The essential oil produced by steam distillation from the heartwood of East Indian sandalwood trees (Santalum album) has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries due to its broad spectrum of biological properties. Recent biochemical studies have begun to elucidate the specific mechanisms of action of the oil and its major components. The creation of guidelines for the development of botanical drugs as a special category by regulatory agencies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the development of complex mixtures such as sandalwood oil as potential pharmaceutical agents. Sandalwood oil has been shown in several early Phase 2 clinical trials in the USA to give promising results. Extensive pivotal clinical studies are required to confirm the beneficial activity and favourable safety profile seen in these early human studies.

Levenson, C. (2022). Santalum album Oil as a Pharmaceutical Agent. Indian Sandalwood, Springer: 463-478

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