8 Top Uses & Skin Benefits Of Red Sandalwood (Rakta Chandan) Powder

rakta chandan medicinal uses

Red Sandalwood popularly called Rakta Chandan and Red Chandan in India has amazing skin and health benefits. We use red sandalwood powder to make face packs for treating pimples, pigmentation and to lighten acne scars. Red sandalwood is extensively used in skin care because it has amazing anti bacterial and anti ageing properties.

Red Sandalwood Tree:

The botanical name of red sandalwood is Pterocarpus Santalinus and it belongs to Fabaceae family and genus Pterocarpus. Red sandalwood should not be confused with our regular sandalwood which is very aromatic, red sandalwood bark does not have any smell and unlike sandalwood, the bark is red in color. Red sandalwood tree is endemic to Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu

The tree grows very fast when young but it slows down when it reaches 5 meters, because of it’s slow growth it is becoming rare. Red sandalwood has cooling properties just like regular sandalwood and usually heartwood of the tree is used for medicinal purposes. Red sandalwood is also used for religious ceremonious and also as a colorant.

Red Sandalwood Common Names:

Red sandalwood is called Rakta Chandan in Bengali, Sivappu Chandanam in Tamil, Agaru Gandhamu in Telugu, Raktha Chandanam in Malayalam, Raktachadan in Oriya, Honne in Kannada, Lal Chandan in Hindi, Tambada Chandana in Marathi and Ratanjali in Gujarati. Red sandalwood is also called Red Sanders in English.

Red Sandalwood Chemical Constituents:

Carbohydrates, flavonoids, terpenoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, saponins, tannins and glycodises. Along with the above, it also contain specific bio active compounds like santalin A and B, savinin, calocedrin, pterostilbenes and petrolinus K and L.

Red Sandalwood Traditional Uses:

Traditionally red sandalwood has been used externally for reducing inflammation, treating skin diseases and wounds and internally for diabetes and fevers. In Ayurveda, it has been used for reducing blood sugar levels, eye problems, nasal bleeding, etc.

Red Sandalwood Powder Medicinal Uses:

1. Antioxidant Properties:

Red sandalwood has wonderful antioxidant properties and has wonderful free radical scavenging properties. Using natural and pure ingredients like red sandalwood which has antioxidant properties is the key to ageless skin.

2. Anti Bacterial Properties:

Red sandalwood has wonderful anti bacterial properties that fights against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. It is proven to be effective against bacterial like Staphylococcus Aureus, Bacillus Subtilis, Escherichia Coli, etc. It is because of it’s anti bacterial property that it is used extensively for skin care.

3. Anti Diabetic Properties:

Red sandalwood extract has anti diabetic properties. The active components present in red sandalwood helps reduce elevated blood sugar levels significantly and you can read the study that proves it here. Traditionally tumblers were made of red sandalwood and water was consumed from it by diabetic patients.

4. Anti Inflammatory Properties:

Red sandalwood have wonderful anti inflammatory and analgesic properties and is a great home remedy for treating skin problems like acne and has been used for it for centuries. Applying a paste of red sandalwood powder on the affected area will bring down the inflammation greatly and also will relieve the pain to a great extent. You can read the study that supports this claim here.

5. Gastroprotective Properties:

Gastric mucosal injury can be caused due to various reasons and some of the common reasons are stress, alcohol consumption, ageing, infection and certain medications. Gastric mucosal injury can lead to sever ulcers and consuming red sandalwood internally in the proper dosage greatly protects and prevent ulcers from forming.

6. Wound Healing Properties:

Red sandalwood has amazing wound healing properties and is wonderful for treating small wounds and cuts. Washing minor scrapes and cuts with red sandalwood water will help in fast wound healing.

7. Hypolipidemic and Hepatoprotective Properties:

Red sandalwood has protective effect on our lungs and heart and hence protects us from major diseases when taken internally. Along with the above uses, it also has anti viral, anti fungal and anti cancer properties.

8. Skin Benefits:

Red sandal wood powder has amazing skin benefits. Due to it’s cooling properties, it is great for using it on suntanned skin. It reduces skin inflammation, treats acne and acne scars, evens out skin complexion, fades dark spots and is an amazing home remedy for hyper pigmentation.

Due to it’s anti ageing properties, it prevents premature ageing of the skin and gives one a radiant, fair and glowing complexion. For skin and face care, it is usually combined with nourishing ingredient like rose water, honey and applied as a face pack.

red sandalwood powder for faceRed Sandalwood Side Effects:

Red sandalwood powder when applied externally does not have any side effects. Taking it internally is best done under medical guidance to determine the correct dosage. But if you want to take it internally at home don’t go above the suggested dosage.

Red Sandalwood Dosage:

The general safe dosage for internal consumption is 2 to 5 grams of the red sandalwood powder but please don’t over dose on rakta chandan powder.

Red Sandalwood Price & Where To Buy:

100 grams of red sandalwood powder costs around 210 rupees. You can buy either the red sandalwood bark or red sandalwood powder in herb shops or through online shops.

How To Make Red Sandalwood Powder At Home?

Take red sandalwood bark and rub it in sandalwood stone till you get a thick paste. Now dry this paste by spreading it on a plate. Break the dried pieces and you have pure red sandalwood powder. We also get rakta chandan soaps in the markets and they are used for treating pimples, prickly heat, itching and skin allergies…..

5 Top Red Sandalwood Powder Face Packs For Fair & Glowing Skin:

1. Red Sandalwood & Rose Water For Dark Spots:

red sandalwood & rose water for skin lightening

Take equal quantities of neem powder and red sandalwood powder in a bowl. Add in enough rose water to form a paste and apply as a face pack. This face pack is very good for treating dark spots.

2. Red Sandalwood & Turmeric Face Pack For Acne & Acne Scars:

red sandalwood & turmeric for dark spots

Take 1 tbsp of red sandalwood powder in a bowl. Add in 1/4 tsp of kasthuri turmeric to it. Now add enough rosewater to form a paste and apply as a face pack. This is a wonderful face pack for treating acne and acne scars.

3. Red Sandalwood Cream For Hyperpigmentation: 

red sandalwood powder for face

Take 1 tbsp of Aloe Vera gel and 1 tsp of red sandalwood powder in a bowl, add in vitamin e capsule to form a paste and use it as a massage cream. This cream will help treat hyper pigmentation very effectively.

4. Red Sandalwood & Honey For Skin Pigmentation & Blemishes:

Red Sandalwood & Honey For Acne

Take 1 tsp of red sandalwood powder in a bowl. Now add enough pure raw honey to form a paste and apply as a face pack. A wonderful home remedy for clear glowing blemish free skin.

5. Red Sandalwood & Multani Mitti Face Pack:

red sandal wood face pack

For this face pack first take a small licorice root, pound and boil in 1/4 cup of water till the color of the water turns yellow and strain. For the face pack, take 2 tbsp of multani mitti in a bowl. Add in 1.5 tsp of red sandalwood powder to it and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Finally add in enough licorice extract to get a spreadable paste and use it as a face pack.

red sandalwood skin benefits


  1. Unknown
    August 29, 2017 / 3:51 am

    Hi Ramya kudos to you for the wonderful content you publish. In the above post you have recommended multiple packs for treating hyper pigmentation and acne. I need help on both fronts i.e. pigmentation, acne and scars. So should i try these packs one a day? I have dry skin.–Vidhya

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 29, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      I would suggest trying either neem and red sandalwood powder or kasthuri turmeric and red sandalwood powder face pack, both will help treat hyper pigmentation and acne….

  2. Anonymous
    December 6, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    Does real authentic Red Sandalwood have good fragrance, and it is NOT true it is of no smell. There is a misunderstanding written about it and want to clarify.

  3. Anonymous
    December 6, 2019 / 9:09 pm

    Please write about the different varieties of sandalwood and their uses. I didn’t know that there is yellow sandalwood, krishna varnam sandalwood, light/white sandalwood and there is a wide range in how they are priced. Also the sandalwood can be used from different parts of the tree so that there is no harm to the tree and it remains alive. Please teach on this.

    I want everyone to stop buying sandalwood unless it is truly necessary and needed. Temples can’t obtain real sandalwood and are using the fake ones/adulterated ones for alankarams and forehead wearing because so many people have exploited the tree for entertainment uses which are not of primary need.

    Overexploitation and improper growing has lead to it becoming an endangered species in addition to which some microorganism is infecting it and wiping it out. Unless sandalwood is part of your genuine cultural practice and need kindly refrain from using it because the original cultural users and those of genuine health/spiritual need are not able to use it and are being given fake product instead. This is also driving the cost up so high and promoting hidden markets which pose safety and comfort issues for the dwellers near sandalwood trees.

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