Among the drugs from the new world, which received consideration in Europe after the discovery of America, there was an aromatic balsam derived from a tree named Ocosotl which was found in Mexico and Central America. In nearly all of its properties this balsam resembled the Levante storax (Styrax liquidus) which had been known since antiquity. As in the case of the other American balsams (tolu, Peru, copaiba etc.) little was known about the botanical source and mode of production of this balsam. As a result balsams of different origin were frequently confounded.

The best descriptions of American storax are found in the 16. century treatises of Monardes,4) Garcia da Orta5) and Petrus Andr. Matthiolus.6)

1) Gualtherius Ryff, New gross Destillirbuch. 1556. fol. 176.

2) Euonymi Philiatri Ein kdstlicher theurer Schatz. 1555. Vol. 1, p. 176.

3) Giov. Battistae Portae Magiae naturalis libri viginti. 1563. Liber de destillatione, p. 378.

4) Monardes, Historia medicinal de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias occidentales qui sirven en medicina. Sevilla 1574. pp. 121 - 123. Editio latina Caroli Clusii. Antverpias 1539. p. 44.

5) Garcias ab Horto, Aromatum et simplicium aliquot medicamentorum apud Indos nascentium historia. Deinde latino sermone in epitomen con-tracta . . . locupletioribus ab annotatiunculis illustrata a Carolo Clusio Atro-bate. Quarta Editio, castigator et aliquot locis auctior, Justus Bertramus. Antverpiae 1593. - Advehitur Hispalim, totius, non dicam Baeticae, sed etiam Hispaniae celeberrimum emporium, olei quoddam genus ex America, subrusi colon's, cujus mirabiles praedicant effectus in omnibus uteri morbis. Id oleum de Liquidambar nuncupant, ejus sane odoris fere, qui Styracis odorem aemuletur. Id vero ex eo liquore exprimitur, quern de Ocosotl arbore destillare Mexicana historia trad it in hunc modum: Inter arbores Mexicanas memoratur et Ocosotl arbor prasgrandis et venusta, foliis hederae similibus. Hujus liquor quern Liquidambar nuncupant, vulnera curat, atque cum corticis ipsius pollim permixtus, elegans odoratumque suffimentum praebet

6) Petri Andreas Matthioli Opera quae extant omnia. Veneti 1554. German edition. 1598. Lib. 1, fol. 90. "Zu den Styraxarten gehort auch ein

The first chemical investigation of American storax was carried out by Bonastre.1) Upon distillation of a relatively fresh balsam he obtained the high yield of 7 p. c. oil. Further investigations were made toward the end of the fifties by Wm. Procter,2) and in 1874 by W. L Harrison.3)