Sweet Gum Tincture

Disclaimer:  The instructions I offer here in this post (and in all my posts about herbs and home remedies) are what I use personally at home. Of course the standard disclaimer goes: I am not a doctor and don’t prescribe medicines or herbs, this is just what  we have done here for generations with great results. 

Here in the southern US there is a tree called the Sweet Gum Tree.      Liquidambar styraciflua  is a large tree that is valued for its pretty leaves and hard spiky fruits.  Its the  sweet gum ball green  fruits that I am interested in because they are a source of shikimic acid which is the active ingredient in medicines like Tamiflu®.

That’s right, green sweet gum balls can be made into a tincture that can help kill viruses in your body.  Its right up there with Elderberry Tincture and Oregano Tincture .

Be sure you pick the green balls, the brown ones are finished for the year and won’t make a tincture.  They’re cute for using in crafts though.

gum ball craft

Here’s how its done:

Pick enough green sweet gum balls to fill at least a clean, sterilized glass jar that has a tight fitting lid.

Bust open each green gum ball either using a hammer or a hatchet. But be careful, they’re harder than you think!

Once you get them busted up, put all the pieces in the clean glass jar and cover the pieces with any clear, at least 100% proof alcohol. I buy the cheapest vodka I can find and use that.

Let this sit in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks.  It seems to take longer for sweet gum to give up its properties than other plants.  After 6 weeks you can strain it and put it in dark amber bottles. It will keep forever.

sweet gum balls

To use it, I take 1 teaspoon every 3-4 hours when I know I have a virus.  I combine it with elderberry syrup sometimes.  If the taste is objectionable to you, you could put the teaspoon of tincture in a cup of water or even tea and drink it.

For keeping viruses at bay, I take 1 teaspoon in a cup of hot water each day during flu season.

I have not made sweet gum tincture using glycerin, I have doubts as to whether the glycerin would be able to pull out the medicinal properties of the fruits.

About Sylvia

Sylvia is the owner of the Christian HomeKeeper Network website and ministry. She and her husband Mark live in Tennessee. They are the parents of 5 children and grandparents to three so far. They have homeschooled since 1990. Sylvia is a Christian and enjoys mentoring women, writing articles for several magazines, gardening, Bible study and creating a peaceful holy home. Follow Sylvia on Google+ or check out her 21st Century HomeKeeper podcasts on the Preparedness Radio Network.
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