Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
Elemi essential oil is distilled from a resin, is very skin-loving, and is great for the respiratory system.
It has a lot in common with Frankincense.
But while Frankincense resin is produced in response to a wound in a plant’s trunk, Elemi resin is produced when the Canarium luzonicum tree sprouts leaves. When the resin makes contact with air, the tree produces a soft aromatic oleoresin that can be distilled for the essential oil.
Elemi's Essential Oil Spotlight includes ways to use the oil for:
- Respiratory chest rub
- Bath salt
- Reducing scars
- Natural perfume
Pay attention to the recipes in this Spotlight to get a good "overview" of what essential oils distilled from resins have in common . . . they are all excellent for respiratory support, gentle on skin (and supporting skin to heal itself), centering the mind, relaxing the nervous system, and generally smelling so beautiful that they're perfect for natural perfumes.
Enjoy the recipes!
Elemi Essential Oil Chest Rub
I use Elemi for respiratory infections accompanied by a lot of mucus—such as colds or sinus infections. It’s especially helpful in blends for children because it’s so gentle.
I use Elemi in a chest rub blend for kids over five years old. You can make it in a 1 oz (30 ml) bottle.
Resin Chest Rub• 1 oz (30 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
• 2 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
• 1 drop Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
• 1 drop Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
• 2 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Just combine your ingredients in the 1 oz (30 ml) bottle. Rub a bit on your chest two or three times a day, and before bed. This blend is great for adults as well as kids!
For kids under five years old, you can diffuse
the essential oils instead of applying them topically.
Run the diffuser for about an hour several times during the day. Before bedtime,
run it for half an hour in the child’s room, then turn off the diffuser when it’s time to go to sleep.
Elemi’s emotional and mental effects are similar to those of Frankincense, so this blend is very calming and centering. Perfect for bedtime!
Make Elemi Bath Salt for Relaxation
Relaxation is so important for the nervous system and overall health, yet relaxing doesn’t come easily for a lot of people.
Back when I was a Massage Therapist, I made a lot of blends to encourage relaxation.
One of my favorite ingredients was (and is!) Elemi essential oil. Elemi centers your mind and reassures your heart.
It lets stress, over-thinking, and circuitous thoughts just fall away.
So I have a bath salt recipe that’s great for before bed!
Elemi Let Me Relax
- 4 oz (112 g) Himalayan salt
- 10 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
- 2 drops Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
- 2 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
- 6 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
Just put your salt in a wide-mouth 4 oz (120 ml) jar. Drop your essential oils and jojoba into the salt as you stir gently.
This recipe makes enough for four baths, with about 5 drops of essential oil per bath. (This dilution is very skin-friendly!)
I suggest making this blend fresh every few weeks, as opposed to keeping it in storage, since it’s not made with a preservative. Also, remember to wipe the surface of your bathtub with a towel after you drain the water. The jojoba will leave your tub slippery and you don't want to fall the next time you step in!
Make Elemi Scar Reducer Butter
Resin-based oils, including Frankincense and Elemi, are good at reducing scars and supporting healthy tissue re-growth.
What I take away from the way Elemi resin is produced—so gently and naturally when the tree sprouts leaves—is that it can heal old wounds while encouraging new, healthy growth.
I thought it would be great to have this healing effect in a body butter for scars!
So here is my recipe. It’s good for both old and new scars.
Scar Reducer Body Butter
This makes 6 oz (180 ml) of body butter. I like to make it in three 2 oz (60 ml) glass jars. You can also use an 8 oz (240 ml) jar, and just have space left over in the jar.
- 1 oz (28 g) beeswax (Cera alba)
- 2 oz (56 g) coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
- 2 oz (56 g) cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao)
- 1 oz (28 g) shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii)
- 60 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
- 16 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
- Melt the beeswax in a Pyrex measuring cup over the stove. (Use the “double boiler method”—putting the Pyrex in a soup pot that’s about ¼ full of boiling water.)
- Add the coconut oil and melt.
- Add the cocoa butter and melt.
- Add the shea butter last, and stir gently until all the shea is melted.
- Remove the blend from heat.
- Add the essential oils, stirring gently.
- Pour your liquid body butter into the jars, place the lids over the tops (so the essential oil won’t evaporate), and let them cool for several hours.
See the "Double Boiler Method" in action!
This video is usually exclusive for Aromahead students,
but I wanted to share it with you here so you know what the set-up looks like.
You can use this body butter all over, but it’s especially healing for areas that are scarred or have been wounded, so go ahead and massage those places with extra special care!
Make Natural Perfume with Elemi Essential Oil
Elemi is a resin-based oil. It’s a base note, and has a warm, peppery, piney, lemony aroma that can ground the other scents in a blend and harmonize them with one another.
I have a true love for the incredible
aroma of this essential oil.
Here’s a current favorite blend I’d like to share. I make it in a base of beeswax and vanilla-infused jojoba, winding up with a smooth, silky balm.
Elemi Elemental Perfume
- 1 oz (28 g) beeswax (Cera alba)
- 2 oz (60 ml) vanilla-infused jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
- 25 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
- 15 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
- First set up the Stovetop Melting Method. Place a Pyrex measuring cup in a soup pot ¼ full of gently simmering water.
- Melt the beeswax in the Pyrex.
- Add the vanilla-infused jojoba and remelt, stirring gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
- Remove the blend from heat and add the essential oils, stirring gently.
- Pour the blend into three 1 oz (30 ml) glass jars or metal salve tins.
Apply your perfume on your wrists, neck, and anywhere you’d like to smell good!
I can’t end this Elemi recipe without saying something about vanilla-infused jojoba!
It’s just jojoba wax that has been infused with vanilla oleoresin. And it has such a rich, decadent scent! It’s the perfect background for Elemi and Frankincense. You can buy ready-made vanilla-infused jojoba, or make your own.
Elemi is a great ally!
A great way to experience Elemi's support is to put 12 drops in 1 oz (30 ml) of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis).
Keep the bottle with you as a moisturizer, hand oil, or perfume oil to use throughout the day. You can even use it to help calm a headache by massaging a bit into your neck (especially the back of your neck). See how your Elemi oil blend affects you.
When you feel familiar with Elemi's personality, try making a similar blend with a few other "resin oils," like Frankincense, Myrrh, and Opopanax. The synergy of these oils can create a beautiful aroma, and the support one another's therapeutic actions like best friends.
To learn more about other essential oils, visit our Essential Oil Spotlights page.