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Canarium luzonicum - family: Burseraceae


Elemi is a large tree, growing to 30m high, native to the Philippines. The tree exudes a pale yellow resin whilst growing leaves. The resin stops flowing when the leaves have fallen.
Many varieties are found in Australia, India, South and Central America and Africa


Elemi was used by the Egyptians for embalming.
It became popular in Europe around the XVIth Century. It was traditionally used to heal deep wounds and cuts and speed up the healing process of fractured bones.


The essential oil is steam-distilled from the resin. it is a clear to pale yellow liquid with a balsamic aroma, woody but also slightly green, aromatic with a hint of spice and lemon.
Chemically - the main constitiuents are limonene (45%), phellandrene (17%), elemol (12%), elemicine (5%)


  • Analgesic
  • Antiseptic
  • Expectorant
  • Stomachic
  • Tonic


Elemi has been found a useful remedy in treating catarrhal conditions, cough and bronchitis. It eases congestion and dries excess mucous
It is mostly known for its healing properties on the skin to heal deep wounds, cuts, acne. It also been traditionally used to look after mature skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

lemi can be used in cases of stress and anxiety. It instils calm and ease


Anti-catarrhal blend

  • Elemi 2 drops
  • Inula Sweet 1 drop
  • Pine 2 drops
  • Lemon 3 drops
  • Thyme linalol 2 drops
  1. Add to a 30 ml blend of jojoba oil and use as a chest rub - this equates to a 1% dilution (more or less)
  2. Add to a bath
  3. Add on a tissue by the bed

Wounds & Cuts

  • Elemi 2 drops
  • Cistus 1 drop
  • German Chamomile 1 drop
  • Lavender 3 drops
  1. Use a tiny amount neat on the cut
  2. Triple the no of drops and add to 30 ml a vegetable base made up of rosehip / argan


  • Elemi 2 drops
  • Frankincense 3 drops
  • Neroli 1 drop
  • Jasmine 1 drop
  • Seabuckthorne CO2 extract 3 drops

Double the number of drops and add to 50 ml of a vegetable base oil made up of equal parts of rosehip, camelia, argan, avocado, carrot phytol. Beautiful !


Elemi is used commercially in varnishes, lacquers and some printing inks.


Elemi is non-toxic. It may cause a slight skin sensitisation to over sensitive skin types


  • Daniel Ryman - The encyclopedia of plants and oils - and how they help you
  • Savatore Battaglia - The Complete guide to Aromatherapy