Species: acuminata, apiculata, baillonii, banaensae
General Description: Agarwood (Agar, from the Malay gaharu) is the resinous heartwood from Aquilaria trees, large evergreens native to southeast Asia. Agarwood is used in Persian Gulf countries as incense. It was used by the Ancient Egyptians for embalming dead bodies.
Uses: Agarwood is considered vulnerable (V) in India where it is most likely extinct already. These trees prefer hot climates, but grow in natural shade under tall canopy trees such as palms. Agarwood has a very long history of use as a medicine, incense and Eucalyptus Oil . It is a very complex, deeply woody fragrance, reminiscent of amber. The extract is rarely used in western perfume production because of its prohibitive price. However, connoisseurs of essential oils covet this scent.
Agarwood trees are infected by a fungus which produces a resin which saturates the wood. The wood is then harvested in the form of pieces, chips, powder and oil. The product has become increasingly rare due to the disappearance of the species. Its rarity has caused agarwood to become a desired and extremely expensive oil.
Agarwood has also been used in nearly every religious tradition around the world and revered for thousands of years by many cultures as a treasured incense ingredient. It has been a favorite of Kings and Maharajas, carrying religious and spiritual value for a variety of ceremonies. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine also finds use for Agarwood.
Aquilaria trees are now protected in most countries and the collection of agarwood from natural forests is illegal.
Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.