Safety assessment of sandalwood oil (Santalum album L.)

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Feb;46(2):421-32. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.09.092. Epub 2007 Sep 21.


Sandalwood (Santalum album L.) is a fragrant wood from which oil is derived for use in food and cosmetics. Sandalwood oil is used in the food industry as a flavor ingredient with a daily consumption of 0.0074 mg/kg. Over 100 constituents have been identified in sandalwood oil with the major constituent being alpha-santalol. Sandalwood oil and its major constituent have low acute oral and dermal toxicity in laboratory animals. Sandalwood oil was not mutagenic in spore Rec assay and was found to have anticarcinogenic, antiviral and bactericidal activity. Occasional cases of irritation or sensitization reactions to sandalwood oil in humans are reported in the literature. Although the available information on toxicity of sandalwood oil is limited, it has a long history of oral use without any reported adverse effects and is considered safe at present use levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cosmetics
  • Food Additives / adverse effects*
  • Food Additives / chemistry
  • Food Additives / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Plant Oils / adverse effects*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Sesquiterpenes / adverse effects*
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute / methods*


  • Cosmetics
  • Food Additives
  • Plant Oils
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • sandalwood oil