference for sandalwood as it symbolizes power and status. Therefore it was also known as the "royal tree". In the history of religion, sandalwood was also used extensively in Indian Buddhism. People believed it was an irreplaceable sacred substance to bridge the connection between human and divinity. And thus it was known as the "sacred tree". During the 1700s, the world’s attention was focused on a small island called Hawaii – which was notable for its overabundant supply of sandalwood. So much so that Hawaii was once known as Than Heung Sahn – Sandalwood Mountains – to the Chinese, because of the proliferation of this valuable tree. In the 20th century, India was a major sandalwood grower and exporter, with an annual sandalwood output of 4,000 tons. However, uncontrolled felling and environmental destruction had led to a sharp decline in the number of sandalwood trees, such that the Government of India had to prohibit its felling and export.Entering the new millennium, sandalwood found itself once again at a threshold of another breakthrough, this time for the medicinal properties of its oil. With years of research, scientists and researchers have learned that sandalwood oil has many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which are being increasingly brought to bear against a number of disease causing organisms and conditions.
Growing Conditions

Sandalwood trees grow slowly, and usually do not reach maturity until several decades later. In the growing process, whether they grow fast or slow, good or bad, it is largely related to the soil, terrain, climate, host plant and care. Here are some of the criteria that promote the ideal growth of sandalwood plants:
1.Temperature/Climate
2.Wind Conditions
3.Suitable Site with Plenty of Sunshine and Efficient Water Irrigation
4.Sufficient Water Supply
5.Soil Condition
6.Seed and Host Plant Selection Techniques
7.Plantation Management Knowledge
Usage

From the highest point of its leaves to the lowest depth of its roots, every part of sandalwood can be processed and turned into useful products. Sandalwood tree can grow up to 5-12m and the wood is often used for carving, handicraft and fine furniture. Its inner heartwood is rich in oils that are highly aromatic, which are then processed for fragrance and other commercial uses. Sandalwood leaves can be processed into high quality sandalwood tea leaves that give away a more unique aroma and taste. Sandalwood bud is a very precious medicinal material, which was initially recorded in the Shen Nong's Herbal Classic. Sandalwood chips can be grounded into flours which exudes a fragrant, deep and long-lasting scent.
Economic Value of Sandalwood

For more than one hundred years, the transaction prices of sandalwood trees have been rising. More recently, its prices continue to climb steadily at an annual rate of 10%. However, that also clearly shows that sandalwood production has been far behind the market demand. Sandalwood represents quality life. As people are increasingly craving for exclusivity, everyone aspires for living an elegant and comfortable lifestyle. Therefore, incense culture begins to catch on in today's society. As the highest-grade consumer goods in the incense culture, sandalwood is bound to become more and more popular.
Future of Sandalwood

The demand for sandalwood is predicted to experience steady growth year by year as more discoveries continue to expand its applications for various fields such as pharmaceuticals and fragrance. Its great economic rise is also contributed by major investments from international institutions worldwide, a trend we foresee to continue for years to come.

For instance, TFS Corporation Ltd. (TFS) recently announced that its joint venture with Santalis Pharmaceuticals had result in a licenced deal with a global pharmaceutical company for various dermatological products.

Even Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts has invested an estimated million in a 399-hectare plantation set up and run by Tropical Forestry Services (TFS). This investment by a world renowned education institution marked a huge step forward for sandalwood industry, boosting both its credibility and credence.
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