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CHAP. 33. (15.)—MYRRH.

According to some authors, myrrh1 is the produce of a tree that grows in the same forests as the incense-tree, though most say that they grow in different places: but the fact is that myrrh grows in many parts of Arabia, as will be seen when we come to speak of the several varieties of it. A sort that is highly esteemed is brought from the islands2 also, and the Sabæi even cross the sea to procure it in the country of the Troglodytæ. It is grown also by being transplanted, and when thus cultivated is greatly preferred to that which is grown in the forests. The plant is greatly improved by raking and baring the roots; indeed, the cooler the roots are kept, the better it is.

1 It is supposed to be the product of an amyris, but is not now esteemed as a perfume; but is used in medicine as a tonic. Forskhal has attributed to the Amyris kataf, or kafal, the production of myrrh. According to Ehrenberg, a very similar tree, though constituting a different species, the Balsamodendrum myrrha, also produces this substance. It is imported into Europe from both Abyssinia and Arabia. It was much used by the ancients, to flavour their wines.

2 See B. vi. c. 32.

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