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Latin Name: styrax benzoin
Alternative Name: ben, benjamen, gum benjamin, gum benzoin, siam benzoin, siamese benzoin, sumatra benzoin
Forms Available: resin, gum

Benzoin – Styrax benzoin – Benzoin is a shrubby tree with gray bark, simple leaves, and short racemes of small, fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers. The scented yellowish resin is thought to be created in response to injury, so it is tapped by making hatchet incisions in the trunk. The resin, called benzoin or gum benjamin, is used as incense, a fixative in perfumes, and is added to cosmetics to prevent fats turning rancid. The tree resin is used externally, diluted with water, as an antiseptic skin wash. Taken internally, it relieves intestinal gas and is antiseptic to the urinary tract. Take ten to twenty drops in water or tea four times a day. Put it in vaporizers or use it as an inhalant for bronchitis, and laryngitis. A simple method is to place it, along with a few drops of the oils of peppermint and eucalyptus, in a bowl of boiling hot water. Put your face as close to the bowl as you can and cover your head, and the bowl, with a towel. Inhale the steam. Tincture of benzoin is often added to salves as a preservative; -one pound of benzoin to about one and a half quarts of salve. Benzoin is used in Aromatherapy but may cause allergic reactions.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: Asthma; Bronchitis; Laryngitis; Chills; Flu; Colic; Coughs; Itching; Arthritis; Colds; As a Sedative. Benzoin has been found to help retain skin elasticity. It is valuable in treating dry, cracked skin and is believed to be anti-depressant.

Other Uses: An herb of purification, burned in incense to sanctify an area. The scent is also used to attract business when combined with basil, peony or cinnamon. Dilute the essential oil and rub onto the body to increase your personal power.

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