- Gaharu, or commonly known as Agarwood, is a resinous substance formed in the trees of several Aquilaria species. Merchants from the West as far as modern-day Morocco and from the East as far as Japan have travelled to the Malay Archipelago in search of this rare commodity.
Gaharu is also known by many other names in various languages:
- Arabic: Oud (عود)
- Chinese: Chénxiāng (沉香)
- Japanese: Jinkō (沈香)
- Gaharu formation happens under very special circumstances. The resin-like substance will only form after the tree is infected by a certain type of mould. In response to the attack, the tree will then form a dark fragrant resin in its bark that is highly valued for its distinct aroma.
- Gaharu is burned by adherents of Middle Eastern cultures to enliven their homes and offices. In the Far East, it is sculpted and decorated as household ornaments as under the right conditions the scent would lightly adorn the house even without being burned. In the West, perfumers put it through the hydro-distillation process to extract its essential oil to make perfumes.
- In efforts to harvest Gaharu without jeopardizing the survival of the species, man have started to inoculate cultivated Aquilaria trees with microorganisms in order to induce Gaharu formation. Whether it comes naturally from the jungle or planted and inoculated by entrepreneurs, Gaharu remains a commodity high in demand all over the world.
- This commodity is so sought after that all Aquilaria species are now protected from extinction and have been classified under Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna. The international trade of Aquilaria products is permitted but it requires proper legal documentation.
- Studies made on Aquilaria trees have shown that it has several medicinal benefits to offer. To list out a few:
- Helps reduce blood sugar levels
- Eases hypertension
- Acts as an antioxidant to eliminate free radicals
- Many consumers of LEAFLIFE Gaharu Herbal Tea have reported positive feedbacks on the said benefits while others have reported that it rejuvenates their memory and body.
- Accounts on the medicinal benefits of Gaharu go back more than a thousand years ago. Muslim historian, Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari wrote: Narrated Um Qais :
|“ I went to God’s Apostle along with a son of mine whose palate and tonsils I had pressed with my finger as a treatment for a throat and tonsil disease. The Prophet said, “Why do you pain your children by pressing their throats? Use Oudh al-Hind Gaharu for it cures seven diseases, one of which is pleurisy. It is used as a snuff for treating throat and tonsil disease and it is inserted into one side of the mouth of one suffering of pleurisy ”