Amber Tree, Sweet Gum


            Family: Hamamelidaceae

  • BotanicName: Liquidambar orientalis Miller
  • English Name: Amber Tree, Sweet Gum
  • Regional Names: Anatolian sweetgum, Sigala tree,Styrax officinalis,Amber tree.
  • General Definition: Leaves usually 5 lobed, 6-10 cm tall, 8-16 cm wide. It has a stem in 10-12 cm long. Lobe edge is sharp. Surface is glaucous, bottom side is lighter green, and both sides are naked.
  • Used Parts: Plant fluid (Balsam), Shells
  • Active Ingredients: There is levant storax (Styrax Liquidus) in the shells of Anatolian Sweetgum obtained by making a wound and this contains cinnamon acid, styracin, Styrene and Storesinol. Essential oil named as balsam contains  vanillin,rejine,cinnamic acid,styracine and storecine.
  • Harvest: Scratches are made on the body of the tree in spring to obtain levant storax.Since July, accumulated secretions and crusts on the trunk collected by scraping with special knives. After these secretions and crusts are being boiled in hot water and by squeezing special presses, levant storax is obtained. There are balsam canals on the lignified body of the styrax officinalis. Once every two or three years from every tree,  fragrant oil (balsam) and shells of the tree are taken by gashing longitudinal in summer.
  • Spreading Area: As being Eastern Mediterranean origin, it spreads in  West and Southwest Anatolia.