Canada Balsam

Other Name(s):

Abies balsamea, Balm of Gilead, Balsam Canada, Balsam, Balsam Fir, Balsam Fir Canada, Balsam of Fir, Bálsamo de Canadá, Baume de Galaad, Baume de Galahad, Baume de Gilead, Baume du Canada, Canada Turpentine, Canadian Balsam, Eastern Fir, Fir Balsam, Gomme de Sapin, Pinus balsamea, Résine du Sapin Baumier, Térébenthine, Térébenthine du Canada.


Canada balsam is a plant. People use it for medicine.

Canada balsam is applied directly to the skin to treat hemorrhoids and kill germs.

Historically, it has been used for burns, sores, cuts, tumors, heart and chest pains, cancer, mucous membrane swelling (inflammation), colds, coughs, warts, wounds, and as a pain-reliever.

In dentistry, Canada balsam is used in root canal sealers and pastes for cleaning teeth.

In foods, Canada balsam is used to flavor foods and beverages.

In manufacturing, Canada balsam is used in cosmetics as a fixative and fragrance and in ointments and creams. It is also used as cement for lenses and prepared microscope slides.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how Canada balsam might work.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Burns.
  • Sores.
  • Cuts.
  • Tumors.
  • Chest pains.
  • Cancer.
  • Inflammation.
  • Use in dental products.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Canada 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).

Side Effects

Canada balsam is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. Canada balsam needles and twigs are considered safe to be used to make food flavoring. However, there isn't enough information to know if it's safe when taken by mouth in amounts greater than those typically found in foods. Canada balsam is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin. There aren't any known harmful side effects of Canada balsam, but it hasn't been well researched by scientists.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Canada balsam if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of Canada balsam for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Canada balsam. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:

Herbal Materia Medica 4.0. website: (Acessed 6 August 1999).

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