Biblical Balm of Gilead
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Maureen Miller C.H.
Posted on: January 26, 2000

Your Balm of Gilead states ‘Not The Balm Of Gilead From The Bible’. Could you please tell me the botanical name of the Balm of Gilead that is from the Bible? And, do you know if it can be purchased?

The ‘balm of gilead’ of the Bible is a resin-exuding tree related to myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) and frankincense (Boswellia spp.). John Lust ("The Herb Book" – available from Richters) says balm of gilead is Commiphora meccanensis, but we suspect other species of Commiphora may have been used as ‘balm of gilead’ too.

As far we know, the plant or seeds of Commiphora meccanensis are not available commercially. We sell plants of the gum bdellium tree, Commiphora africana, which is similar.

In North America, several species of popular have been used and sold as ‘balm of gilead’. The buds of the Populus candicans and others have a rich, resinous, aroma and consistency which recalls the true Biblical balm of gilead.

Also, are your seeds genetically modified? I sure hope not.

Definitely not. Almost all of our seeds are open pollinated (non-hybrid) and all are untreated.

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