Peru Balsam Essential Oil (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae)
Peru Balsam may also be referred to as Myroxylon Balsamum / Myroxylon Pereirae. It is typically processed using steam distilled as a method for extracting oil from the balsam.
The first time I encountered Peru Balsam during my aromatherapy studies, I immediately recognized the aroma as one that was prevalent in a wound care product that summer camp used on me when I was a child. The aroma certainly brought me back in time.
Aromatically, Peru Balsam has a mild but deep, rich aroma that is woody yet sweet with a vanilla and benzoin quality. It also possesses a very subtle hint of cinnamon. Peru Balsam contains constituents that are present in Benzoin and Cinnamon Essential Oil, so that is likely why.
Topically, Peru Balsam has been used over the years to help remedy a number of skin issues including dry skin, and minor cuts and wounds. That could possibly lead a number of people to use it without proper precaution or without properly diluting it first. Proper dilution and doing a skin patch test is strongly recommended. Robert Tisserand mentions that Peru Balsam Oil may cause possible sensitization in some individuals. Based on the information I've read from various sources, I recommend avoiding it for any topical use.
- Aroma Description:
- Common Name(s): Myroxylon Balsamum / Myroxylon Pereirae
- Botanical Family: Fabaceae
- Botanical Genus: Myroxylon
- Major Compounds: Benzoic Acid, Cinnamic Acid, Benzyl Cinnamate, Cinnamyl Cinnamate
- Perfumery Note: Base
- Consistency: Very Thick
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
- Color: Dark Brown
- Indigenous Country: Base
- Processing Methods: Steam Distilled
- Part Typically Used: Balsam
Benefits & Uses
May be benefitial for addressing the following ailments:
Bronchia Bronchitis Circulatory Disorders Colds Coughs Eczema Flu Influenza Poor Blood Circulation Rashes Skin : Chapped Skin : Sensitive Stress
Therapeutic Benefits of Peru Balsam:
Cautions & Safety
Cautions when using Peru Balsam:
Tisserand and Young indicate that there is moderate risk of skin sensitization when using Peru Balsam Oil. They recommend adhering to IFRA's 0.4% maximum. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 390-391.]
This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.
Safety Precautions for Peru Balsam:
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Peru Balsam Articles or Publications:
- PubMed: The first Australian Baseline Series: Recommendations for patch testing in suspected contact dermatitis.
- PubMed: Patch test results with patients' own perfumes, deodorants and shaving lotions: results of the IVDK 1998-2002.
- PubMed: Contact allergy to fragrances: frequencies of sensitization from 1996 to 2002. Results of the IVDK*.
- PubMed: The significance of fragrance mix, balsam of Peru, colophony and propolis as screening tools in the detection of fragrance allergy.