Gilead, the Balsa m, or Balm of, is a gummy substance that exudes from the bark of the Amyris Gileadensis v. Opobalsamum L. a native of Arabia Felix.

The balsam formerly imported into Europe, is obtained chiefly by incision ; but the quantity afforded by one tree is so very small, and the collecting of it is attended with so much trouble, that the genuine balm is seldom, and perhaps never exported in a commercial way. It is of a bitterish aromatic taste, an acidulous fragrant smell, and of a yellowish or greenish colour. — Among theTurkish women, it is in high reputation, both as a cosmetic and as a specific for almost every disorder ; on which account it is valued at so extravagant a price, that it is extremely difficult to procure it in a genuine state, because it is presented only to Sovereign Princes. Hence, in this country, it is now entirely superseded by the balsams of Canada and Copaiba, which are equally efficacious. We have inserted this account, with a-view to caution and undeceive the credulous, who may be apt to imagine that any base compound offered to the public, under specious pretensions, is the real Balm of Gilead, which is frequently mentioned in Scripture.