Sandalwood is a sacred wood with a lovely aromatic scent. It is used extensively in modern times for incense, aromatherapy, carvings, malas (prayer beads), Ayurvedic medicine, perfumes, and essential oils, where it is said to bring one closer to the Divine. In ancient India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome it has been used for over 4000 years for purposes as diverse as building Hindu temples, and embalming. Sandalwood's scent is both excellent for staying present and alert during meditation, which makes it wonderful for ritual and spiritual practice. Its scent is said to transform desires, and also to bring emotional balance. In alternative healing, sandalwood is used in Ayurvedic medicine, and to treat anxiety, insomnia, neuralgia, sciatica, depression, urinary tract infections, coughs, nausea, dry skin, cardiac tonic, inflammations, fevers, antiseptic, dystentery, and stress-related disorders. Sandalwood is also used as an aphrodisiac. Note that healing meanings are spiritual supports to healing and are not prescriptions or healthcare information.