ELEMI, an oleo-resin (Manilla elemi) obtained in the Philippine Islands, probably from Canarium commune (nat. ord. Burseraceae), which when fresh and of good quality is a pale yellow granular substance, of honey-like consistency, but which gradually hardens with age. It is soluble in alcohol and ether, and has a spicy taste with a smell like fennel. In the 17th and 18th centuries the term elemi usually denoted an oleo-resin (American or Brazilian elemi) obtained from trees of the genus Icica in Brazil, and still earlier it meant oriental or African elemi, derived from Boswellia Frereana, which flourishes in the neighbourhood of Cape Gardafui. The word, like the older term animi, appears to have been derived from enhaemon , the name of a styptic medicine said by Pliny to contain tears exuded by the olive tree of Arabia.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)