- A balsamic resin obtained from Styrax b. (family Styracaceae), used as a stimulant expectorant, but usually by inhalation in laryngitis and bronchitis; it retards rancidification of fats and is used for this purpose in the official benzoinated lard. SYN: gum benjamin, gum b.. [It. benzoino, fr. Ar. luban jawiy, Javan incense]
* * *1) a hard fragrant yellowish balsamic resin from trees (genus Styrax of the family Styracaceae) of southeastern Asia used esp. as an expectorant and topically to relieve skin irritations2) a white crystalline hydroxy ketone C14H12O2 made from benzaldehyde3) a tree yielding benzoin
* * *ben·zo·in (benґzo-in)1. [USP] a balsamic resin with an aromatic odor and taste, obtained from certain species of Styrax; it is used as a topical skin protectant, topical antiseptic, irritant expectorant, and inhalant in respiratory tract inflammation. Called also gum benjamin and gum benzoin. 2. a highly toxic crystalline compound, C14H12O2, prepared by the condensation of benzaldehyde in an alkaline cyanide solution, used in organic synthesis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.