Uses and Benefits of Agarwood

17 Benefits of Agarwood Oud that You Should Know

by Yawar Saeed

Agarwood in its various forms; oil, wood, powder, plant etc. has been used for many health benefits and treatment of various illness. For thousands of years, agarwood has been used for medicinal purposes and continues to be used in Ayurvedic, Tibetan and traditional East Asian medicine. Listed down here are some of its benefits and uses.

Benefits of Oud

1. East Asian Medicine:

    • Agarwood is prescribed in traditional East Asian medicine to promote the flow of qi, relieve pain, arrest vomiting by warming the stomach, and to relieve asthma (Anon., 1995a).

2. Chinese Medicine:

    • High-grade agarwood powder is prescribed in Chinese medicine (Yaacob, 1999).
    • High grade agarwood powder is also used in the production of pharmaceutical tinctures (Heuveling van Beek and Phillips, 1999).

3. Use as Liniment:

    • Malaysians use agarwood mixed with coconut oil as a liniment. Likewise Indians and chinese also use agarwood oil in their traditional medicine as a liniment for the treatment of various skin diseases. (Burkill (1966))

4. Rheumatism:

    •  Agarwood oil is used in a boiled concoction to treat rheumatism and other body pain.(Burkill)

5. Jaundice:

    • Often-discarded uninfected wood is used as Kayu gaharu lemppong by Malaysians to treat jaundice and body pains. (Chakrabarty et al. (1994))

6. Smallpox and Abdominal Pain:

    • Agarwood has been noted for its use as a complex ointment for smallpox and for various abdominal complaints. (1930, cited in Chakrabarty et al., 1994)

7. Pleurisy:

    • Its use for the treatment of pleurisy is referenced in the Ayurvedic medicinal text the Susruta Samhita.

8. Nervous System Disorders:

    • When used in aromatherapy, agarwood oil may help to treat anxiety, stress, depression and other nervous system disorders.

9. Liver and Kidney:

    • Agarwood oil is used to treat cirrhosis of the liver and kidney problems.

10. Lung and Stomach Tumours:

    • Agarwood oil is used in the treatment of lung and stomach tumours.

11. Carminative Diuretic:

12. The Indian Council:

    • The Indian Council summarizes the properties of agarwood as follows: “Agarwood is considered stimulant, antiasthmatic, carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac and astringent. It is used in diarrhoea, dysentery, gout, rheumatism and paralysis.

13. The Cropwatch Organisation:

    • The Cropwatch Organisation similarly lists acknowledged merits of agarwood in Asian medical praxis as “warming,” “to relieve stuck energy particularly in the digestive and respiratory systems,” “to alleviate pain,” and “balancing effects” on “nervous and emotional disorders.”

14. Middle East and Bangladesh:

    • In Egypt, Arabia and throughout the northeast part of Bangladesh, agarwood is described as a stimulant, cardiac tonic and carminative (Bhuiyan et al., 2009).

15. China and Japan:

    • It is used as a traditional sedative, analgesic and digestive medicine in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine (Abdullah et al., 2007; Liu et al., 2008).

16. Assam:

    • The water portion obtained as distillate after separating the oud oil during distillation process is used at present in Assam as an efficient stimulant and tonic fo the treatment of mental disorder and malnutrition

17. Miscellaneous:

    • The oud oil is used to treat illness during and after childbirth; to relieve spasms especially in the digestive and respiratory systems, abdominal pain, asthma, cancer (used as a general tonic), colic, chest congestion, diarrhea, hiccups, nausea, nerves and treatment of regurgitation (Burkill, 1966; Chakrabarty et al., 1994; Kim et al., 1997; Barden et al., 2000; Bhuiyan et al., 2009).
    • Agarwood is also prescribed for dropsy, as a carminative, a stimulant, for heart palpitations, and as a tonic taken particularly during pregnancy, after childbirth and for diseases of female genital organs (Chakrabarty et al., 1994).


Yawar Saeed
Yawar Saeed


Also in Oud Info | Agarwood Info | About Oud | Benefits | History | Tree | Distillation

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