Benzoin Essential Oil: Contraindications, Benefits And Properties

What is Benzoin Essential Oil?

Benzoin oil is extracted from a tree that can measure more than 20 meters in height; with a resin production time of 15 to 20 years (mature age).

It is a yellowish resin that thickens and hardens after extraction, turning slightly darker than honey.

Its smell is strong and it is like vanilla ; not being very good his taste for being very abrupt.

Its uses are multiple; highlighting since ancient times its antiseptic power of the respiratory tract.

We suggest reading this article about  Vanilla: Contraindications, Benefits and Properties

Origin of Benzoin oil

This tree is said to be native to Vietnam ; but currently they are in Malaysia, Java and Sumatra.

It is a tree that reaches more than 20 meters in height; Benzoin results from the extraction of the tree’s bark from its resin.

Its leaves are oval and its flowers are yellow and perfumed; already in ancient times its use in traditional medicine was well known.

For the Greeks it was known like Silphión; and for the Romans it was lasepitium. It was used to perfume rooms, which was called “pot pourri”.

Pot Pourri or Popurri was used by the Greeks and Romans; It was a mixture of dried plants or dried aromatic resins that were used by placing them in earthenware bowls, ceramics or cloth bags to decorate rooms and take advantage of the aroma to relax the space and give a feeling of well-being.

It was an honor for kings and emperors to receive benzoin resin as a gift ; According to the amount sent, it was the size of the thank you, accompanied in some cases by others present, such as in Egypt, Melech el-Mazda, sent two Persia rugs and 30 Benzoin rotoli to the Doge of Venice

This resin arrives in Europe from the hand of a navigator, as was Barbosa (Portuguese). As early as 1623, its properties had been studied by the English and its uses were confirmed, so production and exploitation began.

Later years it was already known in much of the world having as its greatest use and affinity for the respiratory tract.

In France it was known for such a property, using the name “haume pulmonaire”; the English called it “Balsam of the Friar” ; highlighting its antiasthmatic, anticatarrhal, antitussive action.

Nostradamus describes it as an antispasmodic and tonic in many of his recipes and advice in the year 1556.

Medicine in history dates from the 19th century; They defined it as the use of natural means so that the individual can restore their health.

However, it is good to highlight that although the concept as such of what natural medicine or naturism is has been from that date on; the properties of plants were already known and put into practice since ancient times.

The ancestors used this type of aromatic resins both for prevention, cure of diseases and religious and spiritual rites.

It is for this reason that it is believed that the Benzoin had magical powers and drove away evil spirits, it was of choice for rituals in harvests to be given in a productive way.

Benzoin oil became very popular due to its wide use, which over the years was scientifically confirmed and is today an essence with a high degree of commercialization and sales.

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What other names does Benzoin oil receive?

Benzoin oil in its history has received different names that have been established according to its use and place.

The most common names with which this essence is associated today are benzoin gum; ben oil, benzoin, benjamin gum and benzoin.

Characteristics of Benzoin Oil

It is a honey-colored, sweet-smelling gummy resin that is extracted from the bark of the Styrax officinalis tree after bleeding.

Its smell or aroma is very similar to the smell of vanilla ; it is a fresh and pleasant fragrance; the resin after extraction becomes hard and even reddish.

Structure and chemical composition of Benzoin oil

It contains resin in its composition in an approximate of 70-80%; cinnamic acid, which has a honey-like odor; it has antifungal and antiseptic properties.

Another component is vanillin, which gives it that particular vanilla smell that benzoin has; coniferyl benzoate; benzoic acid; phenylethylene; phenylpropyl alcohol

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How is Benzoin oil extracted?

Benzoin oil is obtained from the resin that is extracted directly from the tree . The process by which this resin is extracted is slow; so it takes days to get it.

There are infinite types of trees that contain this type of resins inside their bark and their use is infinite; its extraction is similar in all cases.

Benzoin resin is obtained by cutting the bark of the benzoin tree; With suitable tools for this purpose, a small scraping (mirroring) of the bark of the tree is made until it reaches the wood; a cut that cannot be more than 3cm deep.

Following this, a metal sheet is placed that acts as a directive of the liquid that comes out of the tree to a container.

This liquid is shedding from the cut bark of the tree very slowly so it is a work of days of supervision . It is estimated that it is around 8 days to obtain a small amount of resin.

Obtaining this resin if the established norms are not complied with can damage the tree, so it is recommended that the cuts should not be greater than 20cm each; You can also opt for once the cut is dry, it is done again in the same place to continue obtaining the resin without causing another cut.

This work is carried out in forests that are arranged to preserve this type of substances that the trees contain inside; It is custom that the ancestors practiced and used in their natural state to set rooms and therapeutic use

In the 19th century, when this resin reached Europe, it began to be exported in its oil form and it was given the property that is essential due to the amount of volatility it contains in its fragrance.

It is not a procedure that can commonly be done at home. It is a resin extraction that must be done and controlled by experts for this purpose.

Then it is subjected to industrial processes for its presentation as popular as its essence and virgin milk or benzoin milk; among other.

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Benzoin oil benefits and properties

The benefits of the substances that nature offers us are infinite, they provide balance since they stabilize it in its three planes: body, soul and mind; connects them working together to restore homeostasis.

The essential oil of benzoin has properties that activate all the systems of the human body; provides relaxation, sedation , better sleep comfort, better rest in the central nervous system .

In the circulatory system it leads to better blood circulation, largely leading to restoring optimal tension values, making it cardioprotective .

In the respiratory system it goes hand in hand with its pulmonary antiseptic property since it prevents cases of colds, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia; as well as throat problems, aphonia, among others.

In the limbic system, it increases sexual desire, improving libido and producing a state of fullness, tranquility.

In the endocrine system, it controls hormonal secretion with the proper functioning of the glands.

In the digestive system, it is a powerful antispasmodic , helps improve appetite, relieves abdominal pain, helps improve gastritis, peptide ulcers, irritable colon or bowel, flatulence, hemorrhoids; etc.

Benzoin oil performs a regenerating, healing, antiseptic and rejuvenating function on the skin ; this, because it activates the production of collagen which provides that the cell fibers stay together and the skin remains firm.

It prevents the appearance of stretch marks, improves skin circulation, is a powerful moisturizer, improves cases such as psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, skin flaking due to burns.

It improves metabolism by producing a better use of the energy acquired from food and an adequate elimination of harmful toxins since it is an antioxidant, it improves the urinary system, allowing a better glomerular filtration, being anti-inflammatory of the urinary tract, it is used in cases of cystitis.

It fortifies the pancreas causing a better functioning so it is ideal to use it in cases of diabetes, to improve and regulate insulin secretion.

It is analgesic for rheumatic pain, arthritis, muscle stiffness; namely; It has infinite uses, everything depends on the presentation that is chosen and the case that is applied to see surprising results.

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Benzoin oil for the skin

It is the perfect ally when it comes to the skin ; since it restores the freshness that is lost over the years and rejuvenates the cells, making their hydration and elasticity restore their tone and avoid aging features.

It is a powerful antiseptic so it can be used on wounds as it also helps relief and healing; helps to improve and eliminate acne, providing the skin to regenerate and prevent future damage with recurrences.

Use of Benzoin oil during pregnancy

During pregnancy all body systems are altered, all this caused by the secretion of some hormones that would not occur under normal conditions without the woman being pregnant.

During this first stage or trimester of pregnancy, the woman should not use any type of essences (including benzoin); since its activity in the body can lead to toxic or unwanted effects such as spontaneous abortions or damage to the fetus.

The use of this type of oil in babies is also not recommended and it is said that in children its use is limited , so they recommend that the minimum age for its use is 6 years.

They establish this because it is an essence that causes drowsiness, a condition that worsens at both ends of life (children and the elderly).

Aromatherapy and Benzoin oil

It is an essence and therefore of great use and favoritism for aromatherapy ; its particular smell of vanilla and in turn its sweet tone gives it a calming and balancing aroma.

In the past it was used in spiritual rituals to clear negatively charged environments; in ceremonies, and even to embalm the deceased; as well as in the natural medicine of the time improving through the inhalation of the aroma of benzoin panic attacks, anxiety, stress, convulsive states, depression, respiratory diseases, etc.

In aromatherapy today its use does not change much, since it is precisely what it is used for; It is an aroma that with its presence makes a difference in the environment and its use is continued in the same conditions as in the past.

The use of essences diluted or mixed in base oils such as sunflower or olive oil, jojoba oil, oil or shea butter is always recommended, since it enhances its effect by synergizing with the oil chosen as a base and prevents its toxicity or allergic reactions on the skin with its pure use.

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Benzoin oil contraindications

Contraindicated in pregnant women and children under six years of age . Being a resin, it is recommended to test on a small portion of skin and check that you are not allergic to its components.

Its direct use is not recommended since its concentration is very high because it is an essence and can cause irritations, allergic reactions and toxicity.

Benzoin technical sheet

  • Family: Stretch
  • Plant- part: Tree- resin.
  • Extraction: Dissolution.
  • Oil color: reddish-brown yellow.
  • Aroma: intense, sweet, vanilla.
  • Uses: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, skin regenerative, anti-aging, antitussive, anticatarrhal, anxiolytic, fungicide, antispasmodic, diuretic, analgesic.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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