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Agaru, Agar, Akil, Eaglewood are few common names of evergreen tree Aquilaria agallocha. It is found at altitude of 1500 m above the sea level. In India, Agarwood is mainly found in East Himalayas, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Assam. The heartwood of Agar tree has economic and medicinal significance.
The mature heartwood of the tree is aromatic. The aroma is result of fungal pathogenesis. When the wood of tree is infected by fungi at wounds, it develops patches filled with resin and becomes aromatic. These resin filled patches are scattered. It takes several years to form resin inside the wood. To obtain the resinous part of wood, the trees are cut down due to which this species of tree is critically endangered.
Agru wood is chief ingredient of Agarbatti or incensed sticks. In Ayurveda, Agarwood is used as perfume, stimulant, cholagouge, and deobstruent (clear or open the natural ducts of the fluids and secretions of the body). It is used as an ingredient in preparation of many Ayurvedic medicines which are nervine tonic, carminative and stimulant. The wood is used both internally and externally. The paste of wood is applied on skin diseases and headaches. The essential oil obtained by distillation of wood is applied on wounds, ulcers, ringworms and other chronic skin diseases. The powder of Aguru wood is mixed with honey and given to treat cough. The incense of Aguru gives relief in asthma. In asthmatic attacks, the essential oil of Aguru wood given in dose of 1-2 drops with paan ki patti (leaf of Piper betle).
The botanical name of Eaglewood is Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. Its synonym is A. malaccensis Lamk. It belongs to plant family Thymelaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Malvales
- Family: Malvaceae
- Genus: Aquilaria
- Species: A. agallocha
Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Aromatic resin filled heart wood.
Description of Heart-wood: Drug available in cut pieces, dark brown to nearly black;fracture, hard;
Plant type: large evergreen tree.
Distribution: Assam, North East part of India;also found in Bhutan, Sumatra, Myanmar, Malaya, Malaysia and Philippines.
Habitat: humid, subtropical climate with rainfall 1800-3500 mm annually.
Status: vulnerable, critically endangered.
- Sanskrit: Aguru, Lauha, Krimija
- Assamese: Agaru
- Bengali: Agaru, Agarkashtha, Agar Chandan
- English: Eagle Wood, Agar wood, Aloe wood,
- Malayan Agar wood, Agallochum;
- Gujrati: Agar
- Hindi: Agar
- Kannada: Krishna Agaru
- Malayalam: Akil
- Marathi: Agar
- Punjabi: Ooda, ooda, pharsi
- Tamil: Akil kattai
- Telugu: Agaru
- Urdu: Ood Hindi, Agar
Constituents of Agarwood/Eaglewood
Agarwood contain aquilochin, liriodenine (an alkaloid), gmelofuran, agarol (novel sesquiterpenes) and chromone derivatives, Agarospirol. The essential oil yields a number of agarofurans, sesquiterpene alcohols and spirosesquiterpene alcohols.
Dosage of Heartwood
1-3 grams in powder form;Oil 1-5 drops;tea 10-40 ml.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action
- Rasa (taste on tongue): Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
- Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Sharp), Snigdha (Unctuous)
- Virya: Ushna (Heating)
- Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
- Action: reduces phlegm, reduces vata, increases pitta, cures headaches, skin diseases and vomiting.
- Therapeutic uses: Respiratory ailments, diseases of ear, diseases of skin, snakebite.
- Anodyne: Relieves pain without causing loss of consciousness.
- Antispasmodic: used to relieve spasm of involuntary muscle.
- Antiemetic: useful in the treatment of vomiting.
- Constipative: Causes constipation.
- Stomachic: stimulates gastric activity.
- Sedative: promoting calm or inducing sleep.
- Tonic, nutritive, tissue-builder.
Medicinal Uses of Agarwood (Aquilaria agallocha)
Agar wood powder is used in treatment of excessive thirst in fever, vomiting, cough, headaches, low appetite, indigestion and diarrhea.
Taking 1-3 grams of powder of Agar heartwood with dry ginger powder and honey is helpful.
Take 1-3 grams of Agar wood powder.
Anorexia, low appetite
Take 1-3 grams of Agar wood powder with honey.
Prepare tea of Agarwood and give in dosage of 10-20 ml.
Diseases of skin
Prepare paste of the heartwood and apply at affected body parts.
Apply the paste of wood at affected body part.