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Information about: Balm of Gilead

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Balm of Gilead. The exudation of a tree, Balsamodendron gileadense, a native of Arab Felix, and also obtained from the closely allied species Balsamodendron opobalsamum. The leaves of the former tree yield when bruised a strong aromatic scent; and the balm of Gilead of the shops, or balsam of Mecca or of Syria, is obtained from it by making an incision in its trunk. It has a yellowish or greenish color, a warm, bitterish, aromatic taste, and an acidulous, fragrant smell. It is valued as an odoriferous unguent and cosmetic. In the United States the populus balsamifera is called balm of Gilead tree.