Elemi is an oleoresin derived from several tree species but usually refers to Manila Elemi from the Elemi tree, Canarium luzonicum, which is native to the Philippines. The fragrant oleoresin exudes from the bark as a clear pale liquid, but hardens on exposure to the air and sunlight. Other varieties of Elemi include African Elemi from Boswellia frereana; Brazilian Elemi from Protium heptaphyllum and Bursera gummifera; and Mexican Elemi from Amyris Elemifera and A. balsamifera.
Elemi is a pale yellow aromatic resin with a consistency similar to honey and has a pine and lemon fragrance. However, while some Elemi oleoresins remain soft, others become very hard. It is typically sold in the form of a 40 Kilogram block. Elemi can be steam distilled to produce an aromatic essential oil.
Elemi is used as an herbal medicine in plasters and ointments to treat wounds, scars and ageing skin, and as well as respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, coughs and catarrh. It is also believed to have some stress relieving properties.
Elemi is used as an aromatic ingredient in incense.
Elemi is a component in lacquers and varnishes, providing a tough and elastic coating.
The Printing industry uses Elemi in lithography and the manufacture of inks.
Elemi is used in the manufacture of cements and adhesives.
In the Personal Care industry, Elemi is used as a scent in perfume.