One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A resin which exudes from either of two coniferous trees native to eastern and central North America, the balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis); a pale yellow turpentine made from such resin, commonly used as a varnish, glue, and mounting medium for microscope slides; = "Canada balsam".
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Richard Brookes (fl. 1721–1763), physician and author.
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