©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Tolu Balsam

What other names is Tolu Balsam known by?

Balsam, Balsam Tolu, Bálsamo de Tolú, Balsamum Tolutanum, Baume de Tolu, Baumier du Pérou, Myroxylon balsamum, Myroxylon balsamum var. balsamum, Opobalsam, Resin Tolu, Resina Tolutana, Thomas Balsam, Toluifera balsamum, Tolu, Toluiferum Balsamum.

What is Tolu Balsam?

Tolu balsam is a sap-like substance that comes from the Myroxylon balsamum tree. It is used as medicine.

People take tolu balsam for cough, bronchitis, swollen airways, and cancer.

Tolu balsam is applied directly to the skin to treat bedsores, cracked nipples, cracked lips, and minor skin cuts.

Some people inhale tolu balsam to treat hoarseness and croup.

In foods, tolu balsam is used to flavor chewing gum, foods, and beverages.

In manufacturing, tolu balsam is used as a fixative, as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics, and as a flavoring in cough medicines.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer.
  • Cough.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Swollen airways.
  • Bedsores, when applied to the affected area.
  • Cracked nipples, when applied to the affected area.
  • Cracked lips, when applied to the affected area.
  • Minor skin cuts, when applied to the affected area.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tolu balsam for these uses.

How does Tolu Balsam work?

Tolu balsam contains ingredients that help break up congestion. It might also work as a skin protectant.

Are there safety concerns?

Tolu balsam is safe in food amounts and seems safe for use as a medicine when taken by mouth. There isn't enough information to know if it is safe when applied to the skin as a medicine.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of tolu balsam during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Fever: Don't take tolu balsam if you have a fever or a condition that involves swelling.

Kidney disease: There is concern that tolu balsam might make kidney disease worse. Don't use it if you have kidney problems.

Tolu balsam allergy: Don't take tolu balsam if you are allergic to it.

Dosing considerations for Tolu Balsam.

The appropriate dose of tolu balsam depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tolu balsam. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 9/17/2019

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors