Parts Used: Gum from the branches and trunk.
Pharmacy name: Peruvian balsam – Balsamum peruvianum Growth. This large, up to 16 m tall tree grows in Central America.
Collection and preparation.It is very interesting to obtain a balm, because it is not extracted from a plant in the form in which it goes on sale. First, they knock on a tree trunk near the base with some kind of blunt instrument. Then cuts are made in the outer layers of the bark and burned with a burning torch. After a few days, gum protrudes from the incisions, which is collected with rags. After this first collection, cuts in the bark are made deeper and fired again, after which a second portion of gum is obtained. And finally, by boiling rags soaked with leaked gum, and pieces of bark, a raw balsam is obtained, which is then subjected to various processes of distillation and purification. The final product is a fragrant, dark, syrupy balm. Very different varieties of balm are on sale, with different colors, textures and even composition. The reason for this is the complex multi-stage process of its extraction. Pharmacies sell only high quality balm.
Active ingredients: 50 to 75% cinnamein, consisting of 2/3 of benzyl ester of benzoic acid and Vs of benzyl ester of cinnamic acid; 30% resin, free cinnamic and benzoic acids, nerolidol, coumarin, farnesol and vanillin. All these substances are aromatic.
Healing action and application.Peruvian balsam – a mild skin care and cleansing agent; it is also used as an antiseptic, causing wound healing, cleansing purulent wounds, helping with frostbite of varying degrees. For the treatment of hemorrhoids, special candles with Peruvian balsam are made. Now almost uncommon in Germany, scabies is also treated with balsam of Peru. Inside Peruvian balsam is used exclusively for chronic bronchitis. Raw balsam is not often consumed; ointments that treat all of the listed diseases are prepared after its processing. Peruvian balsam is especially indispensable in veterinary medicine. The so-called scabies of the legs in chickens, a parasitic disease, is cured very quickly. With tick scabies in dogs, horses and cattle, improvement also begins.
Side effects. In some people, the skin does not tolerate Peruvian balsam, as well as ointments based on it. In addition, one must beware of its prolonged use on large areas of the skin: there may be complications in the kidneys.