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Peru Balsam

Peru Balsam

Botanical Description / Habitat

Myroxlon balsamum

Family

Fabaceae

Common Names

Balsam of Tolu
Balsam Tree
Black balsam
Indian balsam
Peru balsam
Peruvian balsam
Balsam of Peru

Habitat

Indigenous to South and Central America.

Description

A large tree with a smooth bark. It is cultivated as a shade tree.

Crude balsam is dark brown with an aromatic smell of cinnamon and vanilla but a bitter taste.

Medicinal Parts

The balsam is generated from scorched tree stems. It is further softened and purified by boiling.

Tolu balsam is derived from the incised tree trunks.

Historical Properties & Uses

Indians used the material to stop bleeding and promote wound healing. It was also a diuretic and anthelmintic.

This herb has approval status by the German Commission E for external use in burns, decubitus ulcers, frost bite and poorly healing wounds.

Tolu balsam is used for bronchitis, catarrh and cough.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Method of Action

Mainly benzyl esters of benzoic and cinnamic acids.

It is antiparasitic for scabies.

Drug Interactions & Precautions

There are no known interactions.

Safety Factors & Toxicity

Noted for allergic reactions from contact, in some individuals, for whom its use is contraindicated.

This limits its topical use.

Preparation & Administration

This herb has approval status by the German Commission E.

Recommended daily dosages in Germany are as follows:

5 - 20% Peruvian balsam.

[If an extensive area is to be covered not more than 10%.]

While Peru balsam is used in pharmaceutical preparations and perfumes, its use internally is not recommended.

Tolu Balsam is for internal use.

Average daily dosage is: 0.5 gm of the herb.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.

References

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Facts and Comparisons. The Lawrence Review of Natural Products. Jul, 1994.

Gruenwald, J, Brendler, T & Jaenicke, C (Eds.): PDR for Herbal Medicines. Medical Economics, NJ. 1998.


 


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