Galbanum

Ferula galbaniflua

Galbanum essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from a resinous gum of the plant. Incisions are made in the stem near the roots, from which the gum oozes out. It is a thick yellow oil with a strong fresh, woody and earthy aroma and has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. Galbanum resin was one of the ancient Egyptians’ most prized incense ingredients and they also used it in cosmetics and for embalming. The Hebrews also used it in their anointing oils. On an emotional level it is said to be very calming and eases nervous tension.

Galbanum stimulates circulation and therefore is helpful for easing arthritis and rheumatic pain. It also encourages the removal of toxins in the body such as excess water, salts and uric acid.

It is also a good oil to use for treating muscle spasms as it helps relieve cramps and muscle pulls. It relaxes the muscles and nerves and is also effective for spasms of the respiratory tracts, intestines and nerves. Add three drops of Galbanum and two drops of Lavender essential oil to 15ml of a carrier oil for a massage blend.

Galbanum oil also has a good reputation as a decongestant and has been found to be effective in clearing the congestion from bronchitis, as well as the congestion in the nasal tracts, bronchi, trachea, larynx, pharynx and lungs. This is helpful for easier breathing when struggling with the stuffiness of coughs, colds or bronchitis.

Although Galbanum is not a commonly used essential oil in aromatherapy, it is often recommended for use in skincare treatments for abscesses, acne, boils, cuts and inflammations that are slow to heal. It helps reduce the appearance of scars left by acne, pimples or pox. It speeds up the growth of new tissues and cells which replace the old damaged tissues of the scars and stretch-marks. Galbanum oil helps rejuvenate ageing skin, giving it a younger, toned look and feel.

Another use of Galbanum essential oil is as a fixative and ingredient in oriental type perfumes.

Because it is an emmenagogue and abortifacient, it is best avoided during pregnancy.

Galbanum blends well with Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Elemi, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Geranium, Ginger, Palmarosa, Pine and Ylang Ylang.