3 February 2022 / Caitlin Devlin
Gurjun Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Ancient gurjun can help to relieve congestion and warm us in the cold weather.
Extracted via steam distillation from the wood, gum and resin of the gurjun tree, gurjun oil is a lesser-known but still powerful oil that has long been a major component of Ayurvedic medicine.
Native to Indonesia, the 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.
Gurjun essential oil is a decongestant.
Perhaps the oldest use of gurjun oil is 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 airways and prevent obstructed breathing, inhibiting excess coughing and allowing air to move freely through the respiratory system. Diffusing and inhaling gurjun oil is a great way to experience these benefits.
It has 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 against infection and keep the user healthy. A few drops of gurjun oil can make a useful addition to homemade cleaning sprays.
It’s good for the skin.
The antimicrobial properties of the oil also make a great toner and cleanser for the skin. People have found 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, however more research needs to be conducted in this area.
It may 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 use 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.
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.
Shop our gurjun essential oil here.