Balsam of Peru
Category: Medicines - plant based
Introduction and description
Balsam of Peru is derived from a tree grown in Central America (primarily in El Salvador) and South America. It is an aromatic viscous resin obtained by scorching or inflicting V-shaped wounds on the bark of the trunk of the tree Myroxylon balsamum var. Pereirae. The oily, resin-like, aromatic fluid exudes, to heal the tree's lesions, and the liquid is collected.
And it has healing properties, being mildly antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic in action when used topically.
Its indigenous use as a medicine led to its export to Europe in the seventeenth century, where it was first documented in the German Pharmacopedia. Today, it is extracted under a 'plainly handicraft process', and El Salvador is its main exporter.
The natural resinous balsam that comes from the trunk of the tree contains a mix of a number of substances that have cinnamon, vanilla, and clove like fragrances. For this reason, Balsam of Peru is used in the food and drink industry for flavouring. The problem with Balsam of Peru is that it isn't cinnamon or vanilla or cloves. It is not a food. Ingesting Balsam of Peru in foods in any quantity is overdosing and appears to persuade the body that it is being poisoned or has encountered a toxin. The effect is to produce an allergic reaction whenever it is subsequntly encountered.
Balsam of Peru is also used in perfumes and toiletries for fragrance. It has a sweet scent. Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers have used it as a fragrance in perfumes and toiletries, colognes, deodorants, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, after-shave lotions, cosmetics, lipsticks, creams, lotions, ointments, baby powders, sunscreens, and suntan lotions. The presence of Balsam of Peru in a cosmetic may be denoted by the INCI term Myroxylon pereirae.
If someone has already ingested Balsam of Perus and developed sensitivity to it, its use topically can cause inflammation, redness, swelling, soreness, itching, and blisters, including allergic contact dermatitis, stomatitis (inflammation and soreness of the mouth or tongue), cheilitis (inflammation, rash, or painful erosion of the lips, oropharyngeal mucosa, or angles of their mouth), pruritis, hand eczema, generalized or resistant plantar dermatitis, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis. I have no idea what it does to your organs if it gets beyond your mouth.
What appears to be happening is that since Balsam of Peru is antibacterial, ingesting it may interfere with our own gut flora thus compromising our immune system, and though this is hypothetical at this stage, it may be this effect on the immune system that is causing the allergic reactions. The Balsam effectively attacks our own Intestinal bacterial protection and by doing so is able to enter the blood stream where the immune system recognises it as a toxin and develops anti-bodies to it. Hence the allergic reaction.
The message is thus do not ingest Balsam of Peru.
Here's an interesting little snippet........
And here we have the ultimate piece of good advice from Wikipedia “People allergic to Balsam of Peru may benefit from a diet in which they avoid ingesting foods that contain it.” Or maybe they should stop ingesting foods that contain it, full stop.
Balsam of Peru, used in its natural form and not ingested or used in overdose proportions has considerable external healing potential.
Because it is antifungal and antibacterial, it is used in a range of ointments for skin infections and diseases caused by fungi or bacteria, such as nappy rash ointments, lip ointments, wound sprays, calamine lotion, surgical dressings, and in some products used by dentists during treatment. It can also can be found in toothpaste and mouthwash, and insect repellants.
I have provided two observations to show it can be a life saver if you haven't ingested it and developed an allergy to it.
In other words, Balsam of Peru should be used externally and assuming you haven't developed an allergic reaction to the product by consuming it, it has considerable potential as a healing agent
Other names used for Balsam of Peru include
- Balsamum peruvianim
- Black balsam,
- China oil,
- Honduras balsam,
- Indian balsam,
- Peruvian balsam,
- Peru balsam,
- Surinam balsam,
- Balsams Peru,
- Balsam Peru oil,
- Oil balsam peru,
- Peru balsam oil,
- Balsamum Peruvianum,
- Bálsamo del Perú,
- Baume du Pérou,
- Baume Péruvien,
- Baume de San Salvador,
- Myroxylon pereirae klotzsch resin,
- Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae,
- Myroxylon pereirae klotzsch oil,
- Myrospermum pereirae,
- Myrosperum pereira balsam,
- balsam fir oleoresin,
- balsam fir oil,
- hyperabsolute balsam,
- Quina quina,
- Santos Mahogany,
- Toluifera pereirae, and
- Toluifera Pereira balsam.
- Dr Duke's list of Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Myroxylon balsamum (L.) HARMS (Flacourtiaceae) -- Peru Balsam, Tolu Balsam 019204
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Antibrucellosic activity 018358
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Anticancer (kidney) activity 018460
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Anticancer (prostate) activity 018465
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Antiklebsiellic activity 018432
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Antipseudomonic Activity 020192
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Metal chelating ability from FERULIC ACID - PART 2 018254
- Dr Duke’s list of Plants containing BENZYL-BENZOATE [as scabicide] 021369
- Peru balsam and oral cancer 010129
- Skin grafts and healing ointments 010128
- Soustelle - Aztecs and Mexica - Healing with plants 011458
- Superating wounds and Peru balsam 010130