wood india islands west imported tons
SANDALWOOD, a fragrant wood obtained from various trees of the natural order SantalaceT and from the genera Santalum and Fusanus. The principal commercial source of sandalwood is Santalum album, L., a native of India, but it is also yielded by S. Freycinetianum, Gaud., and S. pyrularium, A. Gray, in the Hawaiian Islands, S. Homei, Seem., and S. austro-caledonicum, Viell., in New Caledonia, and S. insulare, Bert., in Tahiti. The wood of S. lati-folium, Benth., and also that of Fusanus spicatus, R. Br., have been exported from south-west Australia, and that of EremophilaMitchelli, of the natural order Myoporinem, from Queensland, but these have little odour and are chiefly used for cabinet work. Sandalwood is also said to be produced in Nossi-Be, and has been imported into London from Zanzibar, and into Germany from Venezuela, but of the botanical source of these varieties little is at present known. The use of sandalwood dates as far back at least as the 5th century n.e., for the wood is mentioned under its Sanskrit name " chandana" in the Nirulda, the earliest extant Vedic commentary. It is still extensively used in India and China, wherever Buddhism prevails, being employed in funeral rites and religious ceremonies ; comparatively poor people often spend as much as 50 rupees on sandalwood for a single cremation. Until the middle of the 18th century India was the only source of sandalwood. The discovery of a sandalwood in the islands of the Pacific led to a considerable trade of a somewhat piratical nature, resulting in difficulties with the natives, often ending in bloodshed, the celebrated missionary John Williams, amongst others, having fallen a victim to an indiscriminate retaliation by the natives on white men visiting the islands. The loss of life in this trade was at one time even greater than in that of whaling, with which it ranked as one of the most adventurous of callings. About the year 1810 as much as 400,000 dollars is said to have been received annually for sandalwood by Kamehameha, king of Hawaii. The trees consequently have become almost extinct in all the well-known islands, except New Caledonia, where the wood is now cultivated. Sandalwood of inferior quality derived from Fusanus acuminatus was exported from south-west Australia in 1884 to the extent of 2620 tons, valued at an average of about £8 per ton, genuine sandalwood being worth in China from £12 to £40 per ton.
In India sandalwood is largely used in the manufacture of boxes, fans, and other ornamental articles of inlaid work, and to a limited extent in medicine as a domestic remedy for all kinds of pains and aches. The oil is largely used as a perfume, few native Indian attars or essential oils being free from admixture with it. In the form of powder or paste the wood is employed in the pigments used by the Brahmans for their distinguishing caste-marks.
During the last few years oil of sandalwood has largely replaced copaiba, both in the United Kingdom and on the Continent, in the treatment of various diseases of the mucous membrane. Three varieties are distinguished in trade - East-Indian, Macassar, and West-Indian. The first-named is derived from S. album, the second probably from another species of Santalum, and the third from a wood imported from Puerto Cabello in Venezuela. Bucid,a capitata, a Combretaceous plant, is known in the West Indies as sandalwood ; but the odour of the wood as well as of the oil, which is quite distinct from that of the true sandalwood, has more resemblance to that of a 111groxylon. Inferior qualities of the oil are said to be adulterated in Germany with the oil of red cedar wood (Juniperus virginiana).
In India sandalwood is produced in the dry tracts of country in Mysore and Coimbatore, north and north-west of the Nilgiri Hills, also farther eastward in the districts of Salem and North Arcot, where the tree grows from the sea-level up to an elevation of 3000 feet. In the first-named district the wood is a Government monopoly and can only be felled by the proper officers, this privilege having been retained since 1770, when it was conferred by treaty with Hyder Ali on the Fast India Company. The Mysore sandalwood is shipped from Mangalore to the extent of about 700 tons annually, valued at £27,000. In the Madras Presidency - although there is now no monopoly - sandalwood, by the careful management of the forest department, has been made to yield an increasing revenue to the Government, as much as 547i tons having been furnished by the reserved forests in 1872-3. The tree is propagated by seeds, which, however, must be placed where they are intended to grow, since the seedlings will not bear transplantation, probably on account of deriving their nourishment parasitically by means of tuberous swellings attached to the roots of other plants. The trees are cut down when between eighteen and twenty-five years old, at which period they have attained their maturity, the trunks being then about one foot in diameter. The felling takes place at the end of the year, and the trunk is allowed to remain on the ground for several months, during which time the white ants cat away the valueless sapwood but leave the fragrant heartwood untouched. The heartwood is then sawn into billets about 2 or 2i feet long. These are afterwards more carefully trimmed at the forest dep8ts, and left to dry slowly in a close warehouse for some weeks, by which the odour is improved and the tendency of the wood to split obviated. An annual auction of the wood takes place, at which merchants from all parts of India congregate. Tho largest pieces are chiefly exported to China, the small pieces to Arabia; and those of medium size are retained for use in India. China imported into the treaty ports 66,237 piculs (of 133i lb) of sandalwood in 1872. As much as 700 tons are annually imported into Bombay from the Malabar coast, of which about 450 tons are again exported. The oil, which is distilled chiefly at Mangalore from the roots and chips, is also imported into Bombay to the extent of 12,000 lb annually.
Red Sandalwood, known also as Red Sanders Wood, is the product of a small Leguminous tree, Pterocarpus santalinus' native of Southern India, Ceylon, and the Philippine Islands. The wood is obtained principally from Madras, in certain parts of which province it is regularly cultivated, coming into the market in the form of irregular billets of heartwood, 3 or 4 feet in length. A fresh surface of the wood has a rich deep red colour, which on exposure, however, assumes a dark brownish tint. Under the influence of alkaline solutions, alcohol, or strong acetic acid, red sandalwood yields up to 16 per cent. of a resinoid body, santalin or santalic acid C1,111,05 (1), which substance is the tinctorial principle of the wood. Santalin is quite insoluble in cold water; it neutralizes alkalies, and with them forms uncrystallizable salts. In its pure condition santalin forms minute prismatic crystals of a beautiful ruby colour. The wood also contains small proportions of colourless crystallino.principles - santal, C811,09, and pterocarpin, C17II1505 - and of an amorphous body having the formula 017A,606. mediaevalImediaevali val times red sandalwood possessed a high reputation in medicine, and it was valued as a colouring ingredient in many dishes. Now it is a little used as a colouring agent in pharmacy, its principal application being in wool-dyeing and calico-printing. Several other species of Pteroearpus, notably P. indices, contain the same dyeing principle and can be used as substitutes for red sandalwood. The barwood and camwood of the Guinea Coast of Africa, presumably the produce of one tree, Baphia nitida (Plerocarpus angolensis of De Candolle), called santal rouge d'Afrique by the French, are also in all respects closely allied to the red sandalwood of Oriental countries.
See Seemann, Flora Vittensis,pp.210-215 ; Pharm.✓oumand Trans., 1885-86; Pharmacographia, 2d ed , p. 599; Dymock, Materia Medico of Western India, p. 617; Jour. Soc. Arts, 1875, p. 641; Seemann, Voyage of the Herald," 1853, p. 83; Seemann, Jour. Botany, 1864, p. 218; Erskine, Islands of the W. Pacific, 1853, p. 143, 326, 390, and Appendix, p. 478, 486: Martin, Natives of the Tonga Islands, 1817, pp. 319-333; Birdwood, Bombay Products, p. 906; Madras Jury Reports, 1857; Hawke% Report on Oils of India, p. 38.