Digging Deeper: Elemi

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Elemi gum oil

(Canarium luzonicum)

Part of the same family as Frankincense and Myrrh, Elemi has been used traditionally to support the appearance of the skin.

Elemi resin is a pale yellow substance, of honey-like consistency. Aromatic elemi oil is steam distilled from the resin. It is a fragrant resin with a sharp pine and lemon-like scent.

Sourced from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canarium_luzonicum

Endemic to the Philippines, Manila Elemi or Canarium luzonicum is a large, evergreen tree that reaches up to 30 m high upon maturity. It is a great source of a fragrant oleoresin called elemi which has a wide range of uses in food, medicine, and industrial applications. A single tree produces 4 – 5 kilograms of this resin. The seeds can be consumed raw or cooked. The nuts are sweet and have a delicious flavour. Oil from seed is used in cooking. The fruit pulp is cooked while young shoots can be eaten raw. The oleoresin from the tree, as well as the oil obtained from it, has medicinal value. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and rubefacient. It is also used against fevers and chills, arthritis, burns, etc. The bark is used for postpartum baths. The wood of Manila elemi is used in light constructions as it is not very hard.

Medicinal Uses

  • Manila elemi (the oleoresin obtained from the tree), and the essential oil distilled from the resin, have a long history of medicinal use. They are considered to be antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic and rubefacient.
  • A study on the composition of Manila elemi oil from the distillation of elemi resin yielded 39 compounds, with limonene, the most abundant at 56%.
  • A corn-sized drop of the resin is taken with water in the treatment of fevers and chills.
  • The oleoresin is applied externally to arthritic and rheumatic joints, boils, abscesses, furuncles, burns and sores.
  • It is heated and applied to the chest as a poultice to stop severe coughing.
  • The tree bark is commonly used for postpartum baths.
  • The essential oil is an ingredient of a commercial preparation called ‘Lysout’, a natural anti-lice foaming gel that also contains Echinacea purpurea.

Sourced from https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Canarium+luzonicum

Elemi has been used in Europe for hundreds of years in salves for skin and is included in celebrated healing ointments such as baum paralytique. Used by a 17th century physician J.J. Wecker on the battle wounds of soldiers, elemi belongs to the same botanical family as frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and myrrh (Commiphora myrrha). The Egyptians used elemi for embalming, and subsequent cultures (particularly in Europe) used it for skin care and for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and improving skin tone.

Medical Properties: Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anitmicrobial, antiseptic, anticancer

Uses: Muscle/nerve pain, skin problems (scars, acne, wrinkles)

Fragrant Influence: Its spicy, incense-like fragrance is very conductive toward meditation. Can be grounding and used to clear the mind.

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition, page 87

Thank you for digging deeper into Elemi with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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