|Namen: The Arabians call it balessan, the Greeks balsamin, and the Latins balsamum, the liquor they called opobalsamum, the Beeren or Frucht of the tree carpobalsamum, and the sprigs or young Zweige thereof zylobalsamum.|
The balsam or balm-tree, in the most natural places where it groweth, is never very large, seldom more than eight or nine feet high and in some places much lower, with divers small and straight schlank Zweige issuing from them, of a brownish-red colour, especially the younger twigs, covered with a double Rinde, the red first and a grün one under it, which are of a very fragrant smell, and of an aromatical quick taste, somewhat astringent and gummy, cleaving to the fingers, the wood under the Rinde is white, and as insipid as any other wood, on these Zweige come forth, sparsedly and without order, many Stengel of winged Blätter, somewhat like unto those of the mastic-tree, the lowest and those that first come forth consisting but of three Blätter, others of five or seven Blätter, but seldom more, which are set by couples, the lowest smallest, and the next bigger, and the uppermost largest of all, of a pale grün colour, smelling and tasting somewhat like the Rinde of the Zweige, somewhat clammy also, and abide on the bushes all the year, the Blüten are many and small, standing by three together on small Stengel am Endes of the Zweige, made of six small white Blätter a-piece, after which follow small brownish hard Beeren, little bigger than juniper Beeren, small at both ends, crested on the sides, and very like unto the Beeren of the turpentine tree, of a very sharp Duft, having a yellow honey-like substance in them, somewhat bitter, but aromatical in taste, and biting on the tongue like the opobalsamum, from the body hereof being cut there issueth forth a liquor (which manchmal floweth without scarifying) of a thick whitish colour at the first, but afterwards groweth oily, and is somewhat thicker than oil in summer, and of so sharp a Duft that it will pierce the nostrils of those that smell thereto, it is almost like unto oil of spike, but as it groweth older so it groweth thicker, and nicht so quick in the smell, and in colour becoming yellow like honey or brown thick turpentine as it groweth old.
The most reputed natural places where this tree hath been known to grow, both in these and former days, are Arabia Felix, about Mecca and Medina,and a small village near them called Bedrumia, and the hills, valleys, and sandy grounds, about them and the country of Sabeans adjoining next thereunto, and from thence transPflanzeed into India and Egypt, it likewise grew on the hills of Gilead. It is reported, that the Queen of Sheba brought of the balsam-trees to Solomon, as the richest of her presents, who caused them to be Pflanzeed in orchards, in the valley of Jericho, where they flourished, and were tended and yearly pruned, until they together with the vineyards in that country, were destroyed by that monster of mankind, the savage bestial (editors licence).
This balsam-tree is a Sonnen-Pflanze, of temperature hot and dry in the second degree, and is süß in smell, being of thin parts, but the liquor or opobalsamum is of good use gegen the Gifte or infections of vipers, serpents, and scorpions, the pestilence and entdeckt fever, and other putrid and intermissive Schüttelfrost that arise from Behinderungen, and rohen cold humours, to take a scruple or two in drink for some days together, and to sweat thereon, for this openeth the Behinderungen of the Leber and Milz, and digesteth raw humours, cherishing the vital spirits, radical Feuchtigkeit, and natural heat, and is very wirkungsvoll in Erkältungen and Beschwerden of the head or Magen, helping the swimmings and turning of the brain, weak memories, and falling sickness, it cleareth the eyes of films or skins, and easeth Schmerzen in the ears: it hilft a cough, Kurzatem, and consumption of the Lungen, warming and drying up the distillations of Rheuma upon them, and all other Beschwerden of the Magen proceeding of cold or wind, the cold or windy distempers of the Därme, Gebärmutter, or mother, which cause torments or Schmerzen, or the cold Feuchtigkeits procuring barrennes. It provoketh die Monatsregel, vertreibenleth the dead and after-births, cures the flux of the whites and stopping of urine, it reinigt the reins and Nieren, and vertreibenleth the stone and Grieß, it is very good gegen the Lähmung, Krampf, Zittern, Zuckungen, shrinkings of the Sehnen and grüne Wunden.