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GALBANUM- Ferula galbaniflua

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

I have been aware and have used Galbanum Ferula galbaniflua for years. However. it just came to my attention in one of our essential oil boxes that it wanted some attention! It is a fantastic essential oil for skincare, especially in healing balms and blends.

Historical and Modern Uses: The ancient Egyptians used galbanum as an ingredient in the embalming process. It was also combined with frankincense as holy incense. It has long been used for treating wounds, inflammation, and skin disorders. It is beneficial for mature and overactive skin. Also, used in massage blends for increasing circulation, easing muscle tension, and in aromatherapy blends for opening the respiratory passages. Both resinoid and the essential oil are used as fixatives and fragrance components in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes.

Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

Origin: Native to the Middle East and Western Asia; cultivated in Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.

Plant Description: A large perennial herb with a smooth stem, shiny leaflets, and small flowers. It contains resinous ducts which exude a milky juice, a natural oleoresin.

Part of plant used for essential oil: Oleoresin or gum.

Extraction Method: Steam distillation.

Main Chemical Constituents: Monoterpenes: a- & B-pinene, S-3-carene, myrcene, sabinene, camphene, tricyclene, limonene, terpinolene, B-phellandrene; Sesquiterpene Alcohols: a-, B-, & y-eudesmols (=galbanol), guaiol, bulnesol, 10-y-epijunenol, a-cadinol; Esters: fenchyl acetate, Linalyl acetate, terpinyl acetate; coumarins.

PRECAUTIONS: Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing. If the essential oil has oxidized, it can cause skin sensitivity.

PROPERTIES: Analgesic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypotensive, restorative, and tonic.

Aroma: Deep rich balsamic, with tones of herbaceous and spicy with a slight sweet hint.

Note: Top

USES: Circulation: increases circulation. Digestion: cramps, gas, and indigestion. Muscular/skeletal: reduces aches and pains, inflammation. Nervous System: reduces tension and stress-related complaints. Respiratory: asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, and chronic cough. Skin: abscesses, acne, boils, cuts, reduces scar tissue, tones the skin, mature skin, wrinkles, and wounds. Immune: strengthens the immune system.

References: Tisserand, Robert, and Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014, page 290-291. Purchon, Nerys and Cantele, Lora, The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness, Robert Rose Publisher, 2014, page 60. Lawless, Julia, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils; The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-Being, 2013, page 98.

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