Home / Diet & Nutrition / Food Additives / Amber gum – Benefits, Uses and Side effects

Amber gum – Benefits, Uses and Side effects

Amber gum is a sweet vegetative gum used as food additive as well as adhesive in medicines. A special variant of the gum is widely used for varieties of hemorrhoids and skin diseases such as ringworm infection, scabies, and other skin ailments.

Amber gum has been used for more than 1000 years. The scientific name of gum amber is amber styraciflua.

Synonyms

  1. Red gum
  2. Red Sweet gum
  3. Stain wall nut
  4. Star leaved gum

Gum Amber tree grows in hot temperature of the eastern North America, Mexico and Central America. It is a highly valuable, popular and ornamental tree from the forests. Chinese people are using this gum with the sake. Indians also use this gum for a medicinal purpose. United States pharmacopoeia in 1926 was also mentioned use of sweet gum.

About Amber Gum plant

One specific characteristic of gum amber plant is that its five leaves are joined together. Its Leaf shape is like a star. Fruit of amber tree is very hard and shape is like a spike. Linnaeus first discovered it in 1753. Liquid amber is its generic name. Gum is an exudate of this tree. One most famous naturalist wrote that sweet gum tree is very large and secrets fragrant gum. This gum has characteristic as same as turpentine and its smell is like ambergris, that’s why it is called as liquid amber. It has different colors such as clear yellow or reddish. As age of gum increases, it becomes in solid form. This gum is available from multiple processes such as stripping, boiling, and pressing the tree’s bark. The life of the tree is more than 400 years.

  1. Family of this plant– Altingiaceae
  2. Height of the tree– 65-155 feet (20–35 m)
  3. Height of the trunk– 6 feet (2 M)
  4. Suitable environment for growth– deep, moist bottomland and full sun
  5. Maintain ace and demand for water– low
  6. Time for blooming– April to May

Health benefits of amber gum

In 21 centuries, it is widely used in aromatherapy because it has nice and typical fragrance. Some of its benefits are listed underneath:

Wound healing

Many researches show that amber gum has strong antiulcerogenic characteristic, which helps to heal wounds.

Turkish folk medicine also used this for the treatment of peptic ulcer.

We can use it internally or externally both. Amber gum is beneficial for both wounds and sores effectively.

Many researches show that it increases the process of healing in wound through the epithelialization and granulization. Full thickness wounds are excellent healed by the topical application of sweet gum.

Infertility

Liquid amber is an herb of Chinese medicine. It is widely used in the treatment of infertility due to blockage of the Fallopian tube.

Amber gum ointment

There are multiple uses of amber gum, but it is largely known as a decorative tree.

It is also used for the making of ointment such as it is well mixed with lard and tallow gum.

Equal quantities of Amber gum, lard and tallow are mixed with each other for making ointment.

It is an excellent ointment in the treatment for hemorrhoids (ulcers around the anus), psora (one type of fungus), ringworm of the scalp (fungal infection of the hair and scalp), and chronic irritation to the skin and much other cutaneous affection including ulcers on the legs, open wounds etc.

It also makes a callosity wall of sinus soft. Amber gum is also taken internally, and the dosage is 10 to 20 grains.

Antiseptic action

The only edible part of this tree is gum only. Sometimes it has bitter taste also. It has antiseptic property, which is mentioned, into The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America states on page 60 by Dr. Francois Couplan.

Works against flu

It also gives immunity against the flu. It is used for making temiflu because it contains oseltamivir phosphate and shikimic acid which provides immunity against flu.

It is mostly available from sweet gum bark, leaves and seeds. To prevent the occurrence of the flu, sweet gum tea is widely used in whole over the world. Shikimic acid prevents the virus replication and growth of it. It also destroys the protein, which is responsible for virus growth.

Rheumatic pain

One more use of sweet gum is that it relieves the rheumatic pain. Fruit and gum part is used for the treatment of pain. It contains cinnamic acid, benzyl, ethyl and cinnamyl cinnamate which ingredients are used in production of balm. This balm is excellent for joint pain relief.  It also provides relief on bite.

Diarrhea and dysentery

It has characteristics like astringents, which cause shortening of the muscle of the intestinal muscle. These properties are used for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.

Leucorrhea

Vaginal discharge is also controlled by intake of amber gum.

Angina pectoris

Some researchers have proved that amber gum controls the angina also.

Dosage

It is available in the form of oil, ointment, balm, tincture and chewing gum. Children may chew this gum for the treatment of sore throat, flu, cold, etc… adult person can take this gum with plenty of water otherwise it blocks the intestine and cause chronic constipation.

Mother tincture of sweet gum

A mother tincture of sweet gum that red in color is available in the market. It is made through the crushing of sweet gum and dissolve into alcohol. Gum amber is also used for making tincture of benzoin and serves as the active ingredient.

Dosage of amber gum tincture – 1/4 to 1/2 tsp with one-cup water

Styrax is an also one type of resin of liquid amber trees. It is best used for the conditions such as the sciatic nerve pain. It is also mixed with tobacco. Moreover, for the production of chewing gum, amber gum is also used. Perfume industry, and cosmetics manufacturing company are also used amber gum. This gum has multiple medicinal properties such as it is used for the treatment of sore throat, cough and dysentery. It was also used as inhalants for the nasal congestion. It is also used as a stabilizer in the making of the cake. It is also used in the treatment of bad breath. It sweetens the breath also. Tooth cleaning is effectively done by chewing of amber gum. It is also used for the production of adhesives, soaps, and perfume, etc… furniture, flooring, fruit dishes, veneer manufacturing companies are using amber gum as an active ingredient.