Renowned as the most expensive wood in the world, Agarwood plant has extreme healing properties and medicinal benefits. Basically, Agarwood is resinous heartwood that occurs in trees belonging to the species of Aquilaria, Aetoxylon (a.symeatalum) and Gonystylus genus of Thymelaeceae family. This invaluable plant has varied names like resinous, fragrant heartwood that is produced primarily by trees in the genus Aquilaria. Most commonly, the resin is known as agarwood, aloeswood, eaglewood, gaharu, agalocha or oudh, in Arabic.
Aquilaria species, which is the chief source of agarwood are found throughout Asia. However, they occur naturally in South and Southeast Asia. The Indian sub-continent was the main source of agarwood for many centuries but as trees became scarce by the middle of the twentieth century, extraction intensified in Indochina. Then on, it spread to Indonesia and Malaysia and eventually, to other countries like Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Vietnam.
Today, Agarwood is exported in a myriad forms including, wood chips, powder, oil as well as finished products such as perfumes, incense and medicines. The primary importers of Agarwood are countries in the Middle and Far East – in particular the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Here, agarwood is known as oudh, and also in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.
Now, coming to its medicinal usage, it can be traced back to the Neanderthal times. Legend has it that, Agarwood was the only tree that Adam and Eve were permitted to have access to while they were in the forbidden state. Agarwood has been used across the globe for extracting its therapeutic essential oud oil and mesmerizing fragrance ranges.
It is known as Agaru Kul in Ayurveda and is treasured worldwide for its treatment of neuro-muscular conditions, pleurisy, anaemia, halitosis, impotence, blood impurities, urinary infections, indigestion and other issues like bed wetting, etc.
The main source of this tranquilizing fragrance of the oud oil is from its heartwood, which gets developed gradually, may be hundreds of years after being infected by a parasite fungus, namely “phialophora parasitica”. Owing to this fungus attack, Agarwood tree starts producing an aromatic resin deep within the heartwood, naturally.
Agarwood or oud oil is an excellent ‘kapha’ suppressant, which helps to eliminate surplus water deposits and toxic remains in the body through sweat or urine. With its analgesic, anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory attributes, this oud oil supports in relieving pain quickly and reducing inflammation associated with rheumatism and arthritis.
Blood impurities can be cleared by massaging the affected parts, especially the joints with 2 drops of Agarwood oud oil, 2 drops of Clove oud oil with 2 ml of coconut oud oil. It is also beneficial in flushing out toxins, salt and uric acid in the system by promoting frequent urination, helps in reducing pain and soreness and enhances blood circulation in the body. 2 drops of Agarwood oud oil can be mixed in hot or cold compress for soothing muscular pain.
The Agarwood also aids in cleansing and in the proper functioning of the digestive system. It further has carminative, anti-flatulent and stomachic properties as well as supports in expelling gas in the intestines and stomach by preventing the digestive system from building up of gas.
Certain other usages of Agarwood are like adding 1 drop of Agarwood oud oil along with 1 drop of Peppermint oud oil in a cup of warm water which would help in alleviating bad breath, tastelessness and nausea; massaging the tummy with 3 drops of Agarwood oud oil along with 2 ml of sesame oud oil can help in supporting the secretion of gastric juices and digestive acids that treat indigestion, bloating, flatulence and intestinal infections.
Agarwood oud oil can further be used in the treatment of cirrhosis, epilepsy, hepatitis, fever, depression, gastric cancer, abdominal and lung tumors and nervous system disorders.
Such innumerable health and medicinal benefits make the Agarwood plant an extremely treasured and invaluable plant.