Have you ever been curious about which plants contain natural healing properties? Many trees, plants, and flowers on our planet contain properties that can improve quality of life. Substances extracted from trees are usually oily and sappy in nature. One of these substances is benzoin essential oil. Throughout recorded history, this oil has had many different uses.
In fact, benzoin essential oil is still used for mental and phyisical wellness to this day. In this guide, we are going to explore all there is to know about this precious and useful substance. Before we get into the uses and benefits of benzoin, let's first dive into the origins and main compounds of the oil itself.
What Is Benzoin?
Benzoin essential oil is a thick, golden-colored and aromatic oil that is obtained from the Benzoin tree. Benzoin trees originated in Laos and Vietnam, but are now found prevalently in Sumatra, Java and Malaysia. The oil does not come from its signature white flowers, but rather tapped from the bark of the tree itself. For thousands of years, benzoin has been known by many names. The ancient Greeks referred to the substance as 'Silphion' and the Romans named it 'Laserpitium.' Benzoin's first appearance in English history was recorded in the 16th century.
Components and Characteristics
The main components of benzoin essential oil are benzyl benzoate, benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, coniferyl benzoate, cinnamic acid and vanillin. This last component is responsible for the sweet, pleasant aromatic qualities of the oil. This has led to benzoin's popular use in incense products. When tapped, the Benzoin tree bleeds a yellowish sappy resin. But 3 or 4 months later, when benzoin essential oil is refined, and the texture hardens, the oil turns brownish-red.
What Are The Main Uses Of Benzoin Essential Oil?
When mixed with other essential oils, benzoin has many medicinal qualities. Benzoin can help in the reduction of pain, fighting illness, healing the mind, and repairing tissues such as human skin. Let's explore some of these essential oil recipes.
For rheuma and arthritic pains, apply this mixture to the painful area(s):
You can also apply 2 drops of benzoin with 2 drops of marjoram oil for use in a warm bath or compress.
Fighting Respiratory Illness
You can use this steam-inhaled recipe to cleanse the breathing process by loosening accumulated phlegm and mucus.
To help in the fight against cough, cold and other respiratory ailments, gently massage this mixture on the chest, throat and back:
Healing the Mind
Benzoin essential is also used in helping control anger, stimulating the nervous system and pacifying the mind. Add the following recipe to your vaporizer, diffuser or burner:
Repairing Human Skin
To aid in the healing process of external wounds such as cuts and scrapes, mix the following recipe and place directly on the wound:
What Are the Main Benefits Of Benzoin Essential Oil?
For thousands of years, benzoin essential oil has been known to uplift spirits and brighten moods and used in celebration and gathering. This is why the oil was used in religious ceremonies by many different cultures throughout history. When benzoin is burned the aroma is inviting and pleasant. When inhaled, the molecules of the substance enter the nostrils and are detected by our smell receptors. These receptors transmit this information to the brain, which then stimulates the nervous system. This process also has a positive effect on blood circulation, gives us a warm feeling and stimulates the heartbeat.
Besides being a stimulant and antidepressant, benzoin essential oil also has relaxant and sedative properties. It aids in the relief of anxiety, nervousness, stress and tension. Benzoin works to bring the nervous system and the neurotic system to normal levels. This is what gives the substance its tranquilizing qualities as well as its mood stimulating effects. This is why benzoin essential oil would not make an especially useful energy supplement.
Some components of benzoin essential contain antiseptic properties. These components are Benzoic Acid, Benzaldehyde and Benzyl Benzoate. These elements are germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bactericidal, and antiviral in nature. When applied directly to wounds, benzoin helps prevent the onset of sepsis. Even when the substance is burned, the smoke produced can kill germs on contact.
Carminative substances remove gases from the intestines and stomach, which relieves the inflation or 'bloating' of these areas. Benzoin essential oil is carminative in nature. The relaxing components of the oil work to relax the abdominal area and allow the gases to escape to the body. This process also aids in the process of digestion and improves appetite.
Having such pleasant aromatic properties often leads to the use of benzoin essential oil as a deodorant for rooms and bodies. When the oil is burned, the smoke emits an inviting, pleasant smell which eliminates even the smelliest of odors. When mixed with massage oils and applied to the body, benzoin not only eliminates these odors, but kills the germs that cause odor. This aromatic property is due to the presence of Benzene ring in the substance. Benzene is a cyclic hydrocarbon which are aromatic in nature. Before the days of shampoo, women would use benzoin oil in their hair to make it smell better.
Benzoin essential oil possesses diuretic properties which promote and facilitate urine, both in quantity and frequency. This facilitates the removal of toxins from the blood by the process of urination. Proper urination function can lead to lower blood pressure, improved digestion and losing weight.
The anti-arthritic properties of benzoin make it a common tool to fight this painful ailment. When applied externally, benzoin essential oil is easily absorbed by the skin. Due to this quality, benzoin is used in a number of pain-relieving balms. Benzoin works to improve circulation, which along with a healthy diet and exercise, can improve mobility in those with arthritis or rheumatism.
The astringent properties of benzoin oil work to tone the skin and muscles. This is especially helpful in lifting the skin of the face and reducing wrinkles of the body. When mixed with water and used as a mouthwash, benzoin essential oil works to tighten the tissue of the gums. The astringent qualities of benzoin oil are commonly used to give people a more charming and youthful look.
Benzoin oil, containing warm and disinfecting properties, works as a wonderful expectorant. Expectorants remove coughs and clear congestion from the bronchi and lungs. Relieving this stress and congestion from the respiratory system eases the process of breathing for those with a cough or cold. Its tranquilizing properties allow those with congestive respiratory illnesses to be induced into a deep and relaxing sleep that would not have been possible otherwise. Due to these tranquilizing properties, benzoin essential oil is often used in vaporizers, balms and rubs.
Precautions And Final Words
Like most substances that heal the body, there is a risk factor involved in ingesting, inhaling or applying these healing substances to the body. Always remember, using excessive quantities of benzoin essential oil can cause vomiting, nausea, headache and lack of oxygen in the blood. If you are unsure of how to properly use and dose benzoin essential oil, consult with someone who is versed and/or licensed in the subject matter.
Benzoin, since the beginning of known civilization, has been used to uplift spirits and treat ailments of the skin, respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system and neurotic system. Therefore, benzoin essential oil is a helpful substance for the body and the mind. When combined with other essential oils, benzoin also has many uses to treat physical and mental ailments.
It is up to us to rediscover these substances that can prove vital to our well-being. Too often, we rely on man-made 'quick-fixes' to try to solve our problems. Often these man-made substances contain materials that are toxic to our bodies. However, it is also important to remember to use these natural remedies, such as benzoin essential oil, in moderation.