Balsam of Peru

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Related to Balsam of Peru: balsam of tolu, Peruvian balsam

balsam of Peru

[′bȯl·səm əv pə′rü]
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Balsam of Peru


a resin obtained from the bark of tropical American balsam trees of the genus Myroxylon. Balsam of Peru is a dark brown, thick, oily liquid with the aroma of vanilla. It acts as an acid in chemical reactions. It is insoluble in water but soluble in chloroform, acetic acid, and an alcohol-ether mixture. Its density varies between 1.14 and 1.16 g/cm3.

Balsam of Peru is composed mainly of esters of benzoic and cinnamic acid, resinols, and an admixture of vanillin. It is used in perfumery and pharmacy (as antiparasitic, antiseptic, and deodorant). A mixture containing synthetic esters of benzoic and cinnamic acid is often used instead of balsam of Peru.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1) Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by a wide range of chemicals--from nickel (a metal) to rubber-based compounds to balsam of Peru (a fragrance and flavoring agent).
2013 JulAug;24(4): 153-60 (for a diet low in balsam of Peru); and Dermatitis.
The TT also has a higher false-positive rate to neomycin, thiuram mix, balsam of Peru, fragrance mix, cobalt, and lanolin.
"when we see this we think balsam of Peru." Involvement of the eyelids is another clinical clue.
"When we see this we think balsam of Peru:" Involvement of the eyelids is another clinical clue.
Most Common Allergic Responses To Patch Tests in 2003 Nickel sulfate 16.2% Balsam of Peru 12.3% Neomycin 11.5% Fragrance mix 10.9% Thimerosal 10.8% Sodium gold thiosulfate 10.5% Formaldehyde 9.2% Quaternium-15 9.2% Bacitracin 9.2% Cobalt chloride 7.6% Note: Among 5,812 patients with suspected contact dermatitis.
He offered the mnemonic MAFLPP (More Allergies for Lovable Pediatric Patients) to characterize the top categories: metals (nickel and cobalt), antibiotics (neomycin and bacitracin), fragrance (fragrances and balsam of Peru), lanolin, phenylenediamine, and preservatives (including quatemium-15 and methylisothiazolinone).
Leading the way is balsam of Peru, a liquid derived from a plant bark that consists of more than 180 aromatic compounds.