|Latin name||Styrax benzoin|
|Synonyms||Gum benzoin, gum benjamin|
|Extraction||Resinoid, using solvents|
|Origin||Tropical Asia (sumatra)|
|Plant characteristics||A large tropical tree measuring up to 20 meters high with pale green leaves that are whitish underneath with a hard shelled flattish fruit. Benzoin is a pathological product produced when the trunk is cut as the tree exudes a balsamic resin which hardens when exposed to air and sunlight.|
|Oil characteristics||An orange-brown thick viscous mass with a rich sweet-balsamic odour.|
|Traditional use||It has been used in the East for thousands of years as medicine and incence as the fumigations were believed to drive away evil spirits. The Chinese herbalists used it for its heating and drying properties, as a urinary antiseptic and as an aid to digestion. In the West it is used as a form of compound, tincture benzoin or Friars Balsam, used for respiratory complaints. It has been used externally for cuts and irritable skin conditions.|
|Blends well with||Sandalwood, rose, jasmine, frankincense, myrrh, cypress, juniper, lemon, coriander and other spice essential oils.|
|Cautions and comments||Non-toxic, non-irritant, possible sensitization|
|Main chemical constituents||Esters up to 70%, Acids up to 15%.|
How to use?
4-5 drops in bath, on tissue or in a vaporiser. 15 drops in 50ml carrier.
WARNING – do not apply undiluted or internally. Keep away from children and eyes. Store in cool, dark place.