Peru Balsam Essential Oil
The first time I encountered Peru Balsam during my aromatherapy studies, I immediately recognized the aroma as one that was prevalent in a wound care product that summer camp used on me when I was a child. The aroma certainly brought me back in time.
Aromatically, Peru Balsam has a mild but deep, rich aroma that is woody yet sweet with a vanilla and benzoin quality. It also possesses a very subtle hint of cinnamon. Peru Balsam contains constituents that are present in Benzoin and Cinnamon Essential Oil, so that is likely why.
Topically, Peru Balsam has been used over the years to help remedy a number of skin issues including dry skin, and minor cuts and wounds. That could possibly lead a number of people to use it without proper precaution or without properly diluting it first. Proper dilution and doing a skin patch test is strongly recommended. Robert Tisserand mentions that Peru Balsam Oil may cause possible sensitization in some individuals. Based on the information I've read from various sources, I recommend avoiding it for any topical use.
Emotionally, Peru Balsam Essential Oil is soothing and is nice to diffuse in a candle diffuser. It's very thick, so be careful if trying to diffuse it in a nebulizer.
Although Peru Balsam is soothing and can help during times of stress, it can act as a stimulant.
Myroxylon balsamum / Myroxylon pereirae
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Peru Balsam Essential Oil smells sweet, fresh, earthy and balsamic.
Peru Balsam Essential Oil Uses
- Chapped Skin
- Poor Circulation
- Sensitive Skin
Source: Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Updated Edition) (London: Harper Thorsons, 2014), 43.
- Benzoic Acid
- Cinnamic Acid
- Benzyl Cinnamate
- Cinnamyl Cinnamate
Source: Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 181.
Peru Balsam Essential Oil Safety Information
Tisserand and Young indicate that there is moderate risk of skin sensitization when using Peru Balsam Oil. They recommend adhering to IFRA's 0.4% maximum. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 390-391.]
This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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