balsam

balsamaceous /bawl'seuh may"sheuhs/, adj.balsamic /bawl sam"ik/, adj.balsamy, adj.
/bawl"seuhm/, n.
1. any of various fragrant exudations from certain trees, esp. trees of the genus Commiphora, as balm-of-Gilead. Cf. balm (def. 1).
2. the similar products yielded by the leguminous trees Myroxylon pereirae and M. balsamum, of South America. Cf. Peru balsam, tolu.
3. oleoresin (def. 1).
4. any of certain transparent turpentines, as Canada balsam.
5. a plant or tree yielding a balsam.
6. See balsam fir.
7. any of several plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, as I. balsamina, a common garden annual. Cf. balsam family.
8. any aromatic ointment for ceremonial or medicinal use.
9. any agency that heals, soothes, or restores: the balsam of understanding and appreciation.
[bef. 1000; ME balsamum, balsaum, OE balzaman < L balsamum < Gk bálsamon. See BALM]

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Aromatic resinous substance that flows from a plant, either spontaneously or from an incision, and is used chiefly in medicinal preparations.

Some of the more aromatic varieties are used in incense. Balsam of Peru, a fragrant, thick, deep brown or black fluid used in perfumes, is a true balsam, from a lofty leguminous tree, Myroxylon pereirae, native to and introduced into Sri Lanka. Balsam of Tolu (Colombia) is used in perfumes and in cough syrups and lozenges; it hardens with age. Canada balsam and Mecca balsam are not true balsams.

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▪ aromatic resin
      aromatic resinous substance that flows from a plant, either spontaneously or from an incision; it consists of a resin dispersed in benzoic or cinnamic acid esters and is used chiefly in medicinal preparations. Certain of the more aromatic varieties of balsam have been incorporated into incense. Balsams are sometimes difficult to distinguish from oleoresins, which are resins dissolved in essential oils, but usually the oleoresins are slightly more fluid.

      Balsam of Peru, a fragrant, thick, deep brown or black fluid used in perfumery, is a true balsam, the product of a lofty leguminous tree, Myroxylon pereirae, growing in a limited area in El Salvador and introduced into Sri Lanka. It is mentioned in pharmacopoeias but has no medicinal value. Balsam of Tolu (Colombia), a brown balsam thicker than balsam of Peru, is used in perfumery and as a constituent in cough syrups and lozenges. It becomes solid on keeping. It also is a product of equatorial America.

      Canada balsam and Mecca balsam, or balm of Gilead, are not true balsams.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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