This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
A balsam obtained from Toluifera Balsa-mum Linne (nat. ord. Leguminosae).
Venezuela and New Granada.
A yellowish-brown, semi-fluid or nearly solid mass, becoming more brittle when exposed to cold, transparent in thin layers, having an agreeable odor recalling that of Vanilla, but distinct from it, and a mild, aromatic taste.
Readily and completely soluble in Alcohol. Also completely soluble in Chloroform, and in solutions of the fixed alkalies; almost completely soluble in Ether, but nearly insoluble in water, Benzin, or Carbon Disulphide.
The chief constituents are - (1) Toluene, C10H16, 1 per cent., a thin, colorless, aromatic oil. (2) Benzylic Benzoate, C7H6(C7H7)O2, a colorless, aromatic oil. (3) Benzylic Cinnamate, C9H7(C7H7)O2. (4) Benzoic Acid, Hc7h5o2. (5) Cinnamic Acid, C9H8O2. (6) Resins.
Balsam of Tolu is contained in Tinctura Benzoini Composita.
Dose, 10 to 30 m.; .60 to 2.00 c.c.
Dose, 1/2 to 1 fl. oz.; 15. to 30. c.c.
Although it has an action in all respects similar to that of balsam of Peru, it is only used as an expectorant in cough mixtures.