Lignum Vitae Sole of a Wood Plane - Credit: Disputantum, Wikipedia
Also known as Guayacan, lignum vitae
literally means “wood of life” in Latin, a name that derived from its supposed medicinal uses in treating afflictions such as arthritis. It is a hard and durable wood once prized for any structure requiring particular strength. Due to its weight, it was used for cricket bails, croquet mallets, pestles and police truncheons. All species of the genus Guaiacum
are now listed as endangered by CITES.