guaiacum

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noun guai·a·cum \ˈgwī-ə-kəm, ˈgī-\

Definition of guaiacum

  1. 1 :  any of a genus (Guaiacum) of the caltrop family of tropical American evergreen trees and shrubs having pinnate leaves, usually blue flowers, and capsular fruit

  2. 2a :  the hard greenish-brown wood of a guaiacum (especially Guaiacum officinale)b :  a resin with a faint balsamic odor that is obtained from the trunk of two guaiacums (G. officinale and G. sanctum) and often used as a clinical reagent

Origin and Etymology of guaiacum

New Latin, from Spanish guayaco, from Taino guayacan


Medical Dictionary

guaiacum

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noun guai·a·cum \ˈg(w)ī-ə-kəm\

Medical Definition of guaiacum

  1. 1 capitalized :  a genus (family Zygophyllaceae) of tropical American trees and shrubs having pinnate leaves, usually blue flowers, and capsular fruit

  2. 2:  any tree or shrub of the genus Guaiacum

  3. 3:  a resin with a faint balsamic odor obtained as tears or masses from the trunk of either of two trees of the genus Guaiacum (G. officinale or G. sanctum) used formerly in medicine as a remedy for gout or rheumatism and now in various tests (as for peroxidases or bloodstains) because of the formation of a blue color on oxidation—see guaiac test


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