Friar's Balsam from The Stillroom - An Ancient Plant Tincture of Exotic Respiratory Tree Saps + Resins. Popular since the Victorian age but not so readily available any longer. Tincture Benzoini Composita is still listed in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1867 ...
Friar's Balsam is a Stillroom Compounded old time Apothecary Tincture - for External Use. An original formula dates back to 1760 but this compound in fact goes way back to the Egyptian, Roman and Greek Eras of human helath with plants.
Extracts of Friars Balsam, act as a decongestant for the relief of cold symptoms. It also has antiseptic properties. A steam inhalation of Friar’s Balsam was recommended to thin bronchial mucus and relieve sudden asthma suffering.
It is a plant based remedy still listed in the pharmacopoeia as an effective inhalant for coughs and colds. Friar’s Balsam is a compound Tincture- an antiseptic and stimulating expectorant.
In North Africa women burn Benzoin and Storax in broken pottery to access the divinity and for mystical purposes. Raising Vibrations.
At one time every home had a bottle of Friar’s Balsam in bathroom cabinets and medicine cupboards. It is was also commonly used as an antiseptic on small injuries such as cuts and abrasions.
Through its true 600 year history, Friar’s Balsam has been known by such names as Balsamum Traumaticum, Balsamic Tincture, Jesuits’ Drops and Jerusalem Drops.
How to Use Stillroom Friar's Balsam Tincture:
Steam Inhalant: Adults: Mix 2 Droppersful of Friar's Balsam into 1.5 to 2 cups of hot, steaming (just off boiling) water in a jug or glass/stainless bowl, Have a large towel handy to tent over bowl and head to breathe the decongesting plants vapors carried in the steam - Breathe deeply & relaxed for 10 minutes or so. Rewarm your simmering bowl to repeat if desired.
Friar's Balsam can also be gently simmered with water over low heat also in the home for improved respiratory air quality during closed in months or during times of fighting illness & to relieve chest / respiratory congestion & strengthen the antiviral defense of all in the home. Bring 1.5 to 2 cups of water to a boil turn down to low - add 2 dropperfuls of Friar's Balsam to simmering water ***
Note: Never leave your stove unattended.
*** Suited for ambient steam vaporizing/simmering use in the home - For those 3 months in age and older to Adult. Not suited for ambient infusing or steam vaporizing for Children under 3 months in age. FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Keep from Children. Not to be ingested.
Extraction: solvent extraction
Properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, deodorising
Main active constituents: benzoic, cinnamic (acids), benzoic aldehyde, vanillin (aldehydes), benzyl benzoate (ester)
History and Tradition:
Benzoin is a tropical tree native to Sumatra in Indonesia where the scented gum has been used for many hundreds of years in medicinal and cosmetic recipes. In ancient civilisations, benzoin was believed to drive away evil spirits and was often used in fumigations. Often referred to as the main ingredient of “Friar’s Balsam” it was used on skin to obtain brilliance and to treat cracked or inflamed skin. Traditionally, benzoin was used as an aid to respiratory problems and was much treasured for its rejuvenating, anti-stress properties. The name “benzoin” is probably derived from Arabic “Luban Jawi” or “Javan Frankincense”, which confirms benzoin has been increasingly traded for its valued properties since the Middle Ages, if not longer. Benzoin resin dissolved in alcohol is most often used in first aid for small injuries as it acts as an antiseptic and local anesthetic, whilst promoting healing.
Research and Studies:
A study to analyse antioxidant activities of 25 commonly used essential oils has shown benzoin to contain +90.64% of DPPH free radical scavenging activity (Huang, 2011).
Haung, C.C. et al., 2011
Ref. CHIU-CHING HUANG, HSIAO-FEN WANG,�CHIA-HUI CHEN, YA-JU CHEN, and KUANG-HWAY YIH, A study of four antioxidant activities and major chemical component analyses of twenty-five commonly used essential oils, Department of Applied Cosmetology, Hungkuang University, Taiwan
Benzoin has been used for thousands of years in Asia as a perfume fixative and incense. It was also burnt + steam vaporized to fumigate places against low energies, sickness + raise raise immunities. In Europe, Benzoin extract/tincture has been the main ingredient in Friar's Balsam since Elizabethan times. It has, over the years, become known as an good anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, deodorant, diuretic, and expectorant. It was a great favourite of Edgar Cayce who recommended benzoin for a wide variety of applications, most often as an ingredient in massage oil formulas and inhalant formulas. #caycefan
Dispersing the Mists: An Experimental History of Medicine Study into the Quality of Volatile Inhalations. > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28075182
Friar's Balsam - Compound Tincture - External Use
My Gram was on to something of course. Her British family history involved Herbalism + Her #1 remedy for a cold + chest congestion- was to cover heads with towels -- An old school Herbalism steam-inhalation -- all snifflers were ushered, as soon as possible + set to inhale the vapors from a steaming jug of hot water and Friar’s Balsam- the tree resin vapours of which is inhaled to relieve bronchitis, chest congestion, asthma & improve Immunity against viruses..
Gram also had it simmering on the stove as soon as the temps changed 🍂 in the Fall - it would be gently simmering on and off all day 🍁🍂 💨
Friar's Balsam is Vanilla-like with comforting undertones of Balsam - It's one of my first aromatic memories of home + childhood . . .My Grandmother was olfactory seed planting it seems. I literally grew up in her backyard garden.
This information regarding Friar's Balsam & all items offered on this site - Is not intended to diagnose advise or prescribe & is a historical educational information gathering of material.