Do you know elemi?

Pilit is Manila elemi

Image courtesy of Alma Gamil on

Elemi (Canarium luzonicum) essential oil is not very common in modern times although it was a medicine in popular use hundreds of years ago. “J J Wecker, an early seventeenth-century doctor, found elemi very successful in the treatment of head injuries and wounds. Soldiers … were treated with (deep) sword wounds, but elemi speeded the healing process.” Further back in history, the Egyptians used the oil in their daily skincare regime. I suggest we revive this oil as it has many benefits in contemporary times.

Like its cousin frankincense, elemi is distilled from the resin that exudes from its tree trunk and carries a balsamic scent. However, elemi’s odor includes spicy and lemony notes making it light and fresh. This hints at its usefulness to relieve stress and nervous exhaustion and promote peace. It is said to be useful in meditation by helping one to connect to one’s higher self and promoting a sense of extraordinary in the ordinary. To facilitate this, you can smell the oil in conjunction with a pleasant experience or visualization while meditating.

If you include elemi in your skincare preparations, you’ll find that it rejuvenates mature skin by reducing wrinkles and nourishing skin that has been damaged by the sun, scarring, or aging. To perk up your skin, add to one ounce of unscented cream the following:
Skin Rejuvenated
4 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum) essential oil
2 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) essential oil
4 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil

Other common uses of elemi in Aromatherapy are in cases of respiratory complaints such as bronchitis, dry cough, and chest infections. With inhalation, it can be used as an expectorant to help assist the body to expel excess mucous. These cases can also be relieved with the diffusion of an essential oil blend. To your diffuser add a few drops of:
Breathing Blend
2 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album) essential oil
3 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum) essential oil
1 drop Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
1 drop Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis decumbens) essential oil

Now that you’ve seen how elemi can help you relax and breathe while nourishing your skin, you may agree with me that it deserves a place of honor in an Aromatherapy arsenal.

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