The Secrets of the Garden
History and Nature in Bellavista

Balsam tree

The Balsam tree (Myroxylon balsamum) produces a resin known as black balsam or Peru balsam, which has been used since pre-Columbian times for various religious, medicinal and cosmetic purposes.

Icterus galbula hembra

The balsam tree is a particularly valuable component of the very humid forests of Costa Rica’s Central and South Pacific, and it is also found in Central and South America. Its scientific name, Myroxylon balsamum, refers to its resin and means “balsam wood” (from the Greek myron: oil, balsam, ointment, essence and xylon: wood and from the Latin balsamum: balsam). The balsam tree is part of the history of many cultures and is part of the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica.