- Botanical: Canarium commune
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Known asProtium, Amyris elemifera, Boswellia frereana, Bursera elemifera, Bursera penicillata, Bursera tomentosa, Canarium indicum, Canarium mauritianum, Protium icicariba
Medicinalcoughs, digestion, stomach pain, stomach cramps
Stomach & Intestinalgastrointestinal, stomach pain
They grow up to large evergreen trees of 40–50 m (130–160 ft) tall, and have alternately arranged, pinnate leaves.
Manila elemi, when recent, occurs in transparent, soft, granular masses, consisting of a solution of solid resin in essential oil. Externally it has a light, canary-yellow color, and, as found in commerce, is largely solidified, presenting an opaque and granular fracture, due to the crystallization of the resin. Chips and other foreign substances are often found in the solid fragments. When wetted with a little alcohol, elemi readily disintegrates, showing a multitude of small, crystalline needles. It melts easily, a transparent fluid resulting. It has an aromatic, warm, acrid taste, and a fragrant odor, resembling that of the terebinthinates, the drug in many respects closely resembling the latter class of substances. It is insoluble in water, partly soluble in cold, and completely soluble in hot alcohol; easily soluble also in oil of turpentine and ether.
Properties & Uses
People take elemi is for treating stomach conditions and cough and as a stimulant.
In foods and beverages, elemi is used as a flavoring. In manufacturing, elemi is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.
They grow naturally across tropical Africa, south and southeast Asia, Indochina, Malesia, Australia and western Pacific Islands; including from southern Nigeria east to Madagascar, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and India; from Burma, Malaysia and Thailand through the Malay Peninsula and Vietnam to south China, Taiwan and the Philippines; through Borneo, Indonesia, Timor and New Guinea, through to the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Palau.
The principal constituent of the drug is the part soluble in cold alcohol. It is an amorphous, non-acid resin. The part insoluble in this solvent is a crystalline magma, soluble in hot alcohol, which, upon cooling, yields 25 per cent (of the original elemi) of a crystallizable resin, called amyrin. It is also soluble in ether, chloroform, and carbon disulphide. Ciamician, distilled it from zinc dust, obtaining toluene, methyl-ethyl-benzene, and ethyl-naphthalene.