Don't confuse Peru balsam with tolu balsam, which is the oily sap from the stems of Myroxylon balsamum.
Despite serious safety concerns, people take Peru balsam to treat cancer, increase urine production (as a diuretic), and expel intestinal worms.
Peru balsam is sometimes applied directly to the skin for infected and poorly healing wounds, burns, bedsores (decubitus ulcers), frostbite, leg ulcers caused by poor circulation, bruises, hemorrhoids, anal itchiness, diaper rash, skin irritated by rubbing or sweat, and bleeding.
In dentistry, Peru balsam is included in products used for treating "dry socket," a painful condition that sometimes follows tooth removal. Dry socket occurs when the clot that forms in the gum after tooth extraction comes out too early, exposing the tender gum to the air. Peru balsam is also used in toothpaste and toothpowder.
In manufacturing, Peru balsam is added to perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics as a fragrance. It also helps to keep perfume from evaporating too fast.
In food, it is used as a flavoring.
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