Gurjun may be a lesser-known oil, but its powers have been a major component of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Native to Indonesia, gurjun oil has been used traditionally to relieve respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough.
These days, gurjun oil is still used for its decongestant properties and is a popular skin tonic. It is also used widely in the natural perfume industry, as its gentle, woody sweetness can help to blend scents together.
What is Gurjun Essential Oil?
Also known as "Gurjun Balsam", and identifiable by its botanical name Dipterocarpus Turbinatus, gurjun essential oil is extracted via steam distillation from the wood, gum, and resin of the gurjun tree.
Fresh and woody with a gentle sweetness, gurjun oil is typically pale yellow to clear in colour and is considered a deeply relaxing remedy when inhaled.
Its popularity in the perfume industry derives from its strength as a well-rounded middle note, as well as the particularly crisp aroma that is produced upon its initial inhalation.
What are the health benefits of Gurjun Essential Oil?
Despite its niche status, gurjun oil has become a well-respected remedy in aromatherapy circles thanks to its ancient links with Ayurvedic medicine.
Benefits of gurjun essential oil include:
- Treating respiratory issues
- Acting as an effective antimicrobial
- Toning the skin
- Stimulating blood circulation
- Improving mood
Is gurjun essential oil an effective decongestant?
The oldest use of gurjun oil is perhaps in the treatment of respiratory issues. Gurjun oil has been found to stimulate the immune system and nudge it into action against chest and throat problems.
As a natural expectorant, it can help to shift mucus and phlegm blocking the airways, as well as prevent obstructed breathing, inhibiting excess coughing and allowing air to move freely through the respiratory system.
Adding a few drops of gurjun oil to an electric diffuser and inhaling is a great way to experience these benefits.
Does gurjun oil have antimicrobial properties?
Gurjun oil has been found to have both antifungal and antibacterial properties, allowing it to inhibit the growth of harmful organisms.
Used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat ringworm, cuts, diaper rash, psoriasis, boils, and other skin complaints, the antimicrobial properties of the oil help to protect the body against infection and keep the user healthy.
For this reason, a few drops of gurjun oil can make a useful addition to homemade cleaning sprays.
Is gurjun essential oil good for the skin?
The antimicrobial properties of gurjun oil also make a great toner and cleanser for the skin. People have found that the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities of gurjun oil are particularly useful for tackling skin conditions that cause inflammation and redness, such as acne.
When diluted and applied with either a carrier oil or a face cream, gurjun oil can improve the appearance of skin and leave it cleaner and healthier.
It has even been claimed by some that gurjun oil has astringent properties, helping to increase the elasticity of the skin and contribute to a more youthful appearance, but more research needs to be conducted in this area.
Can gurjun oil stimulate blood circulation?
The use of gurjun oil to promote healthy circulation is simultaneously one of the oldest and newest of its applications.
Whilst gurjun oil was used traditionally to promote the generation of new cells and increase the flow of blood around the body, it is only in recent years that the Western world has become aware of this possible benefit.
It is speculated that gurjun oil is able to aid the production of red blood cells and consequently boost energy. Many people diffuse gurjun oil in their homes for this reason.
Is gurjun essential oil good for your mental health?
Many sources have claimed that diffusing gurjun oil around the home may improve feelings of depression and low mood.
Gurjun is known for stimulating the amount of serotonin and dopamine produced by the brain, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety while simultaneously uplifting positive emotions.
How to use Gurjun Essential Oil
The balsamic notes of gurjun essential oil are a perfect addition to any part of your routine. Here are some of our favourite ways to use it.
Sweet, fresh, and woody, gurjun oil is ideal for diffusing if you're feeling a little worse for wear - both physically and mentally.
From a physical aspect, gurjun oil can help clear symptoms of the common cold or flu, clearing the airways and allowing for better breathing. From a mental point of view, the scents of gurjun can uplift emotions and relieve feelings of stress or low mood.
Try adding 5-8 drops of gurjun oil to your diffuser or oil burner just as the day's beginning. Alternatively, add a few drops to a warm bath to help your mind and body relax even further.
The antimicrobial and astringent properties of gurjun oil might just make it the next big staple in your skincare routine.
Try sprinkling a few drops into your existing skincare products for an additional boost. You can also try making your own skin tonic using gurjun oil and your favourite skin-loving carrier oil, like grapeseed.
A restorative massage with gurjun essential oil is a great choice for boosting circulation and facilitating better health.
Mix a carrier oil with a few drops of gurjun oil and gently massage it into the body to feel these cleansing effects.
If you're a fan of including all-natural freshness in your cleaning routine, try making your very own cleaning spray using gurjun oil, water, and an emulsifier (like dish soap).
Shake the bottle well every time you want to use it, and spray at will over surfaces and countertops.
Candle and soap making
Thanks to its rich, well-rounded middle note, gurjun oil is a popular ingredient in many homemade soaps, wax melts, and candles.
If you're new to crafting with essential oils, we recommend following a trusted recipe.
History of Gurjun Essential Oil
Beyond its uses in Ayurvedic medicine, insight into the history of gurjun oil is fairly limited. This is largely due to its niche status in most therapeutic circles.
Gurjun oil is a paradox, simultaneously explored and unexplored. It has been in use for centuries, and yet we still have much to learn about the medicinal and aromatic applications of this gentle, earthy oil.
There’s no need to wait for the research to catch up before you add gurjun oil to your collection, however – its impressive blending capabilities can help you to enjoy all your favourite scents in a new way.