( Styrax benzion )
English name ( Gum Benzion )
A medicinal aromatic gum resin is obtained from an Asiatic tree called, Styrax benzion, and is imported into Southern China from Sumatra and Borneo. The An- hsi, in Chinese name, An-hsi-hsiang, probably refers to the Persians, whose country, along with Sumatra and Central Asia, is the source of supply for this foreign balsamic resin. The aromatic resin is obtained by making triangular cuts in the bark of the tree. From these cuts the sap which coagulates, and after it has sufficiently hardened it is collected and packed for export. At ne time in China the fumes resulting from burning this lovely smelling sap were believed to drive away devils and attract good spirits.
The active ingredient of the gum resin is extracted and made into a tincture called ( benzion ). This valuable tincture is universally used both in Chinese and orthodox medicine, as a inhalant for dry hacking coughs, those which doctors call unproductive. This is a condition in which it is extremely difficult to cough up apparently immovable sputum from the bronchial tubes. It is commonly known as croup. As any mother whose infant has had the miserable of the croup knows how terrifying it is to watch the feverish child desperately trying to cough up the obstructive phlegm. For such emergencies, benzion tincture is reputed to be of great value . This loosens up the unproductive sputum, which brings relief to the croupy child and alarmed mother.
It is also used for laryngitis, which is a inflammation of the larynx ( voice box ) , includes hoarsenes, irritation, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, dry rasping cough. The benzion inhalation method outlined for treating croup may be used by adults suffering from laryngitis.
For emergencies, benzion tincture is used by…. 1 teaspoonful of the tincture is added to 1 pint of boiling water. Under a sheet arranged like a tent and the vapors from the mixture can be inhaled.