This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Ben, five Balanus myrepsica, Pharm. Paris. Behen. Glans unguentaria. Ben nut: a whitish. nut, about the size of a small filberd, of a roundish triangular shape, including a kernel of the same figure covered with a white skin. It is the produce of a middle-sized tree, said to resemble the birch, and to grow spontaneously in the East Indies and in America. It is the Guilandina Moringa of Linnaeus; and the same the wood of which is called Lignum Nephriticum.
These kernels have a nauseous oily bitter taste; and when taken internally, are said to disorder the stomach, and occasion purging, sickness, and vomiting. On expression, they yield about one fourth their weight of a yellow-ish oil, of scarcely any particular taste or smell; the nauseous bitter matter remaining behind, not soluble in oily menstrua. This oil differs from most of the others of the expressed kind, in not being subject to grow rancid by long keeping; on account of which property, it is employed as a basis for perfumes and odoriferous unguents. It coagulates in a flight degree of cold. It is impregnated with the fragrance of jasmin and other flowers, by stratifying them with cotton dipt in the oil, and repeating the process with fresh flowers, till the oil becomes sufficiently odorous, after which it is squeezed out from the cotton in a press.