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natural substances composed of essential oils and dissolved resins, aromatic compounds, and other components. Balsams are ordinarily syrupy liquids with an aroma, almost insoluble in water but soluble in some organic solvents (for example, alcohol, ether, chloroform, and benzine). Many balsams are formed in plants as products of normal metabolism—they are found chiefly in peculiar intercellular receptacles or in bark; others are the products of pathological plant activity that appear when the bark is injured but are not present in the plant itself.

Several kinds of oleoresins are also called balsams. They include Canada balsam, which is used in optics and for mounting microscopic preparations, and fir balsam, which is used in optics. Depending on their composition, balsams possess antiseptic, locally irritating, expectorant, and diuretic qualities. The most important balsams in medicine include turpentine, copaiba, balsam of Tolu, and balsam of Peru. Turpentine is extracted from pine bark. Turpentine oil (spirits of turpentine) is obtained by distillation from turpentine or pine resin and is used in ointments and liniments as a local irritant. Its fumes, which ozonize the air, are inhaled or sprayed in a room for the treatment of such diseases as putrid bronchitis and gangrene of the lungs.

Copaiba is extracted from the trees of the genus Copaifera, which grow in South America (Venezuela, the Guianas, and Brazil). It is used as a disinfectant for inflammations of the urinary bladder and in the treatment of eczema and gonorrhea. Balsam of Tolu is extracted from the trees Toluifera balsamum and Myroxylon toluiferum, which grow in South America. It is used in pharmaceutical practice to provide an aromatic coating for pills. Balsam of Peru (Shostakovskii balsam) is a synthetic preparation—polyvinyl butyl ester—used as a coating, anti-inflammatory agent, externally in the treatment of wounds and dermatitides, and internally in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers and other ailments.

References in periodicals archive ?
Otten said the response to the resort ownership program "validates the Balsams redevelopment's vision and viability.
The Balsams was one of the largest employers in the North Country, a region that has lost many manufacturing jobs in recent years.
Patch testing elicited positive reactions to balsam of Peru (a fragrance as well as a flavoring agent put in cola drinks that cross-reacts with orange juice) and cinnamic aldehyde.
Despite the challenges, they hung in, and were introduced to Les in 2013, as they knew if the Balsams had a chance in reopening, they needed someone with the right experience.
Located in the far reaches of New Hampshire's White Mountains, The Balsams is a vast, red-roofed castle nestled against balsam, rock and ice.
Otten said "the marketplace is abuzz" over The Balsams and he's been contacted by about 600 people looking for jobs, had about 200 inquiries about weddings and "hundreds of requests for conferences.
The study, written by PolEcon Research of Dover, is the third and final report required by the NH Business Finance Authority before it begins considering a $28 million loan to Balsams developer Les Otten.
Les Otten, developer of the Balsams revitalization and expansion project in Dixville Notch, needs "critically important" federal and state guarantees for bank loans on $40 million of his $143 million project, spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne says.
There's been disturbing news of late in Coos County, where Eversource has endeavored to hold the redevelopment of the Balsams Resort hostage to potential permitting for the proposed Northern Pass.
The development team planning the renovation and expansion of the Balsams Resort in Dixville has cleared yet another hurdle, with a decision by the Attorney General's Charitable Trusts Unit to take no action on an amendment to a conservation easement held by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests.