One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A medicinal herb of the genus Eriodictyon (family Hydrophyllaceae), especially E. californicum.
2A white-flowering shrub, Ceanothus velutinus (family Rhamnaceae), of the western U.S., the leaves of which are used as a tobacco substitute by some North American Indians.
Early 19th century (in an earlier sense). From mountain + balm.
mountain balm/ˌmaʊntɪn ˈbɑːm/
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