The health benefits of benzoin essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, carminative, cordial, deodorant, disinfectant, and a relaxant. It also functions as a diuretic, expectorant, antiseptic, vulnerary, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, and a sedative substance.
What is Benzoin Essential Oil?
Benzoin essential oil is golden-colored, aromatic, thick, and a resinous oil obtained from the 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.
Benzoin oil has been in use for thousands of years. Instances have been found of its use in some of the oldest civilizations of the world, particularly in their religious ceremonies and medicines, mainly due to its antidepressant, disinfectant, and aromatic properties.
Health Benefits of Benzoin Essential Oil
Modern research has found a number of medicinal properties of benzoin oil, the best of which are listed below.
Benzoin essential oil raises spirit and uplifts mood. That is why it was and still is widely used in religious ceremonies in many parts of the world. It 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 receptors and their effects are transmitted to our brain, thereby stimulating the nervous center. This also gives a warm feeling, stimulates the heartbeat, and improves circulation. These properties of benzoin oil were detected long ago and used to create a mood of celebration in a gathering.
Benzoin essential oil, besides being a stimulant and an antidepressant, on one hand, is a relaxant and sedative on the other. It relieves anxiety, tension, nervousness, and stress by bringing the nervous and neurotic system to normal. That is why, in case of depression, it gives a feeling of uplifted mood and relaxes people in case of anxiety and stress. It also has tranquilizing effects. Thus, it may not be used by students, particularly during exams when they intend to study overnight.
This describes an agent which protects open wounds from infections. This property of benzoin essential oil has been known for ages and instances of such use have been found from the remains of many old civilizations around the world.
Benzoin essential oil is a very good antiseptic and disinfectant. The components like benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, and benzyl benzoate are very effective germicidal, bactericidal, fungicidal, and antiviral substances. Even the extent to which its smoke spreads on burning makes the zone disinfected from germs. When externally applied to wounds, it prevents sepsis from developing.
Benzoin essential oil has carminative and anti-flatulent properties. It helps in the removal of gases from the stomach and the intestines and relieves inflammation of the intestines. This is once again due to its relaxing effects. It relaxes the muscular tension in the abdominal area and helps gases pass out. This helps regulate digestion and improves appetite.
Removes Bad Odor
Being very rich in aroma, benzoin essential oil is extensively used as a deodorant. Its smoke fills the rooms with a nice aroma and drives away odor. Mixed with bathing water and massage oils, or if applied to the body, it kills body odor as well as the germs that cause it. This property comes from the presence of derivatives of the benzene ring in this oil. Benzene is a cyclic hydrocarbon and like all other cyclic organic compounds, it is aromatic in nature.
It has astringent properties, which tone 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 the reduction of wrinkles on the skin.
Benzoin essential oil, being warm and disinfectant in nature, behaves as a good expectorant. It helps in the removal of coughs from the respiratory system comprising the trachea, bronchi, and lungs, and relieves congestion. This, therefore, eases breathing. Its tranquilizing properties help relax and induce sleep for patients who cannot sleep due to extreme congestion from coughs and colds. Due to this property, it is also used in balms, rubs, and vaporizers.
Benzoin essential oil has diuretic properties, meaning that it promotes and facilitates urination, both in frequency and in quantity, thereby helping removal of toxic substances from the blood through urination. Urination also helps in lowering blood pressure, losing weight, and improving digestion.
Benzoin essential oil is anti-inflammatory in nature and soothes inflammation in cases of pox, measles, rashes, eruptions, and others. It also helps soothe inflammation of the digestive system caused due to excessive ingestion of spicy food.
These are two of the most used properties of benzoin oil. It gives relief from rheumatism and arthritis when applied externally, due to the easy absorption of benzyl components in it through the skin pores. Due to this, it is used in a number of anti-arthritic balms.
Prevents and heals cracking of skin, sores and stimulates secretions of enzymes and hormones like insulin from endocrinal glands like the pancreas, thus lowering the blood sugar level and regulating other metabolic functions.
Word of Caution: Benzoin and its derivatives, despite being highly aromatic, are toxic in nature. Therefore, ingestion or inhalation of excessive quantities can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and lack of oxygen in the blood so it should be avoided.