The Venezuelan balsam or Mexican tacamaca (Bursera tomentosa (Jacq.) Triana & Planch.) Is an arboreal species belonging to the Burseraceae family.
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Plantae Kingdom, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Sapindales Order, Burseraceae Family, Bursereae Tribe, Burserinae Sub-tribe and therefore to the Genus Bursera and to the Species B. tomentosa.
The terms are synonymous:
– Amyris tomentosa Spreng .;
– Bursera tomentosa var. pubescens Cuatrec .;
– Elaphrium jacquinianum Kunth;
– Elaphrium octandrum Scop .;
– Elaphrium tomentosum Jacq. (Basionym);
– Fagara octandra L .;
– Terebinthus tomentosa W.F. Wight in Rose;
The term Bursera of the genus was dedicated to Joachim Burs (ch) er (1583-1639), German physician, pupil of C. Bauhin, who herbized the mountains near Salzburg and Valais.
The specific epithet tomentosa comes from toméntum peluria: covered with hair.
Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
The Venezuelan balsam is a plant originally from Panama and distributed in a range that goes from Central America to northern South America, where it is found in deciduous forests. In Venezuela it is found from 0 to 800 m. s. L.M. It is known in traditional culture for its medicinal properties.
The Bursera tomentosa is a deciduous tree that reaches a maximum height of 10 m.
The trunk is with smooth bark;
The leaves are imparipinnate, ovate marginate, composed up to 9 tomentose leaflets (hairy) and winged rachis.
The inflorescence is panicle.
Green or yellowish flowers.
Globose or ovoid fruits, from 0,5 to 1 cm long, green, which become reddish when ripe.
It blooms and bears fruit from April to October.
The Bursera tomentosa is a plant that grows in the deciduous forests of Central America and northern South America where it is used by native populations directly from its habitats for both medicinal uses and for its timber.
Uses and Traditions –
The Bursera tomentosa is a deciduous tree that completely drops the leaves during the dry season, but replaces them with the arrival of the rainy season.
This plant emits a resinous and aromatic exudate.
Wood is used for living fence posts.
The resin has a medicinal use.
The exudate of the plant and the plant itself is repellent to insects.
Method of Preparation –
The Venezuelan balsam is a plant used for centuries, by the populations for its resins, for various uses, such as medicinal ones, which for its wood, also for making fences lives.
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for information purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; therefore, no responsibility is accepted for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.