July 28, 2016

Storax

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What other names is Storax known by?

American Storax, Balsam Styracis, Balsamum Styrax Liquidus, Copalm, Copalme, Copalme d'Amérique, Copalme du Levant, Copalme Oriental, Estoraque, Estoraque Liquido, Gum Tree, Levant Storax, Liquidambar, Liquidámbar, Liquidambar macrophylla, Liquidambar orientalis, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liquid Amber, Liquid Storax, Lu Lu Tong, Opossum Tree, Red Gum, Styrax, Sweet Gum, White Gum.

What is Storax?

Storax is an oily resin (balsam) obtained from the tree trunks of Liquidambar orientalis (Levant storax) or Liquidambar styraciflua (American storax). It is used as medicine.

Storax is obtained by scoring the bark of the tree in early summer and stripping the bark later, perhaps as late as autumn. The bark is pressed in cold water, alternating with boiling water, and the crude liquid storax is collected. Storax is considered to be similar to Peru balsam in its effects.

People take storax for cancer, coughs, colds, diarrhea, epilepsy, sore throats, and parasitic infections.

Storax is sometimes applied directly to the skin to protect wounds, or to treat ulcers and scabies. Storax is an ingredient in Compound Benzoin Tincture.

As an inhalant, storax is placed in a vaporizer and used to treat coughs and bronchitis.

In foods, storax is used as a flavoring or fixative.

In manufacturing, storax is used as a fragrance or fixative in soaps and perfumes. Storax is also used to kill bugs (as a fumigant). It is also used for preparing slides for examination under a microscope.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer.
  • Colds.
  • Coughs.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Parasitic infections.
  • Scabies.
  • Sore throats.
  • Ulcers, when applied to the skin.
  • Wound protection, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of storax for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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