Balsam of Peru. The Balsam obtained by incision from the stem of Myrospermum PereirAe. Nat. Ord. LeguminosAe. Linn. Syst. Decandria Monogynia. Source, Salvador in Guatemala.

Med. Prop. and Action. Stimulant and expectorant. In common with the other balsams, it appears to act upon the mucous surfaces generally, but particularly upon that of the air-passages. Externally applied, it is a mild stimulant.

Dose, ex. - fl. drm. ss. or more. It may be taken in the form of emulsion with mucilage, or on sugar, or made up into pills with some absorbent powder.

Contra-Indications. Active inflammation and congestion of the lungs, and other febrile affections.

515. Therapeutic Uses

In Chronic Coughs, Asthma, and other asthenic pulmonary diseases, the Balsam of Peru is a very useful, stimulating expectorant. It is best given in emulsion of Gum Arabic or Tragacanth, with the addition of Squills and Syr. Papav. Alb. Sydenham employed it in the Cough of Phthisis. It is inadmissible whilst active inflammatory action is present.

516. In Chronic Laryngitis, it is advised by Trousseau, and Pidoux employed it in the manner described in Benzoin (q. v.).

517. In Chronic Bronchitis, the fumigation or inhalation of the vapour of the balsams was highly thought of by Dr. Mead.* He states that he has seen great benefit from the vapour of the Balsam of Tolu, the substance being thrown upon hot coals, or smoked like tobacco, through a pipe. In obstinate cases it may merit a trial. It is only applicable to asthenic cases.

518. In Otorrha, Dr

A. T. Thompson states that he has found a mixture of f3j. of the Balsam, and 3ij. of Ox Gall extremely useful, when dropped into the ear every day. The aural passage should be first well syringed out with soap and water.

519. In Cancrum Oris, Prof

Graves found a linctus, composed of fj. of the Balsam, and ij. of honey, a very useful local application.

520. To indolent and foul Ulcers and bed sores, the local application of the Balsam renders the surface more healthy, and hastens the healing process. It is rarely applied. It may be used pure, or in the form of ointment (fl. drms. ij., Lard oz. j.).

521. To sore and chapped Nipples, the topical application of the Balsam in the form of ointment (fl. drm. ss. to Lard oz. j.) often proves serviceable in mild cases. To chapped lips and hands, the same formula may be used with advantage.

522. In Alopecia Or Baldness, Dr

Copland § states that he has, in several instances, employed the following formula with complete success: -522 In Alopecia Or Baldness Dr 52 Adipis ij., CerAe Alb. ss.; before a slow fire, and add Balsam of Peru f3ij., OL Lavand. exij.; stir till cold. This, he adds, has the effect of rendering the hair thick and persistent, and of promoting its growth in parts from which it had fallen out from impaired action of the follicles.

* Monita et Precepta, p. 58. Dispensatory, p. 564.

Clin. Lect. vol. ii. p. 520. § Med. Dict. vol. ii. p. 138.