Benzoin essential oil, styrax benzoin, is not really an essential oil but a resinoid, produced from the resin using solvents like alcohol and benzene, which are removed and the result is dissolved in ethyl glycol or similar. The antiseptic properties are good for cuts, chapped, inflamed or irritated skin conditions. Benzoin is also helpful for treating asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu, soothing sore throats, treating arthritis and rheumatism. It acts as a carminative when taken internally is rapidly absorbed, and mildly expectorant diuretic and antiseptic to the urinary passages. In the form of a compound tincture of Benzoin, it is used as an inhalant with steam for laryngitis and bronchitis. Stryax benzoin is a natural preservative of fats, and is often used for in aromatherapy, for that purpose.
Benzoin oil is produced from a large tropical tree up to 20m high with pale green leaves. Benzoin has been used in the Orient for incense and medicine for centuries. The trunk of the tree is hacked with an axe, and after a time the liquid benzoin either accumulates beneath the bark or exudes from the incisions. When it has sufficiently hardened it is collected and exported. Several varieties are known, but Siam and Sumatra benzoins are the most important. The first three years' collections give the finest benzoin; after that the runnings are known as the 'belly,' and finally the tree is cut down and the resin scraped out, this being termed the 'foot.' Siam benzoin externally is reddish yellow, internally milky white, has an agreeable odour, recalling vanilla, contains benzoic acid but not cinnamic acid. Fine qualities have a strong styrax-like odour, quite distinct from the vanilla odour of the Siamese variety.
Benzoin essential oil, stryax benzoin, blends well with following essential oils: rosewood, sandalwood, rose, lemon, juniperberry, myrrh, jasmine, frankincense, coriander, and other citrus & spice oils.
Benzoin oil cautions - Has been known to cause allergic reactions, always perform a skin test before use. Styrax benzoin must be dilute before use.
Benzoin oil properties - Antiflamatory, antioxident, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant.