Balsam Peru is obtained from Toluifer pereiare
(Klotzsch) Baill. (Myroxylon pereiare Klotzsch)
belonging to family: Leguminosae.
Central America in the forests of San Salvado.
Peruvian Balsam is a pathological product and is obtained
usually by inflicting injury to the trees.
It is prepared by beating the stems of the trees with mallet.
After a week the injured areas of the stem are scorched so as
to separate the bark from the stem and after a similar duration
the bark is peeled off completely.
The desired balsam starts exuding freely from all the exposed
surfaces, which are then covered carefully with cloth or rags to
absorb the exuding balsam.
The cloth or rags that are completely soaked with the balsam
is then removed and boiled with water in a large vessel slowly.
Thus, the balsam gets separated and settles at the bottom of
The supernatant layer of water is removed by decantation
and the residual balsam is dried and packed in the containers.
It is a dark brown, viscid liquid having a pleasant
It has a peculiar warm bitter taste and persistent
aftertaste which resembles like vanilla.
The Balsam Peru is transparent in thin films.
It does not harden on being exposed to atmosphere.
It is brittle when cold.
It is almost insoluble in water and petroleum ether but
soluble in ethanol, chloroform and glacial acetic acid.
Peruvian balsam contains free benzoic and
cinnamic acids (12-15%); benzyl (40%); esters of
these acids (5.2-13.4% cinnamein); and volatile oil
The fragrant volatile oil contains
toluene, styrol, benzoic and cinnamic acids.
The resins esters (30-38%) are chiefly composed
of peruresinotannol cinnamate and
benzoate, vanillin, free cinnamic acid and peruviol
• Stimulant, expectorant, parasiticide.
• Used in scabies and skin diseases;.
• It is a good antiseptic, expectorant and a stimulant to the heart,
increasing blood pressure; its action resembles benzoic acid.
• Given internally, it lessens mucous secretions, and is of value in
leucorrhoea and chronic bronchitis, and asthma.
• It is also used in soap manufacturing, for its fragrance, and because
it makes a soft creamy lather, useful for chapped hands.
• Balsam of Peru can be applied alone or as an ointment made by
melting it with an equal weight of tallow.