Benzoin (often referred to by its botanical name, Styrax Benzoin), possesses a sweet, warm, rich vanilla-like aroma, which seems to have a lighter licorice-ish note when smelled from its bottle, and thicker with resinous undertones once diffused, added to blends, or applied to the skin.
When used topically (see precautions below), Benzoin can be useful in addressing chapped & inflamed skin, bruises, gout, arthritis, wounds, scars, cuts, and is said to be a powerful skin regenerator. When dispersed into the air, this absolute is highly useful in treating respiratory infections, asthma, bronchitis, cough, laryngitis, loss of voice, cold, flu and fever.
Psychologically and energetically, Benzoin has some wonderful benefits. For the mind, it is most commonly used to combat nervous tension, stress related issues, grief, panic, and 'rundown' feelings. For the heart/soul, it is noted for dispelling anger & negativity while promoting peace, personal power, and the awakening of the conscious mind. It is said to provide psychic protection, assists in steadying and focusing the mind during prayer or meditation, allowing one to release painful emotions, and enable us to take on the task of self-improvement. It may also serve as a pathway towards understanding when surrounded by confusion, and is linked to the Root Chakra.
It should be noted that due to its overly thick and sticky consistency, diffusion with ultrasonic diffusers (or other diffusers that are sensitive to thick oils) is not recommended. Should you choose to still use in your ultrasonic diffuser, we strongly suggest cleaning it immediately with rubbing alcohol after diffusion has completed. This will reduce the risk of your diffusing apparatus malfunctioning.
Contraindications: Though it is generally non-toxic and non-irritating in low doses, Benzoin is a known powerful sensitizer and should be used topically with caution, in incredibly low dosages (0.5% or less). It persists on the skin long after application, leading to greater exposure, and is especially hazardous if used in (or immediately) after baths/showers, or in heat application methods, as this allows for even greater absorption. Use on damaged/broken, or sensitive skin is not recommended unless under guidance of an aromatherapist.