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The benefits of Agarwood leaves, incense , oil and its usage

Agarwood introduction

Agarwood, also known as liquid gold, oud, aloeswood and eaglewood, is a dark resinous wood that forms in the heartwood of the evergreen tree Aquilaria. Some people call this Agarwood tree, but it is not correct because Agarwood is the resin from the Aquilaria tree.

Aquilaria when they become infected with a parasitic mould. The resulting resin imparts a distinctive, long-lasting fragrance to the wood used for incense perfume.

Agarwood was highly prized by the aristocracy in ancient times for its distinct, long-lasting fragrance. It was used for incense, perfume and other luxury items. The wood was also believed to have mystical properties and was often used in religious ceremonies. Today, agarwood is still prized for its unique scent and is used in various perfumes and incense. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.


Solid pieces of agarwood are used for décor and appreciated as natural art, feng shui, and lucky charm in Vietnam, Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. Agarwood is turned into wooden sculptures such as Buddha, God of War Guan Yu, bracelets, and meditation necklaces.

Agarwood decor: Flying Eagle is believed to promote fortune and wealth for businessman

Agarwood decor: Western Cowboy Hat


Agarwood benefits

In this blog, we will discuss several benefits of Agarwood.

When mentioning Agarwood, most people would think of the trunks, branches and roots, not the leaves.

Did you know Aquilaria leaves could be very beneficial to human health?

The benefit of Agarwood tea or Aquilaria leaves

Reduce anxiety and improve mood

Sometimes, people refer to Aquilaria leaves as agar wood leaves.

Aquilaria leaves contain Terpenoids. Terpenoids are a class of natural products that are derived from isoprene, a five-carbon unit. Aquilaria trees produce Terpenoids as secondary metabolites.They have different activities, like helping the plant grow or protecting it from predators Terpenoids have been shown to have

  • anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic activity. They are also known to be cytotoxic, which is used to make Cytotoxic drugs -- also referred to as antineoplastics, are chemicals that kill cells or inhibit cell growth. These drugs are mainly used to treat cancer.

Terpenoids have also been shown to have

  • antioxidant, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory activity.

Studies show terpenoids have anxiolytic effects in animal studies (Agatonovic-Kustrin, S., Kustrin, E., Gegechkori, V., Morton, D.W. (2020)). This means that they may help to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Terpenoids may also help to protect the brain from damage caused by stress.

"Terpenoids have a wide range of applications in disease prevention and treatment, as well as displaying antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-allergenic, antispasmodic ,antihyperglycemic,, and immunomodulatory properties." Thoppil, R. J., & Bishayee, A. (2011)

Constipation relief

People in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam) consume Aquilaria leaves as herbal medicine. In a previous study, Japanese scientists discovered that agarwood acetone extracts had a laxative effect on normal mice and that the most pharmacologically active components of this extract are genkwanin-5-O-beta primeveroside. In fact, extracts of both Aquilaria leaves (A.sinensis and A.crassna) have been shown to increase the contraction tension of the small intestine.

EEA (ethanol extract of agarwood leaves) had a laxative effect on rats that were constipated from having low-fibre diets, and multiple doses of EEA did not cause diarrhea as senna administration does. These findings suggest that EEA may be useful as a therapeutic laxative agent for humans (Mamoru Kakino, Gifu Pharmaceutical University)

Senna can be used as a laxative. Senna can induce diarrhoea in certain people. So EEA is a good alternative.

Many people have been brewing Agarwood tea (Aquilaria leaves). They said that drinking Agarwood tea makes them poop easier.

Better, deeper sleep

Terpenoids with sedative and anxiolytic effects found in our agarwood leaves would relax your body and calm your mind (Mamoru Kakino, Gifu Pharmaceutical University). Agarwood leaves contain no caffeine as it is a herbal infusion, and its unique substance will help you sleep better.

Decrease cholesterol level and body cleansing: 

Polyphenol is another substance in our leaves, known for reducing cholesterol absorption in your body.(J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo).)

Understandings on the chemical constituents of a plant is crucial in the discovering of the therapeutic agent; Gunasekera's research (Constituents of Aquilaria Malaccensis. J. Nat. Prod. 44: 569-572.) revealed that Benzene extracts of the agarwood plant contained remarkable anticancer and depression activity. 


Decrease rise in blood sugar following a meal. Inhibitory Activity against Alpha-Glucosidase

Aquilaria leaves contain eight alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (Feng et al. 2011). The ethyl acetate fraction of the plant Aquilaria Sinensis, which is also in the Aquilariaceae family, has been shown to inhibit alpha-glucosidase enzyme activity and lower intestinal glucose uptake. A. Sinensis reduced the incidence of postprandial hyperglycemia in normal and diabetic mice (Abid et al., 2014).

These findings suggest that constituents in Aquilariaceae plants could be promising candidates for developing anti-diabetic therapeutics. Further research is warranted to elucidate the mechanisms by which these compounds act to inhibit alpha-glucosidase activity and improve glycemic control.


According to Khalil on a "Characterization of Methanolic Extracts of Agarwood Leaves", Agarwood leaves contain:

  1. Alkaloids in Agarwood leaves extracts were of great importance since significant quantities of alkaloids could be used as antimalarial, analgesics, antispasmodic, bactericidal and stimulants, which are all pharmaceutical properties of the plant. The presence of alkaloids in Agarwood leaves extracts justifies the use of the plant to treat a toothache, colic, severe headache, and rheumatism.
  2. The presence of Hexadecanoic acid could justify the use of Agarwood leaves methanolic extracts as antibacterial and anti-fungal
  3. Saponin has the property of precipitating and coagulating red blood cells
  4. The presence of tannins suggests the ability of this plant to play a major role as an antidiarrhoeic and antihaemorrhagic agent
  5. Tannins are astringent in nature, i.e., fasten the healing of wounds and inflamed mucous membranes and could be used for treating intestinal disorders such as diarrhoea and dysentery exhibiting antibacterial activity
  6. Methoxyflavone: acts as an anabolic agent, help you recover faster and build lean muscle (with exercise) 


Decreasing intestinal toxins through antimicrobial activity.

Not only does A. crassna have a laxative effect, it also decreases the intestinal toxins (for example, ammonium and indole) in putrefaction mice that are on high-protein, high-fat diets.

A. crassna's water extract (95 °C) and 60% ethanol extract reduced indole in feces, but only the water extract decreased ammonium in feces (Kakino et al. 2012). In addition, A. crassna displayed antibacterial activity

(Mohamed 2016). In short, consuming Aquilaria leaves could help you decrease unwanted toxins in your body.


Sleep deeply tonight here

Our tea after 2 mins brew:

YumiZuhanis (et al2016) summarised the benefit of agarwood leaf with its pharmaceutical activities of the compounds


Reduces the level of uric acid, relieving Gout symptoms:

Aquilaria leaves also contain Mangiferin.

Li et al.(2020) found that Mangiferin could reduce the level of uric acid in rats with experimental gout. The reduction in uric acid levels was associated with a decrease in the expression of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme involved in the production of uric acid. The authors suggest that mangiferin may ala et al. (2015) also found that mangiferin was able to reduce uric acid levels in rats with experimental gout.

According to Mohamed 2016, Agarwood has an antidiabetic effect.

In a type of diabetic mouse called KK-Ay, tests revealed that mangiferin and its glucoside form can help reduce blood sugar levels. This was also observed in other rat models, where it was found in their urine, blood, and feces after it was given orally.

When given to rats with diabetes induced by a drug called streptozotocin, mangiferin was found to not only lower their blood sugar levels significantly but also improve various other health indicators. It reduced the levels of urea, uric acid, and creatinine, substances which can indicate issues with kidney function. Additionally, it improved the counts and functionality of red and white blood cells and decreased toxicological parameters including levels of enzymes like AST, ALT, and ALP.

Mangiferin was also seen to increase insulin levels in the blood and enhance the activities of antioxidant enzymes, reducing glucose toxicity in the blood. This compound also played a role in reducing kidney damage by suppressing excessive production of a protein called osteopontin.

In mice with obesity caused by a high-fat diet, mangiferin was effective in reducing high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and high lipid levels. It was also seen to increase the levels of proteins that are important for energy production and oxidation in cells, while simultaneously decreasing the levels of proteins involved in fat production.


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Aimi Zafirah Adam Shiou Yih Lee Rozi Mohamed (2017)

Farmers have found a useful way to make the most out of their Aquilaria trees. They create a type of tea from the leaves, which is why it's called 'agarwood tea'. These leaves are full of different chemical compounds like chromones, phenolic acids, steroids, fatty acids, and others, which might contribute to its potential health benefits.

These health benefits include reducing pain, helping with arthritis, reducing inflammation, potentially fighting against cancer and tumors, and providing antioxidant properties. The tea may also help against bacterial and fungal infections, diabetes, allergies, and lowering lipid levels. It can also work as a laxative, help in slowing down the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter important for memory and learning), and protect the liver.

 Mangiferin pretreatment is said to have antidepressant and anxiolytic effects via reduction of interleukin-1 beta levels and oxidative stress induced by LPS (Jangra et al. 2014). Mangiferin-containing Aquilaria spp. are also expected to be useful in the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders.


Antimicrobial activity of Aquilaira leaves (known as agar wood leaf tea)

The aqueous and methanol extracts, as well as dry powder of leaf and bark of Aquilaria gagallocha were tested for antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria including Shigella flexneri, bacillus brevis, yeast, dermatophytes and helminths by a disk-diffusion assay.

Indian scientists evaluated the anti-microbial effects of different leaves from the Aquilaria agallocha plant against various pathogenic microbes, including Bacillus cereus, Candada albicans, Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli and Aspergillus niger. They found that the aqueous extract from the leaves effectively inhibited the growth of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.


Central nervous system (CNS) activity 

In 1993 and 1994, Okugawa et al. researched how the leaves of Aquilaria agallocha affect brain monoamines (norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin) as well as EEG waves in rats with Alzheimer’s disease.


Aquilaria agallocha leaves extract was effective in restoring the monoamine levels of brain regions to normal levels.


The agarospiral and Jinkoh-eremol from Aquilaria agallocha had a beneficial effect on the central nervous system in mice. The injection of these substances into the mice reduced spontaneous locomotion that was induced by methamphetamine and apomorphine.



Agarwood incense benefit

In an Aquilaria tree, Khang, an Agarwood grower, took an axe and made a cut on the tree trunk. He showed a customer the dark aromatic resin inside the tree.

He told the customer that he needed to take some trees down (agarwood trees or, more accurate, Aquilaria trees) to collect Agarwood chips.

He will need to separate the white wood from the infected dark brown wood by scraping.

After he got the resin, he would save some for the customers.

He will grind Agarwood into powder to make incense.

It smells great

Agarwood incenses made from Agarwood powder could be used to create not only a sacred ambience but also a memorable experience. 

Burning Agarwood chips in a lounge room to start your conversation, air purification, meditation, or just give life to your room.


According to Wellbeing, Agarwood is said to calm the nervous system, expel negative energies, bring alertness, relieve anxiety, invoke a sense of strength and peace and enhance cerebral functioning. In Tibetan Buddhist traditions, it’s said to bring energy to calm the mind and spirit and to provide motivation and the necessary devotion for meditation.

It is also quite an enjoyable experience to improve your sense and olfactory system. It could also trigger the good old times, and bring your childhood memories back.

Buddhism in China has a deep connection to incense, which has led to a unique perspective in Japan. In Japan, the act of smelling or appreciating incense is referred to as "listening to the incense." Some Buddhists believe that by simply "listening" to the incense, one can grasp all the teachings of Buddha. This practice of listening to the incense became highly valued in Japan and gave rise to the development of an elaborate ceremony known as Kodo. Kodo involves various "games" where participants listen to the incense and attempt to identify the different blends and compose poems describing their characteristics.

Additionally, agarwood has been used for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine as a sedative. The sedative effects of agarwood are attributed to its active components, jinkoh-eremol and agarospirol. Studies conducted on mice have shown that a benzene extract of agarwood has prolonged effects on sleeping time, including in situations induced by hexobarbital, as well as hypothermic effects. Furthermore, these components, jinkoh-eremol and agarospirol, have been found to have neuroleptic properties, making them potentially beneficial in the treatment of chronic psychosis (Okugawa et al., 1996).

In Japan, a 2006 study at the University of Toyama’s Institute of Natural Medicine demonstrated that agarwood showed a significant induction effect on brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in rats, helping to support the survival of existing neurons and encourage the growth of new neurons and synapses.

Neurotrophins are proteins that aid the survival of nerve cells (neurons) by helping them develop, mature (differentiate), and survive.


Improve your memory

In a 2021 study, Agarwood inhalation can significantly alleviate scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairment in mice, with therapeutic benefits ranging from doses (Hanet al 2021)


Agarwood incense as an air steriliser

And a 1995 study in China found that the antibacterial qualities of Chinese herbal incense made it as effective an air steriliser in hospital wards as methods such as ultraviolet radiation and formaldehyde (Yan XY, Zhang GR, Song XY. Study on Chinese herb incense to disinfect wards' air. Chung-Hua Hu Li Tsa Chih Chinese Journal of Nursing 1995; 30(6):323-324)


From my own experience, I used agarwood incense to eliminate mouldy odour from my car on rainy days. Wet shoes stepped into your car, create a perfect environment for fungus. The sun light is the best solution here. To speed up the process, I burn a small burning incense stick inside my car for 10 minutes and amazingly, the mouldy smell has gone.

The scientific community is increasingly recognizing the value of various ancient products. For instance, in 1991, the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica discovered that myrrh has pharmacological benefits in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In Japan, a study conducted in 2006 at the University of Toyama's Institute of Natural Medicine revealed that agarwood has a significant impact on the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rats. This effect helps support the survival of existing neurons and promotes the growth of new neurons and synapses. Additionally, a study carried out in China in 1995 demonstrated that Chinese herbal incense possesses antibacterial properties, making it as effective as methods like ultraviolet radiation and formaldehyde for air sterilization in hospital wards. 

Throughout history, incense has been utilized to enrich prayer experiences and promote bodily equilibrium. Modern scientific research confirms the efficacy of incense: frankincense has been discovered to possess antidepressant properties, myrrh has the ability to lower cholesterol levels, and agarwood is shown to stimulate the growth of new neurons and synapses in the brain.

Agarwood, also known as aloeswood, is derived from the Aquilaria tree found in tropical rainforests. This unique wood undergoes a transformation facilitated by an infectious mold, resulting in the conversion of its light heartwood into a dark, resin-embedded heartwood. The ethereal aroma of agarwood has long been cherished in Asia for its use in ceremonial incense and traditional medicine as a sedative. Agarwood is believed to have several beneficial effects, including calming the nervous system, dispelling negative energies, promoting alertness, alleviating anxiety, inducing a sense of strength and tranquility, and enhancing cognitive function. In Tibetan Buddhist traditions, agarwood is revered for its ability to energize the mind and spirit, foster motivation, and cultivate the necessary devotion for meditation


Cunningham (1999), the author of "The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews", has a short description of "Aloe wood", one of the incense-making ingredients. Please note this book was written in 1999; at that time, high-grade agarwood was around several hundred per kg, 30 times less compared to 2016

Spiritually, Agarwood incense offers protection, consecration, success and prosperity.

That is why you often see people use Agarwood incense when they pray for their inner peace.

According to her, Agarwood or Aloeswood is scientifically known as Aquilaria agallocha, is a tree indigenous to India and is referred to by various names such as lignaloes, oriental lignaloes, wood aloes, and lignum aloes. The wood emits a fragrance that combines the scents of ambergris and sandalwood. In cases where this particular wood is not available, it can be substituted with an equal amount of sandalwood accompanied by a few drops of synthetic ambergris for the purpose of making incense.

As previously mentioned, the cost of purchasing wood aloe in San Diego was approximately $30 per pound. Wood aloe is commonly utilized in incense blends aimed at providing protection, consecration, success, and prosperity.

Agarwood oil benefit

Anti-cancer benefit

The agarwood essential oil showed anticancer properties, affirming the traditional use against inflammation-associated diseases. This demands more research to be carried out to develop an alternative cancer treatment.

(click here for the whole research paper); as you can see from the research article, the % of growth dropped drastically.

 n this study, MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma cells (ATCC® HTB-22™) were employed. These cells were cultured and maintained in a specific growth medium known as Dulbecco's modification of Eagle's medium (DMEM) with high glucose and L-glutamine, which was provided by Gibco®. The medium was supplemented with 10% volume/volume (v/v) fetal bovine serum (FBS). The cells were incubated at a temperature of 37°C in a carbon dioxide (CO2) enriched environment with a concentration of 5%. This controlled culture environment allowed the MCF-7 cells to grow and proliferate under optimal conditions for experimental purposes.

The provided figure, Figure 2, displays a plot depicting the dose-response relationship between agarwood essential oil (AEO) and MCF-7 cells. The curve indicates that at a concentration of 44 μg/ml, AEO achieved a 50% inhibition of cell growth (referred to as IC50), suggesting its potential anticancer activity. Similar anticancer effects have been observed in essential oils derived from other plant sources. For instance, two different fractions of Pulicaria jaubertie essential oil demonstrated anticancer properties against MCF-7 and HEPG2 cells, which are associated with liver cancer. In another study, myrrh essential oil exhibited anticancer properties against MCF-7 cells. The presence of sesquiterpenoid compounds, such as guaiene, which are commonly found in AEO, may contribute to its anticancer effects. Hence, the observed anticancer activity of AEO can potentially be attributed to the presence of sesquiterpenoid compounds, as illustrated in Figure 2.

Sedative effect benefit

In 2008, Takemoto et al. discovered that agarwood oil has sedative properties when administrated through a system of spontaneous vapour. They conducted further research with mice and found that benzyl acetone, α-gurjunene and calarene--the volatile principles extracted from the oil--all reproduced the same results of the oil study at an effective dose lower than their actual content levels in the oil.



Making tenacious woody Agarwood perfume

Used as a base note for perfume for high-end consumers.

Want to feel the amazing fragrance of the woody notes in your perfume? Agarwood oil will make your perfume more tenacious, woodier, and last longer. You could make your Agarwood perfume with fractionated coconut oil as a carrier oil and blend it with your choice of other essential oils.

Most people can use Agarwood oil directly on their skin without carrier oil because wood essential oil is quite safe. For a religious occasion, a few drops in your prayer carpets or seats would be adequate.


Agarwood oil could make you feel happy

Here is how it works

Agarwood oil is also known as Oud oil. It is believed that agarwood aroma works by stimulating the smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain responsible for emotions.

Some aromatherapists use Agarwood essential oil to formulate a blend for nervous and emotional disorders.

That is why when you watch the "Scent from Heaven", you will understand the reasons for the happiness of agarwood users. 

That is why some people pray with Oud oil because it helps them feel better when praying.

You could make an aromatherapy blend with Agarwood oil with other essential oils. Then add a few drops of Agarwood blend into an aromatherapy diffuser. Turn the diffuser on and enjoy.


Antibacterial activity

Chromones are a fundamental class of naturally occurring compounds that encompasses flavonoids. They hold many biological powers, such as acting against tumours, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and bacteria.

In Traditional East Asian Medicine, and even in modern medicines, Agarwood oil is an ingredient in the formula to treat various skin diseases, define skin aging and make skin tonic.

 Click here for our sustainable Agarwood oil - oud collection

Agarwood, medicinal and spiritual benefit

In many cultures, Agarwood incense is used as part of their death rituals for embalming dead bodies for many centuries (for example, in Egyptians and other Islamic countries). Indonesians used it as a communication way to death.

According to Abu (2013), Agarwood is used for the following medicinal purposes: stimulant, tonic, nausea, nerves, regurgitation, weakness in the elderly, aphrodisiac, diuretic, relieves epilepsy, antimicrobial, carminative (gas), smallpox, rheumatism, illness during and after childbirth, relieves spasms in digestive and respiratory systems, shortness of breath, chills, general pains, lowers fever, asthma, cancer, colic, digestive and bronchial complaints, abdominal pain, diarrhoea.

Traditional medicine uses agarwood as an ingredient to strengthen the intestines and bring relief and comfort to the heart.

Burning Oud helps to sharpen our senses and mind. It is also considered as a remedy for nervous disorders such as neurosis, obsessive behaviour and exhaustion. Similar belief to crystal healing, it is highly psychoactive and therefore used in spiritual ceremonies or rituals or simply as a way of mediation, a way to your spiritual world. If you have tried crystal gemstone for calming and relaxation, agarwood is another excellent "tool" that could be considered. 


How do people in different countries use Agarwood?

Please see below the usage of agarwood leaves, chips, incenses and oils.

The application and how it was used is also listed.

The below are information from  Chiang, L.K. (Ed.). (2019) Prospects and Utilization of Tropical Plantation Trees (1st ed.). CRC Press.


In Malaysia

Agarwood, a versatile plant, is used in a multitude of forms ranging from seedlings, logs, sawn wood, chunks, chips, fragments, dust, powder, and natural shapes, to its oil extract.

Primarily, it's valued for its role in perfume production, fragrance creation, pharmaceutical applications, therapeutic uses in aromatherapy, and various religious rituals. It's also incorporated into different objects such as idols, beads, rosaries, and ornamental items, with the selection dependent on the cultural practices of the user and agarwood quality.

Logs are typically crafted into decorative carvings, while naturally occurring shapes are utilized as unique decor pieces. Beads and other carved items often emerge from sawn wood. Shaped chunks and chips, especially favored by Malays, serve as incense during prayers.

Medicinal applications of agarwood are diverse. Its smoke is used as a healing agent, while ground agarwood is typically sprinkled at gravesites as a sign of respect. Gaharu merupa, agarwood pieces resembling figures like birds or humans, hold spiritual significance.

When mixed with coconut oil, agarwood creates a topical treatment, and a concoction of boiled agarwood offers relief for rheumatism and body aches. Various cultural groups, including the Chinese, Orang Asli, and native Sabah shamans, utilize agarwood in their spiritual practices, with Chinese employing agarwood incense sticks.

The Penan community in Sarawak employs agarwood to remedy stomach troubles, fevers, and as an insect repellent. Grated agarwood is used in cosmetics, medicinal treatments during sickness and childbirth, and its essential oil contributes to anti-wrinkle face masks.

Agarwood, specifically a type called Kayu gaharu lempong, is used to treat jaundice and body pain. Muslims often burn agarwood splinters or chips for their pleasant aroma during religious ceremonies and Ramadan prayers. Furthermore, Malay tribes use agarwood smoke in their paddy fields to soothe spirits, and interestingly, it also acts as a natural deterrent against lice, fleas, and mosquitoes.


In India

Agarwood oil is mainly employed in the creation of perfumes and incense, and it plays a crucial role in the funeral rites of priests and nobles.

Through a process called distillation, the oil is refined into a product named minyak attar, commonly used to impart a scent onto prayer clothing. Hindu rituals often include the burning of agarwood incense, and the oil is also an ingredient in incense sticks.

Agarwood finds use in funeral rites, including cremation pyres and preparations for body burial.

Medicines made from agarwood come in various formats such as pills, liquid extracts, and plasters. Combined with other components, these medicines function as stimulants, digestive aids, love potions, treatments for rheumatic conditions, malaria preventives, pain relievers, clearing agents, general tonics, and diuretics. They are recommended for treating a range of health issues, including fluid retention (dropsy), heart irregularities, female reproductive system disorders, and as a health booster during and after pregnancy.

Agarwood also has a place in Ayurvedic medical practice.

Its broad medicinal applications encompass the treatment of chest inflammation, nervous disorders, digestive and respiratory issues, smallpox, rheumatism, spasms, fevers, epilepsy, abdominal discomfort, asthma, cancer, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, lack of appetite, oral health issues, facial paralysis, chills, sprains, bone fractures, nausea, reflux, frailty in the elderly, breathlessness, general pain, kidney conditions, liver cirrhosis, lung and stomach tumors, leprosy, inflammation, arthritis, and gout. It's also used as a nourishing tonic and stimulant for mental health conditions and malnutrition. Additionally, agarwood essential oil forms a key component in products such as agarwood essence, soap, and shampoo.

References Chakrabarty et al. (1994); López-Sampson and Page (2018); Smith and Stuart (2003); Yaacob (1999) Potential and Usage of Tropical Agarwood

In Japan

Agarwood is utilized in several forms such as wood chips, small pieces (also known as kowari), agarwood powder (known as jin-koh matsu), cut pieces (kizami), square chunks (kakuwari), incense sticks, cones, pressed-powder shapes, agarwood oil, and small bits (mei-koh). Other forms include chipped mixed fragrance (sho-koh), blended incense ball (naru-koh), blended incense sticks (sen-koh), and sachets (nioi-buruko).

The primary uses of agarwood in Japan revolve around its role in religious and cultural practices, as well as its medicinal benefits. One such usage includes mixing agarwood with firewood to create a smoky perfume during cooking. In addition, wood chips are often used as jinkoh incense in Buddhist or other religious practices. The scent of burning agarwood, referred to as soratakimono, is also enjoyed in the country. This is particularly evident in the ko-doh ceremony, where agarwood is burnt to appreciate its fragrance. This burning of agarwood is considered a suitable feminine pleasure in Japanese culture.

Agarwood also plays a role in traditional medicine in Japan. It is used as an ingredient in Rokushingan, an anesthetic, and zu-sei, a fatigue treatment. Incense containing agarwood is also used as a calming aromatic in the workplace, aiding productivity and promoting a sense of mental tranquility. Furthermore, agarwood incense is used to treat stomach aches, act as a sedative, and to anoint the deceased.



In Yemen and Indonesia

In Yemen, Agarwood is predominantly traded and used in forms such as agarwood oil, essential oil, sticks or splinters, and beads. The oil is a highly-valued base for expensive perfumes and is also used in pure form as a perfume. It's used to scent prayer clothes and to rub on prayer wooden beads, creating a fragrance known as Attar oil.

The oil also finds application in the creation of soaps and shampoos. It is commonly burned during prayers in mosques and parish halls for its calming and tranquil fragrance, which is believed to aid in meditation and enlightenment. At home, it's burned to calm the body, dispel negative energies, enhance mental function, and inspire a sense of harmony and vigor. Agarwood, or Oud as it's known, is also used to encourage positive energy, good luck, and is believed to alleviate neurotic and obsessive behavior.

In the Islamic funerary practice, Oud perfumery is mixed with other essential oils to embalm corpses. Agarwood is also used in the form of prayer beads.

In Indonesia, agarwood is used mainly for the treatment of joint pain.

In Korea and United Arab Emirates:

In Korea, Agarwood is mainly used in the form of oil. It is traditionally employed for various medicinal purposes such as treating coughs, acroparalysis, croup, and asthma. Additionally, it is used as a tonic and stomachic agent, sedative, and expectorant, providing a variety of health benefits.

On the other hand, in the United Arab Emirates, Agarwood is traded and used in several formats including Agarwood oil, also known as Dihn al oudh, Arabian perfumes (both oil-based and in sprays), French-style perfumes, and scented chips like Agarwood chips or oudh and bakhoor. High-quality Agarwood chips or oudh are often reserved for special occasions such as weddings.

Agarwood is primarily utilized for its aromatic qualities in the UAE. Its oil or incense is used as a body fragrance, typically applied on the hair, behind ears, on the neck, and in nostrils for personal devotion. It's also used to fragrance clothes, particularly for prayers and special occasions, and to provide a pleasant aroma in homes. Burning Agarwood chips is not only considered a part of the country's heritage but also its modern national identity.


More research

Research on resinous agarwood formation was conducted by Sulaiman et al. (2023).

Agarwood, a precious aromatic substance, finds a variety of uses in different forms across diverse domains:

  1. Agarwood Chips/Scented Chips: These are burned for a pleasant scent and are used in various religious and cultural ceremonies, including meditation, Ramadan prayers, and special occasions like weddings.

  2. Solid Agarwood Chips: Recognized as natural art, these are crafted into beads and bracelets in countries like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, serving artisan businesses.

  3. Agarwood Powder and Dust: This is used to make incense sticks and coils, providing a fragrance to interiors. Additionally, high-grade agarwood powder is used in Chinese medicine to boost circulation, alleviate vomiting, nausea, and abdominal complaints, and serve as a tonic during and after pregnancy.

  4. Essential Oil: Pure agarwood oil signifies a person's status and prominence. It's used as a body and clothes fragrance. Furthermore, it has therapeutic properties, helping to soothe the mind, relieve anxiety, and heal skin irritations. It's also used as a diuretic, facilitating detoxification and clearing congestion in the nasal and respiratory passageways.


Journal articles

Below are the lists of research done in the past proven the benefit of Agarwood leaves and oil, please click on each title to view:

Effect of the aqueous extract of Aquilaria agallocha stems on the immediate hypersensitivity reactions

Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of agarwood

Agarwood and Pharmacological Activities


Grandawood Agarwood leaves lab test result

Agarwood leaves benefit from multiple research

Fermentation with Aquilariae Lignum Enhances the Anti-Diabetic Activity of Green Tea in Type II Diabetic db/db Mouse

Laxative effects of agarwood on low-fiber diet-induced constipation in rats

Chinese Herbs Healing

Cures without side effect

Antihyperglycemic activity of agarwood leaf extracts in STZ-induced diabetic rats and glucose uptake enhancement activity in rat adipocytes

Antibacterial activity of Aquilaria crassna leaf extract against Staphylococcus epidermidis by disruption of cell wall

Antitumor and antimicrobial activities of endophytic fungi from medicinal parts of Aquilaria sinensis*

Antifungal and Antioxidant Activities of Aquilaria crassna

Pharmacological properties of agarwood tea derived from Aquilaria (Thymelaeaceae) leaves: An emerging contemporary herbal drink

 Click here for more scientifically proven benefit with journal research peer review and references