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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.

Spicing Up Romance: Agarwood Aromatherapy

What Is Agarwood?

“Agarwood” refers to a precious, highly fragrant type of heartwood which occurs in a few specific species of tree.  It can take decades for a tree to produce this aromatic wood.  Agarwood’s unique and luxurious fragrance has been treasured since the introduction of the written word.  Agarwood chips and essential oils have been used to create incense, perfumes and essential oils, all of which have been thought to have numerous benefits.  Also known as Oudh oil, agarwood oils have even been valued as an aphrodisiac.

agarwood chips

How to Harness the Aphrodisiacal Powers of Agarwood

Agarwood’s wonderful, unique fragrance can be preserved in both agarwood chips and essential oil produced by steaming the wood itself.  This essential oil can then be added to any number of different products which allow the user to enjoy its benefits.  Massage oils, lotions and bath products can be used alone or shared by a couple to explore agarwood’s potential as an aphrodisiac.  Incense produced from wild or cultivated agarwood chips can also be used to set a romantic mood.  Whether used in a sensual massage between partners or as part of preparing oneself for romance, the incredible fragrance produced by agarwood chips is a wonderful aromatherapy choice.

Purchasing And Using Agarwood

If agarwood chip aromatherapy sounds appealing, there are any number of forms of agarwood which one can purchase to meet his or her needs.  Cultivated agar chips are increasing in popularity, thanks to a rise in agarwood plantations around the world.  Wild agarwood chips can also be obtained, but these may be more expensive (and may contribute to the diminishing numbers of agarwood producing trees in the wild).  Agarwood chips, whether obtained from wild or cultivated agarwood, is usually heated to release the aromatic resin which provides the distinctive scent.  It can also be finely ground into a powder to make incense.  However, many enthusiasts discovering the beneficial properties of agarwood prefer a ready-to-use product.  These are readily available, thanks to the popularity of this unique scent.  Ready-to-use incense, lotions, and even beverages like teas can be found.  These ready-made agarwood products can take the guesswork out of using agarwood.

Choosing The Right Agarwood Product

The best method for choosing the agarwood chip product that suits your aromatherapy needs is to experiment with different products for yourself. The rich, complex, and completely unique scent of agarwood cannot be compared to anything else, just as each relationship is unique. Try agarwood to spice up yours!

Cultivated Agarwood: Protecting a Rich Tradition

agarwood chips

Agarwood’s Long History

Agarwood has been treasured for thousands of years by cultures around the world for its one-of-a-kind, complex fragrance.  Like sandalwood, agarwood is a fragrant wood which retains its pleasing aromatic qualities.  It’s also similar to sandalwood in that it’s been used to create incense, essential oils, and perfumes since ancient times.  China, Vietnam, India, New Guinea, parts of Europe and many other places have long cherished or even revered agarwood for its various qualities. Relative scarcity and the potential for overharvesting have endangered the future of this precious wood, but the introduction of cultivated agarwood chips to the market is helping to protect it.

Agarwood In The Wild

Agarwood and sandalwood share another characteristic: both are found in multiple tree species.  Unlike sandalwood, however, finding a tree that produces agarwood relies upon more than simply knowing which species to choose.  That’s because agarwood is actually formed due to a special reaction between the tree and a mold which grows inside of it.  Harvesting prized agarwood chips from wild sources has always posed a challenge.

In order to procure agarwood chips or the essential oils produced by agarwood, the harvester must first find trees known to be able to produce it.  Then, they must ensure that the trees have already been exposed to the mold which results in the production of the rich, dark resin that makes agarwood unique.  Even once this is identified, the entire tree isn’t composed of agarwood; only the heartwood.  The demand for agarwood has always outstripped the supply, but with modern harvesting technology, it became easier to overharvest wild sources of agarwood.

Cultivated Agarwood

Because of their special significance to many cultures and its unique fragrance profile, agarwood chips are still in great demand today.  However, continuing to harvest agarwood from wild sources is problematic.  First, wild sources could not come close to meeting the demand for this much beloved scent.  Second, overharvesting could endanger the future supply of agarwood.  The common sense solution to this problem is cultivated agarwood.  Cultivated agarwood is produced by the same species of trees as agarwood found in the wild, but it’s carefully propogated and harvesting is responsibly scheduled in order that these agarwood resources may be renewed.

The Future of Agarwood

Wild trees which produce agarwood chips are now under legal protection in many locales in order to prevent their extinction, while cultivated agarwood chips have grown in popularity.