Peru balsam
Peru balsam


Peru balsam is an oily sap obtained by removing the bark of the Myroxylon balsamum tree and scorching the exposed wood. It is used to make medicine.

Don't confuse Peru balsam with tolu balsam, which is obtained from the same tree, but by making a V-shaped cut through the bark and underlying wood.

Despite serious safety concerns when taken by mouth and possible safety concerns when applied to the skin, people take Peru balsam for cancer, infection of the intestines by parasites, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Peru balsam is LIKELY SAFE in the small amounts used as a flavoring in some foods. Peru balsam is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth as a medicine because it can damage the kidneys.

When applied to the skin: Peru balsam is POSSIBLY SAFE when used on the skin over a short period of time (less than one week). It can cause allergic skin reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Peru balsam is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth during pregnancy or when breast-feeding. It can cause kidney damage. Peru balsam is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to apply to the skin during breast-feeding. If it gets on the nipple, the nursing infant might be poisoned. There isn't enough reliable information to know if Peru balsam is safe to apply to the skin when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Kidney disease: Peru balsam might cause kidney damage and might make existing kidney disease worse. Don't use Peru balsam if you have kidney problems.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Anal itching.
  • Bruises.
  • Burns.
  • Cancer.
  • Diaper rash.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Infection of the intestines by parasites.
  • Bed sores (pressure ulcers).
  • Frostbite.
  • Minor bleeding.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcer).
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Peru balsam for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The appropriate dose of Peru 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 Peru 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.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if Peru Balsam interacts with any medicines. Before taking Peru Balsam, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Peru balsam might prevent bacterial growth and kill tiny insects (mites) that cause a skin condition called scabies. has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 18/09/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 24/11/2020 20:28:20. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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