Benzoin plant

Styrax benzoin is a tree which originated in Laos and Vietnam, but now grows in and around Malaysia, Java and Sumatra. It grows to a height of about 20 m 66 ft. The leaves are oval and hairy; the flowers are fleshy, greenish yellow in colour and slightly balsamic. Benzoin is the gum resin which exudes from the bark after tapping and the trees can apparently produce resin in this way for about 15 to 20 years. In old recipes, benzoin is variously called gum benzoin, gum benjamin, benjamin, benzoin, oil of ben, even storax which is a sweet-smelling gum resin extracted from the tree Styrax officinalis.

They would include the powdered resin in pot-pourris because of its very powerful fixative properties. Benzoin was highly valued by all. The Queen of Cyprus received a similarly sumptuous present from the Sultan in15 rotoli of benzoin. The Portuguese navigator, Barboza, is thought to have introduced the precious resin to Europe.

Nostradamus, famous for his prognostications, gave many recipes including benzoin in a book. It was classified as an antispasmodic and tonic for skin infections and eruptions. Description: As it exudes, the resin is yellowish, but when it thickens and hardens, it becomes brownish-red. It has a strong smell of vanilla, and is very aromatic; to taste, it is rather acrid. The resin is cleaned, and is available powdered, in two forms of tincture, simple and compound the latter benzoin tincture being too strong for use on the skinor as an essential oil.

The principal constituents: 70 per cent resin, 20 per cent cinnamic acid, a small quantity of vanillin thus the smellconiferyl benzoate, benzoic acid, phenylethylene and phenylpropylic alcohol Danger: Benzoin can cause allergic reactions, so do a skin test before use. In illness Benzoin is particularly useful for eczema and psoriasis, using powdered clay green if possible.

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The eczema and psoriasis should look much better, much less angry and irritated, as the paste is very soothing. Repeat a few times per day when the condition is acute. For psoriasis of the scalp, add 5 drops benzoin oil to a very mild shampoo and shake well before use. Rinse the hair finally with cold mineral water. If your shampoo is too strong, add a proportion of distilled water to dilute it.

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Many other skin complaints can benefit from the use of the balsamic resin — frostbite, bed sores, wounds, burns and skin ulcerations. Mix 10 ml 2 tsp almond oil, 2 drops wheatgerm oil and 6 drops benzoin oil. Apply on affected areas. For catarrh and chest infections, put 3 drops benzoin oil in a bowl of hot water and place the bowl beside your bed at night. During the day, add 4 drops benzoin oil and 1 drop eucalyptus to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the fumes for as long as you can.

Several times during the day, rub your chest, torso and sinus areas with the following oil: mix 10 ml 2 tsp soya oil with 1 drop wheatgerm, 8 drops benzoin oil and 2 drops eucalyptus. See also impetigo, melanosis and sinusitis. Mix 10 ml 2 tsp almond oil with 2 drops lemon, 2 drops wheatgerm and 4 drops benzoin oil.

The simple benzoin tincture could be diluted with distilled water to make an effective skin toner. Other uses Benzoin is one of the most favoured of perfume fixatives and is widely used in the perfumery industry and in pot-pourri mixtures, old and new.

It can also be used in herb pillows or in sweet bags to perfume linen. Benzoin was once burned as incense in churches, and the gum could be burned to perfume the air at home. Fans of natural remedies and wellbeing will find this eBook indispensable. Benzoic acid was discovered in gum benzoin in ; it has been used as a food preservative.Pamphilia Mart.

Styrax common names storax or snowbell [1] is a genus of about species of large shrubs or small trees in the family Styracaceae, mostly native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the majority in eastern and southeastern Asia, but also crossing the equator in South America.

The genus Pamphiliasometimes regarded as distinct, is now included within Styrax based on analysis of morphological and DNA sequence data. The fruit is an oblong dry drupesmooth and lacking ribs or narrow wings, unlike the fruit of the related snowdrop trees Halesia and epaulette trees Pterostyrax. Benzoin resina dried exudation from pierced barkis currently produced from various Styrax species native to SumatraJavaand Thailand.

Commonly traded are the resins of S. This incidentally shows that the Arabs were aware of the origin of these resins, and that by the late Middle Ages at latest international trade in them was probably of major importance. The chemical benzoin 2-Hydroxyphenylacetophenonedespite the apparent similarity of the name, is not contained in benzoin resin in measurable quantities.

However, benzoin resin does contain small amounts of the hydrocarbon styrenenamed however for Levant storax from Liquidambar orientalisfrom which it was first isolated, and not for the genus Styrax itself; industrially produced styrene is now used to produce polystyrene plasticsincluding Styrofoam.

Spicebush Information: Learn About Growing A Spicebush Plant

Since Antiquitystorax resin has been used in perfumescertain types of incenseand medicines. There is some degree of uncertainty as to exactly what resin old sources refer to. Turkish sweetgum Liquidambar orientalis is a quite unrelated tree in the family Altingiaceae that produces a similar resin traded in modern times as storax or as Levant storaxlike the resins of other sweetgumsand a number of confusing variations thereupon.

Turkish sweetgum is a relict species that occurs only in a small area in SW Turkey and not in the Levant at all ; presumably, quite some of the "storax resin" of the Ancient Greek and the Ancient Roman sources was from this sweetgum, rather than a Styrax, although at least during the former era genuine Styrax resin, probably from S. Nataf may have meant the resin of Styrax officinalis or of some other plant, perhaps Turkish sweetgum, which is unlikely to have been imported in quantity into the Near East.

benzoin plant

Since the Middle AgesSoutheast Asian benzoin resins became increasingly available; today there is little international trade in S. Storax incense is used in the Middle East and adjacent regions as an air freshener.

Storax resin from southern Arabian species was burned during frankincense Boswellia resin harvesting; it was said to drive away snakes:. There has been little dedicated research into the medical properties of storax resin, but it has been used for long, and apparently with favorable results.

He indicates that storax resin mixed with other antibiotic substances and hardening material gives a good dental restorative material. Benzoin resin is a component of the "Theriaca Andromachi Senioris", a Venice treacle recipe in the d'Amsterdammer Apotheek. Tincture of benzoin is benzoin resin dissolved in alcohol. This and its numerous derived versions like lait virginal and friar's balsam were highly esteemed in 19th-century European cosmetics and other household purposes; they apparently had antibacterial properties.

Today tincture of benzoin is most often used in first aid for small injuries, as it acts as a disinfectant and local anesthetic and seems to promote healing. Benzoin resin and its derivatives are also used as additives in cigarettes. The antibiotic activity of benzoin resin seems mostly due to its abundant benzoic acid and benzoic acid esterswhich were named after the resin; other less well known secondary compounds such as lignans like pinoresinol are likely significant too.

Several species of storax are popular ornamental trees in parks and gardens, especially S. The wood of larger species is suitable for fine handicrafts. The resin of Styrax acts to kill wound pathogens and deter herbivores. Consequently, for example, few Lepidoptera caterpillars eat storax compared to other plants. Those of the two-barred flasher Astraptes fulgerator were recorded on S. Some storax species have declined in numbers due to unsustainable logging and habitat degradation.

Although legally protected, this species could be wiped out by a single hurricane. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Benzoin tree.What is spicebush? Native to the eastern parts of North America and Canada, spicebush Lindera benzoin is an aromatic shrub often found growing wild in swampy woodlands, forests, valleys, ravines and riparian areas.

Spicebush is known by a variety of names, including spicewood, wild allspice, snap-bush, feverwood, and Benjamin bush.

benzoin plant

A relatively large shrub, spicebush reaches heights of 6 to 12 feet 1. The shrub is valued not only for its scent, but for the emerald green leaves which, with enough sunlight, turn a lovely shade of yellow in autumn.

Spicebush is dioeciouswhich means that male and female flowers are on separate plants. The tiny yellow flowers are relatively insignificant, but they make an attractive display when the tree is in full bloom. The berries are especially noticeable after the leaves drop in fall. Spicebush is a good choice for a butterfly gardenas it is the preferred food source for several butterflies, including black and blue spicebush swallowtail butterflies.

The blooms attract bees and other beneficial insects. Fertilize spicebush in spring using a balanced, granular fertilizer with an NPK ratio such as Read more articles about Spicebush. Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Sign up for our newsletter. Friend's Email Address. Your Name. Your Email Address. Send Email. Image by skymoon Spicebush Information Spicebush is known by a variety of names, including spicewood, wild allspice, snap-bush, feverwood, and Benjamin bush.

Plant spicebush in moist, well-drained soil. Spicebush thrives in full sunlight or partial shade.Spicebush in the wild. Lindera benzoin is remarkable not only for its spring and fall color, but also for its adaptability. It is not fussy about either soil moisture levels nor about pH nor about light. In nature, it is most often found along streams, in floodplains and ravines, but also in dryer upland forests, and is widely distributed throughout eastern North America and in Virginia.

Indeed, the Virginia Native Plant Society named Lindera benzoin the native plant of the year in It is more abundant in soils that are slightly alkaline.

You will rarely see this native shrub in home gardens, but it deserves consideration.

benzoin plant

It is fairly easy to grow, tolerates both acid and alkaline soil, and can tolerate a wide range of moisture conditions, including. Its simple, eliptical green leaves emerge much later than its spring blooms, and become a showy golden yellow in autumn.

The essential oil contained in the leaves, twigs, bark, and berries was traditionally used in folk medicine and as a substitute for allspice. The flowers on the female plant eventually turn into green drupes that mature into bright red berries in fall.

Because this plant is dioecious, both male and female plants must be close enought to permit cross pollination to produce the berries. The attractive berries are hidden beneath the leaves, but are more visible after the leaves drop. Happily, disease and insects are not usually a problem. Some authorities consider it deer-resistant while others say it is sometimes browsed by deer.

Spicebush swallowtail butterfly. Photo: Dr. If you are looking for plants that attract birds and butterflies, you may want to try spicebush. The fruits of spicebush attract many birds vireos, tanagers, robins, thrushes and its flowers attract native bees and pollinators. Spicebush butterfly larva on a spicebush leaf. Photo: Ryan Hagerty, US. Lindera is a host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.Lindera benzoin commonly called spicebush[1] common spicebush[2] northern spicebush[3] wild allspice[4] or Benjamin bush [1] is a shrub in the laurel familynative to eastern North Americaranging from Maine and New York to Ontario in the north, and to KansasTexasand northern Florida in the center and south.

Within its native range it is a relatively common plant where it grows in the understory in moist, rich woods, especially those with exposed limestone. Spicebush is a deciduous shrub growing to 6—12 feet 1. They have a smooth edge with no teeth [7] and are dark green above and paler below. In the fall the leaves turn a very bright and showy yellow color. The yellow flowers grow in showy clusters which appear in early spring, before the leaves begin to grow.

The flowers have 6 sepals and a very sweet odor. Spicebush is dioecious plants are either male or femaleso that both sexes are needed in a garden if one wants drupes with viable seeds. Like other dioecious plants, the female plants have a greater cost of reproduction compared to the male plants. The stem of L. Other species in the genus Lindera also have common names containing the word "spicebush" and may appear similar. An example is Lindera melissaefolia which grows in swamps in southern US; it is differentiated by its hairy stems.

Spicebush is often cultivated in gardens or edges of gardens. The brightly colored fruits and early flowers along with the spherical growth form make the plant desirable in gardens. It is hardy in USDA zones and tolerates shade excellently but will also grow in full sun.

Although several butterflies and moths used spicebush as a host, they are not considered a serious pest. Due to its habit of growing in rich woods, early land surveyors used spicebush as an indicator of good agricultural land. Native Americans, including the CherokeeCreekand Iroquois used the plant for treatments in multiple ailments.

Many animals feed on the leaves, twigs, and berries of spicebush. Some mammals include whitetail deerEastern cottontail rabbitopossums. Spicebush is a favorite food plant of two lepidopterous insects: the spicebush swallowtail Papilio troilus and the promethea silkmoth Callosamia promethea.

The larvae of the spicebush swallowtail are easily found inside leaves that have been folded over by the application of silk; small larvae are brown, resembling bird droppings, and mature larvae are green.

The anterior of a larva has two large eyespots and resembles the head of a snake. Since one or more broods generations of spicebush swallowtails typically occur each year, spicebush is a useful plant for the butterfly garden, since the egg-laying females are strongly attracted to it. Promethea moth cocoons, if present, are obvious during the cold season after leaf drop, and resemble dead leaves still hanging from twigs.

Neither of these insects is ever present in sufficient quantities to defoliate a medium through large spicebush, although very small specimens may suffer even from a single caterpillar.

Plant of the Week - Lindera benzoin - Paul Snyder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lindera benzoin Conservation status. Edible Wild Plants. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved 26 December Lindera benzoin L. Blume Show All Show Tabs northern spicebush. Usage Requirements. Provided by Almost Eden. United States, PA. Provided by Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. The Plants Database includes the following 2 subspecies of Lindera benzoin.

Click below on a thumbnail map or name for subspecies profiles. Blume var. Plant Guide pdf doc. About our new maps. Subordinate Taxa. Native Introduced Native and Introduced. Legal Status. Wetland Status. Related Links. Name Search. State Search.

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Growth Habit :. Native Status :.Gardening Help Search. Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

benzoin plant

Fall color is best in sunny areas. Tolerates full shade, but habit becomes more open and wide-spreading. Lindera benzoincommonly called spicebush, is a Missouri native deciduous shrub with a broad, rounded habit which typically grows ' less frequently to 15' high in moist locations in bottomlands, woods, ravines, valleys and along streams.

Clusters of tiny, apetalous, aromatic, greenish-yellow flowers bloom along the branches in early spring before the foliage emerges. Dioecious male and female flowers on separate plantswith the male flowers being larger and showier than the female ones.

Female plants need a male pollinator in order to set fruit, however. Drupes are very attractive, but are largely hidden by the foliage until the leaves drop. Thick, oblong-obovate, light green leaves to 5" long turn an attractive yellow in autumn.

Leaves are aromatic when crushed. The larva caterpillar of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly feeds on the leaves of this shrub. Genus name honors Johann Lindera Swedish botanist and physician.

Specific epithet comes from the Arabic vernacular word meaning aromatic gum. Shrub borders, shade or woodland gardens, moist areas along streams or ponds, native plant gardens or naturalized plantings.

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