Peru balsam……did you ever hear about this? For wound healing…..It seems to be especially useful for healing wounds after a skin graft When I got my medical education in Holland we were warned that Peru balsam [a kind of ointment made from a tree in South and Central America] often gives allergic reactions [ if I remember well in the order of 1% of patients or less] When I started working in Suriname and was responsible for a clinic [all workers and their family and surroundings] of the bauxite company Billiton, I saw already in the first days that the most experienced nurse [sister Sleur] was treating virtually every infected wound/scratch/ a pimple/furuncle etc with Peru balsam in the nursing room. With my Dutch education, I had to protest [high allergy chance] but I soon gave up…….I was not going to change this “well-established” minhag [rule] Indeed I saw very good results from all these treatments. I have used Peru balsam occasionally in Israel and could not find it in the beginning [I think it is hardly used in Israel] The French pharmacy in Gilo could’t remember any doctor prescribing it except for me, and the same answer I got from Oplatka [some 20 years ago some doctors prescribed it….probably got forgotten because of the fashion of new local antibiotics.] [ By the way, local antibiotics on the skin are nearly totally useless and can cause tremendous allergies which then involves a big group of other antibiotics that could be life-saving if they have to be used internally and are then excluded from use.]

I warn people to use first a very tiny bit of Peru balsam on another part of the body like the abdomen [to check if there is no allergy] and to use it for no longer than a week or so. The concentration of the ointment can be anywhere between 5 to 10% and should not be used internally! and not on extensive parts of the body. It seems to be especially useful for healing wounds after a skin graft [of the donor]Maybe this is enough reason to bring it to the attention of surgeons who may be unfamiliar with this ointment [even if in this case I have no personal experience with it.] It seems to be available only on prescription [mirsham] and may be hard to get nowadays at compounding pharmacies as there is hardly a demand for it…What a pity!