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Balsam of Mecca

    :''For other products called Balm of Gilead see Balm of Gilead (disambiguation)
    Balsam of Mecca (or balsam of Gilead or balm of Gilead) is a resinous gum of the tree Commiphora gileadensis (syn Commiphora opobalsamum) native to southern Arabia and also naturalized in ancient and again in modern times in Palestine The resin was valued in medicine and perfume in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire In Latin the resin was technically known as opobalsamum; the dried fruit was called carpobalsamum and the wood xylobalsamum
    When "balm" or "balsam" is mentioned in translations of the Bible this is probably the product that is intended Its literary connection with Gilead comes from Genesis chapter 37 and from Jeremiah chapters 8 and 46 (quoted below)

    "Balm in Gilead" in literature art and popular culture

    From the King James Version of the Bible:
    "Go up into Gilead and take balm O virgin the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured" Jeremiah 46:11

    "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Jeremiah 8:22

    "Balm of Gilead" is mentioned in Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" The character believes that the "balm of Gilead" can heal his broken heart because he is lamenting for the death of his love Lenore
    " There is a Balm in Gilead" is a well-known Negro spiritual
    Balm in Gilead is a play by Lanford Wilson (1965) about various junkies criminals prostitutes and other street characters in a New City] diner
    The phrase "There is balm in Gilead" also appears in a Roald Dahl short story as words of consolation from one inmate of a mental asylum to another

    See also