This is the official Tincture of Benzoin prepared according to the specifications of the United States Pharmacopoeia.
In the past, Tincture Benzoin was applied to skin fissures, canker sores, bed sores sore nipples and fever blisters as a styptic and antiseptic.
it is still used as a topical adhesive to add adhesion and duration to medical tape applied in awkward places such as around the mouth and eyes.
By atomization or inhalation via steam, it was used to treat catarrh, bronchitis, asthma, laryngitis and other respiratory issues
Lac Virginis or Virgins Milk is a traditional preparation made by combining Tincture of Benzoin with Distilled water or Rosewater at a ratio of 1:20 up to 1:100. The combination creates a stable opalescent emulsion which was used to help clear the complexion, lighten skin, combat pimples and remove freckles.
Benzoin contains Benzoic acid which acts as a preservative for fats and oils. For this reason, you will often see Benzoin tincture or resinoid added to formulas to keep oils and fats from oxidizing and going rancid. (Note that Benzoin resin and tincture only help preserve fats and have no preservative properties when it comes to water-soluble compounds.
Tincture Benzoin is used by some perfumers to “condition” alcohol for use in perfumery. 1% to 5% tincture Benzoin added to ethanol is thought to help eliminate harsh distillation notes from the alcohol and act as a fixative to the perfume formulated with it.
Benzoin can be irritating to some and can cause sensitization. try a test patch before use.
Styrax Tonkinensis has a beautiful, sweet Vanilla-like scent with highlights of caramel and bitter almonds. In Aromatherapy it is considered calming, relaxing and grounding. Its scent is a little stronger, deeper and sweeter than the other Benzoin in the shop, Styrax Benzoin from Sumatra.
Benzoin was originally brought to the West when Islam spread to Indonesia. Arabian traders discovered a tree resin that reminded them of their Luban, or Frankincense back home.
They gave it the name Luban Jawi, which translates as Frankincense of Java. Over the centuries Benzoin became a mainstay in the aromatic and medicinal repertoires of cultures along the spice route and its name found many iterations.
For the French, LubanJawi became Le BenJawi, Benjawi and eventually Benzoin. The English found it easier to call it Benjamin or Gum Benjamin.
To this day we hear it referred to as Gum Benjamin, Benzoin, LubanJawi, Lubanya and Lubanja depending on the country and culture.
Benzoin is the original source of some familiar and important chemicals such as
Benzoic acid, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate which we now produce from other raw materials
Benzoin, like Labdanum, is a key ingredient in Chypre and Oriental type perfumes.
Many formulas for “Amber” fragrances and Amber perfume accords call for blending Benzoin, Labdanum and Vanilla in various proportions.
Benzoin is collected by incising a V and parting the bark of the tree slightly from the wood. This creates a natural pocket which holds the liquid resin until it sets and gives us the beautiful Benzoin “Almonds” of commerce. (See photos above).