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Balsam Fir

It is an evergreen tree. It is native to North America. It is most commonly found on hillsides.

Scientific Name: Abies balsamea

Synonyms: Pinus balsamea

Common Names:

  • Balsam
  • Balsam Fir Oregon
  • Balsam Oregon
  • Balsamo de Abeto de Douglas
  • Coastal Douglas Fir
  • Douglas
  • Douglas Spruce
  • Oregon Balsam

Family: Blasam fir belongs to family Pinaceae which is commonly regarded as the pine family.

Medicinal Uses

The trunk of Balsam Fir tree provides Balsam. Balsam is the active substance that possesses pharmacologic properties that make it ideal for medicinal use.

  • Burns

The resin that is obtained from trunk of Balsam fir has antiseptic properties. It is ideal to use for dressing of patients with extensive burns. It not only prevents growth of microbes (thus preventing infection of wound) but it also accelerated skin growth over burnt area if dressing is changed 3 times a day (after every 8 hours). Apart from burns, the Balsam has an excellent effect in promoting healing of wounds and abrasions. The mechanism is the same.

  • In acute inflammation

Balsam has anti inflammatory properties as well. It’s most potent anti inflammatory actions are seen in treatment of sore nipples and acute pharyngitis. Other dermatologic conditions: It has been used for treatment of skin warts, corns and callosities with success. It is good for those with oily skin problems. It keeps the skin dry and reduces the oily secretions. It also has a mild diaphoretic action. It keeps the skin clean.

  • Scurvy

It potentiates the action of vitamin C in treatment of scurvy by stabilizing the collagen fibers cross linkage. This prevents the progression of scurvy. This also strengthens the skin and mucous membranes of the individual using it. The skin has got increased tensile strength.

  • Tonic

It is a tonic for liver, stomach and CNS. It has particularly good effect in CNS. It prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It also improves the memory. It is prescribed to be used in older individuals.

  • Coryza

It is useful for treatment of common cold. It reduces the episodes of cough, reduces the rhinorrhea, and reduces inflammation in pharynx.

  • Analgesia

It is a weak analgesic agent which is found useful in the treatment of headaches.

  • Sinusitis

When inhaled with steam, it opens up clogged sinuses, reduces the sensation of heaviness of head and gives a feeling of well being to the patient.

  • Tumors

Studies done on animals (mostly rats) have shown that it can reduce size of certain tumors when injected directly into them. The exact mechanism is unknown but it is speculated that this effect may be due to local ablation of tumor cells. The tumor size reduction was observed to be between 10-30% in over 1000 test subjects. The tumors that responded to Balsam are here depicted in descending order

  • Liver (hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • Cholangio carcinoma
  • Carcinoma head of pancreas
  • Carcinoma colon
  • Adenocarcinoma lungs
  • Squamous cell carcinoma esophagus

Category: Medicine

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