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The oil of the sweet-smelling sandalwood tree has a long history of use as a perfume and incense fragrance. Sandalwood oil also has a medicinal tradition in various countries, having been used for digestive distress, liver problems, acne and other skin problems, gonorrhea, anxiety, and insomnia. Additionally, it has played a role in some Hindu religious ceremonies, and has been used as a meditation aid.
Sandalwood oil has been approved by German’s Commission E for treatment of bladder infections . 1 It is not recommended as sole treatment, but rather as an accompaniment to conventional care. However, there is no meaningful evidence that it is effective for this purpose. Only double-blind , placebo-controlled studies can prove that a treatment really works, and no studies of this type have been performed with sandalwood. (For information on why such studies are essential, see Why Does This Database Rely on Double-blind Studies?) Weak evidence, far too preliminary to rely upon at all, hints that sandalwood may have antiviral, 2 anti– Helicobacterpylori( Helicobacter pyloriis the underlying cause of most stomach ulcers ), 3 sedative, 4 and cancer-preventive 5 6...
Sandalwood oil appears to be relatively safe, but it has not undergone comprehensive safety testing; in general, essential oil can have toxic and even fatal effects when taken in sufficient doses, especially by children. Allergic reactions caused by direct contact with sandalwood oil occur relatively frequently. 7 8 Sandalwood oil should not be used by young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease.