Loban (Styrax benzoin)
Known as an incense, Loban has multiple benefits even as a medicine
By Dr. M. Laiq Ali Khan
LOBAN as sold in the market is a resin of a tree, Styrax benzoin. It is extracted by making an incision on the stem of the tree, the secreting liquid is collected, dried and sold for usage. Though the trees of Loban are found in India, the maximum Loban is imported from Thailand, Malaysia and the Islands of the East Indies.
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Jafar narrates that Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said: “fumigate your houses with Loban and sheesh.” (Baihaqui)
Another narration reveals: “fumigate your houses with Loban and Saatar.”
Loban is a resin from a tree and is an excellent repellent of insects and mosquitoes. The Holy Prophet (Pbuh) advised fumigation of houses with Loban
According to the Hadith scholars, it relieves constipation and stomach pain. It is useful in diarrhoea and is a good digestive. It heals the wounds and ulcers of the eyes, tones up the stomach. It is a good expectorant and decreases the production of phlegm. The gargles of Loban with Saatar relieves the inflammation of the throat and heals up the wounds of the tongue. It enhances the memory if taken internally.
The long standing, bad and putrified wounds are healed with Loban speedily. The fumigation of Loban is a good insect repellent. It has qualities of an insecticide, is antiseptic and fights epidemics.
The classics of Ayurveda do not possess the reference of Loban and history reveals that Europe was also introduced with Loban after 1399, when Ibne Batoota introduced it during his travel to Europe.
It tones up the heart, stomach and increases libido. It is a good appetiser and is carminative. It relieves the cold and cough. It’s local application relieves the toothache. It is also stated by some physicians that it removes the bad smell of sweat and other excretions, relieves the inflammations of urinary tract and is useful in pulmonary tuberculosis. The drops prepared with Loban and sesame oil relieve the catarrh.
Chemical synthesis of Loban reveals that Loban contains benzoic acid, cinnamic acid and aniline. Besides, a volatile oil is also found. Modern studies reveal that it is a good haemostatic, antiseptic and a good healing agent, hence, applied on wounds and internally subsides the inflammation of UTI and respiratory tract infections.
In case where phosphates are found in abundance in the urine, the compound of Loban dissolves the phosphates and expels them out, besides it is a good diuretic and antiseptic for urinary tract. Locally it possesses potent antifungal effects.
In modern time where the use of chemical insecticides and pesticides is causing damage to the environment and the human life, Loban, which is a good natural insecticide and insect repellent, can prove an eco-friendly substitute.