Description: a small conifer found in the mountains of northwestern Africa. The resin is obtained by making small incisions in the trunk and branches of the tree, inducing the lemon-colored sandarac resin to flow, which quickly solidifies upon exposure to air, forming small tear-shaped resin drops.
Sandarac is chiefly used in fine lacquers and varnishes while small amounts are used in perfumery and incense.
During the days of Jesus, sandarac was traded under the name of "gold" and is considered by some to be the "gold" gift from the visiting Magi to the infant Jesus.
lower risk near threatened - IUCN only - The populations in Malta and southern Spain are highly threatened. In North Africa the species is also restricted in range.
Threatened Species Alert: Status: "Lower Risk, Near Threatened." The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species now includes this species. The populations in Malta and southern Spain are highly threatened. In North Africa the species is also restricted in range. See IUCN.
Synonyms: Callitris quadrivalvis, avar tree, mistakenly called juniper gum
Origin: northwestern Africa; principally Morocco and Algeria, also found in Spain and Australia
Parts Used: resin
Aroma Description: fresh, warm, light, resinous, balsamic, slightly fruity, frankincense-like
Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy; very good fixative properties
Culinary Uses: used to flavor liqueurs
Medicinal Attributes: used as a remedy in North Africa if birth becomes difficult, to reduce cramps, stomachaches, colds and catarrh. Also used to treat roundworms and tapeworms
Element Association: Water
Astrological Association: Cancer
Planetary Association: Moon
Aromatic Note: Middle note
Essential Oil: Yes, steam distilled oil from the resin is made, though it can often be difficult to find. An essential oil is also made from the leaves and bark of the tree, though these are more rare than the essential oil made from the resin. Threatened Species Alert: Status: "Lower Risk, Near Threatened." The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species now includes this species. See IUCN.
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