Peru Balsam: Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing

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Peru Balsam: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing


Peru balsam is a fragrant resin obtained from the bark of the Myroxylon pereirae tree, native to the Amazon rainforest. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat various ailments. While Peru balsam is generally considered safe, it is essential to understand its uses, side effects, precautions, and proper dosing to ensure appropriate usage.

Uses of Peru Balsam

Peru balsam possesses a wide range of therapeutic properties, including:

  • Antimicrobial: It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects.
  • Expectorant: It helps expel mucus from the respiratory tract.
  • Anti-inflammatory: It reduces swelling and inflammation.
  • Wound healing: It promotes wound healing and reduces scarring.
  • Diuretic: It increases urine output.
  • Anxiolytic: It may reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Traditional Uses:

  • Respiratory ailments: Cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma
  • Skin conditions: Wounds, ulcers, burns, rashes, acne
  • Digestive issues: Diarrhea, gas, indigestion
  • Musculoskeletal pain: Arthritis, rheumatism
  • Stress and anxiety: Relaxation and sleep aid

Pharmacological Properties

Peru balsam contains over 200 compounds, including:

  • Benzoic acid: Antimicrobial and expectorant
  • Cinnamic acid: Anti-inflammatory and wound healing
  • Vanillin: Expectorant and soothing
  • Eugenol: Antiseptic and analgesic
  • Farneol: Anti-inflammatory

Side Effects

Peru balsam is generally well-tolerated, but side effects can occur, especially with high doses or prolonged use. These may include:

  • Skin irritation: Contact dermatitis, redness, itching
  • Gastrointestinal upset: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions: Anaphylaxis (rare)
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established.


  • Skin sensitivity: Avoid use on broken or irritated skin. Performs a patch test before applying Peru balsam topically.
  • Allergic reactions: Consult a healthcare professional before using Peru balsam if allergic to benzoin, cinnamic acid, vanillin, or eugenol.
  • Asthma: Peru balsam may worsen asthma symptoms in some individuals.
  • Bleeding disorders: Peru balsam may interact with anticoagulant medications.
  • Surgery: Discontinue Peru balsam use at least two weeks before surgery.


The appropriate dosage of Peru balsam varies depending on the condition being treated and the method of administration.


  • Apply a thin layer of Peru balsam ointment or cream to the affected area 1-2 times daily.
  • Avoid applying to large areas of skin.


  • Add a few drops of Peru balsam essential oil to a diffuser or inhaler.
  • Inhale the vapor for 10-15 minutes, up to three times daily.


  • Do not take Peru balsam orally unless specifically instructed by a healthcare professional.


Peru balsam may interact with certain medications, including:

  • Anticoagulants: May increase bleeding risk.
  • Sedatives: May enhance sedative effects.
  • Antidepressants: May interact with certain tricyclic antidepressants.


Peru balsam is contraindicated in individuals:

  • With known allergy to the substance
  • Who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • With current bleeding disorders

Safety Considerations

  • Store Peru balsam in a cool, dark place.
  • Avoid using expired products.
  • Consult a healthcare professional before using Peru balsam for any serious medical condition.


Peru balsam is a versatile supplement with a long history of traditional medicinal uses. Its antimicrobial, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for various respiratory, skin, and digestive ailments. However, it is essential to use Peru balsam safely by understanding its side effects, precautions, and appropriate dosing. By following these guidelines, individuals can reap the benefits of Peru balsam while minimizing potential risks.

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