Benefits and Properties
of Benzoin Essential Oil
Styrax benzoin Styrax
Place of origin
Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, now also in Malaysia, Java and Sumatra
Styrax is a genus of about 100 species of shrubs and trees from the family syracaceae. It can grow to about 20 feet tall, and has simple ovate leaves 1-18 cm long and 2-10 cm wide with white flowers that are pendulous with a 5-10 lobed corolla
Solvent extraction, Benzoin is a gum resin, which has to be melted or dissolved in wood alcohol before it is used. After putting a deep cut into the bark of the tree the resin can be excluded from the tree and will continue for about 15- 20 years. The resin is originally a milky white substance and solidifies when exposed to air and sunlight, once it is hardened it is removed from the bark of the tree. Then the resin is thick, sticky and dark reddish-brown. Be sure you find one that has been dissolved in wood alcohol and not ethyl glycol or get in solid form and melt. The oil has a sweet, balsamic vanilla aroma kind of like vanilla ice cream.
cinnamic acid, benzoic acid, siaresinolic acid, benzoresinol, phenylpropylic alcohol, siaresinotanninol, coniferyl benzoate (60-70%), coniferyl cinnamate and vanillin.
Blends well with
lavender, geranium, cinnamon, rose, sandalwood, lemon, camphor
photosensitive – keep treated areas out of sunlight; may cause allergic reactions
Beneficial Effects - Physical
anit-cartarrhal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, deodorant, expectorant, diuretic, circulatory, cicatrizant, warming
Specific Conditions – Physical
throat infection, catarrh, bronchitis, asthma, coughs, cystitis, muscular pain, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, psoriasis, lesions, skin ulcers, itchy skin, scar tissue, chapped and cracked skin, burns, acne, skin irritations, wounds, dermatitis
Beneficial Effects – Mental
relaxing, soothing, calming, balancing, gentle sensuous
Specific Conditions – Mental
anxiety, depression, irritability, stress, tension, fatigue
Approximate drops per use (30 ml = 1 ounce):
For 25ml use 3-4 drops; 50 ml use 6-8 drops; 100 ml use 12-16 drops. This is just a gage to go by, it can vary, depending on the quality of the oil, the method of use and what it is being used for.
It is best known as ‘Friar’s Balsam’ a compound tincture. In the East benzoin has been used for many years in incense and medicine to drive out evil spirits. Chinese herbalist like its heating and drying properties. It is used often with English herbalists. Works great as a natural fixative for perfume and a main ingredient in many incense, it will also extend the shelf life of other oils.
Benzoin is wonderful to use for healing skin disorders, like cracked heels and toes, chapped hands, chilblains. (blend with lemon, camphor, or lavender for extra benefits). A good one to add to lotions and salves for dancers, builders, dairy workers, gardeners, foresters, and others who do work that is rough on their hands or feet.
Because of its antiseptic and warming properties it is very good to use for infections of the respiratory system. Use for colds, coughs, clearing mucus, sore throats, flu, and loss of voice. Use in an oil or salve or inhale from a tissue or the bottle or use in a diffuser.
Benzoin has the ability to stimulate and sooth at the same time and get things moving in the body. It will help stimulate the circulation, increase the flow of urine, and expel gas. It helps fight infection of the urinary tract and is comforting for pains in the stomach.
Benzoin is also good to use in a massage oil (blend with rose) to give a massage with someone who is depressed or anxious, sad or lonely, its warming, soothing and stimulating properties are helpful for the mind and spirit.
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