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Benzoin

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What other names is Benzoin known by?

Baume Benjoin, Benjoin de Sumatra, Benjoin, Benjuí, Benzoe, Benzoïne, Gum Benjamin, Gum Benzoin, Loban, Lohban, Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurum, Sumatra Benzoin.

What is Benzoin?

Benzoin is the sap (gum resin) of trees that belong to the Styrax species. Don't confuse benzoin with Siam benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis), which is used only in manufacturing and not as a medicine.

People take benzoin by mouth for swelling (inflammation) of the throat and breathing passages.

Some people apply it directly to the skin to kill germs, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding from small cuts. Benzoin is also used topically for skin ulcers, bedsores, and cracked skin. In combination with other herbs (aloe, storax, and tolu balsam), benzoin is used as a skin protectant. This combination is known as "compound benzoin tincture."

By inhalation, benzoin is used to treat hoarseness (laryngitis), croup, and other respiratory conditions.

In dentistry, benzoin is used for swollen gums and herpes sores in the mouth.

In manufacturing, benzoin is used in making pharmaceutical drugs.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Swelling (inflammation) of the throat and airways.
  • Hoarseness (laryngitis).
  • Croup.
  • Skin ulcers.
  • Bedsores.
  • Cracked skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of benzoin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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