Olibanum of Java), corrupted in the parlance of Europe into benjamin and benzoin; camphor, produced by Cinnamomum Camphora, the "camphor laurel" of China and Japan, and by Dryobalanops aromatica, a native of the Indian Archipelago, and widely used as incense throughout the East, particularly in China; elemi, the resin of an unknown tree of the Philippine Islands, the elemi of old writers being the resin of Boswellia Frereana; gumdragon or dragon's blood, obtained from Calamus Draco, one of the ratan palms of the Indian Archipelago, Dracaena Draco, a liliaceous plant of the Canary Island, and Pterocarpus Draco, a leguminous tree of the island of Socotra; rose-malloes, a corruption of the Javanese rasamala, or liquid storax, the resinous exudation of Liquidambar Altingia, a native of the Indian Archipelago (an American Liquidambar also produces a rose-malloes-like exudation); star anise, the starlike fruit of the Illicum anisatum of Yunan and south-western China, burnt as incense in the temples of Japan; sweet flag, the root of Acorus Calamus, the bath of the Hindus, much used for incense in India.
In cold weather the Egyptians warm their rooms by placing in them a brazier, "chafing-dish," or "standing-dish," filled with charcoal, whereon incense is burnt; and in hot weather they refresh them by occasionally swinging a hand censer by a chain through them - frankincense, benzoin and aloe wood being.
It has been identified with benzoin, but was probably frankincense.
The incense sticks and pastils known all over India under the names of ud-buti (" benzoin-light") or aggar-ki-buti (" wood aloes light") are composed of benzoin, wood aloes, sandalwood, rock lichen, patchouli, rose-malloes, talispat (the leaf of Flacourtia Cataphracta of Roxburgh), mastic and sugar-candy or gum.
At marriage they burn benzoin with nim seeds (Melia Azadirachta, Roxburgh) to keep off evil spirits, and prepare the bride-cakes by putting a quantity of benzoin between layers of wheaten dough, closed all round, and frying them in clarified butter.
In Rome olibanum alone is employed; in other places benzoin, storax, lign, aloes, cascarilla bark, cinnamon, cloves and musk are all said to be occasionally used.
In the Russian Church, benzoin is chiefly employed.
BENZOIN, or Gum Benjamin (supposed to be from Arab.
Luban, frankincense, the first syllable being dropped in Romanic as if it were the article), a balsamic resin obtained from Styrax benzoin, a tree of considerable size, native to Sumatra and Java, and from other species of Styrax.
There are several varieties of benzoin in commerce: (I) Siam benzoin, which apparently does not come from Styrax benzoin, is the finest and most aromatic, and occurs in the form of small "tears," rarely exceeding 2 in.
The odour of Siam benzoin is partly due to the presence of vanillin, and the substance contains as much as 38% of benzoic acid but no cinnamic acid.
(2) Sumatra benzoin occurs only in masses formed of dull red resin enclosing white tears.
It contains about 20% of cinnamic acid in addition to 18 or even more of benzoic. (3) Palembang benzoin, an inferior variety, said to be obtained from Styrax benzoin in Sumatra, consists of greyish translucent resinous masses, containing small white opaque tears.
Large quantities of benzoin are used as incense.
Pepper, nutmegs and cloves were long the objects of the most important branch of Dutch commerce; and gutta-percha, camphor, dammar, benzoin and other forest products have a place among the exports.
The produce of the Eastern Islands is also collected at its ports for re-exportation to India, China and Europe - namely, gold-dust, diamonds, camphor, benzoin and other drugs; edible bird-nests, trepang, rattans, beeswax, tortoiseshell, and dyeing woods from Borneo and Sumatra; tin from Banka; spices from the Moluccas; fine cloths from Celebes and Bali; and pepper from Sumatra.
Benzoin was formerly obtained almost exclusively from Sumatra from the Styrax benzoin.
It occurs naturally in some resins, especially in gum benzoin (from Styrax benzoin), in dragon's blood, and as a benzyl ester in Peru and Tolu balsams. It can be prepared by the oxidation of toluene, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde and cinnamic acid; by the oxidation of benzene with manganese dioxide and concentrated sulphuric acid in the cold (L.
In this group may be included the oleo-resins, such as copaiba, cubebs and Canada balsam; the gum-resins, such as asafetida, myrrh, ammoniacum and galbanum; and the true balsams, such as benzoin, storax, balsam of Tolu and balsam of Peru.
The idea held by several writers, including Niebuhr, that frankincense was a product of India, would seem to have originated in a confusion of that drug with benzoin and other odoriferous substances, and also in the sale of imported frankincense with the native products of India.
As large vessels can sail up to the town, it is a trade centre for the products of the districts along the banks of the Barito and Martapura, such as benzoin, rattans, wax, gold, diamonds, iron and weapons.
Besides this there are bois de cannelle, olive-tree, benzoin (Croton Benzoe), colophane (Colophonia), and iron-wood, all of which are useful in carpentry; 1 See Geog.
Gum benzoin, which contains from 12 to 20% of benzoic acid, is used in medicine as the essential constituent of benzoated lard, Adeps benzoatus, which owes its antiseptic properties to benzoic acid; and in friar's balsam, Tinctura benzoini composita, which is an ancient and valuable medicament, still largely used for inhalation in cases of laryngitis, bronchitis and other inflammatory or actually septic conditions of the respiratory tract.