Benzoin Materia Medica


Benzoin has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Benzoic acid, though sometimes used as an expectorant (as well as a gout remedy), is irritating in its isolated form and should be avoided. The effects of benzoin are similar to those of isolated benzoic acid (the most abundant constituent of benzoin) however the former is much better tolerated because the benzoic acid content is modified by resin and essential oil.

The resin is valued for its antiseptic (bacteria and fungi), diuretic, expectorant and stimulant properties. It also exerts an insecticidal and a fat-preservative action. Benzoin exerts a stimulating effect on the mucous membranes, and has been used to promote expectoration and decrease phlegm production in chronic respiratory disorders.

Download this chapter to learn more about BENZOIN—Styrax benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis).

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