We do not know whether the balsam tree native to Arabia is the same one mentioned in Jeremiah 8:22 as the "balm of Gilead." The Hebrew word has a variety of spellings - tzari, sori, and tsori; it literally refers to the fragrance of the plant.
The balsam was a bushy evergreen growing 3.7 to 4.3 m. (12 to 14 ft.) high. The pale yellow gum was used as incense (Exod. 35:28) and dissolved in water as an ointment. The oil obtained from the bark, leaves, and berries was used as medicine. This medicinal "balm" is referred to in Jeremiah 8:22, 51:8 as a symbol of spiritual healing.