I like the DEP account better than most because it seems to lump all the potential biblical species under this catchall species. My accounts of the mastic and the terebinth are very similar. The species and their folklore have been confused for centuries. Over a hundred years ago, DEP fingered var. mutica as the biblical alah of the Old Testament. DEP notes that it is the true primitive turpentine celebrated as the finest, superior to pine resins and mastic. Yet, DEP states that "The resin of var. mutica sesembles that of P. lentiscus and is used in the East as a substitute for mastic." Variety mutica also carries the same vernacular names and is considered identical with the resin of Pistacia vera. NAD followed DEP in treating P. cabulica, P. khinjuk, and P. mutica as synonyms. USN keeps them all separate. So, although starting to view them as all separate as I started working on P. atlantica, I evolved to think of them as one great taxon, with a great overlap in common names and uses. But I keep them distinct for now, more for the readers' convenience than for science. These turpentines, like pine turpentines, share many chemicals, activities, and indications. KAB treated only one species, not this one. When the bark is cut, Chian turpentine flows out; this has an agreeable perfume, not unlike jessamine, and is mild to the taste. Exposure to the air solidifies it to a transparent gum. This Gilead turpentine probably formed part of the spicery carried into Egypt from Gilead by the Ishmaelites as mentioned in Genesis 37:25. Few resins have a greater "repertoire" in anticancer folklore than this plant, used for ascites, calluses, cancers (of the breast, face, lip, liver, medullary, pylorus, rectum, spleen, testicle, tongue, uterus, vagina), carcinoma, corn, cysts, epithelioma, excrescences, fungoids, inflammation, melanosis, polyps, sclerosis (breast, liver), skin ailments, and tumors (especially of the spleen) (JLH). With tannins, sitosterol, and shikimic acid reported, perhaps this cancer "repertoire" is justified. According to Hooper, the gum is similar to "Chian turpentine, which was recommended about 50 years ago as a remedy for cancer." Leaves are used as an emmenagogue and for albuminuria and diarrhea. Dioscorides suggested that terebinth or turpentine was antidotal, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and expectorant (BIB).
Common Names (Terebinth):
Ban (Bal.; DEP); Bargabana (Iran; DEP); Baume de Cypres (Fr.; EFS); Bombay Mastiche (Eng.; NAD); Butz (Arab.; Syria; HJP); Butz Saqis (Arab.; Syria; HJP); Buzaganja (Bom.; NAD); Chian Turpentine (Eng.; BIB; EFS); Chios Terpentijn Boom (Dutch; EFS); Chios Terpentinbaum (Ger.; EFS); Cornalheiro (Por.; EFS); Cornicabra (Sp.; EFS); Cyprian Turpentine (Eng.; EFS); Cyprischer Chio (It.; EFS); Cyprus Turpentine (Eng.; SKJ; USN); East Indian Mastiche (Eng.; NAD); Guli
Pistah (Hindi; Iran; NAD); Gwan (Bal.; DEP); Habba Khadhra (Algiers; Arab.; JLH); Kabuli Mus-taki (Bom.; Hindi; NAD; SKJ); Kanjak (Afg.; DEP); Khinjak (Pun.; DEP); Kinjad (Iran; DEP); Kunjad (Iran; DEP); Mastaki (Bom.; Hindi; DEP); Menengig (Tur.; EFS); Pistachier Terebinthe (Fr.; USN); Qalafournis (Egypt; JLH); Scornobecco (It.; EFS); Terpentinbaum (Ger.; EFS); Terebinth (Eng.; HJP; NAD; USN); Terebinthe de Chio (Fr.; EFS); Terebinto (Por.; Sp.; EFS); Terebinto di Chio (It.; EFS); Wan (Bal.; DEP); Nscn.
Antidote (f; HJP); Antiinflammatory (f; X11988853); Antiseptic (1; X126288418); Antitussive (f; HJP); Aphrodisiac (f; DEP; HJP); Astringent (f; HJP; SKJ); Deodorant (f; HJP); Digestive (f; HJP); Diuretic (f; HJP); Emmenagogue (f; BIB); Expectorant (f; HJP); Febrifuge (f; HJP); Fungicide (1; X126288418); Hemostat (f; DEP); Sedative (f; DEP); Stimulant (f; DEP; HJP); Stomachic (f; DEP); Vulnerary (f; DEP).
Adenopathy (f; JLH); Albuminuria (f; BIB; HOC); Amenorrhea (f; BIB); Arthrosis (f; JLH); Ascites (f; DAW); Bite (f; HJP); Bleeding (f; DEP); Callus (f; JLH); Cancer (f; DEP; HJP); Cancer, brain (f; JLH); Cancer, breast (f; HJP); Cancer, diaphragm (f; HJP); Cancer, face (f; HJP); Cancer, lip (f; HJP); Cancer, liver (f; HJP); Cancer, medullary (f; HJP); Cancer, pylorus (f; HJP); Cancer, rectum (f; HJP); Cancer, spleen (f; HJP); Cancer, stomach (f; JLH); Cancer, testicle (f; HJP); Cancer, tongue (f; HJP); Cancer, uterus (f; HJP); Cancer, vagina (f; HJP); Carcinoma (f; JLH); Caries (f; EFS); Cheilosis (f; JLH); Colic (f; DEP); Corn (f; JLH); Cough (f; HJP); Cyst (f; JLH); Dermatosis (f; HOC; JLH); Diarrhea (f; BIB); Diaphragmo-sis (f; HJP); Dyspepsia (f; DEP; HJP); Encephalosis (f; JLH); Epithelioma (f; JLH); Excrescences (f; JLH); Fever (f; HJP); Fungus (f; X126288418); Gastrosis (f; JLH); Glossosis (f; JLH); Gout (f; HOC); Halitosis (f; HJP); Hepatosis (f; JLH); Impotence (f; HJP); Induration (f; JLH); Infection (1; X126288418); Inflammation (f1; HJP; X11988853); Mastosis (f; JLH); Melanosis (f; JLH); Mycosis (1; X126288418); Nausea (f; DEP); Orchosis (f; JLH); Parotosis (f; JLH); Polyp (f; JLH); Proctosis (f; JLH); Rhinosis (f; JLH); Scirrhus (f; JLH); Scleroma (f; JLH); Sore (f; JLH); Splenosis (f; JLH); Swelling (f; JLH); Tophus (f; JLH); Uterosis (f; DEP; HOC); Vaginosis (f; JLH); Vomiting (f; DEP); Wound (f; DEP).
Iranians use the resin as a chewing gum (HJP); Southern Afghans and Baluchistani eat the fruits (shine); kernel oil eaten with bread and relish (DEP).
• Algerians used the seeds in liniments for tumors (JLH).
• Americans, Australians, and Europeans used the Chian turpentine for scores of types of cancer (JLH)
• Asian Indians suggest 5 to 10 grains for cancer (NAD).
• Egyptians use the plant to treat excrescences (JLH).
• Iranians chew the gum to sweeten the breath (BIB).
• Iranians use the turpentine with pomade of cinnabar for cancers (JLH).
• Lebanese chew the resin to sweeten breath and improve digestion (HJP).
• Lebanese infuse the leaves for diarrhea and fever (BIB).
• Syrians use the "Cyprus turpentine" for cancer "cures and indurations of the liver" (HJP). Natural History (Terebinth):
Pinkish galls (khinjak in Punjab) on the leaves, with aroma of turpentine, appear to be caused by an Aphis. Leaves eaten by camels, goats, and sheep (DEP).
pistachio (pistacia vera l.) +++ anacardiaceae
Pistacia narbonensis L.; Pistacia nigricans Crantz.; Pistacia officinarum Ait.; Pistacia reticulata Willd.; Pistacia terebinthis Mill. non L.; Pistacia trifolia L.; Pistacia variifolia Salisb. fide HH3
And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds.
Genesis 43:11 (KJV)
Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds."
Genesis 43:11 (RSV)
Most commentators agree that the "nuts" of Jacob were pistachio nuts. And the RSV edition and NWT available to me on computer even specify pistachio nuts. Over a hundred years ago, DEP noted that the tree was extensively cultivated in Palestine, Persia, and Syria, and introduced in Italy and Spain. Zohary notes that it is mentioned only once in the Bible. The tree has long been cultivated in Israel. Nuts are found in the late Neolithic strata in Greece. They are imported to India as dyeing and tanning agents. Pistacio kernels yield circa 50% of a low-melting fatty oil used to a small extent in confectionery as spice oil and in medicine (BIB).
Common Names (Pistachio):
Alfóncigo (Sp.; EFS; USN); Alhócigo (Sp.; EFS); Botnim (Arab.; Heb.; ZOH); Butm (Arab.; ZOH); Buzaganja (Bom.; Hindi; NAD); Echte Pistazie (Ger.; HH3); Elah (Heb.; ZOH); Fistuk Baladi (Arab.; Syria; HJP); Fistuk Karmidi (Arab.; Syria; HJP); Fustuk (Arab.; Syria; HH3; HJP); Green Almond (Eng.; HH3); Grüner Mandelbaum (Ger.; EFS); Guli Pistah (Bom.; Hindi; NAD); Hu Chên Tzu (China; EFS); It Dirsegi (Tur.; EB54:155); O Yüeh Chün Tzu (China; EFS); Pimpernuss (Ger.; HH3); Pipernuss (Ger.; HH3); Pista (Afg.; Beng.; Bom.; Hindi; India; Iran; EFS); Pistaccio Vero (It.; EFS); Pistache Noot (Dutch; Fr.; EFS); Pistachero (Sp.; USN); Pistachier (Fr.; EFS); Pistachier Cultivé (Fr.; USN); Pistachio (Eng.; Scn.; AH2; EFS); Pistacho (Sp.; EFS); Pistakinuss (Ger.; HH3); Pistakion (Greek; JLH); Pistazie (Ger.; EFS; USN); Pistazienbaum (Ger.; USN); Pistazier (Den.; EFS); Piste (Iran; HH3); Pisteh (Iran; NAD); Pisutachio (Japan; USN); samfistigi Agaci (Tur.; EFS); Wu Ming Tzu (China; EFS).
Allergenic (1; X9140524); Anodyne (f; DAW); Antiseptic (1; X15881833); Antiviral (1; X15881833); Aphrodisiac (f; DEP); Astringent (f1; NAD); Decoagulant (f; DAW); Demulcent (f; DEP); Digestive (f; BIB; DEP); Fungicide (1; X15881833); Phytoalexin (1; X15941348); Sedative (f; BIB; DEP; NAD; SKJ); Tonic (f; BIB; DEP; NAD; SKJ).
Abscess (f; DAW); Amenorrhea (f; DAW); Anodyne (f; DAW); Bacteria (1; X15186116); Bruise (f; DAW); Cancer, breast (1; X15941348); Cancer, liver (f; JLH); Chest (f; DAW); Circulation (f; DAW); Cough (f; BIB); Debility (f; NAD); Dermatosis (f; DAW); Dysentery (f; BIB; DAW); Dysmenorrhea (f; DAW); Dyspepsia (f; DEP); Enterosis (f; DAW); Fungus (1; X15881833; X126288418); Gastrosis (f; NAD); Gynecopathy (f; DAW); Hepatosis (f; JLH); Impotence (f; HJP); Infection (1; X15881833);
Infertility (f; HJP); Mycosis (1; X15881833; X126288418); Nausea (f; DEP); Pain (f; DAW); Pruritis (f; DAW); Rheumatism (f; DAW); Sclerosis (f; JLH); Sore (f; DAW); Trauma (f; DAW); Virus (1; X15881833); Vomiting (f; DEP); Wound (f; HJP); Yeast (1; X15186116).
Nuts widely eaten. Pista kernels have a delicious nutty flavor and are much used as ingredients of sweetmeats, confectionery, and ice creams. Pista is also eaten as a dessert; salted and roasted, it is much relished. Fruit husks are reported to be made into marmalade in Iran (BIB; FAC; TAN; EB54:155).
• Algerians used the powdered root in oil for children's cough (BIB).
• Asians use the expressed oil for stomach problems (NAD).
• Iranians infused the fruit's outer husks for dysentery (BIB).
• Middle Easterners consider the nut a "hot food" (GHA).
• Lebanese compress the leaves (BIB; HJP).
• Lebanese think the nuts enhance fertility and virility (BIB; HJP).
Pistacia pollen is a major source of allergy (X9140524). Natural History (Pistachio):
Nuts favored by squirrels, blue jays, and red-headed woodpeckers (NUT). Camels, goats, and sheep feed on the leaves, hence the name of the galls boz ghanj. One common name for the galls translates as "goat's sore" (DEP). The leaves of P. vera bear small, irregularly spheroid galls (Bokhara galls), which have been reported to be imported into India for dyeing and tanning purposes; galls contain 50% tannins (WOI).
Fortunately for nut lovers, Phillips et al. (2005) quantified the phytosterols in four accessions of pistachio nuts. Pistachio was the richest of the biblical nuts in total phytosterols (cf. sunflower in the American nuts). Such phytosterols could be medicinally important (X16302759). Phytosterols in pistachio nuts (four accessions): delta-5-avenasterol (262 ppm); delta-7-avenasterol; campestanol (50 ppm); campesterol (101 ppm); phytosterols (2740-2870 ppm); poriferasta-7,25-dienol (126 ppm); poriferasta-7,22,25-dienol; sitostanol (12 ppm); beta-sitosterol (2098 ppm); spinasterol; stig-mastanol; and stigmasterol (23 ppm) (X16302759). Ozcelik et al. (2005) demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities for lipophilic extracts of various parts of the plant (leaf, branch, stem, kernel, shell skins, seeds) e.g., Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and C. parapsilosis, Herpes simplex (DNA), and Parainfluenza viruses (RNA). The extracts showed antifungal but little antibacterial activity at 128 to 256 pg/ml. Kernel and seed extracts showed significant antiviral activity (X15881833). Alma et al. (2004) found that the essential oil contained alpha-pinene (75.6%), beta-pinene (9.5%), trans-verbenol (3.0%), camphene (1.4%), trans-pinocarveol (circa 1.20%), and limonene (1.0%). The antimicrobial results showed that the oil inhibited nine of thirteen bacteria and all three yeasts studied. The essential oil of the gum was better than Nystatin against yeast, but weaker than ampicillin sodium, and streptomycine sulfate against bacteria (X15186116). Tokusoglu et al. found traces of resveratrol, comparable to levels in peanuts, in Turkish pistachios, 0.09-1.67 pg/g (av = 1.15 pg); cf. 0.03-7.17 pg/g in grapes and wines. There was more cis-transveratrol in pistachios than peanuts. In peanut, if not pistachio, resveratrol increases after biotic or abiotic stress. "Trans-resveratrol is a chemopreventive agent against human breast cancer" (X15941348).
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