Tolu balsam

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A thick, brown oleoresin obtained from Myroxylon toluiferum trees that are native to the high plains of Venezuela, Columbia and Peru. Tolu balsam is used for perfumes and chewing gums. Similar to Peru balsam, tolu has also been used as a dark brown transparent glaze for paintings.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Myroxylon toluiferum; bálsamo de Tolú (Esp.); Thomas balsam; opobalsam; resin Tolu; balsam of Tolu


MFA- Balsam of Tolu.jpg

Other Properties

Soluble in ethanol, benzene, chloroform, ether, glacial acetic acid. Insoluble in water.

Additional Information

R.White "Brown and Black Organic Glazes, Pigments and Paints" National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 10:58-71, 1986.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 818
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 977