Jan 14 , 2015
by Jeffrey S. Hoard
Common Name: Elemi
Latin Binomial: Canarium luzonicum
Other Common- Names: Manila elemi, elemi gum, elemi resin
Part Used: Gum resin
Production Method: Steam distillation
Countries of Origin: Native to the Philippines and the Moluccas.
Typical Constituents: Limonen (26.9 – 65%), Elemol (2.8 – 17.3), a-phellandrene (4.3 – 15.1%), Elemiein (1.8 – 10.6%), p-cymene (1,4 – 7.7%), a-pinene (0.4 – 5.4%), 1,8-Cineole (,2.5%), b-Myrcene (0.6 – 2.4%), b- phellandrene (0.8 – 1.6%), Sabinene (1.3 – 5.9%), b-Pinene (0.3 – 1 %), Methyleugenol (0,2 – 0.3%)
Description of Oil: A colorless to pale yellow liquid with a light fresh, balsamic spicy, lemonlike odor.
Description of Plant: A tropical tree up to 30 meters tall.
History, Folklore and Myth: The gum or oleoresin is used locally for skin care, respiratory ailments and as a general stimulant. Elemi was one of the aromatics used by the ancient Egyptians in the embalming process.
Properties and Uses: Used as a tonic for aging skin, infected cuts and wounds, inflammations. It is also good for bronchitis, catarrh and unproductive coughs, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions.
Precautions and Contraindications: Non-toxic, non-irritating, non sensitizing.
Other Interesting Information: Elemi oil tends to resinify as it ages. Old or oxidized oils should be avoided.
Lawless, Julia. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Shaftesbury, Dorset. Element Books. 1995.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications and Inhalations. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. 1992.
Shutes, Jade. Advanced Aromatherapy Certification Program. East-West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies. 2014