Baume Benjoin, Benjamin Tree, Benjoin de Sumatra, Benjoin, Benjuí, Benzoe, Benzoin Tree, Benzoïne, Gum Benjamin, Gum Benzoin, Haminjon Toba, Loban, Lohban, Palembang Benzoin, Siam Benzoin, Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurum, Styrax tonkinensis, Sumatra Benzoin.


Overview Information

Benzoin is the sap (gum resin) that comes from cuts in the trunk of trees that belong to the Styrax family.

Benzoin is used on the skin for ulcers, bed sores (pressure ulcers), cracked skin, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Benzoin is used in small quantities in foods as a flavoring.

How does it work?

There is some evidence that benzoin might act as a skin protectant and may also help to break up chest congestion by thinning mucous and making it easier to cough up.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of benzoin for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Benzoin is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts found in foods. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in medicinal amounts. Taking compound benzoin tincture accidentally by mouth has caused stomach bleeding.

When applied to the skin: Benzoin is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in appropriate amounts. It can cause skin rashes in some people.

When inhaled: Benzoin is POSSIBLY SAFE when inhaled with the steam from hot water.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if benzoin is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Lithium interacts with BENZOIN

    Benzoin might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking benzoin might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.



The appropriate dose of benzoin depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for benzoin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 172 -- Food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption. Available at:
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Parmar RC, Patel DM, Patel MV, et al. Medicated adhesive dressing is a safe and non-inferior cutaneous seal as compared to compound tincture benzoin dermal seal for percutaneous interventions. J Family Med Prim Care. 2019;8(7):2384-8. View abstract.
  • Williamson EM, Evans FJ, eds. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Essex, England: CW Daniel Company Ltd., 1998.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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