Canadian balsam is also known as Abies balsamea which falls under the family of Pinaceae. Canadian balsam is commonly found in north America (Nova Scotia and Maine) and Quebec, Canada.
Canadian balsam is also known as American Silver fir, balsam tree, balsam fir, balm of Gilead fir, Canada Turpetine, Pinus balsaamea and A. balsamifera.
Other types include Tsuga Canadensis or hemlock spruce, which is also sold under the name of Canada balsam. There are also species of fir which produce oil from the needle.
Generally, Canadian Balsam is presented as tall evergreen tree up to 20 meter high with branches and tapering trunk. It is a cone in shape. There will be blisters of oleoresin / balsam on the branches.
Traditionally the oleoresin is used for treatment of cuts, sores or burns and relieving cough and chest pain. It is also well known for its antitussive, diuretics, expectorant, antiseptic, sedative and vulnerary effect.
The extraction of essential oil is done by puncturing the vesicles in the bark and collecting the oleoresin. The steam distillation of oleoresin will produce the essential oil. Steam distillation of the leaf or needles may also produce essential oil.
The oleoresin is characterized by thick pale yellow which later dries t form a crystal clear varnish with a fresh sweet balsamic fruity odor. It mixed well with cedarwood, pine, cypress, sandalwood, benzoin and juniper.
The chemical constituent of Canada balsam includes esters, pinene, monoterpenes, phellandrene and alcohol.
The Canadian balsam is useful as an aromatherapy and beneficial in treating cases of wounds, cuts, burns, hemorrhoids, genito urinary infection, nervous disorders, anxiety, depression, asthma, coughs, bronchitis and sore throats.
Other beneficial used include as parts of the component of cream in treating in hemorrhoids and antiseptic. It is also used as an ingredient for root canal sealer in dentistry. Besides that, it is also a component of fragrance in cosmetics, perfumes, soaps and detergents.