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GURJUN BALSAM (Dipercarpus turbinatus), Indonesia.

Gurjun Balsam is an oleoresin exuded from trees of the Dipterocarpus species which grow in various parts of Asia, native to the Andaman Islands and the eastern parts of India. The essential oil is steam distilled from the woods and the oleo-resin (known globally as East Indian Copaiba Balsam), and contains beta-caryophyllene, bicyclic sesquiterpene hydrocarbon, humulene and sesquiterpene alcohol.

The remedial properties Gurjun Balmam is known for include as a: diuretic, antifungal, antimicrobial, spasmolytic, anti-ulcer, stimulant, anti-rheumatic and decongestant. Therapeutically, the oil is used in the treatment of rheumatic conditions, urinary tract infections, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, and chronic respiratory problems. Ashwakarna, the Sanskrit name of the Common Gurjun tree, is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine – commonly used as a remedy for respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and chronic cough, for its ability to eliminate excess mucous deposits in the system.

Being a diuretic, Gurjun essential oil is regarded as one among the best Ayurvedic remedies to help eliminate toxic deposits in the joints etc. To help treat rheumatic pain, try blending 2 drops Gurjun oil into 1ml of carrier oil, and gently massage on to the affected parts. To help treat respiratory problems, try 2 drops in a steam inhalation. Gurjun is also used in Ayurvedic medicine for skin issues, and may help speed up the healing process when applied topically (avoid using any essential oil on broken skin, and always dilute in another medium before applying to the skin).

The Gurjun tree is cultivated in India and China as a perfume as well as a therapeutic plant – with its subtly sweet, lightly woody scent, Gurjun Balsam is popularly used in perfumery as an inexpensive fixative (try replacing precious Sandalwood oil with Gurjun).