July 30, 2016

Tolu Balsam

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What other names is Tolu Balsam known by?

Balsam, Balsam Tolu, Bálsamo de Tolú, Balsamum Tolutanum, Baume de Tolu, Baumier du Pérou, Myroxylon balsamum, Myroxylon balsamum var. balsamum, Opobalsam, Resin Tolu, Resina Tolutana, Thomas Balsam, Toluifera balsamum, Tolu, Toluiferum Balsamum.

What is Tolu Balsam?

Tolu balsam is a sap-like substance that comes from the Myroxylon balsamum tree. It is used as medicine.

People take tolu balsam for cough, bronchitis, swollen airways, and cancer.

Tolu balsam is applied directly to the skin to treat bedsores, cracked nipples, cracked lips, and minor skin cuts.

Some people inhale tolu balsam to treat hoarseness and croup.

In foods, tolu balsam is used to flavor chewing gum, foods, and beverages.

In manufacturing, tolu balsam is used as a fixative, as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics, and as a flavoring in cough medicines.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer.
  • Cough.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Swollen airways.
  • Bedsores, when applied to the affected area.
  • Cracked nipples, when applied to the affected area.
  • Cracked lips, when applied to the affected area.
  • Minor skin cuts, when applied to the affected area.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tolu balsam for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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