It may be necessary to mention this wood, as it is sometimes used in medicine, although we are not acquainted with the tree which affords it. We are told that the leaves are small, the flowers moderately large, and the fruit as big as a pigeon's egg, and woolly; and we read also that the juice of the tree, while fresh, will raise blisters on the skin, and even cause blindness: but these accounts are very imperfect.
We see three kinds of the wood in the shops, and they are distinguished by three different names, calambac, common lignum aloes, and calambour; of these the calambac is the finest and the most resinous, the calambour is almost a mere chip, the other is of a middle value between them. They are all of the same virtue, but in different degrees. They are said to be cordial and strengthening to the stomach, but we use them very little.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.