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Tree resins have been used throughout history for their various therapeutic uses. In Amazon, native communities used breu branco resin for centuries in sacred rituals and treated headaches and migraines, various skin ailments, wounds, treatment of chronic infections, and improving overall health.
As I continue learning about the natural ingredients the Amazon rainforest has to offer, join me on the journey and find out more about the exceptional properties of this resin.
About Breu Branco
Breau Branco, also known as Protium heptaphyllum, is an evergreen tree from the Burseraceae family commonly found in dry forests and indigenous to South America. On average, you would expect the tree to grow up to 10-20m in height and up to 60cm in diameter at the tree base. Plants from the Burseraceae family are also known as the incense tree family and are characteristic of producing aromatic resins.
Breu Branco offers various uses. For instance, its resin is used in folk medicine to remedy asthma, chest afflictions, and bronchitis. While the bark and leaves help treat general inflammation, it is also used in sacred rituals. Furthermore, breu Branco essential oil is also helpful in treating various types of skin conditions; acne, psoriasis, ringworm, rashes and skin infections, to name just a few.
What Is Breu Branco Resin?
“Breu Branco Resin”, or white breu, is a greyish-white natural organic substance obtained from the protium heptaphyllum tree. It is extracted through an incision or puncture in the tree bark, where sticky whitish-yellow liquid seeps out and hardens on the contact with air and is collected all year round.
The tree isn’t cut until it is 8-10 years old and no more than 2 to 3 times per year to ensure a sustainable harvest. It is stored in sacks and used in soap making, perfumes, and skincare, thanks to its fresh, aromatic notes.
Breu Branco Resin Composition
INCI: Protium Heptaphyllum Resin
Common extraction method: Through an incision in the tree bark.
Appearance: Greyish-white natural organic substance.
Fragrance: Fresh, aromatic.
Absorption rate: This is a pure resin from the tree, not an essential oil or extract. It is added into soaps, scrubs, etc.
Storage: Store in a cool, dry container, away from the sunlight.
A potent natural substance with antinociceptive, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and soothing properties, breu branco resin has been used widely by the native Amazonians and many South American regions for its remedial effect for centuries.
Here are some of the notable compounds found in this resin:
• Alpha- and beta-pinene are terpenes commonly found in oils of coniferous trees, and plants essential oils such as sage and rosemary. Their biological activities make them sound fungicidal, antiviral, and antimicrobial agents.
• Limonene is found mainly in citrus fruits and citrus plants. This chemical compound contributes to the floral aroma and provides the most characteristic aroma of this resin. It is limonene that makes breu branco resin an effective natural mosquito repellent.
• Alpha-terpineol is an unsaturated monocyclic mono-terpenoid alcohol found in flowers, spices, and oils like lemon peel oil. It is well known for the wide range of its applications. As an antioxidant, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antiulcer, antihypertensive, antinociceptive compound. In skincare, alpha-terpineol is a popular fragrance ingredient used in manufacturing soaps, cosmetics and perfumes.
• Beta-caryophyllene is a major terpenoid found in plants and is responsible for the aroma of essential oils. It has been used widely for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.
Breu branco resin provides a wide range of skin benefits. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial and soothing attributes make it an attractive ingredient in topical application to treat various skin conditions. Combined with other amazonian oils, it can:
When our immune system responds to a trigger, inflammation is the body’s response to it. It is a process that can go haywire and cause several problems. Your skin may turn red, thicken, and even itch, etc. The topical application of pracaxi oil, infused with breu branco resin, can help soothe and calm down skin inflammations, and reduce swelling, redness, and itchiness.
Antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-hemorrhagic properties of pracaxi oil make it a highly suitable ingredient in wound and scar treatments. Combined with breu branco resin, these ingredients form a topical healing formulation, effective in wounds and excessive scarring.
Amazonian oils are naturally abundant in saturated fatty acids, oleic in particular. Known to penetrate the skin barrier and combined with breu branco resin these natural acids can penetrate the skin and deliver therapeutic properties deep within the skin layers.
The long-lasting woody aroma of this resin makes it an ideal ingredient for use in:
• perfumes to add freshness, and woody notes
• soaps for a more natural touch with its earthy fresh smell
• skincare products to fight inflammation, treat scars, burns, and wounds and improve healing.
• incense sticks enhance peace of mind and reinstate harmony in your home, but they are also powerful mosquito repellents.
Breu branco resin is an exciting ingredient that not only adds a woody aroma to various products but is also bursting with healing properties. Its bioactive properties make it one of the fascinating natural ingredients worth trying. Whether you choose to use it in your skincare products, as incense, or to make your perfume, breu branco resin is undoubtedly a powerful ingredient.
What is the breu branco’s shelf life?
The shelf life of breu branco resin will depend on how it’s looked after. In general, you would expect it to last two years. However, if you take good care of it, breu branco resin can be effective even after two years. To extend its shelf life, keep it in a dark spot.
Where can I buy breu branco resin?
Although this resin is hardly known in the western world, a few suppliers hold it in stock. Yet, before you hit the buy button, consider the quality, smell, composition, shelf life of the oil, and the brand’s reputation. My favourite supplier at the moment is Rainforest Chica. Her products are of impeccable quality and sourced with sustainability in mind.
- Ethnopharmacological Evaluation of Breu Essential Oils from Protium Species Administered by Inhalation
- Essential Oil from the Resin of Protium heptaphyllum: Chemical Composition, Cytotoxicity, Antimicrobial Activity, and Antimutagenicity
- α-Terpineol, a natural monoterpene: A review of its biological properties
- Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature
- Topical Pharmaceutical Bases for Treating Skin Conditions
- Protium heptaphyllum