I have been doing some bulk ordering this week. There are several of us working at various stages of aromatherapy who have met through classes over the past couple of years. We have become a great support network for each other and a great source of resources as we each bring our own different expertise to the group. While gathering info for what everyone needed for this order, I was reminded of another EO that I don’t personally use much but which has intrigued me in the past. So Benzoin has become my topic for this week!
Benzoin (Stryrax benzoin) is a tree native to Southeast Asia. It belongs to the Styraceae botanical family. The EO is a resin that comes from tapping the bark. It is a thick, dark (brownish-red) liquid that has a vanilla-like smell.
Commonly used as a fixative in perfumes and as incense, benzoin EO has many other great uses. It is often used to help relieve coughs and cold, having antibacterial and expectorant properties. I look forward to exploring that more next fall! It is also said to be helpful in treating arthritis so I need to do some further investigation into that over the coming months and see what I discover.
For skin care, it is used sparingly and is not something I use in my facials. It can help with chapped, irritate, red skin. But it should be used in small quantities. It can be useful in treating more wound-type skin conditions like psoriasis. Not something to keep in the cupboard to use everyday but useful when treating something more severe on a short term basis.