World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Balsam

Article Id: WHEBN0000515256
Reproduction Date:

Title: Balsam  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Incense offering, Balsam of Peru, Anna Maria Zieglerin, Propolis, Myrrh
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Balsam

Balsam (also: turpentine) is the resinous exudate (or sap), which forms on certain kinds of trees and shrubs. Balsam (from Hebrew bosem בֹּשֶׂם, "spice", "perfume") owes its name to the biblical Balm of Gilead.

Contents

  • Chemistry 1
  • Safety 2
  • List of balsam-like substances 3
  • Balsam of Mecca 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Chemistry

Balsam is a solution of plant-specific resins in plant-specific solvents (essential oils). Such resins can include resin acids, esters, or alcohols. The exudate is a mobile to highly viscous liquid and often contains crystallized resin particles. Over time and as a result of other influences the exudate loses its liquidizing components or gets chemically converted into a solid material (i.e. by autoxidation).[1]

Some authors require balsams to contain benzoic or cinnamic acid or their esters.[2]

Resins are difficult to classify because of their amorphous nature.[2] Even the term "resin" is not sharply defined.[3] Several attempts were made to differentiate between waxes and other classes of substance, particularly fats, resins, and high molar mass polymers, by using several criteria. These primarily physical definitions are to some extent arbitrary and are not generally accepted.[4]

Plant resins are sometimes classified as mixtures with other plant constituents, for example as pure resins (guaiac, hashish) gum-resins (containing gums/polysaccharides), oleo-gum-resins (a mixture of gums, resins and essential oils), oleo-resins (a mixture of resins and essential oils, e. g. capsicum, ginger and aspidinol), balsams (resinous mixtures that contain cinnamic and/or benzoic acid or their esters), and glycoresins (podophyllin, jalap, kava kava).[2]

There is also rubber (latex), which consists of 1,4-polyisoprene.[5]

Non-plant natural resins include fossil and mined resins (amber, Utah resin, asphaltite), and animal resins (shellac).[1]

Safety

Some balsams, such as Balsam of Peru, may be associated with allergies.[6][7] In particular, Euphorbia latex ("wolf's milk") is strongly irritant and cytotoxic.

List of balsam-like substances

Gum resins
Other

Balsam of Mecca

The liquid balsam called Balsam of Mecca is extracted from the tree Commiphora gileadensis (synonym: Commiphora opobalsamum)[8] It is designated in the Bible by various names: bosem, besem, ẓori, nataf, and, in rabbinic literature, kataf, balsam, appobalsamon, afarsemon. It was used as a perfume and as a drug.[9]

It was extracted both as the volatile component of the sap of the tree, and by boiling the stems and leaves.[9] It was the only tropical, and the most expensive, spice grown in Israel.[10] It was known to Pliny (Historia Naturalis 12:116; 13.18) as opobalsamum.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Klemens Fiebach; Dieter Grimm (2007), "Resins, Natural",  
  2. ^ a b c Andrew Pengelly (2004), "Essential oils and resins", The constituents of medicinal plants (2nd ed.), Allen & Unwin, p. 102 
  3. ^ Gerd Collin; et al. (2007), "Resins, Synthetic", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (7th ed.), Wiley, p. 1 
  4. ^ Uwe Wolfmeier; et al. (2007), "Waxes", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (7th ed.), Wiley, p. 3 
  5. ^ Heinz-Hermann Greve (2007), "Rubber, Natural", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (7th ed.), Wiley, p. 1 
  6. ^ Edward T. Bope, Rick D. Kellerman (2013). Conn's Current Therapy 2014: Expert Consult. Elsevier Health Sciences. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Balsam of Peru induced contact allergy", DermatitisFacts.com. Accessed: October 11, 2007
  8. ^ Lumír O. Hanuš; et al. (2005), "Myrrh-Commiphora Chemistry", Biomed. Papers 149 (1): 3–23,  
  9. ^ a b Groom, N. (1981). Frankincense and Myrrh: A Study of the Arabian Incense Trade. London and New York: Longman, Librairie de Liban. pp. 126–129.  
  10. ^ Jehuda Feliks (2007), "Balsam", Encyclopaedia Judaica 3 (2nd ed.), Thomson Gale, p. 95 
  11. ^ "opobalsamum",  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.