You may have already heard great stories about Oud oil and Agarwood tea. Its mystic fragrance and feel! Do you ever think of its origin? The fact is that the aroma is from Agarwood, the resinous heartwood that develops in Aquilaria forest trees. Amazingly, it is formed due to the reaction of fungal inoculation in the bark of the trees.
The Agarwood tea which is also known as Oud tea has the history of over 3000 years and is the world’s most expensive incense. The fragrance is from the protective oil secreted by the affected trees. The secretion which is commonly known as Oud oil is one of the most precious, expensive and rare oil in the world. It is widely used as scents and is famous for preparing classy Agarwood tea from its leaves.
Another exciting fact is that the Agarwood is very native to India. The Aquilaria trees are sub-tropical foliage which stretches all over Southeast Asia. The trees generally grow at elevations of few meters above the sea level to 1000 m. You can see Agarwood at any Indian soil types, but it doesn’t mean that it is very common.
The value of first-grade Agarwood is very high in both commercial and medicinal field. Prices vary between a few dollars per kilo for the downgraded quality to over fifty thousand dollars for the highest grade quality oil and resinous wood. They are considered as best for curing many infectious diseases and digestive problems. Also, the Agarwood tea is famous as the best solution for aging symptoms and medicine for refreshing body and mind.
What is Agarwood?
Almost all the species of Aquilaria can produce the most demanded Agarwood. In South Asia, particularly India, the mostly seen Agarwood species is Aquilaria achalloga. Aquilaria malaccensis is also seen in Malaysia and Indonesia, while Aquilaria crassna is found in Indochina. A number of others are also known, such as Aquilaria grandfolia, Aquilaria chinesis etc., which contribute highly to the Agarwood production.
The trade of Agarwood only meets 40% of the requirement. This is because there are no signs of external production of Agarwood and also the quantity of the Agarwood produced in the tree can only be known after the death of the tree and when cut open. This is one of the reasons for the increasing cost for Agarwood.
Again, the resin producing Agarwood trees are becoming endangered because of the widespread destruction of forest across Southeast Asia. Aquilaria plantations are the genetic source material which helps to prevent many plants decreases, maintain diversity, and improve resin production.
The quality of Agarwood depends on the health of the trees. If the trees are very healthy, Agarwood will be of light or pale color. When the tree is strongly infected by the disease, the production of dark and incredibly aromatic resin known as oleoresin will be high. There is no external method to develop the infection in the trees and thus the production of Agarwood is completely natural and pure.