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A Guide To Benzoin Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

A Guide To Benzoin Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses | Image describes benzoin as an absolute and has a picture of resin and bottle of oil

"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. Instead, 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.

Basic Benzoin Facts

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 on the skin of children under age 2, according to Essential Oil Safety.

Cautions: May irritate sensitive or allergic skin. May sensitize skin after prolonged use. This thick oil may clog some types of diffusers.

Main components:

benzyl benzoate    50.7%    
benzyl alcohol       43.4%    
(Z)-cinnamyl (E)-cinnamate    1.5%   

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.

Benefits Of Benzoin Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art says the scent helps relieve anxiety, emotional blocks, loneliness, or exhaustion, especially when those things are caused a life crisis.

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.

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 Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Use benzoin oil in skin care for cuts, chapped skin, and inflamed and irritated conditions. The oil is also useful for relieving arthritis, gout, chills, colic, coughs, flu, nervous tension, and stress-related conditions.

The Aromatherapy Bible: Benzoin is "cuddly" and "its sweet fragrance comforts people who are sad, lonely, alienated, depressed and bereaved."

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.

Subtle Aromatherapy: Benzoin has a strongly energizing effect on the first chakra. The oil is useful if you need to increase physical strength and energy.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Benzoin encourages transformation through dreams and powerful meditation experiences. The oil also supports mental clarity through focused thinking.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Benzoin oil grounds, strengthens, supports, and comforts. Especially useful for the sixth chakra to steady and focus the mind.

Benzoin Oil Uses

Important: Before using benzoin on a large area of skin, spot test to make sure you're not sensitive to the oil.

Use suggestions from Essential Oils: All Natural Remedies:

  • For an itchy scalp, add 5 drops benzoin to  to an 8-ounce bottle of mild, unscented shampoo. Wash your hair as usual. Rinse well.

  • To relieve congestion, use benzoin in a steam inhalation.

  • For dry skin, add benzoin to a moisturizing cream.

  • To relieve aching muscles, make a massage oil with benzoin.

Authentic Aromatherapy suggests using benzoin to make an air freshener, especially in winter blends and for parties and celebrations.

Use suggestions adapted from Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to Plant and Flower Essences for Health and Beauty by Danièle Ryman:

  • For brown spots on the skin: Mix 2 teaspoons almond oil with 4 drops benzoin oil and 2 drops lemon essential oil. Dab on the spots a couple of times a day.

  • For eczema or psoriasis: Place 1.5 tablespoons green clay in a small dish. Add 3 drops benzoin and enough distilled water to make a paste. Apply the paste to affected areas. Wait at least 20 minutes. Rinse off the paste, preferably with a chamomile infusion. How to make the infusion: Soak three heads of chamomile flowers in one cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain. Cool.

  • To make a chest rub for congestion: Mix 2 teaspoons carrier oil with 8 drops benzoin oil and 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil. Rub a little on your chest, torso, and sinus areas several times a day.

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