Over the past years, the agarwood tree has been used for different uses depending on a community’s culture and religious beliefs. For instance, in Japan, the Agarwood produced from the tree would be for in traditional religious ceremonies in burning of incense which was said to be a purifying agent to purify the space surrounding the Buddhist statutes. In china, agarwood, known as chen xiang would be used traditionally both as a body and as a mind relaxer. Also, the tree was used as a magical ingredient meaning the Chinese believed that if samurais applied agarwood essential oil on the sword before going into battle, it would automatically bring about good luck. However, this article will analyze the different medicinal uses of the tree as used in different countries.
The numerous number of diseases the agarwood resin is said to treat is impressive. Notably, the Aquilaria has produces agarwood which makes it a valuable mechanism in our modern days. The numerous products produced from the tree seem to have endless properties and functions. Traditionally, Agarwood has been used for different medicinal purposes including Ayurveda, Unani and Sufi medicine (Tisserand & Young, 2014). It has been used to cure cirrhosis of the liver, various skin problems such as skin rashes, used in countering smallpox and also fights skin infections among others. Also, the tree has had various therapeutic properties which account to the enormous health benefits whereby it has been used an anti-convulsant, anti-asthmatic, anti-depressant, carminative, antimicrobial, as an aphrodisiac, and finally as an anti-cancer.
Traditionally, there have been no valid reports concerning the use of agarwood towards cancer treatment. This would be due to the fact that cancer nomenclature is basically issued in modern medicine to describe the diseases associated with unregulated cell growth whereby in most cases, the inflammatory and occasional body pains are involved. However, the anti-cancer activity of the tree and its oils should not be underestimated. The trees potential in is termed to contain various constituents that may have anticancer properties (Barden, 2000). The constituents in agarwood include epoxychromones and syringaresinol, sesquiterpenoids and their oxygenated derivatives, 3-phenyl-2-butanone, alpha-guaiene, alpha-agarofuran, beta-agarofuran, as well as agarospirol and jinkoh-eremol which are said to fight cancer cells.
Gaharu oil (Agarwood oil ) from the Aquilaria tree was observed to possess anti-cancer activity towards MCF-7 breast cancer cells. To support the above statement, research has been carried out whereby evidence states that the tree was used to treat inflammatory diseases in the past years which clearly shows that the Agarwood oil would be used to counter fight inflammatory diseases associated with cancer. Analysis of Agarwood oil against MCF-7 (breast cancer cells), oil concentration at 44 μg/ml was able to inhibit 50% of control cell growth. The invention discloses an ethyl acetate layer of methanol extract of Aquilaria hulls for killing cancer cells and preventing and treating cancer. The extracts of Aquilaria hulls has a significant amount of cucurbitacins and they are effective in killing cancer cells, treating and preventing cancers.
Based on the simple screening procedures as well as cytotoxicity assay (SRB assay), Agarwood essential oils was identified to possess anticancer activity towards MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These results provide evidence which supports the traditional uses of the essential oils which were used to respond and treat inflammatory diseases (In Mohamed, 2016). The findings offer evidence to further support the traditional uses of the essential oils to treat inflammatory related diseases among others.This, therefore warrants further research to investigate the mechanism of actions of the essential oils or better understanding and positioning of the essential oil as a potential remedy for cancer.
In the near future, agarwood will have so many benefits. This can be through the essential oils produced where if more research is carried, it can be used to do more than is discussed and more than is already known. This is due to the fact that the essential oils obtained the tree have high medicinal properties. However, for this to be accomplished, researchers are required to put in extra effort Agarwood has so many benefits in the medicine research in the near future. In conclusion, the agarwood has been seen to contain more benefits, especially from the resin content which produces the oils and has been used for a number of medicinal purposes.