Agarwood, also known as Oud, Oodh, Oudh, Aloeswood, Gaharu, Eaglewood or agar, is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees (large evergreens native to southeast Asia) when they become infected with a type of mold. Prior to infection, the heartwood is relatively light and pale colored; however, as the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin in response to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. It is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, and thus is used for incense and perfumes. This resin can be produced either through natural causes of the wild or through the artificial means of inoculating it with resin-inducing substances.
One of the main reasons for the relative rarity and high cost of agarwood is the depletion of the wild resource. Thus it is extremely rare and precious. Top grade Agarwood is one of the most expensive essential oils on the market, up to $13,000 for 16 ounces of the resin. Unsurprisingly it rates as one of the most precious natural products in the world.. Agarwood has a very long history of medicinal use, as a valuable component of incense, and as an aromatic oil. There are several species of Agarwood, the most important species are: Aquilaria agollocha, A. malaccensis and A. crassna. Aquilaria malaccensis is endangered and protected worldwide under the CITES convention and A. crassna is listed as endangered by the Vietnamese government. Because of its rarity, Agarwood is not well known in the West, but should be experienced by every connoisseur of essential oils, and anyone serious about aromatherapy and natural perfumery. You only need a tiny amount in your blends to enjoy its beautiful aroma.
Even in biblical times it was highly sought after and had a reputation of being a supreme aphrodisiac incense ingredient. Its true origin lies in Southeast Asia, where it is just as highly desired. The Japanese, who have a highly refined incense culture, are particularly keen on Agarwood, which forms the basis of most of their blends. In India it is known as Garu Garu and is associated with Garuda, the divine eagle who carries Lord Vishnu on his wings. In Chinese, more pragmatically, it is known as 'sinking incense', which refers to the fact that the resin-laden wood will sink in water rather than swim. What make this substance so precious and rare is that fact that the resin only develops as a pathological reaction to fungal infection of the heartwood. The older the tree and the more advanced the infection the more resin-drenched the wood will become. Due to the high demand, however, such wood is more and more difficult to find. As a result the price of wood chips and oil have soared. Due to greed and indiscriminate felling of even healthy trees the survival of the species has become threatened and trade has become restricted. However, there are projects under way that aim to produce Agarwood chips and Oud oil sustainably by artificially infecting planted trees with the fungus. If these projects succeed Agarwood may become more easily available and affordable and the wild trees may have a chance to survive.(link)
Benefits of Agarwood:
The benefits that are involved with Agarwood, or Oud are vast, ranging from psychoactive and spiritual, to therapeutic and medicinal. It can help with anything from relieving symptoms related to digestive problems, to soothing relaxation for those with anxiety. It can also be beneficial to those who suffer with breathing difficulties, including Bronchitis and Asthma. Agarwood oil essence or the pure Oud Oil is often associated with its ability to bring about calmness in the nervous system, its ability to cultivate focus and alertness when used and, as some say, the positive effect it gives to one's libido system when applied regularly. Oud Essential Oil is indeed an aromatherapy, is not gender-specific and can be enjoyed by both sexes, though some females may prefer a blended version of the Oud Oil due to the strong potent smell of the pure Oud essence. In the Middle East, men and women burn Oud wood chips to fragrance their houses and also their clothes so that the lasting scent will permeate the whole garment. Keep in mind that the information we share is only for your general information and is not to be relied for diagnostic and treatment purposes.
- Agarwood calms the body, removes destructive and negative energies, provides enhanced awareness, reduces fear, invokes a feeling of vigour and harmony, and enhances mental functionality
- Promotes Mental Health. This essential oil can also be helpful in promoting emotional and mental well-being. The aroma of this oil has a positive impact on the mind, promoting emotional healing. The deep emotional impact after inhaling the aroma of this essential oil can help to calm the mind as well as overcome negative emotions. Emotional disturbances that lead to anxiety and depression can effectively be treated with this essential oil.
-A skin care routine that involves usage of agarwood essential oil is actually quite effective in combating various skin problems, leaving one with a clear complexion and better skin. No wonder, it is an active ingredient of luxury skin care cream brands.
- Oud eases neurotic and obsessive behavior and helps create harmony and balance in your home
- Agarwood is highly psychoactive
- Agarwood is suggested by proficient masters for giving inspiration and the imperative affection for meditation
- Oud is said to bring connection with the transcendent, stimulating the psyche, human body and consciousness. It is said that prayers rise with the scented smoke of agarwood incense and carry the prayer to the Creator. The angels are attracted to the scent and Oud smoke. That is why Muslims love to burn Oud wood and fumigate their houses on Thursday nights, the holiest of the weeknights to them.
- Buddhists deploy agarwood for transmutation of ignorance. Tibetan monks utilize it to convey energy to wind down the mind and spirit. The Sufis and Japanese shamans use agarwood oil in their esoteric rites.
- Medically, agarwood is a tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, relieves epilepsy, antimicrobial, carminative, anti-asthmatic.
- Oud is used in nervous disorders, digestive, bronchial complaints, smallpox, rheumatism, illness during and after childbirth, spasms in the digestive and respiratory systems, fevers, abdominal pain, asthma, cancer, colic, diarrhea, nausea, regurgitation, weakness in the elderly, shortness of breath, chills, general pains and cirrhosis of the liver. It also acts as a director or focuser for other medicines. It has been used as a treatment for lung and stomach tumors.
- It has also been used to treat seizures and epileptic attacks. Agarwood is reported in some cases to reduce the frequency of attacks.
-This oil alleviates physical discomfort caused by muscle fatigue, aches, spasms, and joint pain. Massaging it on painful sites can help relieve sore and achy muscles. It acts as a natural muscle relaxant, hence its application can help relieve body pain.
- The oil has also been used to prevent urinary problems, as it is a diuretic. It can be used to flavor cooking and is popular in many traditional curry recipes. In some regions it is also used as an additive for wine.
- Agarwood is also a popular essential oil used in beauty salons and spas. As it has a calming and relaxing effect on clients, it is the ideal oil for use during treatments such as massage.
-People suffering from sexual dysfunction may benefit by using this essential oil. Believed to be a libido enhancer, it may help in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
-A well-known aphrodisiac; use it as a perfume neat on the skin (I recommend a patch-test for sensitive skin) or diluted in Jojoba-oil or alcohol. The skin will release its scent over the course of 12-15 hours. (It is tested safe to use undiluted on skin.) The oil is viscous and in room-temperature it stays thick. To make it thinner, put the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- An important use of agarwood is the production of incense. Agarwood is an aphrodisiac, both in oil form, and as incense. These are generally topical uses but the oil is also sold in Vietnamese pharmacies for internal use with the same goal.
The odor of Agarwood is complex and pleasing. A deeply balsamic, sweet, woody scent. Tenacious basenote, it lingers longer than any other known scent. rich, musty woody-nutty The scent is rare and powerful. It is through this oleoresin saturated wood where Oud develops its aroma. The fragrance is complex, deep and woody, and is highly prized as an incense in Japan and as an oil in the Middle East.
Agarwood is also a popular essential oil used in beauty salons and spas. As it has a calming and relaxing effect on clients, it is the ideal oil for use during treatments such as massage.
Medicinal Uses for Agarwood Essential Oil:
Stimulant, tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, Antimicrobial, carminative (flatulence), febrifuge (lowers fever), digestive and bronchial.
Illness during and after childbirth,
Relieves spasms of the digestive system and even certain kinds of cancer.
Cirrhosis of the liver
Shortness of breath
Weakness in the elderly
Problems of the urinary tract
Agarwood Essential Oil works as a director for other medicines.
Chinese herbal remedies advocate the usage of this oil for the treatment of liver disorders, such as cirrhosis.
The essential oil is thought to have anticonvulsant properties, which may help treat epilepsy.
Agarwood, or Ud as it is also called, is used in all spiritual traditions to achieve the highest states of consciousness during meditation and prayer. It is also highly valued as an aphrodisiac. Some sources believe that this effect is due to pheromone-type compounds present in the resin. Ud raises the spiritual vibration and can be used in transcendental meditation and high magic. It neutralizes negative energy and stabilizes mind and emotions. During my research I have found that every eastern culture names Oud in treatment of the respiratory and digestive systems. This is interesting because these two systems are both deeply connected to life-force, and the most outstanding feature of Oud is its magical and mystical properties when used in meditation; It connects Heaven and Earth within us, creating balance, inner peace and enlightment.
-It is believed that agarwood oil played a crucial role in clearing the mind and thus facilitating the achievement of spiritual enlightenment of Indian sages. Even today, the Japanese shamans use this oil to perform mystical rituals in order to alleviate individual suffering.
- Oud helps to improve mental clarity, opens the third eye and all of the upper chakras while calming the whole entire spiritual system.
- Oud is highly effective for meditation, enlightenment, bringing deep tranquility and relaxation
It blends well with floral absolutes and woody spices to bring warm oriental notes to fragrances.
Jasmine Sambac Absolute
Due to its rarity and preciousness this oil is rarely used in aromatherapy. It can be very helpful for certain mental disturbances and emotionally imbalanced states. It is used to 'stimulate chi' and to warm up the body from within. It is also used for stomach problems, bronchial asthma and rheumatic aches and painful joints.
Agarwood by any other name would smell as sweet...
Below you will find the different names of Oud used in many different cultures, evidence of the high degree of its appreciation worldwide:
Agar - Urdu (Pakistan)
Agar or Aguru - Bengali
A-ga-ru (ཨ་ག་རུ་) - Tibetan
Aguru - Telugu and Kannada
Akil (அகில்) - Tamil
Cham Heong - Cantonese
Chénxiāng (沉香) - Chinese
Gaharu - Indonesian and Malay
Ghara or Eaglewood - Papua New Guinea
Jinkō (沈香) - Japanese (In Japan, kyara (伽羅) is the highest grade of jinkō)
Lignum aquila (eagle-wood), Agilawood, Lignum aloes or Aloeswood - Europe
Mai Ketsana - Laos
Mai Kritsana (ไม้กฤษณา) - Thai
Oud (عود) - Arabic
Sasi or Sashi - Assamese
Trầm hương - Vietnamese
Perfumes and Colognes Made with Agarwood
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.