Balsam of Peru


Generic Name
Balsam of Peru
DrugBank Accession Number

Balsam of Peru is a resin that comes from the tree Myroxylon balsamum pereirae. It is constituted by a mixture of substances from which the major components are benzyl cinnamate and Benzyl benzoate. Balsam of Peru has also presented several allergens such as cinnamic acid, Benzyl alcohol and Vanillic acid.9 Under the FDA, balsam of Peru is considered as an inactive ingredient to be used for approved drug products6 as well as an approved food additive under the categorization of generally recognized as safe (GRAS).7 By Health Canada, the balsam of Peru is approved by the use of over-the-counter combination products and it is currently approved in veterinary products.8 By the EMA, the balsam of Peru is approved and categorized under the herbal medicine products.10

Small Molecule
Nutraceutical, Vet approved
  • Balsam (peru) oil
  • Balsam of Peru essential oil
  • Balsam Peru
  • Balsam Peru oil
  • Balsam peru volatile oil
  • Balsam-of-peru oil
  • bálsamo de Perú
  • bálsamo Perú
  • China oil
  • Myrospermum pereirae wood oil
  • Myrospermum sonsonatense wood oil
  • Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae wood oil
  • Myroxylon pereirae (balsam peru) oil
  • Myroxylon pereirae wood oil
  • Peru balsam oil
  • Peruvian balsam oil
  • Toluifera balsamum var. pereirae wood oil
  • Toluifera pereirae wood oil
External IDs
  • FEMA NO. 2117



Balsam of Peru is found in diverse cosmetics and perfumes as well as a flavoring agent in cough syrups, lozenges, chewing gum, and candies.9

As a medical agent, balsam of Peru is used in the local treatment of burns and wounds as an antiseptic.1 It is also used as an expectorant, heart stimulant to increase blood pressure and as a parasiticide.2

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Associated Conditions
Indication TypeIndicationCombined Product DetailsApproval LevelAge GroupPatient CharacteristicsDose Form
Used in combination to treatAcneCombination Product in combination with: Boric acid (DB11326), Zinc oxide (DB09321), Aluminum hydroxide (DB06723)••• •••••••••••
Used in combination to treatDecubitus ulcerCombination Product in combination with: Aluminum hydroxide (DB06723), Boric acid (DB11326), Zinc oxide (DB09321)••• •••••••••••
Used in combination to treatDecubitus ulcerCombination Product in combination with: Castor oil (DB11113), Zinc oxide (DB09321)••• •••
Used in combination to treatDiaper rashCombination Product in combination with: Boric acid (DB11326), Zinc oxide (DB09321), Aluminum hydroxide (DB06723)••• •••••••••••••••••
Used in combination to treatHemorrhoidsCombination Product in combination with: Zinc oxide (DB09321), Benzyl benzoate (DB00676)••• ••••••••••••••
Associated Therapies
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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As a parasiticide, balsam of Peru is believed to destroy the itch acarus and its eggs. As an expectorant, it is reported that its administration produces a reduction in mucous secretions.2 As a heart stimulant, it has been reported to locally increase the blood flow to even 45% at about 3 hours post administration.3 The antiseptic effect was demonstrated in vitro against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well as against fungi. In skin ulcers, the balsam of Peru was shown to accelerate repair and differentiation of scar tissue.10

Mechanism of action

Balsam of Peru is a capillary bed stimulant that increases circulation in the wound area and it also acts as a mild bactericidal.3 When balsam of Peru is administered in mucous tissues is profused and it lessens the secretions.4


When administered dermally, absorption is not expected.3 When applied topically, the balsam of Peru was detectable in the skin after 1 hour but no longer after 8 hours. The absorption is significantly increased in occluded skin and it is moderately irritating.10

Volume of distribution

This pharmacokinetic property has not been determined.

Protein binding

This pharmacokinetic property has not been determined.


The major constituents of balsam of Peru are rapidly hydrolyzed to benzyl alcohol which is further oxidized to benzoic acid. This metabolite is further conjugated in the liver with glycine to hippuric acid.10

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Route of elimination

As balsam of Peru is rapidly metabolized to form hippuric acid it is rapidly excreted via the kidneys and about 75-80% of the dose is eliminated 6 hours after oral administration.10


This pharmacokinetic property has not been determined.


This pharmacokinetic property has not been determined.

Adverse Effects
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Reports have indicated contact urticaria in users that present some sort of contact with balsam of Peru.5 The reported LD50 in the rabbit is 2-5 g/kg.4

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Not Available
Food Interactions
Not Available


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Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Sleep Disorder SynergyOil1.2 mg/50mgTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-01Not applicableUS flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
ANUCARE SUPPOSITORYBalsam of Peru (50 mg) + Benzyl benzoate (33 mg) + Zinc oxide (300 mg)SuppositoryRectalY.S.P. INDUSTRIES (M) SDN BHD2020-09-08Not applicableMalaysia flag
Arnica De LA AbuelaBalsam of Peru (.88 g/104mL) + Heterotheca inuloides flower (.59 g/104mL) + Methyl salicylate (1.48 g/104mL)OintmentTopicalLaboratorios Bremer, S.A.2016-01-01Not applicableUS flag
Asthma Aide SynergyBalsam of Peru (4 mg/50mL) + Menthol (4.3 mg/50mL)OilTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-01Not applicableUS flag
Atopic Healer SynergyBalsam of Peru (3.6 mg/50mL) + Cocoa butter (4.9 mg/50mL)OilTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-01Not applicableUS flag
balsam peru oil PainAway with natural peppermint and Balsam PeruBalsam of Peru (1.2 mg/50mg) + Levomenthol (1.3 mg/50mg)OilTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-012016-04-08US flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
GranulexBalsam of Peru (87 mg/1g) + Castor oil (788 mg/1g) + Trypsin (0.12 mg/1g)SprayTopicalMylan Institutional1967-03-012018-05-31US flag
OptaseBalsam of Peru (8.69 g/100g) + Castor oil (78.77 g/100g) + Trypsin (0.012 g/100g)GelTopicalOnset Dermatologics, LLC2006-04-012011-12-31US flag
ProdermBalsam of Peru (87 mg/1g) + Castor oil (788 mg/1g)SprayTopicalMylan Institutional2012-09-262018-04-30US flag
Trypsin ComplexBalsam of Peru (87.0 mg/1g) + Castor oil (788.0 mg/1g) + Trypsin (0.0036 mg/1g)OintmentTopicalBreckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.2009-10-212011-06-30US flag
VasolexBalsam of Peru (87 mg/1g) + Castor oil (788 mg/1g) + Trypsin (90 [USP'U]/1g)OintmentTopicalStratus Pharmacuticals2007-02-072015-04-09US flag


Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
  • Humans

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. Avalos-Peralta P, Garcia-Bravo B, Camacho FM: Sensitivity to Myroxylon pereirae resin (balsam of Peru). A study of 50 cases. Contact Dermatitis. 2005 Jun;52(6):304-6. [Article]
  2. Grieve M. (1995). A modern herbal. Botanical.
  3. Bolognia J., Jorizzo J. and Schaffer J. (2009). Dermatology E-book (3rd ed.). Elsevier. [ISBN:978-0-7020-51-821]
  4. Lis-Balchin M. (2006). Aromatherapy science (1st ed.). Pharmaceutical Press. [ISBN:0-85369-578-4]
  5. FDA Poisonous Plant Database [Link]
  6. FDA Inactive ingredient search [Link]
  7. Food Additives & Ingredients [Link]
  8. Health Canada [Link]
  9. FDA approved allergenic test [File]
  10. EMA Assessment Report [File]
PubChem Substance
Download (47.7 KB)

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
2TerminatedTreatmentPressure Ulcers / Spinal Cord Injuries1
2WithdrawnTreatmentPartial Thickness Wounds1
1CompletedNot AvailableHealthy Subjects (HS)2


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
TinctureRespiratory (inhalation); Topical
LiquidNasal; Respiratory (inhalation)
LiquidRespiratory (inhalation)
OilTopical1.2 mg/50mg
Not Available
Not Available


Experimental Properties
boiling point (°C)314 ºC'MSDS'
water solubilityInsoluble 'MSDS'
Predicted Properties
Not Available
Predicted ADMET Features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Not Available
Chromatographic Properties
Collision Cross Sections (CCS)
Not Available

Drug created at February 25, 2016 20:00 / Updated at December 11, 2021 01:26