Elemi refers to the sap of different tree species, which is used in medicine and technology. Sometimes the term is also used to describe the trees themselves.
The origin of the term is given differently, on the one hand from Arabic al-lāmi (the shiny), on the other hand from Greek ἐναίμον enhaimon (hemostatic). The latter refers to the use of the resin from Boswellia frereana → frankincense (tree) , as a hemostatic drug in antiquity , which is mentioned by Pliny the Elder , who cites a drug of this name that is said to contain the tears of the Arabian olive tree . The Elemi plant mentioned by Theophrast is also assigned to this species. After the term hardly appeared in the Middle Ages , it was increasingly used from the 16th and 17th centuries for resins from Central and South America (Brazilian Elemi), but also for resins from the Pacific region, which were imported into Europe during this period referred to by this term. Today it is used almost exclusively for the so-called "Manilaelemi".
- Manilaelemi : from the so-called Manilaelemi tree , Canarium luzonicum , a soft, white resin obtained in the Philippines , also from Canarium ovatum , Canarium indicum .
- Elemi from various other Canarium species, especially in Australia Canarium muelleri , Canarium australianum and Southeast Asia, but also in Africa, for example, from Canarium schweinfurthii , Canarium paniculatum , Canarium pimela , Canarium zeylanicum , Canarium vulgare and the like. a.
- African elemi , from Boswellia frereana , Boswellia sacra .
- Resins of various Protium ( Icica ) species from tropical America, such as Brazil , Venezuela and Colombia , such as Protium heptaphyllum Protium icicariba , Protium guianense , etc.
- Elemi from species of the genus Amyris (Mexico Elemi) Amyris elemifera , (Yucatán Elemi) Amyris sylvatica .
After cutting the tree bark, the different tree species secrete a whitish or light yellow to greenish, sticky, cloudy and pleasantly smelling resin, which hardens in contact with the air. As it ages, it becomes darker, tougher, with a glassy break. It consists of essential oils, resin alcohols, resens, elemic acids and some bitter substances. A distinction is made between soft and inferior, hard elemi that have dried up on the trees.
On the one hand, the resin is directly smoked incense , on the other hand, the Elemi oil is obtained from it by steam distillation . This mainly contains: Terpineol , Elemicin , Elemol , Dipenten , Phellandren and Limonene . The scent is woody and lemony due to the lime content, but also has a note of fennel .
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- Jean Langenheim: Plant Resins. 2003.
- Okumé on materialarchiv.ch, accessed on January 3, 2017.
- Felix Bachmair: Antimicrobial effect of selected resins on airborne germs. Diploma thesis, Vienna 2013, pp. 20–26, doi: 10.25365 / thesis.30090 .
- Elemi (canarium luzonicum). Retrieved December 5, 2015 .