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.
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.
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.
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.
Add alcohol to the jar to make the tincture. Add 80-120 proof clear alcohol, such as vodka or everclear to the jar.
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 recipe, sage salve recipe, purple dead nettle salve recipe, elderflower salve, elderflower lotion bar, rose lotion bars, peony lotion bar, white clover lotion bar and my flower jellies including my dandelion jelly recipe, redbud jelly recipe, lilac jelly recipe peony jelly and apple blossom recipe.
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