Plant part spotlight - Resins and Gums


Resins, gums and balsam essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties that make them excellent for healing wounds and mitigating pain. Energetically, they relate to the root and heart chakras, offering grounding and healing of traumas, giving us soothing, comforting and balancing energies. There are many balsam oils to choose from when diffusing and making blends, and we’ll profile a few below.

In this season of introspection, home, hearth and connections, resins are wonderful oils to diffuse, use in rollerballs and add to body oil blends. Aromatically, they offer a balsamic sweetness and are heady and harmonious, with vanilla undertones. 

Our Balsam Peru is wildcrafted in El Salvador, and is soothing to both skin and hearts, offering a soft, balancing note in blends and perfumes. Its chemistry is primarily Esters, which are the chemicals renowned for skin healing. Try Balsam Peru with sesquiterpenes like myrrh, sandalwood and ylang ylang for a skin-healing blend that is also grounding and emotionally balancing. 

Balsam Gurjin is a lesser known balsam from Indonesia that is also wildcrafted, with a very light and delicate scent and thin consistency. It offers fixative and softening qualities to blends and perfumes. On a therapeutic level, it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and can help improve respiratory and skin health. Its aroma is also known to reduce stress and anxiety. Try diffusing this light oil for a subtly healing ambiance to clear and add harmony to spaces. 

Copaiba Balsam is perhaps the most frequently used in aromatherapy. Ours is wildcrafted in Brazil, and steam distilled from the resin of the leguminous trees. Known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, this gum has a slightly sweet, vanilla aromatic profile and is calming to the nervous system. It also offers analgesic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, supporting lung health and immunity. Try blending with woods like cedarwood, hinoki and fir needle for a protective immunity blend, or flowers like ylang ylang, rose geranium and Roman chamomile for a powerfully healing skin oil or balm, or a mood-balancing blend. 

Benzoin resinoid from Laos is a wildcrafted resin that’s been extruded from the sap of the Benzoin tree. It has a very thick, syrupy consistency and is both healing to the skin as well as balancing to mood, helping to relieve sadness, anger and grief. Its balsamic, sweet aroma makes a wonderful alternative to vanilla absolute when you’re seeking that scent profile but want the aromatherapeutic benefits that absolutes don’t offer. (See Aromatics 101: a Quick Primer)

Perhaps the most famous gums are Frankincense and Myrrh, both used for millennia in healing. Myrrh is used today in meditation, in calming blends, and as a pain-fighting, anti-inflammatory oil. It’s a truly foundational essential oil in aromatherapy, and with a mild aroma, it’s easy to blend with any wood or flower oil. Ours is wildcrafted in Ethiopia, and we offer it in sizes ranging from 2.3ml up to 2 oz. To learn more about Frankincense, check out our blog devoted to it.

Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh is an exquisite oil that has been used since antiquity for healing.


In this challenging time of wars, traumas, the residual effects of a global pandemic and threats of climate change, we all need more regulation of our nervous systems, and to spend time in peaceful, calming spaces. Help make your home a sanctuary with the lightly sweet and healing effects of these balsam, gum and resin essential oils. 

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Stephanie Ariel

Stephanie Ariel is a certified aromatherapist, author, yogi and marketer who lives and offers classes in Santa Fe, New Mexico...Stephanie's Full Bio

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