(Indian.) Balsam ca-pivi, called also copaiba, capivus, album balsamum. The tree which affords it is called arbor balsamifera Brasiliensis, copaiba Brasiliensibus,and baccifera arbor Brasiliensis, fructu monopyreno folio sesquepedali. The tree grows spontaneously in the woods of Brasil, St. Vincent, and other of the British American islands. Deep incisions are made into the trunks of this tree during the hotter summer months; and one tree sometimes is met with that affords five or six gallons of balsam, but the same tree never yields it twice.
This balsam is at first limpid and1 colourless, and smells like calambour wood; as brought into Europe it is generally yellowish, and somewhat thicker than olive oil; by long keeping it becomes still thicker, but does not dry. In all states of its consistency, it continues clear and transparent. To the smell it is grateful, to the taste bitterish and biting; not intensely so, but durable.
To prove its genuineness, drop it on paper; if it spreads not, as oil, nor penetrates, it is good; on the contrary, if it spreads or sinks through, it is adulterated. It is also esteemed genuine when a drop, falling from the point of a needle into cold water, sinks to the bottom, or is suspended in the middle; but if it is suspended at the top, or spreads, it is spurious. If genuine, it is said that it does not give the violet smell to the urine of those who take it.
Distilled with water it yields half its weight, or nearly so, of essential oil; the remaining resin is tenacious and inodorous. If it is distilled in a retort, without any addition, by a fire gradually raised, it sends over first a light yellow oil, which smells strongly of the juice; then a dark coloured oil, and after it a fine blue oil, both which are pungent to the taste, having also an empyreumatic flavour, but not an ungrateful one. For its other properties and its use, see Balsamum co-paib.e.