Canarium luzonicum

Elemi (botanical name Canarium Luzonicum) is a tropical forest tree, which is found in the Philippines and some neighbouring countries. This tree yields an essential oil that is extracted by the steam distillation process. In fact, a gum exuded by the elemi tree is the source of the essential oil of elemi.

The elemi tree grows up to a height of 115 feet (35.1 meters). The diameter of a mature tree's trunk may be about 3.2 feet (1 meter). This tree produces large leaves, which often measure 11.8 inches (30 cm) in length. The gum/ resin and oils derived from the elemi tree are very useful and are utilized for treating various health conditions. In addition, they are also used in inks and varnishes.

The resin obtained from the elemi tree has a pale yellow hue, while its consistency is similar to that of honey. Primarily this resin is utilized in lacquers and varnishes prepared commercially. In fact, this resin may be found in several boat caulks. Moreover, some varieties of ink also have this resin as an ingredient. People in China use the elemi resin to manufacture transparent paper.

The aroma of elemi is spicy somewhat similar to the fragrance of incense, which is not only soft, but also quite balsamic. Elemi belongs to the same botanical family, which also includes myrrh and frankincense. People in Europe have traditionally used elemi for treating problems related to the skin. This herb is held in high esteem for its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines as well as wrinkles, make the muscles relax following workouts and support the health of the skin.

Elemi essential oil can also prove to be useful in dealing with respiratory problems like dry cough, too much mucus and bronchitis. Moreover, this essential oil is also useful in treating extreme nervous exhaustion and conditions related to stress. Application of this oil helps to induce a peaceful feeling.

Aside from rejuvenating the skin, elemi essential oil is useful in dealing with excessive sweating, skin infections, cuts and wounds.

When you are using elemi essential oil for treating respiratory problems and to experience a soothing effect, you should ideally use it in an aromatic diffuser or a vaporizer. Many people prefer to add some drops of this essential oil to their baths, particularly when they want to cure skin infections. However, you can also use this method for dealing with respiratory problems. There are several other people who opt to blend elemi essential oil with other scents that also help to alleviate stress, for instance, lavender, sage or rosemary.

Elemi essential oil is seldom used by people in the West. Nevertheless, a number of elemi oil varieties are still utilized in the form of a stimulant, especially by people in the Philippines where the herb has its origin. Moreover, application of elemi can be useful in preventing the swelling of the legs, in addition to treating rheumatism. In addition, the essential oil of elemi is widely used in the form of a salve for curing ulcers.

Perhaps the ancient Egyptians used the elemi essential oil in the embalming process owing to the oil's antiseptic properties. The antiseptic property of this oil is effective in protecting against all types of infections, counting those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and various microbes. At the same time, it is useful in protecting us from tetanus and sepsis. Aside from protecting wounds, the essential oil of elemi is also effectual in shielding us from various other infections, such as those of the urinary bladder, urinary tract, urethra, kidneys, colon, stomach, the intestines and various other internal organs. This essential oil is effective in protecting as well as curing several hazardous conditions whether they are ulcers, wounds or other similar severe health issues.

We are aware about the applications of analgesics and also understand that nearly all of them cause some or other type of adverse side effects. Hence, it would indeed be wonderful if we have a substance that effectively functions like an analgesic, but does not have any negative side effects. In fact, elemi essential oil precisely performs this. This essential oil possesses great analgesic properties, which not only provide relief from various health conditions, but do not come with any adverse side effect. The essential oil of elemi is very useful in reducing pains that often accompany fevers, sprains or colds. At the same time, it alleviates headaches, migraines, pain in the ears, muscle aches and joint pains. So, it can be safely concluded that elemi essential oil is a natural analgesic that does not cause any harm.

The oil of elemi also possesses effective expectorant properties, making it an excellent herbal remedy for breathing problems, blockages in the nose and lungs as well as draining coughs owing to build up of catarrh or phlegm inside the respiratory tracts, which includes the lungs, bronchi and trachea. This oil works to loosen the catarrh or phlegm and facilitates its exit from the body via coughing or along with the stool. By clearing up the congestion in the respiratory tract, elemi essential oil helps to ensure normal and easy breathing.

Elemi essential oil possesses stimulant properties, which have a widespread effect. In fact, a stimulant invigorates nearly the entire bodily functions. It promotes circulation, release of bile, secretion of hormones as well as enzymes from our endocrinal glands as well as other digestive juices into our stomach. Moreover, this essential oil also kindles our nervous responses, counting those that affect our respiration, the heartbeat, neurons in the brain, menstrual discharges, the peristaltic movement in the intestines and production as well as secretion of breast milk. It promotes production and secretion of breast milk and menstrual discharge owing to the oil's stimulating action on specific hormones like progesterone and estrogen.

Any substance that helps to strengthen the body and mind is called a tonic. In fact, you may also recollect that you were given a daily dose of tonic during your childhood days. Many parents would emphasize that a tonic was necessary to protect us from diseases and also to promote our initial growth. It was considered that taking tonics daily was essential for our overall health. There is no doubt that our parents were correct. In fact, taking a tonic is helpful for promoting proper growth and optimal functioning of our body. This is because tonics help to firm up the functioning of the entire organs of our body, including the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, nervous, neural, endocrinal and excretory systems. Moreover, taking a regular dose of tonics helps to reinforce the immune system.

General properties

  • antiseptic
  • analgesic
  • expectorant
  • stimulant
  • tonic

Blends well with

General uses

  • bladder infections
  • bronchitis
  • catarrh
  • circulatory problems
  • cough
  • cuts
  • dry cough
  • excess mucus
  • headaches
  • immune system
  • infections
  • migraines
  • muscular pain
  • nervous exhaustion and stress
  • pain in the ears
  • pain in the joints
  • rheumatism
  • sepsis
  • skin infections
  • sprains
  • sweating
  • tetanus
  • ulcers
  • urinary tract infection
  • wounds
  • wrinkles


As of now there is no report about any adverse reaction following the use of elemi essential oil. Nevertheless, some people, especially those with sensitive skin types, may experience skin irritation after using this essential oil. Hence, it is advisable that you avoid using elemi essential oil on the skin of infants.

Moreover, store this essential oil in such a place that is beyond the reach of small children. Also ensure that pregnant women, nursing mothers, people taking medications or with specific health conditions, should essentially check with their physician or healthcare provider prior to using this essential oil.


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