[Sca-cooks] sauders/sandlewood

Daniel Myers edoard at medievalcookery.com
Thu Jan 4 13:16:55 PST 2007

On Jan 4, 2007, at 2:53 PM, Susan Fox wrote:

>> Please note that yellow sandalwood is not safe for human   
>> consumption.  Further, don't use sandalwood oil in cooking - it's
>> likely to be yellow sandalwood oil, and the concentration of the
>> hazardous compounds is much much higher.
>> - Doc
> I've been gifted with a bottle of sandalwood syrup from the middle
> east.  I'm at work and the bottle is at home so I can't say right now
> where it's from exactly - the donor brought it from Qatar.  I wonder
> what the flavoring agent could be then?  It does smell lovely, like
> sandalwood.  I might drizzle it over baklava but certainly won't  
> use it
> to drown my pancakes.

Did some more digging.  My reasons were a bit off, but the advice  
remains the same.

It could very well be yellow sandalwood flavoring that syrup.  It's  
used in some Ayurvedic and herbal medicines and isn't regulated by  
the FDA (then again, no "dietary supplements" are regulated by the  
FDA and several of them have turned out to be very unhealthy (e.g.  
ephedra, kava kava)).

iHerb.com (an herbal medicine store) has this to say about their  
yellow sandalwod:
[ http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx? 
token=e0498803-7f62-4563-8d47-5fe33da65dd4&chunkiid=21864 ]

"Sandalwood oil appears to be relatively safe, but it has not  
undergone comprehensive safety testing; in general, essential oil can  
have toxic and even fatal effects when taken in sufficient doses,  
especially by children. Allergic reactions caused by direct contact  
with sandalwood oil occur relatively frequently.  Sandalwood oil  
should not be used by young children, pregnant or nursing women, or  
people with severe liver or kidney disease."

Stony Mountain Botanicals has the following note:
[ http://www.wildroots.com/sandalwood-oil-fl-oz-p-1277.html ]

"For external use only. Dilute properly. Keep out of reach of children."

I guess the important point to stress is that the essential oils sold  
for aromatherapy and soap making are not meant as food or as a food  
additive.  I wouldn't want to tell someone to add 2 Tbsp of  
sandalwood to a dish and have them use yellow sandalwood oil.

Compare this to red sandalwood powder - if you put too much of it  
into your food ... the food tastes like sawdust.

Also, at least in the European sources I've seen, saunders is always  
used as a *red* colorant, and the fragrance is never mentioned.

- Doc

115. Take Rybbys of Venysoun and Borage, an chop hem smal, than take  
it owt an let it kele, an put whyte brede ther-to, an grynd wyth-al,  
an gode freshe brothe y-now ther-to thorw a straynowr, an yf it be  
no3t swete y-now, take whyte sugre an caste ther-to.  [The Boke of  

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