How to Use Benzoin Gum Powder
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: D. Kerr
Posted on: September 27, 2006

I was in your store on Saturday and bought a few items, including a plant.

I purchased a bag of benzoin gum powder, thinking that I had the instructions at home for its use, but after looking thru my books am unable to find any information. I make balms & salves and need to know the ratio of this powder to use. I make the very simple salves, 3 oz of olive oil, calendula petals, beeswax, essential oils. The lady at the store had no knowledge and suggest I call back another day. Email is easier for me.

Benzoin gum has antiseptic, expectorant and astringent properties. It is used for conditions affecting the respiratory and urinary systems. For example it can be inhaled as a steam to treat sore throat, laryngitis, colds, asthma, bronchitis, and croup. Its antiseptic property makes it a useful preservative for ointments; recipes typically call for the alcoholic tincture added at a rate of a half teaspoon per pint of salve. A typical tincture is made with 100-200 grams of gum benzoin steeped in a liter of 90-96% ethanol.

Benzoin also has important non-medicinal uses: it is a common ingredient in incense and in confectionery products, particularly chocolate.

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