Before we go into the origin of Oudh and its importance in Arabic culture, let’s say what Oudh is. For the uninitiated, it is often referred to as Oud and is one of the most expensive raw ingredients globally, often used for its fragrance. A genuine and good kilogram of Oudh can be as expensive as a kilogram of gold or even more.
In English, it is known as the ‘Agarwood,’ and the ingredient has a distinctive woody scent to it, which can be instantly recognized. Oudh is a resinous property taken from the Agarwood tree. It is a resin that the tree bark produces after it gets diseased. However, not all trees that get diseased due to an attack by a fungus produce the resin (Oudh). Only rare ones create Oudh, and the older the tree is, the more expensive the Oudh oil is.
These trees are found in Southeast Asia and have played an integral part in the Arabic Culture.
Oudh and The Arabic Culture
The use of Agarwood or Oudh can be traced back to 1400 B.C.E and the products being used for trade during the ancient Silk Route era when it was traded from China to the Middle East and India. But in the Arabic culture, it had gained prominence when Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) used it to fumigate himself with Oudh, a practice still followed by the Muslims today. The Prophet referred to the Agarwood resin as an item that was founded in Paradise.
The wood is also known as ‘wood of gods,’ and its calming effect is often burnt during meditation. Throughout history, it has been used as an incense and fragrance oil. It has been applied on hair, neck, behind the ears, personal grooming, clothes before a social gathering, and even prayers.
Now it has become an integral part of the Arabic culture and their lifestyle, where they burn the high-grade wood chip to welcome guests, perfuming the household garments and using it as a rich fragrance. It has become a customary and essential ritual to use Oudh for any special occasion in the Arab world.
The rich and distinctive smell of the product has gained popularity beyond the Arab world and is one of the most in-demand fragrances and oils around the globe. But is it just the fragrance that allures people to use Oudh? Let’s find out if it has any more benefits.
Benefits of Oudh
Apart from that unique and rich smell of the ingredient, it offers quite a few benefits to the user. Some of them are:
- It boosts the feeling of content and harmony, thus calming the body
- It has psychoactive properties that help with improved cognition, reduce impulsive and obsessive behavior while relieving stress and anxiety.
- The fragrance emitted from the smoke and the essential oil is believed to reduce and eliminate negative energy around the house and the person.
- It is known to have aphrodisiac and antimicrobial properties.
- Oudh can also relieve lung-related diseases while easing the pains caused due to colic, diarrhea, breathing illness, and nervous system disorder.