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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Laura Clarke of Colebrook is among the many hopefuls who are rooting for the Balsams' resurrection.
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.
The bill would allow Coos County to use tax increment financing to sell a bond and raise $28 million for Otten, who has been trying to revive the Balsams since 2014, but the $175 million he needs for the first stage has eluded him.
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.
The decision came after SCU and the Balsams development team came to "loggerheads" over the guarantee, said Scott Tranchemontagne, spokesman for the development team.
Otten said the response to the resort ownership program "validates the Balsams redevelopment's vision and viability."
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.
If Balsams developer Les Otten got all the necessary permits and financing and opened a worldclass resort business in the North Country, Dan Dagesse would have owned a chunk of it.
Developer Les Otten says he has spent about $7.1 million on his effort to redevelop The Balsams resort, the project is moving ahead and some construction could occur this summer.
A newly released study forecasts that revitalization of the Balsams Resort in the northern New Hampshire town of Dixville will generate 600 construction jobs and at least another 400 when the facility opens.
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.