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Balsam of Peru
Balsam of Peru is a large and a beautiful tree, with a straight smooth trunk. Its wood is as valuable as the wood of mahogany. Every part of the tree including the leaves abounds in a resinous juice. The tree is productive after five or six years, and continues to yield for thirty years; the flower has a fragrance which can be smelt a hundred yards away. The beans contain Coumarin and a volatile oil quite distinct from the proper balsam. This is used as a stimulant, diuretic, anthelmintic and external application to gangrenous ulcers and to remove freckles. Balsam of Peru is warm and aromatic, much hotter and more stimulating than Balsam of Copaiba and is used for similar complaints. It is generally found in Central America in the forests of San Salvado.
Botanical Name: Myroxylon pereirae.
Family Name: Leguminosae.
Common Name: Toluifera Pereira, Myrosperum Pereira.
Part Used: Oleoresinous liquid.
Habitat: Central America in the forests of San Salvado.
Properties of Balsam of Peru
- Antiseptic, Diuretic, Antibacterial.
- Anthelmintic and external application to gangrenous ulcers and to remove freckles.
Uses of Balsam of Peru
The main uses of Balsam of Peru are:
· Stimulant, parasiticide, expectorant.
· Given internally, it lessens mucous secretions.
· Used in scabies and skin diseases; it destroys the itch acarus.
· It is a good antiseptic and is stimulant to the heart, thus increasing blood pressure; its action resembles benzoic acid.
· It is also used in soap manufacturing, for its fragrance, and because it makes a soft creamy lather, useful for chapped hands.
· It is especially useful for rheumatic pains and chronic coughs.
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