Oleum Balsami Tolutani. - Tolubalsamol. - Essence de Baume de Tolu.
Origin and Production. The viscid balsam that exudes from incissions into the trunk of the tolu balsam tree, Myroxylon (Toluifera) Balsamum var. a genuinum, Baill. (family Legu-minosae) hardens in the course of time to a solid mass which softens at about 30° and melts between 60 and 65°. It is in this form in which it is mostly found in commerce. Upon distillation with water vapor, the solid tolu balsam yields from 1,5 to 7 p.c. of oil. Slow distillation yields an oil lighter than water, rapid distillation with high tension vapors yields more oil that is denser.
1) H. Harms, Notizbl. bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 5 (1910), 175; Apotheker Ztg. 25 (1910), 1038.
2) H. Rackwitz, Arch, der Pharm. 245 (1907), 420, 424.
3) Tschirch, loc. cit. p. 770.
4) St. Machenbaum, Arch, der Pharm. 250 (1912), 10, 17.
5) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1898, 53.
Properties. The very agreeably aromatic odor of the oil reminds of hyacinths: d15o0,945 to 1,09; aD - 1°20' to+0°54'; nD20o 1,544 to 1,560; A. V. 5 to 34; E. V. 177 to 208; soluble in 1 vol. or more of 90 p. c. alcohol, with 80 p. c. alcohol it generally does not yield a clear solution.
Composition. The older statements1) concerning its composition are not only contradictory in part but supply but very imperfect information.
According to Kopp, the hydrocarbon which boils at about 170° and which has an elemi-like odor is a terpene (probably phellandrene?). Inasmuch as E. Busse2) has observed the benzyl esters of benzoic and cinnamic acids in the balsam, these are very likely also contained in the oil. As a matter of fact the oil has a high ester number and from the saponification liquid, crystalline acids (probably cinnamic and benzoic acids) can be separated.
According to F. Elze3) farnesol is contained in tolu balsam oil.