With its amazing properties well documented since times old, Benzoin resin, or loban has been actively used for both archaic and modern medicinal as well as routine purposes. The gum resin is extracted from the Styrax species of trees and can be applied directly or consumed orally for its medicinal purposes. Its aroma has a mild, sweet smell which resembles vanilla that has led to its usage as an incense. It also has disinfecting qualities which makes it an excellent topical disinfectant especially useful for treating bacterial infections, cracked skin, bedsores and skin ulcers. Moreover, it can be mixed with other herbs to produce compound benzoin tincture which incorporates the added qualities of the herbs in its mix.
- Reference in Hadith: Loban (اللبان).
- Reference in Quran: No reference in Quran.
- Arabic Name: (اللبان).
- Latin/Botanical Name: Styrax Benzoin.
- English Name: Benzoin resin.
- Urdu Name: Loban (اللبان).
Quranic References of Loban
Loban has not been mentioned in the Holy Quran.
What is Loban?
Benzoin resin, commonly called loban, is the extract of loban tree of Styrax genus and has numerous medicinal, therapeutic and miscellaneous uses. While the resin at first is milky white upon extraction, it becomes hard with a dark brownish orange color when exposed to external environment. It has strong fixative properties, which combined with its own aroma makes it a very suitable ingredient for incense sticks and perfumes. Essential oil can be extracted from loban, which has a gold color and thick consistency. Known well before The Holy Prophet (SAW), it has been used in numerous other civilizations who were also aware of its medicinal and miscellaneous potential. However, none have found its true blessings which are derived from tibenabvi.
Benzoin resin itself has a thick, viscous consistency and brown color. Its medium-strength aroma resembles vanilla and has a sweet taste accompanied with a very mild spicy afterkick. Following is the chemical composition of loban:
|01||Benzoic Acid||10 – 12|
|02||Cinnamic Acid||4 – 7|
|03||Benzyl Cinamate||2 – 4|
|04||Methyl Cinamate||10 – 17|
|05||Cinnamyl Cinnamate||8 – 14|
Benefits of Loban According to TibeNabvi
Loban finds its place in tibenabvi as well, with its medicinal and other potentials identified by The Holy Prophet (SAW). Following are the benefits which can be availed from loban that are verified by both tibenabvi and modern science:
1. Improves Blood Circulation
Loban has an appealing, sweet smell resembling vanilla which works as a stimulant to provide relief against depression. It harmonizes the nervous system and instills a sense of calm. When the smell enters the nostrils, the particles directly enter the bloodstream though capillaries within the nose. This brings a swift response to the incense and alleviates the mood.
2. Topical Disinfectant
Loban extract can be used as a topical disinfectant which is also effective in eradicating bacterial infections. It is used as a disinfectant since it contains compounds such as benzaldehyde, benzoic acid and benzyl benzoate, which eradicate bacteria from infected wounds.
3. Enhances Digestive Processes
Loban contains essential oils and compounds which are used to treat flatulence and unsettled bowels. It also enhances the peristalsis movement and relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, which improves digestion.
4. Combats Foul Odor
Loban has a very alluring aroma, which can cover foul odor, making it an excellent deodorant. Its essential oil derivative can be applied directly to the body which both disinfects and adds a nice smell. The aromatic property is attributed to the benzene ring, which is a cyclic hydrocarbon and has aromatic qualities.
For incense, Hazrat Ibn Umar used to burn both oudh and a mixture of camphor and oudh. He remembered this as a Sunnah, quoting “Likewise, The Holy Prophet (SAW) used to burn incense”, (Saheeh Muslim, Hadeeth #2254).
5. Excellent Skin Care
Loban provides excellent skin care through its astringent property which tightens the skin, thus reducing wrinkles. The derivative essential oil provides the skin with a rich dosage of nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy skin. Its medicinal qualities make it effective in treating, sores, dermatitis, eczema and irritation.
6. Cures Coughs
Since benzoin essential oil contains anti-bacterial qualities, it is effective in fighting against the bacteria in throat which cause coughing. If the coughing is due to irritation, it soothes the esophagus for reducing the cough. It also eliminates congestion in the trachea for clear, unobstructed breathing. Its therapeutic qualities spread warmth in the body, which makes it an excellent remedy for cough resulting from common cold. Moreover, the sedative compounds in it ease a patients suffering from cold or insomnia, allowing them to enjoy deep sleep.
Hazrat Umm Qais Bint Mihsan remembers The Holy Prophet (SAW) quoting “Treat with the Indian incense, for it has healing for seven diseases; it is to be sniffed by one having throat trouble, and to be put into one side of the mouth of one suffering from pleurisy”, (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Hadeeth # 5368, Kitab al-Tibb).
7. Assists in Urination
Benzoin essential oil increases urination owing to its diuretic properties, which helps in detoxification and removal of waste from the body. If a patient is suffering from blockages in the urinary system, it can help them to pass water.
8. Soothes Irritated and Sore Skin
Benzoin oil soothes inflamed skin owing to its sedative properties when applied topically. It also provides relief in situ
ations where the patient is afflicted with pox, rashes, measles and other skin diseases. The anti-bacterial qualities provide added protection against bacteria which can otherwise easily cause infection on inflamed skin.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) quoted “The best medicine you can treat yourself is with are incense and cupping.” He further added “One should never torture children by treating tonsillitis by pressing the tonsils or the palate with the finger, but use incense instead”, (Hadith Sahih Bukhari 7.599, Narrated by Anas).
9. Provides Relief from Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic disease which effects the joints, leaving them weak and irritated. It can lead to reduced synovial fluid in joints, inflamed joints, swelling and reduced blood circulation. Loban essential oil is extremely effective in providing relief and is a key ingredient in many balms which are prescribed to such patients. Since the oil warms the body, can be applied topically and provides swift relief from pain, it is very handy for patients suffering from joint pains to have at their disposal.
10. Insect Repellant
When burned as incense, loban functions as an insect repellant. Burning them within homes or in an area which requires purging the insects forces them to evict the area.
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Jaffar remembers The Holy Prophet (SAW) quoting “Fumigate your houses with Loban & Esheeh”, (Shaobul Imaan: 5679).