Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)
Location: Benzoin is found in Cambodia, Java, Laos, Sumatra, Thailand and Vietnam.
Extraction: Solvent extraction of the gum.
Colour and Odour: Benzoin resinoid is thick and dark golden-brown in colour, having a pleasant aroma resembling vanilla. It is one of the heavier oils and is an excellent fixative.
Description: The Benzoin tree grows in tropical Asia, where it is also cultivated. The natural gum is collected from deep incisions made in the tree trunk: it hardens on exposure to the air.
Background: Long used in antiquity as incense. Known in Europe in the Middle Ages, when it was used as a compound tincture for inhalation. It was called "Friar's Balsam" Benzoin is a resinoid and cannot be obtained as a pure essential oil. The resinoid is the natural extract from the tree, which is then diluted with a solvent. This makes it easier to pour and handle, as the natural product is very thick and difficult to use.
Properties: Warming, energizing, circulatory stimulant, sedative, decongesting, expectorant, carminative.
Urinary System-It's antiseptic property is good for cystitis.
Respiratory System-A tonic for the lungs . Effective for colds and flu, helping clear congested mucus. Also good for coughs, sore throat and loss of voice.
Muscular System-Good for rheumatism.
Skin-Soothing for conditions where there is redness, irritation and itching, such as cracked skin and chapped hands, chilblains and dermatitis. A good remedy for wounds and sores.
Emotion-Calming and comforting for states of sadness, anxiety and depression. Especially good for dispelling anger.