Definition of tolu in English:

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Pronunciation: /təˈlo͞o/
(also tolu balsam)


A fragrant brown balsam obtained from a South American tree, used in perfumery and medicine.
  • This balsam is obtained mainly from Myroxylon balsamum, family Leguminosae.
Example sentences
  • Balsam of tolu was also included in the U.S. Pharmacopeia in 1820 and is used much as balsam of Peru.
  • Taken internally, the balsam of tolu was described as a blood clarifier and systemic cleanser.
  • The main constituents of tolu balsam are the benzyl- and cinnamyl esters of benzoic acid and cinnamic acid.


Late 17th century: named after Santiago de Tolú in Colombia, from where it was exported.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: to·lu

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