A perennial, with a thick, fleshy root, yellowish in colour. It has a branching stem growing about 1 to 3 feet high, thick and rough near the base. Leaves pinnate, with long petioles and large serrate leaflets, the terminal one cordate, the rest deficient at the base, hairy underneath. The flowers, yellowish, are in large, flat umbels at the top of the branches. The oleo resin is procured by cutting into the stem at the base. The juice that exudes, when sun-dried, forms the Opoponax of commerce. A warm climate is necessary to produce an oleo gum resin of the first quality; that from France is inferior, for this reason.
In commerce it is sometimes found in tears, but usually in small, irregular pieces. Colour, reddish-yellow, with whitish specks on the outside, paler inside. Odour, peculiar, strongly unpleasant. Taste, acrid and bitter. It is inflammable, burning brightly. Antispasmodic, deobstruent. It is now regarded as a medium of feeble powers, but was formerly considered of service as an emmenagogue also in asthma, chronic visceral affections, hysteria and hypochondriasis. It is employed in perfumery. This chunky, resin incense dates back to the practices of ancient civilizations, and is somewhat similar to Myrrh in its composition and fragrance. It is quite calming, with as sweet, earthy fragrance that is great for meditation. This has also resulted in the common nickname of "Sweet Myrrh."
In parts of Africa where it originates, Opopanax Gum is also used to treat snakebites and repel parasites, leading to it being used in ritual crafts to help repel negative energy, psychic vampires, and evil spirits.
Keywords: Peace, protection
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