Galbanum Essential Oil (Ferula galbaniflua)

Galbanum Essential Oil
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Botanical name  Ferula galbaniflua

Botanical synonyms Ferula gummosa Boiss., Ferula erubescens Boiss.

Family  Apiaceae

Source  Resin

Origin  France

Processing Method  Steam Distillation

Color/Consistency  Colorless to pale olive yellow liquid, A viscous.

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma  A top note with a medium aroma, Galbanum Essential Oil possesses an intensely fresh, green leafy odor with a dry, bark-like back note.

Blends With Carrot Seed, Geranium, Lavender, Spruce and Rose Otto

Product Abstract

Galbanum oil's capabilities did not take a long time to get noticed, with ancient civilizations putting this oil to use long ago. The Roman and Greek civilizations used it in incense sticks, bath water and cosmetics like balms and perfume. Meanwhile, the Egyptians used it for incense and cosmetics, as well as for embalming the dead. Some of these uses still continue today.

Galbanum oil is mainly used medicinally. If you have wounds, boils, or scars from acne, pimples or pox, this essential oil can help with the healing process. If you have spasms, galbanum oil may provide a relaxing effect to your muscles. If you feel like your skin needs an additional boost, galbanum oil can help rejuvenate and give it a younger look. It uplifts sagging skin and removes wrinkles, stretch marks and fat cracks. It's also used as an ingredient for cosmetics and perfumes.


Galbanum offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple service in Jerusalem. Rashi  of the 12th century comments on this passage that galbanum is bitter and was included in the incense as a reminder of deliberate and unrepentant sinners

Harvesting/Extraction Information

In the summer, gatherers roam the desert regions where tall stalks of the plant grow, exposing the bulbs and making incisions in them. Two weeks later they retrace their route to harvest the gum and make another incision in each bulb for a second harvest.
The Galbanum harvest, which historically ranged from 100 to 150 tons per year, was disrupted in the nineteen-eighties and now totals 50 to 60 tons per year.

Common Usage

  • Stimulates Blood Circulation
  • Relieves Spasms
  • Acts as Decongestant
  • Detoxifies the Body
  • Rejuvenates the Skin
  • Reduces Scar Marks
  • Kills Insects
  • Stimulates Circulation
  • Anti-parasitic Property
  • Speeds up Healing


No obvious threats have been found. Still, it should not be used indiscriminately or in very heavy dosages.

Key constituents

b-Pinene 45.1–58.8%

d-3-Carene 2.0–12.1%

a-Pinene 5.7–12.0%

Sabinene 0–6.4%

b-Myrcene 0–4.6%

(þ)-Limonene 2.7–4.0%

g-Elemene 0–2.4%

1,3,5-Undecatriene 1.6–1.8%

(Z)-b-Ocimene 0–1.2%

Safety summary
Hazards   Skin sensitization if oxidized.
Cautions  Old or oxidized oils should be avoided.

Our safety advice
Because of its combined a-pinene, d-3-carene and (þ)-limonene content we recommend that oxidation of galbanum oil is avoided by storage in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator. The addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing it is recommended.

Organ-specific effects
Adverse skin reactions: In a modifid Draize procedure on guinea pigs, galbanum oil was non-sensitizing when used at 20% in the challenge phase (Sharp 1978). Undiluted galbanumoil was slightly irritating to rabbits; tested at 4% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. Autoxidation products of a-pinene, d-3-carene and (þ)-limonene can cause skin sensitization.

Reproductive toxicity The low reproductive toxicity of a-pinene, b-pinene, b-myrcene and (þ)-limonene  suggests that galbanum oil is not hazardous in pregnancy.

Systemic effects
Acute toxicity  Galbanum oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg.
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  No information found for galbanum oil, but it contains no known carcinogens. (þ)-Limonene is anticarcinogenic.

The oil does not age very rapidly, but when it does it tends to polymerize. The main producers are Iran and Turkey. Galbanum oil may also derive from Ferula rubicaulis Boiss.

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