Scientific Name: Styrax Benzoin
The plant grows wild in the tropical rain forests of Indonesia. Different styrax species grow in Java, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
Styrax benzoin is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall.
The bark is gray or brown and the leaves are pointed, oval, around 14 cm long and 5 cm wide with fine gray hairs on the lower surface. The flowers form small clusters and are white, bell-shaped and fragrant.
The resin of the styrax benzoin tree contains cinnamon acid ester, benzoic acid ester, free acids (such as benzoic acid), styrol, styracin, phenyl-prophyl cinnamate, benzaldehyde, vanillin and an oily fragrant liquid.
The styrax resin is a widely used ingredient in incense, and it was believed it could help to drive out evil spirits.
The resin is also used as a fixative (a preservative) and a fragrance component in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and toiletries. It is otherwise used as a flavor ingredient in food, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
Benzoin resin is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent fat from becoming rancid.
The use of the resin in herbal medicine is usually in the form of a tincture. It is made by dissolving the resin in alcohol. The tincture tends to have a viscous, sticky and oily consistency.
The styrax benzoin tincture is used internally as expectorant and disinfectant and can be a good herbal remedy for respiratory ailments and throat infections such as colds, flu, cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis and sore throat.
The resin is used as an ingredient in several types of a cough and cold medications.
The appropriate dose of Gum Benzoin depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Gum Benzoin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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