Agarwood plays an important role in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinense Medicine for centuries (except from leaf, which its benefit has been discovered for the last decades). Agarwood is one of the main ingredient for treatment method of inflammatory-related ailments, and diarrhea, as well as a stimulant, sedative and cardioprotective agent.

Pharmacological ActivitesPart of Plant
Anti-allergic Stem, Seeds
Anti-inflammatory Leaf, Heartwood
Anti-microbialOil, Leaf, Heartwood
Anti-oxidant Leaf, Stembark
Laxative effectLeaf
Mosquitocidal Oil

Agarwood plant materials have been widely used as traditional medicines in Southeast Asian communities, for the treatment of arthritis, asthma, and diarrhea and have sedative effects. Phytochemical studies show that they contain sesquiterpenoids, 2 (-2-phenylethyl)-4H-chromen-4-one derivatives, genkwanins, mangiferins, iriflophenones, cucurbitacins, other terpenoids and phenolic acids.

Many pharmacological studies have been performed on crude extracts, and these extracts exhibit anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-ischemic, anti-microbial, hepatoprotective, laxative, and mosquitocidal properties, as well as effects on the central nervous system. Agarwood plant materials are considered safe, based on the doses tested.

Among the 154 new compounds identified from Aquilaria plants, 2-(2-phenylethyl)-4H-chromen-4-one derivatives and sesquiterpenes account for 57% and 35%, respectively, where most of the new compounds, accounting for 89%, were isolated from A. sinensis. Generally, agarwood originating from different Aquilaria plants share some common compounds, but still have several different compounds. In addition, there are at least 19 species of Aquilaria plants producing agarwood, which means that large quantities of new compounds need to be explored in agarwood and Aquilaria plants. The chemical components of agarwood are diverse and complex, contributing to the diversity of bioactivity and pharmacology, including neural activity, gastrointestinal regulation, antibacterial, anti-inflammation, and cytotoxicity. Based on the specific disease and target, illuminating the active ingredients and compounds of agarwood should be carried out, which may not only contribute to the understanding of the scientific nature of the traditional agarwood application, but also benefit the new drug research and agarwood product development.