|Storax Resin, Honduras (Styrax, Liquid Amber)|
|Other names: Styrax, liquid storax, liquid styrax, liquid amber|
Uses: Concentration, will, strength, alertness.
Associations: Mercury, Air
Aroma: A dark, husky aroma with a honey background. This clarified storax resin smells much better burned than in its natural state.
Form: Viscous semi-liquid
Storax is called for in many Medieval and Ancient recipes. It is usually associated with Mercury, although some say it has a more Earthy aroma. This is resin is a semi-liquid viscous substance from the American storax variety, Liquidambar styraciflua.
The harvest of the sap and the preparation of the oil involve quite strenuous tasks lasting from May to November and consisting of several separate phases. The thick sap is obtained in the period June–September by gradually stripping ¼ of the total trunk lengthwise. While wounding the trunk sap emerges, which can be stimulated by tapping the trunk. The sap is scraped from the wounded tree trunks using the sharp edge of plastic bottles. This is put in boiling water to soften, then pressed out. The styrax is then diluted with ¼ water, keeping it soft and preserving its aroma. By steam distillation a light yellow oil is obtained, which can be used for medical applications.
In English, this oil is known under several names, shortly as Storax to include all sweetgum oils, or as American Storax, Balsam Storax, Liquid Storax, Sweetgum Oil, or American Sweetgum Oil. Diluted with a suitable carrier oil, it is used externally in traditional medicine for abrasions, anxiety, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, cuts, ringworm, scabies, stress-related conditions and wounds.