"Benzoin can be a pathway to understanding when all is confusion. It can assist with choices that must be made with the heart," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She goes on to say the emotional benefits of benzoin are to encourage comfort, elevation, peace, and determination while also being soothing, cushioning, and protective.
Although many people refer to benzoin essential oil (Styrax benzoin), benzoin is technically an absolute made from the resin of the tree. The resin is too thick for the steam distillation process used to make essential oils. Rather, a solvent such as hexane is used to extract a thick oil from the resin.
Styrax benzoin is also called Sumatra benzoin. Don't confuse it with Siam benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis), which has different components and properties and is less commonly used in aromatherapy.
Plant family: Styracaceae
Production: Solvent extraction from the resin that exudes from the trunk of the benzoin tree. Traditionally, the resin was used for incense.
Aroma: Warm, balsamic, vanilla-like
Perfume/Aromatic note: Base
Is benzoin safe to use during pregnancy? No, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby.
Is benzoin essential oil safe for children? Do not use with babies.
Cautions: May irritate sensitive or allergic skin. May sensitize skin after prolonged use. This thick oil may clog some types of diffusers.
Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: "This fragrance is for those who feel anxious, emotionally blocked, lonely, or exhausted, especially from a life crisis. It creates a 'safe space' that protects one from outside interference."
Aromatherapy for Dummies: Benzoin is popular in a cream or salve to protect chapped skin, improve skin elasticity, and reduce redness. The oil is a fixative that when added to potpourri or perfume makes the scent last longer.
Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine benzoin is one of the most important oils for deficient yang energy of the spleen-pancreas. The oil is also useful for asthma that has a cold, catarrhal nature with clear or white mucous and may help relieve sore throats with hoarseness or loss of voice. Emotionally, benzoin calms, centers, and reassures.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Benzoin may be beneficial for relieving coughs, colds, scar tissue, nervous tension, stress, and emotional crisis.
The Aromatherapy Bible: Benzoin is "cuddly" and "its sweet fragrance comforts people who are sad, lonely, alienated, depressed and bereaved."
Use suggestions from Essential Oils: All Natural Remedies:
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