This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
MEDICINAL PART. The balsamic exudation.
Description. -- The tree from which this is procured is large, with a thick, straight, smooth trunk, and a coarse, gray, compact, heavy, granulated bark. The bark is of a pale straw color, filled with resin, which, according to its quantity, changes the color to citron, yellow, red, or dark chestnut; smell and taste grateful, balsamic, and aromatic. The leaves are pinnate; leaflets alternate, oblong or ovate, acuminate, and emarginate. The flowers are in axillary racemes, and the fruit is a pendulous, straw-colored samara.
History. -- The tree is common to the forests of Peru, and flowers from July to October. The natives call it Quinquino. It contains a large amount of balsamic juice, which yields copiously when the bark is incised. Balsam of Peru, in thin layers, has a dark, reddish-brown color; in bulk it is black, or of the color of molasses. The natives steep the fruit in rum, call the liquid balsamito, and use it largely for medical purposes.
Properties and Uses. -- It is expectorant and stimulant, acting especially on mucous tissues. Its reparative action on the lungs in consumption is decided, removing the secretions, healing the ulcers, and expelling the tuberculous matter. In all chronic diseases of the lungs and bronchial tubes it is without a superior. Externally it can be applied to old ulcers, wounds, ringworm, etc.
This valuable remedy is one of the ingredients of my "Acacian Balsam," wherein it is properly combined with many other valuable associates.