is distilled from Agarwood or in other words liquified, then the essential oils are extracted. Agarwood is also known as (agar, oud, or oodh). It is considered valuable in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance and is thereby used in many perfumes and incense fragrances.
First-grade Agarwood is amongst the most costly natural raw resources in the world. There are many products on the market which vary in quality depending on geographical location and cultural distribution; the purer the oil, the higher the cost.
Agarwood is a complex material having few or no similar compound comparable to its molecular structure. Use of Agarwood for medicinal purposes dates back to approximately the eighth century.
How is Agarwood Formed?
The formation of agarwood comes from parasitic ascomycetous mould, called phaeoacremonium parasitica, a dematiaceous (dark-walled) fungus that infects the roots and trunk of the Aquilaria species of trees.
In response, the trees produce a volatile, high resin organic compound that suppresses the fungal growth. This process is called tylosis. The resin dramatically increases the density and mass of the affected wood, thus the affected wood color changes its color from a pale beige to a dark brown or black, while the unaffected wood of the tree remains relatively light in color. In a natural forest, only approximately 7% of trees are infected by the fungus.
Research on Agarwood
The First International Scientific Symposium on Agarwood was held at the Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), during 2013 under the auspices of Rozi Mohamed “It revealed to us the very sophisticated lab work being done on gaharu (Agarwood), not just basic research,” said Rozi, who had received her trainings from the Oregon State University in the US in the fields of forest biotechnology and plant pathology.
Among the established facts on Agarwood revealed at ISSA 2013 were:
- laxative properties of the leaves of the tree used as a traditional herbal tea are confirmed
- the fragrance of agarwood has yet to be artificially replicated;
According to the US National Library of National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, evidences from ethnopharmacological practices showed that Aquilaria spp. have been traditionally used in the Ayurvedic practice and Chinese medicine to treat various diseases particularly the inflammatory-associated diseases.
Agarwood is predominantly used to fulfil the demand in religious, aromatic and medicinal preparation. High grade agarwood powder is prescribed in Chinese medicine and used in the production of pharmaceutical tinctures. An ethno-medicinal study conducted in Bangladesh revealed that Aquilaria spp. was used to treat rheumatism. The agarwood resin was also reported to be traditionally used to treat snakebite, rheumatism, vomiting, paralysis, gout, diarrhea and others. Agarwood has been traditionally used, particularly in the East Asian region, as sedative, analgesic and digestive medicine.
POSSIBLE USES AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF AGARWOOD OIL
Agarwood oil is used to treat cirrhosis of the liver, kidney problems and lung and stomach tumours. Agarwood oil produces several benefits in therapeutic treatment. If you have arthritis or body aches, this oil can relieve you of the pain or even reduce the chances of being affected by arthritis. Agarwood oil is also used as an anti-rheumatic, an anticonvulsant, an anti-asthmatic, and a carminative diuretic. No virus or bacteria can survive the oil because of its high content of carvacrol, trepans, and phenols.
When used in aromatherapy the oil interacts with cell in the human body in a way that stimulates the natural healing process. The oil produces a significant physiological and psychological impact to cell membranes including acting as an aphrodisiac. It may also help to treat anxiety, stress, depression and other nervous system disorders.
Therapeutic grade of Agarwood oil is safe for topical application. it can be applied to the skin to remove rashes or even acne. You can cure a stuffy nose, bronchitis or even a sore throat by applying a little oil to your nose and inhale its aroma.
Agarwood Essential Oil Anticancer Activity
In a recent Pharmacognosy Research screening of anticancer activity from agarwood essential oil, the objective of the study was to obtain Agarwood oil from a distillation of Agarwood (resin) towards MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
The results of the study concluded that the Agarwood essential oil caused reduction of the cell number in both the cell viability and attachment assay suggesting a cumulative effect of the cell killing, inhibition of the cell attachment and/or causing cells to detach. The agarwood essential oil showed IC50 value of 900 μg/ml towards the cancer cells. In conclusion of the study, the Agarwood oil exhibited anticancer activity which supports the traditional use against the inflammatory-associated diseases. Thus warrants further investigation towards the development of alternative remedy towards cancer.
In closing, the Agarwood oil is a natural solution that offers many therapeutic benefits and is a large part of holistic and natural treatments for a variety of ailments. The oil is in high demand and is a valuable go-to solution when other treatments and allopathic or mainstream medicines fail to a provide solution or even relief.