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Latest revision as of 15:08, 20 July 2009
Balm of Gilead is a healing compound (a balm) made from the resinous gum of the North American tree species Populus candicans.
It takes its name from the allusive phrase "balm in Gilead", referring to the balm or balsam carried from Gilead by the caravan of merchants to whom Joseph was sold by his brothers (Bible, Genesis chapter 37). In all likelihood, this ancient trade item was what is now known as balsam of Mecca, produced from the tree Commiphora gileadensis (syn. Commiphora opobalsamum), native to southern Arabia.