Logwood (Hematoxylon campechianum, L.) is the wood of a tree used throughout the civilized world as a dye stuff, in which direction we find it is most largely consumed. The tree is native to Central America, being abundant in Campeachy, Honduras, and other sections of that country. Flückiger (239) accepts that the wood was introduced into England in the latter half of the sixteenth century, because in 1581 its use was abolished by act of Parliament, for the reason that it was considered a poor substitute for better dyes, and was viewed in the light of a sophisticant. Eighty years later, probably because a better study of the drug had rendered its use practicable, logwood was again permitted to enter England. According to De Laet (368), 1633, one of the names by which it was commonly known, peachwood, was derived from the town of Campeachy, whence the wood was exported in quantities to Europe. The accounts of travelers and sailors at the time of the great excitement produced by the discovery of the abundant sources of wealth in the new world, almost universally mentioned logwood. This is evident from the record found in such narratives as appear in sailors' descriptions of their voyages, in Chambers Miscellany, and elsewhere.
In the form of a decoction of its chips, logwood has been a favorite in domestic medicine, and owing to its mild astringency it has been used for a considerable time by licensed physicians. In 1746, under the name of Lignum tinctile Campechense, it became official in the London Pharmacopoeia.