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What is Aloeswood

Aloeswood is also commonly called agarwood or eagle wood. The short history of aloeswood has been regarded as a rare commodity by the Asian, Egyptian and near east civilizations for centuries. Agarwood is the resinous heartwood from aquilegia trees. These trees belong to the Aqualaria genus, Thymelaeceae family. Aqualaria trees can grow up to 40 meters in height and grows up to an altitude of 750 meters. They can grow in a variety of habitats including swampy, rocky and sandy areas. They can also grow in the wild and very fast growing producing flowers in 4 years. These trees are found at an altitude of 1,000 meters above the sea level and at least about 15 species of these trees produce agar wood. There are 4 main species which are most commonly known.

1. Aqualaria sinensis which grows to about 15 meters in height and is known for its night blooming flowers. It is used for agarwood and also the bark which is used for paper in china where these species are most commonly found.
2. Aqualaria malaccensis which grows from the north eastern Myanmar and Thailand down the peninsula of Malaysia. This also used for its agarwood.
3. Aqualaria agallocha is mainly found in Assam, and on the foothills of Bhutan. This is mainly used for agarwood.
4. Aqualaria crassna which is a native of Vietnam and Thailand.

Agarwood or Aloeswood also has a mythological history behind it. It has been associated with various religions and cultures. It is mentioned in the scriptures of Japanese and Chinese dynasties and quite interestingly in the bible also where it is referred to as Aloe in the Old Testament.

A unique process of the Aqualaria species of trees creates Aloeswood. The desired odoriferous resin produced within the heart wood is an immune response to fungal infection. The quality of aloes wood depends solely on the resin saturation within the heart wood. There are several ways to ascertain whether the tree has resinous heartwood without felling the trees. Externally, signs such as yellowing of leaves, irregular shapes or boles on the body of the tree are possible signs of infection of the fungus. Internally, collectors have to drill a small section of the tree to check if the resin is present.

Aloeswood is the most famous ingredient and is used in many of Japans finer traditional incense formulas. In the world Aloeswood is the most prized of all incenses and more expensive gold. It also has sweet smelling flowers which the trees produce. It is profoundly used as an incense ingredient in various oils, medicines and perfumes. As a medicine, it is a remedy for nervous disorders. Otherwise it is used to meditation purposes as it is said to have a great effect on the mind. It is not only used for medicinal purposes but also as an ingredient in various perfumes which are loved all most all around the world!! Thus, Aloeswood has a long dated and interesting history and even in recent times it is the most sought after agar wood which has so many properties.