This plant's genus name Liquidambar was first given by Linnaeus in 1753 from [the Latin] liquidus, fluid, and the Arabic ambar, amber, in allusion to the fragrant terebinthine juice or gum which exudes from the tree.Its specific epithet styraciflua is an old generic name meaning "flowing with storax" (a plant resin). It is rated as a fast growing tree and will tolerate moist soils. Historically, in parts of Appalachia twigs would be soaked in water or brandy and then utilized to clean the teeth. Sweet Gum : Medicinal Uses . Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.): Extraction of Shikimic Acid Coupled to Dilute Acid Pretreatment. It is used for its lumber, and is one of the most common sources of hardwood and plywood, but also produces spectacular colors as it drops its leaves in the fall. In: Bajaj Y.P.S. I hope to give you some tips and useful information! Sweet gum trees are found throughout the eastern United States. link to Composting 102 - Building a Basic Compost Pile, link to DIY Plastic Plant Tray Holder - Gardening Hack, Trees II. Sweet gum, a tree of the Witch hazel family (Hamamelidaceae), native of the eastern United States, also Mexico and Central America. I am told the best way to preserve this acid is to crush the green pods and tincture them. In this article I will detail what these uses are, and how they are utilized. Historically, in parts … Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). Sweet gums are native to North America and Asia and are valued as a source of resin and timber. June 22, 2005. Let’s not forget about the beauty of the Sweet Gum Ball Tree itself. The sweetgum has a Nahuatl name, Ocotzocuahuitl, which translates to tree that gives pine resin from ocotl (pine), tzotl (resin), cuahuitl (tree), which refers to the use of the tree's resin. The bark has been used to relieve diarrhea and dysentery. The first-known written mention of the American sweetgum dates back to 1519, when the resinous liquid amber was used in ceremonies between Spanish conquistador Cortez and Aztec emperor Montezuma. The flu, or Influenza is caused by a virus. This is because it inhibits the protein that allows the virus to burst from it’s host cell. When cut, it exudes a sticky, resinous gum or balsam. Liquidambar, commonly called sweetgum (star gum in the UK), gum, redgum, satin-walnut, or American storax, is the only genus in the flowering plant family Altingiaceae and has 15 species. I built a barn for a vacation cabin and am using wood I saw to finish it out - hard maple flooring, building my own cabinets, etc. I enjoy designing/building projects (with hand tools when I can!). We’ve had just enough rain and moderately warm days that the leaves are easing slowly into the final drop. Back to Top Those spiky fruits drop on your lawn and are seemingly immune to your efforts to rake or mow them. This large tree provides shade in the summer, gorgeous orange, red, and yellow leaves in the fall, and is a great privacy barrier. Erin E. Morgan, James E. Perry, [8] – A Guide to Medicinal Plants of Appalachia. They were formerly often treated in Hamamelidaceae.They are decorative deciduous trees that are used in the wood industry and for ornamental purposes. Native Americans used a decoction of leaves or roots as a wash to treat injuries. The tree … (1989) Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.). Production is near an all-time high, and the supply has been slowly increasing because sweetgum grows and reproduces well. Let me know what can be done with this wood, it's beautiful! So, the Sweet Gum tree allows us to have a renewable domestic source of the key ingredient of Tamiflu. Sweetgum was mentioned in writing by historians traveling with Cortes who witnessed the Aztecs using sweetgum to flavor the tobacco they smoked. The fruit it bears provides food for many animals including squirrels, wood ducks, whitetail deer, birds, and beavers. This one surprised me! Many internet sources and people over-complicate the art of making compost. I have used sycamore successfully as secondary wood like drawer sides. Truthfully, it is probably my favorite fall color. All rights reserved. The deeply cut grey or … This is a pattern for all you Southern folks that have these seed pods to clean up every fall from your yard. The sticky or gummy sap of sweet gums serves a purpose for the tree. Thanks for watching! These Breeds Are Great For Backyards. After initial drying, Sweet Gum wood is stable and should not be expected to move much. p162. [8] This includes deer, hogs, goats, and rabbits. The wood can be easily identified thanks to its star-shaped leaves, which usually consist of five points and spiked fruit. [4] The bark of the Sweetgum tree contains about 1.7 mg/g of shikimic acid. The sweetgum produces a resin that can harden and be used for chewing gum as well as medicinal purposes. The American sweet gum tree was so named because of the amber-colored, resinous sweet sap that was scraped from the inside of the bark to produce a chewing gum-like substance. The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. Use them in the bottom of planters as the drainage filler instead of stones 6. Email. Provide Shelter For Winter Roosting! Native Americans and pioneers also used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. Along the rivers of the south-eastern United States, Sweet gums exceed 125 ft. in height and 4 ft. in diameter. Additionally I am a wood worker / DIY enthusiast. Thanks for watching! 2010 Virginia Natural History Society. Resin from the sap of Sweet Gum tree is used in the drug Storax. The sweetgum produces a resin that can harden and be used for chewing gum as well as medicinal purposes. This one surprised me! Follow. Category Advice. The resin also serves many medicinal purposes. The Sweet Gum tree has high value to all levels of the ecosystem. Sweet gum wood, though, has been another story. Tamiflu is distilled from shikimic acid, which is present in the Sweet Gum tree. Its resin, for which the genus is named, is valuable in incense production and for various medicinal purposes. Uses for Sweet Gum Balls. If you’d like to grow your own sweet gum, first understand that it’s a commitment to a tree that many describe as a nuisance. wide. There is quite a lot of good wrapped up in this amazing tree. In the past, this tree has been used for the making of soaps, adhesives, and in medicines, particularly by Native Americans. The seeds contained within all those spikes are anticonvulsant and have possible applications for epilepsy. Thank you for choosing this service. The sweetgum is a monoecious species and is pollinated primarily by wind. Sweet gum is a larval host plant for the beautiful luna moth. Medicinally today it is used in a lot of common off the shelve products including cough and cold syrups and rubs helping relative congestion. There is quite a lot of good wrapped up in this amazing tree. In the South Eastern United States, Sweet Gum trees are utilized for lumber and furniture making. Several species are … For coughs and respiratory congestion due to colds, the gum can be taken for expectoration or for sore throat. Their fall color lasts much longer than most other trees. Her with a love of HOME DECOR DIY.  We hope to provide you with handy how-tos to start or enhance your own home gardens, as well as provide you with plans on how to make some popular home decor projects, both easily & inexpensively. The height and shape make them great shade trees and beautiful additions to landscape. They were formerly often treated in Hamamelidaceae. By Arnold Krochmal, Russell S. Walters, Richard M. Doughty, [4] – Liquidambar styraciflua: a renewable source of shikimic acid. Herb: Sweet Gum Latin name: Liquidambar styraciflua Family: Hamamelidaceae (Witch-hazel Family) Medicinal use of Sweet Gum: A resin obtained from the trunk of the tree (see "Uses notes" below) is antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, parasiticide, poultice, salve, sedative, stimulant, vulnerary. That is what I intend to do with the beautiful sweet gum that I have. Sweet gum sap has caught the attention of medical researchers, and we know that much of its folkloric uses are now backed with scientific reasoning. Along the rivers of the south-eastern United States, Sweet gums exceed 125 ft. in height and 4 ft. in diameter. Six Great Things To Use Sweetgum Balls For: The spiky seed pods from the sweetgum tree are not only fascinating to look at, they can actually help out in the garden. Tetrahedron Lett, 49 (2008), pp. Infertile seeds of the Sweet Gum tree contain shikimic acid at 2.4-3.7%. Your email address will not be published. The sweet gum tree has long been used for medicinal purposes and as a source of hardwood for furniture. December 17, 2007 This wreath is made from the seed pods from the sweet gum tree. I believe sweetgum would work very well as paneling where each board is free to move unconstrained. Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, furniture (speaker/acoustic cabinets), interior trim, boxes/crates, and turned objects. Today, the active ingredient of the infertile sweetgum seeds, which contain high amounts of shikimic acid, is used in the preparation of Tamiflu, but other than that is … Appl Biochem Biotechnol 162, 1660–1668 (2010). But in New York City, the sweet gum is a fairly common sight, growing best where there is rich, loamy soil with good moisture. Menu Ask a Question Share a Post Account Search. Better Than Wild Bird Feeders? It's considered a valuable tree used for lumber and furniture production, as well as for ornamental purposes. Sweet gum resin or sap may stick to your teeth. A sweet gum is a deciduous tree in the witch hazel family that ranges in height from 60 to 100 feet and has a narrow oval canopy. The first step to making your own compost is to learn and understand how to make a proper compost pile. It is used for a variety of purposes, with furniture, plywood, containers, and pulp requiring the most volume. But, for centuries Sweet Gum trees have been used for everything from Chewing gum, lumber, and medicine. Splitting sweet gum is without a doubt going to be a challenge. Use a knife to slice to the cambrian layer of bark, and return in a week to collect the dried sap. Additionally, there are several species of mushroom that grow on the bark. The tree has been busy growing for so many years that it hasn’t really shown us much in the fall. It is a potent anti-fungal and an effective natural pesticide. Those spiny balls, seed pods, dropped by your sweet gum tree can actually be put to good use. Native Americans traditionally used the inner bark and resin to help wounds, sore throats, coughs, and to treat infectious diarrhea. [2] – Strength and stiffness properties of sweetgum and yellow-poplar structural lumber. They reproduce within a host cell, then utilize a protein to burst the cell, releasing many replicates to infect other cells. 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