Benzoin Gum Sumatra is a resinous solidified from Styrax Benzoin tree (Styrax Sumatrana / Styrax Paralleloneurus / Styrax Dryand), native plant from North Sumatra-Indonesia. It has been collected, traded, and used for thousands of years ago by some of the oldest civilizations of the world for their religious ceremonies and as their medicines.
A pure Benzoin Gum Sumatra has strong storax. When burned, it produce smoke of specific natural benzoin aromatic. It has various sizes from 1 to 3cm width and 2 to 7cm length. It has milky white color when it just exudates from the tree and become yellowish brown after 3 weeks.
Benzoin Oil (Styrax Benzoin Oil)
It is not a true as essential oil, but classed as a resinoid. It is a perfume fixative and has addictive scent. It has a thick liquid product and rich of sweet balsam and vanilla like aroma. It is good as a deep moisturizer and used in lotions or creams and lift your negative emotions by adding the oils into carrier oil.
Tincture of Benzoin – Friar’s Balsam
It is very good for inhalation when you have cough and cold, ease aches, or pains. It has tranquilizing effects and has relaxant and sedative properties. It is a powerful local antibiotic for treating variety of infections and could be used effectively prior to surgery. It has astringent, antiseptic, reduces inflammation, and help to stop bleeding properties.
Properties and Uses
Emotions and Mind:
It has relaxant and sedative properties. It also has tranquilizing effects. It relieves anxiety and stress, tension, eases nervous tension, uplifting, soothing, warming, helps to overcome depression and restore confidence, dispels anger, diminishes irritability, and clears the head. Actually it brings the nervous system and neurotic system to normal. It gives a feeling of mood-uplift in case of depression and relaxes and in case of anxiety and stress. These properties of Benzoin Gum Sumatra were detected since long time ago and been used to create a mood in gathering.
Benzoin Gum Sumatra stimulates the production of gastric juices (carminative), helps digestion, calms the digestive tract and alleviates flatulence. It helps removal of gases from the stomach and the intestines and relieves inflation of intestines. Because of its relaxing effects, it relaxes the muscular tension in the abdominal area and help gases pass out. This helps digestion and improves appetite.
Benzoin Gum Sumatra stimulates the production of urine (diuretic). It promotes and facilitates urination, in frequency and in quantity, thereby helping removal of toxic substances from the blood through urine. It is used to fight leucorrhoea and yeast infections. Urination also helps in lowering blood pressure, losing weight and improving digestion.
Respiratory and Decongestant:
Benzoin Gum Sumatra has a soothing, sedative effect on the respiratory tract, and behaves as a good expectorant. In the form of a tincture, benzoin is used as an inhalant with steam of water (approx. 30ml of tincture into 3Lt of water) for the relief of tense breathing (tones the lungs), helps to expel mucus, used for flu, laryngitis, bronchitis, cough, and upper respiratory tract disorders.
Its tranquilizing properties help relax and induce sleep to patients who cannot sleep due to extreme congestion from cough and cold. Due to this property, it is also used in balms, rubs, vaporizers etc. Use Benzoin in Steam Inhalation, Vaporization or in Massage Oil Blend massaging into the chest, back, and throat.
Benzoin Gum Sumatra warms and tones the heart, improves circulation, raises spirit and uplifts mood. It gives a warm feeling, stimulates heart beat and improves circulation. The molecules of Benzoin Oil, along with inhaled smoke, get into our nostrils and detected by the our smell buds and transmitted to our brain, thereby the effects then stimulating the our brain.
Muscles and Joints:
Benzoin Gum Sumatra used for rheumatism, arthritis, gout. It eases muscle tension by reducing inflammation and detoxifying acids from the joints. Helps to relieve sore muscles and stiff joints after strenuous physical activity. These are the most used properties of Benzoin Gum Sumatra when applied externally, due to easy absorption of Benzyl components in it through the skin pores. Due to this, it is used in a number of anti arthritic balms.
Benzoin Gum Sumatra has astringent, antiseptic, reduces inflammation, help to stop bleeding properties. It is useful where there is redness, irritation, itching, and for cracked or dry skin. Helps to keep the skin supple and elastic, and tones up the muscles which all of these very helpful for face lifting and for reduction of wrinkles on the skin. With regular application it can soften scar tissue. It also tightens the gums when mixed with water and used as a mouthwash.
Antiseptic and Disinfectant:
It is a powerful local antibiotic for treating variety of infections including multiple aerobic, anaerobic, and spore-forming bacteria, as well as Candida albicans and Mycobacterium fortuitism. It has been used as an antibiotic for superficial wound infections and has well-established uses in both allopathic and traditional forms of medicine.
In tincture form, it used in surgical specialties. It is use as a preoperative surgical preparation, because it has an efficient and strong local skin antibiotic and could be used effectively prior to surgery.
In incense form, the components like Benzaldehyde, Benzoic Acid and Benzyl Benzoate are very effective germicidal, bactericidal, fungicidal and anti viral properties. The extent to which its smoke spreads on burning will makes the zone disinfected from germs. It prevents from septic when externally applied on wounds and protects open wounds from infections.
Perfume and Deodorant:
Benzoin is a perfume fixative and has addictive scent. of sweet, vanilla, resinous, balsamic, powdery, milky, and spicy which is soothe, stimulate, comfort, and warm individuals especially when they are exhausted or feeling a little down. It is associated with Prosperity and mental powers.
Because it is very rich in aroma, it is also extensively used as deodorant for rooms and body. Its medicinal sweetness fills the rooms with nice aroma and drives away odor. Mixed with bathing water and massage oils or otherwise, if applied on body, it kills germs that causing the body odor. This property comes from the presence of derivatives of Benzene ring in Benzoin Oil. Actually benzene is a cyclic hydrocarbon and like all other cyclic organic comp ounds, is aromatic in nature.
Benzoin is particularly useful for eczema and psoriasis, using powdered clay (green if possible). Place 25 ml (11/2 tbsp) clay in a small dish, add 3 drops benzoin, and enough distilled water to make a smooth paste. Apply immediately to the affected areas, leave for a minimum of 20 minutes, then rinse off with a chamomile infusion (put 3 heads of the dried flowers in a cup of boiling water, infuse for 10 minutes, then strain and cool). The eczema and psoriasis should look much better, much less angry and irritated, as the paste is very soothing. Repeat a few times per day when the condition is acute.
For psoriasis of the scalp, add 5 drops benzoin oil to a very mild shampoo and shake well before use. Rinse the hair finally with cold mineral water. (If your shampoo is too strong, add a proportion of distilled water to dilute it.)
Many other skin complaints can benefit from the use of the balsamic resin – frostbite, bed sores, wounds, burns and skin ulcerations. Mix 10 ml (2 tsp) almond oil, 2 drops wheatgerm oil and 6 drops benzoin oil. Apply on affected areas.
For catarrh and chest infections, put 3 drops benzoin oil in a bowl of hot water and place the bowl beside your bed at night. During the day, add 4 drops benzoin oil and 1 drop eucalyptus to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the fumes for as long as you can. Several times during the day, rub your chest, torso and sinus areas with the following oil: mix 10 ml (2 tsp) soya oil with 1 drop wheatgerm, 8 drops benzoin oil and 2 drops eucalyptus.
(See also impetigo, melanosis and sinusitis.)
Benzoin is useful for brown marks on the face, decolletage and hands, particularly in association with lemon oil. Mix 10 ml (2 tsp) almond oil with 2 drops lemon, 2 drops wheatgerm and 4 drops benzoin oil. The simple benzoin tincture could be diluted with distilled water to make an effective skin toner.
Benzoin is one of the most favoured of perfume fixatives and is widely used in the perfumery industry and in pot-pourri mixtures, old and new. It can also be used in herb pillows or in sweet bags to perfume linen. Benzoin was once burned as incense in churches, and the gum could be burned to perfume the air at home.
Benzoic acid was discovered in gum benzoin in 1608; it has been used as a food preservative.