Benzoin Benefits & Information

Latin Name

Styrax benzoin

Also Known As

Strax resin, Gum benzoin, Gum benjamin

Origin

South east Asia

Parts Used

Tree sap

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Benzoin Resin is a natural gum resin from species of the Styrax tree, native to Southeast Asia. The resin is collected from cuts in the bark of the tree. When the Styrax is first cut the Benzoin is collected as a milky-white substance but as it is exposed to air and sunlight the resin solidifies.

Benzoin resin relieves nervous tensions and headaches and thus facilitates intellectual
concentration. It's only fair that it has long been considered as a purifier of the surrounding atmosphere. It removes stuffy odours and, from a mental standpoint, prepares the ground for discoveries based on clear and positive ideas.

It is used in perfumes, some kinds of incense, and medicine. Benzoin resin is a common ingredient in incense-making and perfumery because of its aroma and fixative properties.

Like Frankincense and Myrrh, Benzoin Resin has a long history of use as a medicine and incense especially in the East. It is a main ingredient in 'Friars Balsam', and is known as an expectorant.

The resinoid is a dark brown-orange, viscous liquid. Its warm, vanilla aroma enhances its reputation as a warming and soothing oil.

Typical Use

Use a couple of crystals of Benzoin resin to burn on charcoal.

Folklore and History

Benzoin is a resin obtained from incisions of the bark of styrax. Solidified, this resin takes the aspect of small crystalline stones that it is possible to burn. It releases a sweet, lightly vanilla, odour. Its sacred and disinfectant power is celebrated from Antiquity. From the caravan of the Wise Men to the popular Armenian paper, benzoin remains an ally for the destruction of foul smells and the dilution of negative thought.

Gum benzoin is a major component of the type of church incense used in Russia and some other Orthodox Christian societies. Benzoin resin is also used in blended types of Japanese incense, Indian incense, Chinese incense, and Papier d'Arménie. When called sambrani or sambraani, it is a popular Indian incense used to scent and treat hair and prevent infections.It has been used for hundreds of years as it has a sweet balsamic, vanilla-like aroma that is considered soothing and comforting.

Benzoin
Constituents

Its principle component is benzoic acid.