Health Benefits of Benzoin Essential Oil
The health benefits of Benzoin Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti depressant, carminative, cordial, deodorant, disinfectant, relaxant, diuretic, expectorant, anti septic, vulnerary, astringent, anti inflammatory, anti rheumatic and sedative.
Benzoin oil was there in use thousands of years ago and instances have been found of its use in some of the oldest civilizations of the world, particularly in their religious ceremonies and in their medicines, mainly due to its anti depressant, disinfectant and aromatic properties.
Benzoin Oil is golden colored, aromatic, thick resinous oil obtained from Benzoin Tree whose scientific name is Styrax Benzoin. Its chief components are Benzyl Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Benzaldehyde, Coniferyl Benzoate, Cinnamic Acid and Vanillin. This last component gives it a Vanilla like aroma.
Whether or not they were aware of its other medicinal values is a matter of research, but modern research has found a number of medicinal properties of Benzoin Oil, some of which are listed below.
Health benefits of benzoin essential oil
Anti depressant & Cordial: Benzoin oil raises spirit and uplifts mood. That is why it was and is still widely used in religious ceremonies in many parts of the world. This is used in incense sticks and other such substances which when burnt, gives out smoke with the characteristic aroma of Benzoin Oil. The molecules of the components of this oil, along with inhaled smoke, get into our nostrils and are detected by our smell buds and their effects are transmitted to our brain, thereby stimulating the brain. This also gives a warm feeling, stimulates heart beat and improves circulation. These properties of Benzoin Oil were detected long ago and used to create a mood of celebration in a gathering.
Relaxant & Sedative: Benzoin Oil, besides being a stimulant and anti depressant on the one hand, is a relaxant and sedative on the other. It relieves anxiety, tension, nervousness and stress. Actually it brings the nervous system and neurotic system to normal. That is why, in case of depression, it gives a feeling of mood-uplift and in case of anxiety and stress, it relaxes. It also has tranquilizing effects. Thus it may not be used by students, particularly during exams, when they intend to study overnight.
Antiseptic & Disinfectant: It is a very good anti septic and disinfectant. The components like Benzaldehyde, Benzoic Acid and Benzyl Benzoate are very effective germicidal, bactericidal, fungicidal and anti viral properties. Even, the extent to which its smoke spreads on burning makes the zone disinfected from germs. When externally applied on wounds, it prevents it from septic.
Diuretic: It has diuretic properties, i.e. it promotes and facilitates urination, in frequency and in quantity, thereby helping removal of toxic substances from the blood through urine. Urination also helps in lowering blood pressure, losing weight and improving digestion.
Carminative & Anti flatulent: Benzoin oil has carminative and anti flatulent properties. It helps removal of gases from the stomach and the intestines and relieves inflation of intestines. This again, is due to its relaxing effects. It relaxes the muscular tension in the abdominal area and help gases pass out. This helps digestion and improves appetite.
Deodorant: Being very rich in aroma, it is extensively used as deodorant for rooms and body. Its smoke fills the rooms with nice aroma and drives away odor. Mixed with bathing water and massage oils or otherwise, if applied on body, it kills body odor as well as the germs causing the odor. In old days, ladies in some parts of the world used to smoke their hair with Benzoin Oil smoke to make them smell good. This property comes from the presence of derivatives of Benzene ring in this oil. Actually benzene is a cyclic hydrocarbon and like all other cyclic organic compounds, is aromatic in nature.
Astringent: It has astringent properties which tones up the muscles and the skin. If mixed with water and used as a mouthwash, it also tightens the gums. This astringent property is very helpful for face lifting and for reduction of wrinkles on the skin.
Expectorant: Benzoin Oil, being warm and disinfectant in nature, behaves as a good expectorant. It helps removal of cough from the respiratory system comprising of trachea, bronchi and lungs and relieves congestion, thus easing breathing. Its tranquilizing properties help relax and induce sleep to patients who cannot sleep due to extreme congestion from cough and cold. Due to this property, it is also used in balms, rubs, vaporizers etc.
Vulnerary: It means a property which protects open wounds from infections. This property of Benzoin Oil was known from ages and instances of such uses have been found from the remaining of many old civilizations of the world.
Anti inflammatory: It is anti inflammatory in nature and soothes inflammation in cases of pox, measles, rashes and eruptions and others. It also helps soothe inflammation of the digestive system caused due to ingestion of excess of spicy food.
Anti rheumatic & Anti Arthritic: These are two of the most used properties of Benzoin oil. It gives very good relief in rheumatism and arthritis, when applied externally, due to easy absorption of Benzyl components in it through the skin pores. Due to this, it is used in a number of anti arthritic balms.
Other Benefits: Prevents and heals cracking of skin, sores etc. and stimulates secretions of enzymes and hormones like insulin from endocrinal glands like pancreas, thus lowering the blood sugar level and regulating other metabolic functions.
Few Words of Caution: Benzene and its derivatives, despite being highly aromatic, are toxic in nature. So, ingestion or inhalation in excess quantity can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, lack of oxygen in the blood etc. and thus should be avoided.
Blending: Benzoin Oil blends fine with Orange, Petit Grain, Coriander, Frankincense, Bergamot, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Rose and Sandalwood Oil.
This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee