Monthly Archives: November 2013

Agarwood’s Many Benefits: An Ancient Treasure

agarwood chips

Understanding Agarwood

For those with any interest in aromatherapy and fragrances, understanding agarwood, its history, and its uses is a must.  This precious resin-saturated heartwood has been treasured since the beginning of written history, by countless cultures the world over, due to its special, one-of-a-kind fragrance.

In order to understand what makes agarwood so special, however, more than its fragrance must be taken into account.  Agarwood chips have always been considered precious due to their relative difficulty to obtain.  Agarwood is not simply the wood of specific species of trees, like the aromatic sandalwood.  Instead, a special biological interaction between these trees and an invasive mold serves as the catalyst for agarwood production.

Its rarity in combination with its rich scent has resulted in the prominence of agarwood chips, incense, and oils around the world.  In addition to being considered a precious resource due to its fragrance, other benefits have also been ascribed to agarwood.

Medicinal Benefits

Many cultures around the world have traditionally used agarwood in the treatment of various ailments.  Traditional Chinese medicine has long considered products made from agarwood chips to be beneficial to those suffering from digestive ailments, for example. Likewise, powdered agarwood was used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for similar complaints.

Spiritual Benefits

Such a precious resource naturally has been linked with spiritual health and well-being as well.  Ayurvedic traditions have suggested that burning cultivated agarwood chips can produce a pleasant and productive atmosphere for meditation.  Likewise, Tibetan practitioners have traditionally believed the use of agarwood chips or their extracts to have a positive influence on mental and emotional well-being.

Other Benefits

Agarwood has played an important role in human history for thousands of years, so it should come as no surprise that the uses for and benefits of agarwood chips are nearly endless.  Agarwood chips can be used to achieve balance within a home, as it is embraced by practitioners of feng shui as well.  It has gained notoriety as an aromatherapy ingredient, and even an aphrodisiac.  Some people even wear bracelets with beads crafted from agarwood chips.  And of course, it has always been a staple of the beauty industry thanks to its long-lasting, beautiful scent.

Trying Agarwood For Yourself

A multitude of agarwood products are available, from freshly harvested wild chips, to carefully tended cultivated agarwood chips, oils, and perfumes. Explore agarwood’s many benefits with an open mind, and you may be surprised!

Agarwood: Ancient Aromatic Soothes Stress Today

agarwood chips

An Ancient Remedy

Agarwood may be the answer to finding a more peaceful state of mind in today’s hectic society.  The dark, resin-rich heartwood has been considered helpful to mental, physical and spiritual well-being by many cultures around the world.  In fact, agarwood has played a central role in some cultures for thousands of years.  But could this special substance really have a place in modern society?

What is Agarwood?

Agarwood, often sold in fragments called agarwood chips, is the name for a special type of heartwood found in only a select species of trees.  These trees are susceptible to a certain type of mold, in reaction to this mold, they produce the richly scented, dark resin that gives agarwood its unique aromatic properties.  Nothing else in nature has the complex, distinctive, pleasing aroma of agarwood.

What Type of Agarwood Works Best?

Agarwood can be sold in a number of different forms.  The most common are agarwood chips, as mentioned above.  Cultivated agarwood is becoming more common, and cultivated agarwood chips are therefore gaining in popularity.  They’re the same as wild agarwood, but cultivated agarwood is renewable. Cultivated agarwood chips can be heated in a special warmer (often available from the same merchants that sell agarwood chips) to release the scent of the resin.  There are also ready-made agarwood incense products.  If the heat or burning associated with incense or warming raw agarwood chips isn’t convenient, there is also an essential oil produced from wild and/or cultivated agarwood.

How to Use Agarwood to Sooth Stress

Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Tibetan cultures have long believed agarwood to have calming, stress-relieving properties.  Using this ancient remedy isn’t difficult—simply find the most convenient way to enjoy its rich, calming scent.  If you’d prefer not to use agarwood chips or traditional incense, try experimenting with other forms of wild and cultivated agarwood fragrances.  Essential oil produced from cultivated agarwood chips can be used in diffusers (doing double duty as air freshner), diluted and used as a linen spray, or even used as a perfume. Small drops can be placed behind the ears or on the pulse points, to carry the soothing scent of agarwood with you all day long.

Do Agarwood Chips Really Relieve Stress?

As with any remedy, agarwood may have differing effects for different people.  Many people have found relief from agarwood, and almost everyone can enjoy this ancient fragrance in some manner.