(French, baume) Contraction of balsam (q.v.). The
Balm of Gilead = the balsam of Gilead.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no remedy, no consolation, not even in religion?
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Balm from Infoplease:
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