Amyris gileadensis L.
Amyris opobalsamum L.
Balsamea stocksiana Engl.
Balsamodendrum ehrenbergianum O.Berg
Balsamodendrum pubescens Stocks
Commiphora albiflora Engl.
Commiphora ancistrophora Chiov.
Commiphora anfractuosa Chiov.
Commiphora cassan Chiov.
Commiphora coronillifolia Chiov.
Commiphora gillettii Chiov.
Commiphora microcarpa Chiov.
Commiphora opobalsamum (L.) Engl.
Commiphora stocksiana (Engl.) Engl.
Commiphora suckertiana Chiov.
Commiphora velutina Chiov.
Common Name: Balsam of Gilead
Drawing of a branch, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds
Photograph by: Petronella J.M. Pas
Balsam of Gilad is an unarmed, deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 5 metres tall[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its gum resin. It has a long history of cultivation, with records of it having been grown in the Dead Sea area in the time of King Solomon, though it is little cultivated at present[
Northeast tropical Africa - Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya; extending into Arabia.
Acacia, Commiphora woodland or bushland; semidesert scrub; limestone hills; sand dunes; red to grey sandy soil overlying limestone and basement complex or rocky limestone ridges; old lava flows; dry hilly savannah; at elevations up to 1,300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the drier areas of the tropics, where it is found at elevations from near sea level to over 1,300 metres[
The gum resin obtained from the stems is astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, stomachic and vulnerary[
]. It is used in the treatment of discharges from the genito-urinary organs[
The gum is applied externally to cleanse and heal wounds, bad ulcers, sores etc[
The fruit is carminative, expectorant and stimulant[
The essential oil contains a bitter substance[
A brown to reddish gum resin called 'Balsam of Gilead' is obtained from wounds or incisions in the stems, or by boiling the wood or the leaves[
]. It is used in incenses and perfumery[
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