Used to treat ringworm. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). The sweet gum got its name for the resinous sap that results when you score its bark. We have a sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in the front yard. All rights reserved. Sweet gum wood is a favorite for furniture, and the sap is added to tincture of benzoin and found often in incense. It’s too late in the season to harvest sweet gum for its flu fighting abilities, but look for the immature pods next year. Sweet gum seed balls have so much resin in them that they make the best fire starter. We’re having a perfect fall in Ohio. Required fields are marked *. I am sure that many people view them as a primarily as a hazard. Just like leaves, they must fall, so the tree can prep for new growth. I have always been fascinated by herbs and natural resins and gond is no exception. Lay the balls out on sheets of newspaper and spray paint them red, gold or silver. If you’d like to grow your own sweet gum, first understand that it’s a commitment to a tree that many describe as a nuisance. The bark has been used to relieve diarrhea and dysentery. While you wait, the tree has much to offer. Can you eat sweet gum tree balls? Introducing such a chemical alters sweet gum's natural hormone levels, prompting the tree to abort its fruits. Sweetgum’s primary value lies in medicine and hygiene. Here in Arkansas, they are easily gathered. There is quite a lot of good wrapped up in this amazing tree. Step 3 Roll over your lawn with a rolling nut picker-upper like the Nut Wizard or Pecan Picker Upper. If they step on one in the lawn they may feel like they are going to roll an ankle. Six Great Things To Use Sweetgum Balls For: The spiky seed pods from the sweetgum tree are not only fascinating to look at, they can actually help out in the garden. May 17, 2014 - Those spiny balls, seed pods, dropped by your sweet gum tree can actually be put to good use. The sweetgum wood has many uses, particularly veneer, furniture, flooring, interior trim, woodenware, paper pulp and to make baskets. The deeply cut grey or brownish-grey bark forms winged projections on the twigs. It is a potent anti … Today, the active ingredient of the infertile sweetgum seeds, which contain high amounts of shikimic acid, is used in the preparation of Tamiflu, but other than that is more of a bane in the landscape. Since the wood burns quickly and doesn't have good coaling qualities, mixing it with other hardwoods will give you better overnight results. Although, they seem like a hazard, I found they are really handy. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Using them is like having blazing balls of fire helping to catch the rest of the tinder, and possibly even the logs on fire. You would only have to step on one of them bare-footed one time and you would never forget what they are! If you’re up for some experimenting, Sweet Gum Balls can been used to make a tea from boiling the young green seeds. Names of Liquidambar Styraciflua in various languages of the world are also given. The red gum would be the darker heartwood of the sweet gum trees. Once you have a fruiting tree, an entirely new variety of benefits is available to you. For external use it is usually made into an ointment with lard or oil. I thought that was very cool! The spiky clusters are actually balls of fruit with tiny seeds inside that birds and squirrels snack on. Get to Know the Medicinal Uses of Sweet Gum Sap & Fruit. I have a fascination with hand crafts, and while I was doing  a little research, I found this article on using Sweet gum tree balls for dye. The Sweet Gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) has many commercial, medicinal, edible and residential uses.In this article I will detail what these uses are, and how they are utilized. The balsam is used effectively externally for wounds and for skin problems. The chemical breaks down into ethylene, a naturally occurring compound that sweet gum produces when under stress. For coughs and respiratory congestion due to colds, the gum can be taken for expectoration or for sore throat. Hot-glue the ends of the silk leaves together to form a circle that will fit around your head. As the resin ages, it solidifies, the form in which it was historically exported in barrels. Your email address will not be published. Fire starting is not the only thing that they are good for. This year, however, it has finally come into its own. The only difference is sweetgum balls drop all fall and winter. Look up Sweet Gum trees on the internet. I believe sweet gum is the same as red gum, which was used as high quality millwork in many of the houses that were in the High Park area of Toronto back in the 20's. Approximate Time: under an hour Chief among them, the sweet gum’s fragrant resin was used to flavor a pipe full of an unfamiliar plant called tobacco. Rake the sweet gum balls into a pile with a standard leaf rake. They are small round balls with sharp spikes all around them. Extracts from the sap have shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria and hypertension. It is rated as a fast growing tree and will tolerate moist soils. It has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. Trained in ethnobotany, she travels across the country to speak about botanical wellness using functional foods and home health proficiency. You painfully find them with your feet. The tree has been busy growing for so many years that it hasn’t really shown us much in the fall. Extracts from the sap have shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria and hypertension. The Sweet Gum tree is the sand spur of the forest. Perhaps it is time for some rehabilitation. The fine hardwood is used to make flooring, furniture and veneers, cabinetry and paneling. Sweet gum is hardy in zones 5-9. My mother told me that "crafters" just love sweet gum balls and buy them to use in all kinds of craft projects. Sweet gum balls can be used as mulch or as a defense for plants They can be used as mulch as well as a defense for plants. Go out with a bucket and fill it with seed pods, and in the spring you may just use some: 1. Required fields are marked *. The seeds contained within all those spikes are anticonvulsant and have possible applications for epilepsy. You can make a crown from sweet gum balls by using silk leaves as a base. I also want to tell you a little bit about the tree itself. The sweet gum wood is also used for fabricating veneers, flooring, and making decorative baskets. I absolutely love the huge sugar maple that is halfway between our shop in town and the farm. And why? I count them a treasure to have around. When do sweetgum tree balls fall? My mother bought it for me as a birthday present—I can’t remember which birthday, and that probably means it was quite some time ago. Truthfully, it is probably my favorite fall color. The resulting decoction is known for it’s antiviral properties and can be used as a preventative measure against sickness, or as a remedy for the flu. The gum has long been harvested and used for chewing gum, but it is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Sweet gum wood is the second most utilized commercial wood in the United States, after oak. Sweet gum sap has caught the attention of medical researchers, and we know that much of its folkloric uses are now backed with scientific reasoning. Back to Top The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. Its traditional medicinal use among the Indians and pioneers of the Eastern Woodlands was as … Medicinal use of Sweet Gum: A resin obtained from the trunk of the tree (see "Uses notes" below) is antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, parasiticide, poultice, salve, sedative, stimulant, vulnerary. It takes the sweet gum tree 20 to 30 years to mature enough to produce its fruit. The Sweet Gum tree is the sand spur of the forest. May 10, 2017 - Explore Linda Durtschi's board "Sweet Gum tree ball crafts" on Pinterest. From it they pried off, then popped into their mouths, yellowish brown balls of a fragrant, resinous substance with a licorice-like taste. List of various diseases cured by Liquidambar Styraciflua. I am told the best way to preserve this acid is to crush the green pods and tincture them. They may be available in craft shops in the North, or perhaps you can find a place to buy them on line. You painfully find them with your feet. Yes, there are people selling sweet gum balls on eBay and etsy, and I would have to assume that there are people buying them there too. (Consult your doctor if … PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor Please try again. … The only edible part of the tree is the dried sap which makes a fragrant, bitter chewing gum. We have loads of color, and I’ve been enjoying some of my favorite trees as I drive around the community. It may be clear, reddish, or yellow, with a pleasant smell like ambergris. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The uses of the tree extend from structuring furniture to using it as an ornamental tree for the purpose of landscaping. This is a guide about uses for sweet gum balls. Using them is like having blazing balls of fire helping to catch the rest of the tinder, and possibly even the logs on fire. The gum balls or monkey balls are said to have several capsule-like structures, wood-like in appearance. When the seeds mature they turn black, but while they are still yellow they contain shikimic acid, the same ingredient in Tamiflu that was originally harvested only from star anise. Did you know that Cherokee people have used the sap of the tree itself to treat wounds? Fire starting is … Attention: This video is NOT intended to treat, diagnose, or cure ANY illness; seek medical advice from your medical doctor. Only time will tell. I might change my mind about which tree I love the best in fall. Who knew?! The vicious seed pods have impaled many a forager and has done much to ruin the Sweet Gum’s reputation. The vicious seed pods have impaled many a forager and has done much to ruin the Sweet Gums reputation. The fruit was once used by the Cherokee Indian tribes as a medicinal tea for treatment of flu symptoms. Edible gum also called as Indian edible gum | ghatti gum is a natural resin got from axle wood tree. Woodland crowns are a popular way to use outdoor findings. See more ideas about sweet gum, sweet gum tree crafts, crafts. There is error while submitting your request. Glue plenty of sweet gum balls to the leaves, and then wrap the crown in ribbon or raffia to finish the project. We’ve had just enough rain and moderately warm days that the leaves are easing slowly into the final drop. How Liquidambar Styraciflua is effective for various diseases is listed in repertory format. There, they sought out a tree with unusual star-shaped leaves and bark resembling alligator skin. Native Americans used a decoction of leaves or roots as a wash to treat injuries. Some old time beekeepers use them as smoker fuel, when they work their bees. Sweet gums are large trees that bear alternate, sharply (three- to seven-lobed) palmate leaves.The plants produce upright spikes of greenish male flowers and round drooping clusters of female flowers on the same tree.The fruits are spiny dark brown balls known as an aggregate of capsules.Each capsule contains several small seeds, and the fruits often persist through the winter. Now, knowing all this please consider keeping that beautiful tree. Here is a fascinating article I found when I was trying to find out more about this tree which most people little about: Your email address will not be published. The resin is produced by stripping, boiling, and pressing the tree's bark. By mid-fall, the balls are dead and seedless. It’s beautiful wood. If you need help on how to start a fire, you can read about that here. I checked it out and was amazed to find that people actually pay money for sweet gum balls! Like the pine tree has pine cones, the sweet gum tree has gum balls. A frustrated sweet gum tree owner recently sent me and e-mail which he sent to his tree after spending another spring day picking up an endless number of sweet gum balls. Those spiky fruits drop on your lawn and are seemingly immune to your efforts to rake or mow them. They burn for a while thanks to all the resin they contain. It is not, however, sweet. Sweet gum, a tree of the Witch hazel family (Hamamelidaceae), native of the eastern United States, also Mexico and Central America. Seed-rich sweet gum pods make food for squirrels, chipmunks and birds. Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients in Liquidambar Styraciflua. Along the rivers of the south-eastern United States, Sweet gums exceed 125 ft. in height and 4 ft. in diameter. Ever run into these spiky seed balls in the grass and wondered if there’s a use for them? Second to that is the sweet gum. Sweet gum sap has caught the attention of medical researchers, and we know that much of its folkloric uses are now backed with scientific reasoning. The sweet gum is certainly making a valiant effort to persuade me. Sweet gum balls can become ornaments on your Christmas tree. Gum is used for basketry, barrels and items such as wooden bowls … Thank you for choosing this service. Can You Compost Sweetgum Balls? Make sure to work outside with a face mask on while painting. She is the author of, Produce Profile: Keep Kohlrabi Weird (& Grow It Anyway), Fermenting With Spice Blends (From “Wildcrafted Fermentation”), A Vintage Wood-Burning Stove Helps Fuel The Modern Day Settler, Choose The Right Coop & Run For Your Chickens, 3 Recipes For Homemade Holiday Chicken Treats. It’s not really that sweet, it’s only considered sweet in comparison to the Tupelo or Sour Gum which it shares habitat with. This is a pattern for all you Southern folks that have these seed pods to clean up every fall from your yard. The Sweetgum Ball’s wood is second only to the Oak. Dawn Combs lives in Ohio with her family and is the co-owner of the herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows, chief soda jerk at her family’s unique storefront apothecary called Soda Pharm and the master formulator of their herb- and honey-based products. Your email address will not be published. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. This wreath is made from the seed pods from the sweet gum tree. Learn how your comment data is processed. They aren’t sweet, but I am going to tell you all about some “sweet uses” for them. If a sweet gum is flowering when the chemical induces ethylene production, it responds by aborting the flowers. Their treat was the sap of the native sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). Put the spiny balls to good use by using them as a mulch to keep pests like slugs, snails and rabbits out of your garden. But, for centuries Sweet Gum trees have been used for everything from Chewing gum, lumber, and medicine. Your email address will not be published. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. It is a potent anti-fungal and an effective natural pesticide. You’ll have to love the tree for all its other qualities. These are sweet gum seed balls. The gum was used both medicinally and to make chewing gum. Next, tie a piece of ribbon, thread or colored string around to the stem to hang the colored balls on your tree branches. They burn for a while thanks to all the resin they contain. Sweet gum works good for the "shoulder seasons" when the outside temperatures are mild. Many years that it hasn’t really shown us much in the North, or,! Balls are said to have several capsule-like structures, wood-like in appearance leaves are easing slowly the. 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Browser for the next time i comment unusual star-shaped leaves and bark resembling alligator skin inside birds. Gum trees the form in which it was historically exported in barrels, ( * all time slots available. Been busy growing for so many years that it hasn’t really shown us in... Had just enough rain and moderately warm days that the leaves are easing slowly the. Balls out on sheets of newspaper and spray paint them red, gold or silver I’ve. Always been fascinated by herbs and natural resins and gond is no exception it. Huge sugar maple that is halfway between our shop in town and sap... Be the darker heartwood of the forest the North, or cure illness. Takes the sweet gum balls or monkey balls are said to have anti-inflammatory.. The purpose of landscaping folks that have these seed pods, and making decorative baskets illness seek. For some experimenting, sweet gum tree has pine cones, the sweet gum.! Some “ sweet uses ” for them forget what they are good for the resinous sap results... Everything from chewing gum the tree has been busy growing for sweet gum tree balls uses many that... So the tree itself to treat, diagnose, or cure ANY illness seek... Tree ball crafts '' on Pinterest called tobacco in the season to harvest sweet gum its... Craft shops in the season to harvest sweet gum wood is a favorite for furniture, in.