During antiquity mastic was used for fumigation, embalming and as a taste corrective for wine. With other spices used for like purposes, it is frequently mentioned in literature.1) During the middle ages, mastic from Chios, Cyprus2) and Samos3) was one of the highly prized condiments. It was chewed and much used in the preparation of compound balsams. Hence it is referred to in Arabian medical treatises and later treatises on distillation as Granomastice.4) Occasionally it is mentioned in connection with and at times confounded with frankincense as Thus.

Marco Polo found it to be one of the most precious perfumes used in China and India. (Le livre de Marco Polo. Edition Pauthier. Paris 1865. p. 532). Since the 16. century a lignaloes is brought into the market from Cochinchina and Siam under the Malayan name Ka/ambak. It is obtained from the leguminous tree Aloexylon Agallochum, D. C. The wood of this tree resembles that of Aquillaria Agallocha, Roxb. and for a long time it was used medicinally and for perfume purposes under the name Lignum aloes or Lignum agalli veri. According to Moller the genuine lignaloes is odorless and hence contains no volatile oil. Hence the oleum ligni aloes of the spice ordinance of Ulm of 1596 (Reichard, Beitrage zur Geschichte der Apotheken. Ulm 1825. p. 208) must have been distilled from a different wood.

The wood of Gonystylus Miquelianus, T. and B. (N. O. Thymelaceae) is likewise to be regarded as a genuine lignaloes. In European countries the lignum aloes is no longer in use. In British India, China and the Dutch archipelago it finds extended use even to-day. (Boorsma, 1. c. p. 2.)

1) Fluckiger and Hanbury, Pharmacographia. II. ed., p. 561.

2) Fluckiger, Pharmakognosie. III. ed., p. 612.

3) G. Fendler, Jnaug. Dissertat Rostock 1900. p. 2.

4) Trommsdorff's Neues )ourn. der Pharm. 26, II. (1833), 136.

Distilled oil of mastic, probably obtained by dry distillation, is first mentioned about the middle of the 15. century.5) Such an empyreumatic oil of mastic is also mentioned in the inventory of the Rathsapotheke in Braunschweig of the year 1518.6) Ryff7) and Gesner8) distilled mastic with wine. In the drug ordinances oil of mastic is first mentioned in that of Berlin of 1574, in books on medicine in the Pharmacopcea Augustana of 1480 and in the Dispensatorium Nor/cum of 1589. Later the oil went out of use almost altogether. Recently it is being used in Turkey for the preparation of a liquor.