Agaru: Uses, Benefits, Precautions, Dosage And More

Agaru, commonly known as Agarwood or Oud, is a valuable aromatic wood derived from Aquilaria trees, particularly Aquilaria malaccensis, which become infected with specific moulds such as Aspergillus fumigatus or Trichoderma asperellum [1] [2]. This infection prompts the tree to produce a fragrant resin as a defence mechanism, giving the wood its distinctive scent. For centuries, Agaru plant has been highly regarded in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system, for its wide array of healing properties.

Agaru Synonyms

Agaru plant is recognized by various names across different cultures and languages, highlighting its international appeal. Common synonyms include: [3]

  • Oud (Arabic)
  • Gaharu (Indonesian)
  • Jinko (Japanese) 
  • Eaglewood (English)
  • Aloeswood (English)

Chemical Constituents of Agaru

The distinctive fragrance and therapeutic qualities of Agaru stem from its complex chemical makeup. The primary component is Agarwood oil, which is rich in sesquiterpenoids like α-agarofuran, β-agarofuran, and jinkonin. Additionally, Agaru contains various other substances, such as flavonoids, phenols, and diterpenes, which contribute to its wide range of medicinal effects [1, 4].

Agarwood Benefits for Health

Traditionally used in Southeast Asia, Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicine, Agaru (Aquilaria spp.), commonly known when queried “what is agarwood”, shows promise for various health benefits. Research suggests potential anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. Additionally, studies suggest specific compounds in Agarwood may help relieve anxiety. Agaru may also offer benefits for cancer and heart health. The plant contains potentially bioactive compounds like terpenoids and phenolics. While Agarkasth appears safe at studied doses, further research is needed on its long-term effects and safety in smoke inhalation. [5, 6]

  1. Agaru for Relieving Cough and Cold

Agaru is beneficial for alleviating coughs and colds due to its expectorant and decongestant properties. It helps clear mucus congestion, making it easier to expel and soothing irritation in the respiratory tract. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe a sore throat and ease discomfort from upper respiratory infections. [7]

  1. Agaru for Treating Bronchitis

Agaru’s therapeutic properties can aid in treating bronchitis, an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Its anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory effects help relax the airways, improve breathing, and promote faster recovery. [7]

  1. Agaru for Reducing Pain and Inflammation

Agaru has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief from various types of pain. It is effective in managing headaches, joint pain, and muscle aches. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce swelling and promote tissue healing. [7]

  1. Agaru for Improving Appetite

In Ayurveda, Agaru is known as a stomachic, meaning it stimulates the digestive system and enhances appetite. It is useful for those experiencing digestive weakness or loss of appetite. [7]

  1. Agaru for Mental Health

Traditionally used as a “breach power medicine,” Agaru (Aquilaria spp.) shows promise in improving mental well-being through its potential effects on sleep, anxiety, and depression. [7]

  • Sleep: Agaru extracts and volatile oils might enhance sleep quality. In animal studies, they may shorten sleep latency (time to fall asleep) and extend sleep duration. The mechanism might involve regulating the GABA system, a neurotransmitter system crucial for sleep regulation.
  • Anxiety: Research indicates Agaru’s potential role in reducing stress. Studies suggest extracts may inhibit certain gene expressions potentially linked to anxiety. Additionally, some isolated compounds in Agaru, like diterpenoids, might work by preventing the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, brain chemicals influencing mood.
  • Depression: Similar to its potential for anxiety relief, Agaru extracts may inhibit gene expressions linked to depression. Diterpenoids, found in Agaru, might also play a role by influencing serotonin and norepinephrine levels, potentially improving mood regulation.

Precautions with Agaru

While Agaru offers many benefits, it should be used with caution:

  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to insufficient safety data.
  • Drug Interactions: Agaru may interact with certain medications. Consult a healthcare professional before using medication.
  • Skin Sensitivity: Agaru oil can cause skin irritation in some individuals. Perform a patch test before applying it topically.

How to Use Agaru

Agarwood uses are varied depending on the therapeutic goal: [7]

  • Internal Use: Agaru powder or decoction (a concentrated herbal tea) can be consumed under the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner.
  • Inhalation: Diffuse Agaru oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or directly inhale it for respiratory and mood benefits.
  • Topical Application: Apply diluted Agaru oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil for agarwood benefits for skin and muscle aches.

Recommended Dosage of Agaru

The appropriate dosage and Agaru uses depends on the application and individual health condition. It is essential to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the correct dosage and form of Agaru for your specific needs.

Side Effects of Agaru

While generally safe, Agaru can cause side effects, especially when used improperly or at high doses. Studies on Agarwood essential oil offer some insights. Undiluted topical application of Agaru oil might cause skin irritation and redness. Inhaling concentrated Agarwood oil may lead to headaches in some individuals. More research is needed, particularly for internal consumption of Agaru. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before using Agaru, especially if pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications.


Agaru, a valuable resinous wood with a rich fragrance, is significant in Ayurvedic medicine. Its varied therapeutic properties offer benefits for numerous health issues, from respiratory ailments to skin health and emotional well-being. However, it is crucial to use Agaru responsibly and under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. Agaru can be a beneficial addition to a holistic wellness routine when used correctly.


This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, including Agaru. They can assess your individual needs and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.


What are the uses of Agaru oil? 

Benefits of oud oil and its uses:
Relieving respiratory issues like cough, cold, and bronchitis
Managing pain and inflammation
Promoting healthy skin
Enhancing appetite
Reducing heartburn and nausea
Supporting emotional well-being

How to take Agaru/Agarkasth?

Agaru can be consumed internally as powder or decoction, inhaled through an aromatherapy diffuser, or applied topically when diluted with a carrier oil. Always seek advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner for correct dosage and usage methods.

3. What is the valuable part of Agaru? 

The most valuable part of the Agaru tree is its resinous wood, which is used to produce Agaru oil and powder for medicinal purposes.

What are the benefits of Agaru powder?

Agaru powder, when taken internally under proper guidance, offers benefits similar to Agaru oil, such as respiratory support, pain relief, and improved digestion.

How to use Agarwood? 

Agarwood can be used in various forms, as mentioned. Ensure to use high-quality Agarwood and consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for the correct methods and dosages.



Dr. Pawan Kumar Sharma

Dr. Pawan Kumar Sharma is an adept medical professional with an M.D in Ayurveda from Gujrat Ayurveda University where he was the university topper of his batch. In his B.A.M.S years in the renowned Devi Ahilya University, Indore, Dr Sharma was awarded two gold medals for his academics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here