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Oriental Sweetgum

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  • Botanical: Liquidambar orientalis
  • Family: Hamamelidaceae
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Botanical

Liquidambar orientalis

Family

Hamamelidaceae

Known as

Turkish sweetgum, Orientalische Amberbaum

Old Use

medical, parasiticide, indusrty

Collection Times

Oct to November

Aroma

balsamic

Medicinal

abscess, bronchitis, bronchitis, burns, cancer, circulation, convulsions, epilepsy, itching, insect bites, wounds, open sores

Heart & Circulation

arteriosclerosis, circulation

Mind & Nerves

epilepsy

Respiratory System

bronchitis, cough, difficulty breathing, respiratory

Skin & Hair

abscess, acne, burns, itching, insect bites, wounds

Properties

antibacterial, anti inflammatory, expectorant, insecticide, stimulant

Description

They are all large, deciduous trees, 25–40 metres (82–131 ft) tall, with palmately 3- to 7-lobed leaves arranged spirally on the stems and length of 12.5 to 20 centimetres (4.9 to 7.9 in), having a pleasant aroma when crushed.[3] Mature bark is grayish and vertically grooved.[3] The flowers are small, produced in a dense globular inflorescence 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) diameter, pendulous on a 3–7 centimetres (1.2–2.8 in) stem. The fruit is a woody multiple capsule 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.57 in) in diameter (popularly called a "gumball"), containing numerous seeds and covered in numerous prickly, woody armatures, possibly to attach to fur of animals. The woody biomass is classified as hardwood. In more northerly climates, sweetgum is among the last of trees to leaf out in the spring, and also among the last of trees to drop its leaves in the fall, turning multiple colors

Properties & Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally. Antibacterial; Antidote; Antiinflammatory; Parasiticide; Pectoral; Salve; Stimulant; Vulnerary. A resin obtained from the wood and inner bark acts both as an irritant and an expectorant within the respiratory tract. It is one of the ingredients of 'Friar's Balsam', an expectorant mixture that is inhaled to stimulate a productive cough. Externally it is applied to the skin to treat a range of diseases. The resin is also mixed with Hamamelis virginiana and Rose water to make an astringent face lotion. The resin is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant, pectoral, salve and stimulant. It is taken internally in the treatment of strokes, infantile convulsions, coma, heart disease and pruritis. It is also used in the treatment of cancer. Externally it is mixed with oil and used to treat scabies, wounds, ulcers etc. The bark is harvested in the autumn and the resin extracted from the bark. The leaves, fruits and roots are used in similar ways to the resin and are also considered to be antidote, parasiticide and vulnerary.

Other Uses

The aromatic resin 'Storax' is obtained from the trunk of this tree. It forms in cavities of the bark and also exudes naturally. It is harvested in autumn. Production can be stimulated by beating the trunk in the spring. The resin has a wide range of uses including medicinal, incense, perfumery, soaps etc. It is also used as a parasiticide. Liquid storax gives greater permanence to the odours of flowers extracted by maceration. It is also used in the imitation of other scents as an alternative to vanilla, ambergris and benzoin, or to complement them. The aromatic bark is burnt as an incense.

Cautions

None known

Distribution

west Asia

Constituents

The most abundant constituent of Storax is Storesin, in two forms,called alpha and beta, both free and in the form of a cinnamic ester. Cinnamic esters of phenylprophyl, of ethyl, of benzyl, and especially cinnamate of cinnamyl, the so-called Styrasin, have also been observed. Another analysis gives free cinnamic acid, vanillin, styrol, styracin, cinnamic acid-ethyl ester, cinnamic acid-phenylprophyl ester, and storesinol partly free and partly as cinnamic acid ester. Crude Storax contains from 1 to 9 per cent of matter insoluble in alcohol, and up to 30 per cent of water. When purified, it is brownish-yellow, viscous, and transparent in thin layers; entirely soluble in alcohol (90 per cent) and in ether. Boiled with solution of potassium chromate and sulphuric acid, it evolves an odour of benzaldehyde.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.