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Tetraclinis articulata

sandarac resin

Aromatic Note: Middle note


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.

Threatened Species Alert: Status: “Least Concerned.”  The populations in Malta and southern Spain are highly threatened. In North Africa the species is also restricted in range. See IUCN Red List.


Family: Cupresssaceae

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

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.

Mixes Well With: burgundy pitch, cedar, frankincense, guggul, lemongrass, mastic, myrrh, opoponax, pine, rose, saffron, sandalwood, copaiba and Peru balsams, etc.


Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice, or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.


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