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..
Galbanum. B. P., not official. - A gum-resin obtained from Ferula galbaniflua, Ferula rubricaulis (nat. ord. Umbelliferae), and probably other species.
Persia and the Levant.
Tears or masses of agglutinated tears. Tears roundish, about the size of a pea, yellowish-brown or yellowish-green. Translucent, rough, and dirty. Hard and brittle in the cold, softening with heat and becoming sticky. Masses contain pieces of root, stem, etc. They are hard, compact yellowish-brown. Odor peculiar, aromatic. Taste bitter, unpleasant. Resembling Galbanum. - Ammoniacum, Asafoetida, and Benzoin; known by their different odors.
The chief constituents are - (1) Volatile oil, C10H16, 6 to 9 per cent., consisting chiefly of a terpene, C10H16. (2) A sulphurous resin, 60 to 67 per cent. (3) Gum, 19 to 22 per cent. (4) Umbelliferone, C9H6O3 in acicular crystals.
Galbanum acts like other substances containing volatile oils; it is always combined with ammoniacum or asafetida. It has been used externally as a plaster Galbanum, 1; ammoniacum, 1; yellow wax, 1; lead plaster, 8; for its irritant effect, to aid the absorption of old inflammatory products, and internally it is given with asafetida as a carminative.