Medicinal Plants

Agaru (Aquilaria Agallocha) Benefits, Uses, Dosage & Side Effects

Agaru benefits in asthma, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. Its external application improves skin glow, reduces joint inflammation and burning pain, and kills lice and other parasites. It stimulates hair growth, prevents skin diseases, and improves appetite. It is also used for the treatment of intestinal worms, bad breath (halitosis), loss of appetite, and intestinal gas. Moreover, it also provides benefits in cardiac weakness, persistent hiccups, enuresis, chyluria (chylous urine), fever with chills, and diseases of male reproductive system.

Don’t Confuse: The aromatic resinous wood of Agaru is different from Agar-agar. However, both are known with same name, Agar. Both are obtained from different sources. Agar is Hindi name for Agaru. Agaru is obtained from species of Aquilaria genus. It belongs to Malvaceae family. Agar-agar is obtained from red algae.

Basic Information

Botanical NameAquilaria Malaccensis
Botanical SynonymAquilaria Agallocha, Aquilaria Secundana, Aquilaria Secundaria
Common NameAgaru, Agar, Agarwood, Aloeswood, Oudh, Oud, Gaharu
Plant FamilyMalvaceae
DistributionIndia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore

Medicinal Parts

  1. Agarwood – resinous and aromatic wood
  2. Agarwood Oil (also called Oud Oil)

Phytochemistry (Chemical Composition)

Agarwood from Agaru contains derivatives of 2-(2-Phenylethyl) chromones and sesquiterpenoids, which are mainly responsible for its therapeutic effects.

Medicinal Properties

Agaru has following healing properties.

  • Antiasthmatic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Carminative
  • Cholagogue
  • Demulcent
  • Deobstruent
  • Antimicrobial
  • Aromatic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Depurative
  • Digestive
  • Rejuvenating
  • Nervine
  • Sedative
  • Cardiac Stimulant
  • Anti-atherogenic
  • Antihyperlipidemic
  • Anti-thrombotic
  • Tonic
  • Nervine tonic
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Anti-dysentery

Ayurvedic Properties

RASA (Taste)KATU (Pungent) and TIKTA (Bitter)
GUNA (Main Quality)LAGHU (Light), RUKSHA (Dry) & TIKSHNA (Sharp)
VIRYA (Potency)USHNA (Hot)
VIPAKA (Resultant)KATU (Pungent)
DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)Pacifies Kapha Dosha & Vata Dosha

The internal intake has heating effects, but its external application has cooling effects.

Therapeutic Indications

Agaru is indicated in following health conditions.

  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Wounds
  • Intestinal worms
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Intestinal gas
  • Cardiac weakness
  • Bradycardia (abnormally slow heartbeat)
  • Gout
  • Rheumatism
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Enuresis
  • Chyluria (chylous urine)
  • Fever with chills
  • Loss of libido in men
  • Leucorrhoea
  • High blood pressure
  • Spasms
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Body odor
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery

Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Agaru provides strength to stomach, intestines, lungs & airways, heart, liver, brain and sense organs. It reduces joint inflammation, so beneficial in gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Its appetizer and carminative actions help to reduce abdominal diseases. It is a nervine stimulant and can also be used in cases of paralysis.


Agaru reduces inflammation and irritation of bronchial tubes. It also helps to thin the thickened mucus, which helps to clear the lungs. It is beneficial in both acute and chronic bronchitis.


Agaru powder (500 mg) along with honey or Agaru oil drops (1 to 2 drops) along with betel leaf is helpful in the treatment of asthma.

Persistent Hiccup

Agaru powder (500 mg) along with honey should be taken 4 – 5 times a day for treating persistent hiccup.

Agaru use in Fever management

Agaru reduces chills, fatigue and increased thirst occurring in fever. It helps to reduce the fever and restores body strength.

In fever, its decoction is useful and effective. Agaru Kwath (decoction) should be prepared with 5 grams Agaru wood powder and 240 ml water, which should be reduced to 60 ml keeping it on low flame.

Alternatively, it can also be used along with Trikatu Churna and Laung (Cloves) as follows:

Agaru powder1000 mg
Trikatu Churna500 mg
Laung (Cloves) powder250 mg
Ginger Juice2.5 ml
Honey5 ml
This mixture should be taken twice daily.

Protracted Fatigue & Debility after Fever

Agaru along with Giloy, Ashwagandha and Shatavari is an excellent remedy for treating protracted fatigue and debility occurring after fever. This mixture helps to restore the body strength and reduces fatigue, debility, laziness and body aches.

Agaru powder500 mg
Giloy500 mg
Ashwagandha500 mg
Shatavari500 mg
This Agaru mixture should be taken with milk twice daily for 5 to 7 days.

Excessive Thirst

Agaru wood powder is also beneficial for reducing thirst. It can be used along with Cardamom seed powder.

Agaru powder1000 mg
Elaichi (Cardamom) seed powder1000 mg
This mixture should be taken with Decoction prepared with 5 grams Munakka (a type of Raisins).


Agaru has anti-diarrheal properties and antimicrobial action, so it helps to reduce the frequency of loose stools as well as inhibits microbes responsible for the infection.

In ayurveda, it is commonly used along with Ativisha (Aconitum Heterophyllum). Agaru powder and Ativisha powder are mixed in equal proportion and advised to take with buttermilk.

Intestinal Gas, Bloating & Abdominal Distension

Agaru helps to release the intestinal gas. It can be used along with Cumin Seeds (Jeera) and Carom Seeds (Ajwain) for the treatment of intestinal gas, bloating and abdominal distension. This mixture is also helpful for reducing abdominal spasms and pains occurring due to excess gas in the gut.

Loss of Appetite

Agaru increases appetite acting on the stomach and liver. It improves liver functions and stimulates metabolism. It also improves gastric secretions and improves appetite.

In ayurveda, Agaru powder can be used along with Saindhava Lavana and lemon juice (Nimbu Svarasa).

Agaru powder1000 mg
Saindhava Lavana500 mg
Lemon juice (Nimbu Svarasa)5 ml
This Agaru mixture should be taken twice daily before a meal.

Halitosis – Bad Breath

Gum and oral diseases are a common cause of halitosis in about 80% cases. In such cases, Agaru powder is the best medicine for treating bad breath. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions inhibit microbial growth and reduce inflammation, reduce gum diseases and thus treat halitosis. Secondly, it is an aromatic and fragrant herb, which also helps to reduce bad breath.

In a bad breath, 2-3 small sticks of Agaru should be chewed 2 to 3 times a day for best results.

Bleeding Piles

Agaru powder along with Misri (crystallized sugar lumps) powder is used to treat bleeding piles.

Agaru powder1 grams
Misri (crystallized sugar lumps) powder3 grams
Cow’s GheeQ.S.
Make a paste of these ingredients using cow’s ghee and eat it twice daily. Warm milk can be taken after eating this Agaru paste.

Chyluria (chylous urine)

The passage of milky appearing white urine is called Chyluria. It occurs due to the presence of chyle in the urine. Chyle is composed of emulsified fat, albumin, and fibrin. In such case, Agaru is a drug of choice in ayurveda and gives awesome results in this case. In this case, Agaru leaves are used for making a decoction and combined with Haritaki Decoction.

Agaru leaf powder or decoction is likely to reduce the excretion of chyle in the urine, but how does it work in this condition is still unknown. It might reduce valvular insufficiency of lymph channels and prevent retrograde flow of lymph to lumbar lymph glands that drain into renal lymphatics.

Agaru leaf powder3 grams
Haritaki powder5 grams
Water240 ml
Both herbs are added in 240 ml water and boiled to reduce 60 ml decoction. It is advised to drink twice daily 2 hours after a meal.

Enuresis (Bedwetting)

Agaru is a nervine tonic and acts on nerves and urinary bladder. It improves nervine control and strengthens urinary bladder to hold the urine produced during the night. It also helps to treat overactive bladder, which is a common cause of the enuresis. Along with Brahmi, Vaividang and Haritaki, Agaru is highly efficacious to reduce the frequency if bed-wetting. Chandraprabha Vati can be added for an additional support to this treatment for enuresis.

Agaru powder1 Part
Haritaki powder1 Part
Brahmi powder1 Part
Vaividang powder1 Part
Dosage: 500 mg for children above the age of 5 years and 1000 mg for children above the age of 10 years. This mixture should be given 2 to 3 times a day mixing it with honey.

Numbness & Tingling

Unusual prickling sensations can occur in any part of the body, which indicates disturbances in Vata balance in the body, according to ayurveda. Agaru acts on Vata Dosha and reduces the sensation of numbness and tingling. In such cases, Agaru Churna and dried ginger (Sonth) powder is advised to eat with and Triphala decoction.


Agaru bark powder (2 grams) is advised to taken with 5 ml Cow’s Ghee for the treatment of Urticaria in ayurveda. It has antiallergic and antipruritic actions, which helps to treat urticaria. It also reduces raised itchy bumps and itching associated with urticaria.

Agaru heartwood powder along with coconut oil is also applied to the skin to reduce itching and burning sensation.

Dosage & Administration

The general dosage of Agarwood is as follows.
Children125 to 500 mg
Adults500 to 1875 mg
Maximum Possible Dosage6 grams Per Day (in divided doses) **
Doses: Twice or thrice a day with warm water, honey, cow’s ghee or milk
Best Time to Take: After Food

Types of Agaru

According to ayurveda, Agaru has four types:

  1. DAAHA AGARU: It is available in the Gujarat State of India. It is also called Tail Agaru. It gives a pleasing fragrance for a long period. It is also known for improving hair growth.
  2. KAASHTH AGARU: It is yellowish color Agaru and beneficial in bad breath, vomiting, and neurological disorders.
  3. KRISHNA AGARU: It is used in diseases related to eyes, ears, and skin.
  4. MANGALYA AGARU: It is best for therapeutic purposes. It is obtained from the Himalayan region around KEDARNATH, Uttarakhand. It is heavy and sinks in the water. It is called GARKI AGARU in Unani Medicine.

Agaru Side Effects

Agaru is likely safe when used in the recommended dosage. There are no side effects observed for its uses in patients suffering from any respiratory diseases or digestive ailment. However, it increases heat in the body that’s why it is indicated in fever with chills. Some patients with Pitta Prakriti or suffering from increased Pitta Dosha can have the following side effects:

  1. Feeling of excess heat in the body
  2. Hyperacidity

However, these side effects of Agaru are very rare. These side effects occur when Agaru is taken in heavy dosage more than 6 grams per day.

Safety in Pregnancy & Lactation

The external application of Agaru is possibly safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are no evidences available for the safety of internal intake of Agarwood during pregnancy and lactation. Stay on safer side and avoid its internal intake unless there is no other alternative available.

In ancient medicine, Agaru Churna is mixed in water and poultice is prepared. Agaru poultice is applied on forehead for severe headache and on joints for pain relief. It is a safer alternative as an external application to internal medicines of headache and joint pains. Therefore, Agaru powder can be used externally during pregnancy.

In breastfeeding, it might be safe for a short-term use (less than 2 weeks). Consult your doctor before using it.

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