Tincture Made From Sweet Gum Tree Balls – Nature’s Possible Tamiflu

Sweet gum on tree

This tincture made from Sweet Gum tree balls can be used to help fight off the flu and other similar viruses. It could be considered nature’s Tamiflu as discussed in the article cited below.

I have a sweetgum tree in my backyard and I have always wondered why I even planted it. The round spiky balls that fall off in the fall are so ugly and I assumed were not beneficial in any way.

Sweet gum tree for sweet gum tincture
Sweet gum tree

BUT I recently discovered that those sweetgum balls or seed pods are very useful. When the sweetgum fruits or pods are still green, the green pods can be used to make a tincture that can help possible fight off the flu! Actually the entire tree has medicinal benefits, including the bark, inner bark, sweetgum sap and leaves. All of this is cited in the article discussed below.

Sweet gum on tree
Sweet gum on tree

This article discusses the potential medicinal properties of sweetgum trees and states, “Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) is a drug that is very successful in shortening the duration and severity of the flu. This is because it inhibits the protein that allows the virus to burst from it’s host cell. Tamiflu is distilled from shikimic acid, which is present in the Sweet Gum tree.”

Sweet gum trees or liquidambar styraciflua l. are a deciduous tree with star-shaped leaves. The Missouri Department of Conservation website says the following about the sweet gum tree.

“Sweet gum is popular for landscaping, prized for its beautiful fall color. The city of St. James is called the “sweet gum capital of Missouri” for its many streets lined with the tree.

The many spiny fruits, however, can be a messy problem for high-traffic areas, and on sloping sidewalks they can even create hazardous footing. A mulch bed under the tree helps.

Indeed, many people passionately dislike the fruits, which can clog drains, interfere with lawn mowing, and are painful if stepped on with bare feet. (Do not try to give these people a holiday wreath made out of glitter-covered sweet gum balls.)

The lumber has been used for cabinetry, furniture, flooring, and interior finish.

The inner bark produces a fragrant resin, called American styrax or storax, which is used in cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, and tobacco, and as a fixative in lacquers and adhesives. Historically, the hardened sap was chewed like gum for pleasure as well as for medicinal purposes.

Native Americans used an infusion of the bark medicinally for diarrhea and dysentery and also in poultices for cuts, sores, and bruises.”

How to Make a Sweet Gum Tincture

The sweet gum balls need to be used when they are still green and not brown. The first step is to pick the sweet gum balls from the tree. Gather green balls to fill whatever container you will be using.

sweet gum balls in a bowl
Sweet gum balls in a bowl

The green balls need to be broke open with a hammer, mallet or axe. I used a mallet and the balls broke apart easily. Fill a glass jar with the broken balls.

Jar filled with broken sweet gum balls for sweet gum tincture
Jar filled with broken sweet gum balls

Add alcohol to the jar to make the tincture. Add 80-120 proof clear alcohol, such as vodka or everclear to the jar.

Sweet gum tincture with alcohol added
Sweet gum tincture with alcohol added

Store the jar in a dark place for at least 6 weeks. Strain the tincture and put it in a dark amber bottle. It will keep forever.

Using the Sweet Gum Ball Tincture

The sweet gum ball tincture can be taken to possibly prevent the flu by taking it daily during flu virus season to help your immune system fight off the influenza viruses and other infections as discussed in this article. One teaspoon a day is a suggested dosage. It can be taken with hot water or tea. Take a teaspoon every 3-4 hours when affected by a virus or symptoms such as sore throats.


See my website at www.HawkPointHomestead.com to learn more and for additional made from nature recipes, such as my yarrow salve recipesage salve recipepurple dead nettle salve recipeelderflower salve, elderflower lotion barrose lotion barspeony lotion barwhite clover lotion bar and my flower jellies including my dandelion jelly reciperedbud jelly recipelilac jelly recipe peony jelly and apple blossom recipe.

The website also includes canning recipes and other favorite great recipes, plus posts about other homestead-type activities, such as gardening and raising chickens.

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