Sweet Gum Tree: The Warm Protector


An example of ideal ingredients for a topical salve to provide relief for cold, clammy arthritic conditions (comfrey leaf, sweet gum balls, cayenne peppers, bear’s foot root, comfrey root).

Common Name:  Sweet gum
Latin Name:  Liquidambar styraciflua
Family:  Hamamelidaceae (Witch hazel family)
Parts used:  green balls, leaves, bark, resin
Tissue or system affinity:  lungs, throat, joints, immune system
Taste:  aromatic, slightly bitter
Energetics:  warming, slightly drying
Actions:  anti-viral, expectorant, astringent, drawing

Uses:  topically, the resin can be used to draw out infection; topically, the green balls can be crushed and infused in oil to make an oil or salve for cold, clammy arthritic joints; internally, the green balls and leaves in tincture or tea form can be used to expectorate phlegm from the body during a cold or flu; internally, the green balls and leaves can be used as a tincture (preferred) or tea to combat viruses

Other info:  Sadly, sweet gum is often referred to as a “trash tree” because it grows fast as a first succession tree to recover damaged land.  It is far from that and a great medicine.  I also sense that it has a special relationship with water.


2 thoughts on “Sweet Gum Tree: The Warm Protector

  1. My mom uses that term, “trash tree,” and I hate it. She may have said that about the sweet gum recently now that I think about it. Made me think of you, of course. Hope y’all are having a good 2017 so far. We had a huge kid friendly party at our house and rang in the new year with London at 6:00. It was fun, but not sure I’ll do it again next year. Hope to see you soon. We’ve got some jumping to do at High Heaven!!

    Sent from my iPhone


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