Agaru, Aquilaria agallocha is a fragrant tree, commonly known as Agarwood, Aloeswood, Eaglewood etc. It is used in treating diseases related to ear, nose, throat, asthma, cough etc.
Botanical Name-Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.
Names in different languages:
English Name – Agarwood, Agilawood,
Hindi Name- Agar
Bengali Name- Agaru
Telugu Name- Agaru
Tamil Name- Aggalichandanam, Agalichandanam
Bengali name- Agaru
Malayalam name – Akil
Krumija, Krimijagdha, Anaryaka, Vishvaroopakam, Pravara, Jongakam, Shreshta Vruksha, Rajarha, Vamshika
Loha – It is heavy and black, similar to Iron.
Sheeta Prashamana – Group of herbs to relieve feeling of coldness, moistness
Shvasahara – Group of herbs that relieves asthma, bronchitis
Shiro Virechanopaga – Group of herbs useful in Nasya treatment
Tikta skandha – Bitter tasting group of herbs
Sushruta- Salasaradi, Eladi,
Sleshmashamana – Kapha balancing group of herbs.
Vagbhata- Salasaradi, Eladi
Physical properties of Agarwood:
The bark of aguru exhibits a pleasant aroma and thus finds a place in the groups of medicines used for fumigation type of treatment used in conditions of non healing skin ulcers exuding discharges to dessicate the surface of the ulcers.
In Dhanvantari Nighantu another variety Kaleyaka is mentioned.
Sodhala Nighantu explains about three types – Agaru, Krishna Agaru and Kakatunda Agaru.
Rajanighantu quoted four varieties viz.
Krishna agaru (black)
Kashta agaru (yellow)
The aguru is of two varieties based on the color of the bark –
1] Whitish [shveta aguru] and
2] Blackish [Krishna Agaru] – This is considered superior.
Distribution- found in the eastern parts of India in July- august. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Maipur, Nagaland, Tripura.
It is also found in Bhutan, Myanmar, Sumatra and Malaysia.
Major chemical constituents
Agarospirol, Aquillochin, Holocellulose, Lignan, Pentosans, Essential ois viz. Agarol (a sesquiterpene alchol, the main odoriferous component) a-and b- Agarofurans; nor- keto- agarofurans, Jinkohol, Jinkoheremol,Dihydrokaranone, Kusunol, agarotetrol etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Aquilaria agallocha therapeutic Properties-
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Teekshna (strong, piercing)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya- Ushna – hot potency
Effect on Tridosha: Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha
Part Used – Aromatic resinous wood, oil – called as Agarwood oil, Aloeswood oil.
Dose – powder 3-5 grams in divided dose per day. Oil – 1 – 5 drops.
Aquilaria agallocha medicinal uses
रास्नागुरुणी शीतापनयनप्रलेपनानां (Charaka Sutrasthana 25th chapter)– Application of Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata) and Agaru (Aquilaria agallocha) is best in removing coldness, on external application.
सरल देवदारु शिंशपागुरु गण्डीर सारस्नेहास्तिक्त कटुकषाया
Dushta Vranashodhana – Cleanses wounds
Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases
Krumihara – useful in worm infestation, infected wounds
Kaphahara – relieves sputum, useful in cough, cold, asthma
Anilahara – Balances Vata Dosha
By the virtue of the bitterness and pungentness of taste in addition to the sharp penetrating and lightness attributes, the aguru appeases the kapha doSha and increases the pitta doSha.
The innate hot potency of aguru becomes the cause for appeasing the vata doSha.
Usage in Ear, nose and throat disorders:
Shruti Netrarujahara – useful in ear and eye disorders. Hence it is used as ingredient in Anu tailam – a very famous Ayurvedic oil used as nasal drops to treat ear, nose and throat related disorders. It is also an ingredient in Arimedadi Thailam – Used for oil-pulling or gargling. It helps to improve strength of teeth and sense organs.
Because of Aguru’s fragrance and utility in ear, nose, throat related disorders, it is used as ingredient in Ayurvedic herbal smoking.
Kushtanut – relieves skin diseases
Pittala – increases Pitta
Tvachya, Twakdoshahara – useful in skin detoxification.
It relieves bad breath, acts as digestive and carminative.
2 drops of Agarwood oil is applied to betel leaf and given to the patient to eat, to treat asthma.
The Ayurveda pharmacodynamic of Aguru:
In cold seasons the paste of hot potencied aguru is smeared over the surface of the skin exposed to the cold weather to mitigate the cold effect caused by the frost.
In fevers with chills too the aguru lepa [smearing of paste over body surface] is beneficial.
The innate potency of heat of aguru stimulates the bhrAjaka pitta present underneath the surfaces of the skin, at a quicker rate.
In kapha doSha predominating condition of tamaka shvAsha [bronchitis], the prAnavaha srotases [respiratory tract] gets obliterated with the presence of mucous.
Hence based on the principles of Ayurveda the patients of tamaka shvAsa are subjected to purgatory and emetic procedures of purificatory therapy [shodhana] of pancha karma.
Post shodhana therapy, provision of aguru powder mixed with honey helps in mitigating the remnant doshAs within the channesl ofprANavaha srotases.
The mucous adhered within the bronchioles gets liquefied and loosedned from the mucosal surface and get expectorated thereby p[roviding relief from the status of wheezing and dyspnoea caused by the bronchitis.
The fumigation of aguru inhaled through the nostrils and exhaled through the mouth too benefits in providing the expectorating effect of the mucous adhered to the mucosa of bronchioles by the virtue of its uShna and tIkShNa properties.
Exposing the surface area of the non healing ulcers with fumigation of the aguru chUrNa dessicates the exudation from the ulcers.
The smearing of aguru lepa over the affected portions of the physique of health seekers, provides comfort from pain caused by Osteo arthritis, gouty arthritis, rheumatic joints and vatic diseases.
In eczematous skin lesions when aguru lepa is applied, it acts as an emollient and softens the skin surface by removing the roughened flakes from the surface of skin.
The aguru based oil preparation, when used as ear drops appeases the otalgia [ear ache] and suppurative otitis [pus in middle ear].
The pain and inflammation of the eyes gets relieved when a thin paste of aguru is smeared over the surfaces of the eyelids.
Its paste applied externally acts as stimulant, relieves pain, bad odour, skin disorders and inflammation.
In rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis, its paste is applied over the joints to relieve pain and inflammation.
Because it is an aromatic tree, it is used as ingredient in many Ayurvedic oils. Example:
Himasagara Tailam – Ayurvedic oil used in various neuro-muscular conditions and Vata diseases.
Because it slightly increases Pitta, care needs to be exercised while administering it to people with Pitta body type.
It is used in low quantities in children and during lactation. It can be used in pregnancy, but only under medical supervision.
Ayurvedic medicines with Aloeswood ingredient:
Ayaskriti – It is mainly used in anemia, weight loss therapy, skin diseases etc.
Rasnadi Kashayam – It is widely in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis.
Khadiradi Vati – used in Ayurvedic treatment of bad breath, oral ulcers, diseases of teeth etc. It is advised to keep this tablet in mouth and swallow its pieces slowly.