Peru Balsam

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What other names is Peru Balsam known by?

Balsam, Balsam of Peru, Balsam Peru, Bálsamo del Perú, Balsamum Peruvianum, Baume du Pérou, Baume Péruvien, Baume de San Salvador, Black Balsam, Indian Balsam, Myrospermum pereirae, Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae, Myroxylon pereirae, Peruvian Balsam, Toluifera pereirae.

What is Peru Balsam?

Peru balsam is an herb. The oily sap from the bark is used to make medicine.

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.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...



TAKEN BY MOUTH
  • Cancer.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • Other conditions.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN
  • Wounds.
  • Burns.
  • Leg ulcers.
  • Bedsores.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Peru 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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How does Peru Balsam work?

Peru balsam might help prevent bacterial growth, and kill tiny insects (mites) that cause a skin condition called scabies. It might also promote skin cell growth.

Are there safety concerns?

It is UNSAFE to take Peru balsam by mouth because it can damage the kidneys.

It seems to be safe to apply Peru balsam to the skin over a short period of time (less than one week). However, it can cause allergic skin reactions. It can also cause skin to become extra sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Peru balsam during pregnancy. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

It might be UNSAFE to apply Peru balsam to the skin during breast-feeding. If it gets on the nipple, the nursing infant might be poisoned.

Kidney disease: Peru balsam might cause kidney damage and might make existing kidney disease worse. Don't use Peru balsam if you have kidney problems.

Dosing considerations for Peru Balsam.

The appropriate dose of Peru balsam 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 Peru 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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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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