Dictionarium polygraphicum. Elemi, Elemy.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol I.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
As gum Elemi is a pellucid resin of a whitish colour, intermixt with yellowish particles, which give it much the colour and consistence of wax.

It is call'd gum Elemi, but improperly, inasmuch as it takes fire readily enough, and dissolves in liquors of an oily quality, which are the characters of rosin.

It flows from incisions made in the trunk, and large branches of a kind of olive-tree, growing in Ethiopia and Arabia Felix. It is also found in the Pouille, a province of the kingdom of Naples.

Pomet and Lemery in their treatise of drugs, describe Elemi as a white rosin, bordering on green, odoriferous, and brought from Ethiopia, in cakes of two or three pounds a piece, wrapp'd up in the leaves of the Indian cane.

The true gum Elemi is that above describ'd; but there are several spurious ones, some natural, and others factitious, fre quently sold for the same.

The factitious or counterfeit is made of rosin, wash’d with oil of aspic; tho’ the ill-smell and white colour might easily discover the deceit. The natural gums vended for Elemi are,

1. A gum brought from the American islands in barrels of divers weights, cover'd up with the leaves of a plant unknown in Europe.

2. The next might be taken for rosin, but for its smell, which, is something sweeter, and more aromatick.

3. Another is of an ash colour, bordering on brown, brought over in large pieces, very dry and friable.

Pomet does not take any of them for natural; but rather supposes them to be originally Elemi, only impure and coarse, since melted down and made up by fire.

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