Myroxylon balsamum (L.) Harms var. balsamum - syn.Toluifera balsamum L. - Fabaceae
Tolu balsam, opobalsam,, Tolubalsambaum
Evergreen tree, native to northern South America (Venezuela to Peru); resin bled from the trunk solidifies to tolu balsam (balsam of Tolu, Balsamum tolutanum).
„The balsam has a sweet, pleasant and lasting aroma and is also considered to exhibit a certain fixative effect. It is commonly used as ingredient in confectionary products and cosmetics and as an additive to tobacco… The hexan-soluble fraction of an ethanolic solution of commercial tolu balsam, accounting for the most of the aroma, is shown to be a complex mixture, composed of aromatic and terpenoid compounds. Benzoic and cinnamic acid, the corresponding alcohols, aldehydes, ethyl, benzyl, and cinnamyl esters, methyl cinnamate, styren, eugenol, vanillin, benzyl ferulate and isoferulate, ferulic acid, and 1,2-diphenylethane are the aromatic compounds identified.“
[Constituents of commercial Tolu balsam., Wahlberg, I., Hjelte, M.B., Karlsson, K., Enzell, C.R., Acta Chemica Scandinavica, Vol.25, 1971, 3285-3295] http://actachemscand.org/pdf/acta_vol_25_p3285-3295.pdf
Tolu balsam (Balsamum tolutanum, Tolubalsam) contains up to 80% resin and 1.5-3% essential oil. Main components found are benzoic acid (4.4-20.9%), cinnamic acid (6.1-12.9%), benzyl benzoate (4.3-12.8%), benzyl cinnamate (traces-3.6%). The balsam was formerly used in folk medicine as expectorant in case of bronchitis, externally to treat wounds.
[A comparative study of the acid and ester content of Tolu Balsam., Harkiss, K.J., Linley, P.A., Planta medica, 1979, 61-65]
[Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, Springer 2010]
Myroxylon balsamum (L.) Harms as Toluifera balsamum L.
Köhler, F.E., Medizinal Pflanzen, vol. 2: t. 184 (1890)