Why has Friars Balsam been discontinued?

Friars Balsam used to be use a lot by podiatrists (and grandma’s) historically. Friars Balsam (Compound Benzoin Tincture). was used on the skin prior to applying tape as it protected the skin and the tape adhered better. It was very good at protecting the skin when tape or adhesive felt needed to be used for a longer period of time. The use of the more hypoallergenic tapes and adhesives make this use somewhat redundant. It used to be referred to historically as CoBT or T.BCo (depending on which podiatry school you went to).

It was used with cotton wool to pack nail groves after the podiatrist worked on the edge of the nail and nail grove. It also had some antiseptic properties and was used to treat chilblains.

It also used to be used as an old remedy for congested sinuses and lungs. A few drops of Friars Balsam, placed on the surface of a bowl of hot water then hold one’s face and breathes the steam. It was common to see this in “grandma’s remedy cabinet”.

It appears to have been discontinued as it simply fell out of favour and was just not used as much any more and become uneconomical for a number of suppliers to produce now. It still has some limited availability.

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