Though targeted by smugglers for fragrance of its wood, chandan tree is not only significant in its richness in medicinal properties but has been used in various religious ceremonies since ancient times. This is a tree whose wood is used as medicine both in external and internal ways. Known botanically as Santalum album , chandan belongs to the family Santalceae.
A small or medium sized tree with slender branches may attain a height of eighteen meters. Its bark is dark grey or red dish in color. Found mainly in dry scub forest chandan trees are available in plenty in Karnataka and Tamil nadu states of India.
Bitter and sweet in tatse, chandan is light and rough in its properties. Chnadan is cold in potency and its taste is pungent after digestion.
Medicinal value of Chandan wood
Chandan wood is useful in jwara i.e. Fever, visham jwara or irregular type of fever, saniipataj jwara, pittaj jwara, daha or burning sensation, grahni or dysentery, rakat arsha or bleeding piles, shita pitta or urticaria, amalpitta or hyperacidity ,rajyakshma or tuberculosis, kasa or cough, shvasa or asthma , kshtaj kaas , arochak or anorexia, agnimandya or low digestive fire, tridoshaja chardi or vomiting, trishna or excessive thirst, murcha or syncope, pittaj madatya or alcoholism, unmada or schizophrenia , apsmara or epilepsy pakshaghata or paralysis, hanustambha or lock jaw, kaasa or cough, baadirya or deafness, vaatvyadhi, netra roga or eye diseases, shirkampa , vatarakta or gout dagdha or burns, visarpasan or erysipelas apache or lymph gland inflammation, vyang nilika,etc. or pimples or spots on the face, dant roga or dental disorders, mukhpaka blisters on the mouthparts or leucorrhoea, garbhini jwara or fever during pregnancy ,baalgraha or diseases of children. Chandan wood is helpful in promoting semen and enhancing longevity.
Decoction of Arjuna and chandan is very useful in diabetes. Chandan with the juice of amla helps in checking vomiting, given with milk , ghee sugar and honey chandan helps to check white discharge . Chandani ghrita, chandani oil, chnadanasav , chandanadi kwath are the preparation prepared from the chandan . Chandan has been used for improving complexion of the skin.
Differnet typres of chandan has been described in various texts. Sodal nighnatu has described its eight types while raj nighantu and kaiyadev nighantu has explained its six varieties. Among all types of chandan white and red chandan are used more frequently. Ayurvedic texts hold that when only chandan is mentioned its red variety should be used .