This section is from the book "Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics", by Thomas S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: Botanic Drugs, Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
An official balsam obtained from Toluifera pere-irae; it is named in every official standard, but is called Myroxylon pereirae in several pharmacopeias.
Possesses antiseptic properties (probably due to a content of benzoic and cinnamic acids) (q. v.) which are feeble, though the drug is relatively effective as a parasiticide. When large quantities are absorbed resinous bodies appear in the urine which give a precipitate with acids, but which precipitate is re-dissolved by alcohol, thus distinguishing from albumin. Extensive applications may give rise to albuminuria and hematuria. Internally, in doses of 5 to 10 grains, it is said to be stomachic, carminative, and expectorant.
No well-based internal uses, other benzoate-bearing products being preferable. See "Benzoic Acid."
Externally useful in scabies as a parasiticide, as an application to indolent fissures and chronic parasitic skin diseases, and as a stimulant to raw surfaces of small area. In this latter condition a mixture of one-third Peruvian balsam and two-thirds castor oil is effective; but it may irritate, when 10 per cent solutions may be used. To-day surgeons don't wish to stimulate granulation very often. Non-irritating dressings and paring the sides of the wound will usually promote healing. Van Arsdale used one part of Peruvian balsam in sixteen of castor oil, which does not stimulate granulation.