Guaiacwood wood shavings are used for decoctions taken internally to treat rheumatic complaints. The resin is said to be a circulatory stimulant and is also used externally to rub into painful joints and to treat skin disorders. In former times, decoctions were mixed with mercury. General Herb Information *Note: Bianca Rosa® Guaiacwood Pure Essential Oil is not to be taken internally. Guaiacwood Guaiacum officinale L. Family: Zygophyllaceae. Other Names: Guaiac; lignum vitae; bois de gaiac, bois de vie (French); Guajakholzbaum, Schlangenholz (German); guaiaco, legno Santo (Italian); guajacum, palosanto (Spanish). Description: Guaiac is an evergreen tree (up to 10 m in height), with compound leaves ending in a pair of leaflets, deep blue flowers and small fruit capsules. Both G. officinale and G. sanctum are used as a source of the product. Origin: Central and South America (West Indies and the north coast of South America). The trees are felled for their timber, which is used not only medicinally but also for construction work. Parts Used: The heartwood and sapwood, usually in the form of wood shavings ( Lignum vitae, Guaiaci lignum), or the resin obtained by heating the wood ( Guaiaci resina). Lignum vitae is one of the hardest of all commercial timbers, and has a specific gravity of 1.333. It was formerly used to make bowls for lawn bowling. Therapeutic Category: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. Active Ingredients: The resin contains numerous lignans (including alpha-guaiaconic acid, guaiaritic acid, dehydroguaiaretic acid, guaiacin and isoguaiacin together with various furanolignans and an enedione lignan. Essential oil obtained by steam distillation contains mainly guajol, which can be converted by semisynthesis to guaiazulene, a valuable aromatherapy compound. Phytosterols and triterpene saponins are also present. Pharmacological Effects: The resin is stated to have anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, mild laxative and diaphoretic properties. Guaiazulene is similar to chamazulene in its antiphlogistic activity. One of the lignans (known as meso-nordihydroguaiaretic acid) is thought to induce renal lithiasis. The resin is used in food products as a powerful antioxidant (the activity is ascribed to alpha-guaiaconic acid. Status: Traditional medicine; Pharm.; Comm. E+. Botanical Name: Guaiacum officinale Extraction Method: steam Plant: wood Origin: Paraguay
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