Sanders, the Yellow, or White, Santalum album, L. a native of the East Indies, whence its wood is imported. It is of a pale-yellowish colour, a pleasant smell, has a bitterish aromatic taste, accompanied with an agreeable pungency.
From this elegant wood, the Chinese of distinction obtain their coffins, which are said to resist the effects of the air and moisture, for a long series of years. They also reduce it to powder, and, with the addition of water, convert it into a paste, which is applied to their bodies, furniture, etc. probably with a view to serve as a substitute for the more expensive odoriferous oils : the powder is also employed for incense in their idolatrous temples. - In Europe, however, it is chiefly prized by cabinet-makers, for the purpose of veneering.
This fragrant vegetable is, at present, very seldom used in medicine, When digested in pure spirit, it produces a rich yellow tincture ; from which, on distillation, the spirit arises without any remarkable flavour. Such preparation is, by Hoffman, considered as a medicine possessing similar virtues with ambergris; and he recommends it as an excellent restorative in great or general debi-lity. - By distilling it with water, yellow sanders-wood produces a fragrant essential oil; which, on becoming cold, congeals and acquires the consistence, of a balsam. On importation, this wood pays a duty of 31/2d. per lb.