Liquidambar orientalis, Miller, Styraciflua, Linne'. A balsam obtained from the trunk.

Habitat. 1. Asia Minor -- Southwestern portion near coast, forming entire forests; 2. United States -- Atlantic coast southward.

Syn. Liquid Storax; 1. Levant Storax; 2. American Storax, Copalm Balsam; Oriental Sweet Gum, Storax Tree; Gum Tree, Sweet Gum, Alligator Tree, Lordwood; Br. Styrax Praeparatus, Prepared Storax, Balsamum Styracia; Fr. Styrax liquide (purific, depuratus); Ger. Styrax depuratus, Gereinigter Storax.

Liq-uid-am'bar. L. liquidus, liquid, fluid, + Ar. ambar, amber -- i.e., the color or fragrant, terebinthinate juice or resin (balsam) resembles liquid amber.

O-ri-en-ta'lis. L. oriental, pertaining to the Orient, or East -- i.e., its habitat.

Sty-ra-cif'lu-a. L. styrax, storax, + fluo, fluere, to flow -- i.e., storax sufficiently gluid at times to flow or exudate.

Sty-rax. L. for storax, Gr., ..., altr. of Ar. assthi'rak, sweet-smelling exudation -- i.e., a tree producing it.


Trees 6-15 M. (20-50 degrees) high, resembling maples; bark purplish-gray; leaves palmately 5-7-lobed, each division obscurely 3-lobed, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') long, 10-12.5 Cm. (4-5') wide, margin serrate, bright green, smooth; flowers monoecious, in yellowish solitary heads; fruit, globular capsule, 2.5 Cm. (1') broad, woody. BALSAM (storax), a semi-liquid, grayish, grayish-brown, sticky, opaque mass, depositing on standing a heavy dark brown layer (Levant); or a semi-solid, sometimes a solid mass, softened by gently warming (American); thin layers transparent; odor and taste characteristic; heavier than water and insoluble in it; soluble (usually incompletely) in warm alcohol (1), also in acetone, carbon disulphide, ether (some insoluble residue usually remaining). Tests: 1. 2 Gm. dried 2 hours at 100 degrees C. (212 degrees F.) -- loses 20 p.c. moisture. 2. Dissolve 10 Gm. in hot alcohol 40 cc. -- undissolved residue 5 p.c.; evaporate filtrate -- yellow to brown residue 70 p.c. (purified storax). Solvents: alcohol; ether. Dose, gr. 10-30 (.6-2 Gm.).


Turpentine, sand, ashes, bark, mineral matter 13-18 p.c., water 10-40 p.c.


The balsam is not a physiological, but a pathological, secretion of the sapwood, existing only in injured trees as a result of wound stimulation--Nature's method of securing antisepsis and heaing. To obtain 1, Levant storax in quantity -- the outer bark on one side of the tree is bruised, resulting shortly thereafter in filling the cambium with rows of balsam glands and the inner bark with their exudation. The dead outer bark is taken off and rejected, while the inner is removed and boiled in sea-water -- the balsam being skimmed from the surface with final expression of the boiled bark. It was once believed to be produced in the inner bark, which was collected and thrown into pits, to allow partial exudation, and ultimately subjected to pressure in strong horse-hair bags. Liquid storax is then put into barrels, goat skins, etc., and forwarded to Constantinople, Smyrna, Syria, Alexandria, Bombay, and Trieste. To obtain 2, American storax -- incisions are made through the bark, or, in the absence of these, during spring and summer, it exudates through natural fissures, from which it may readily be scraped. The greatest demand comes from India and China, the English-speaking people using little of it. The residual bark when dried (Cortex Thymiamatis) is employed for fumigation.


A variable mixture chiefly of volatile oil, resins, cinnamic acid esters, and water -- Styrol, Styracin, Phenylproply Cinnamate, Storesin, Cinnamic Acid, 5-15 p.c., benzoic acid, ethyl cinnamate, CH(CH)O, ethyl vanillin, water 10-40 p.c., other impurities, ash 1 p.c.

Styrol, Styrene, Styrolene (Cinnamene, Phynyl-ethylene), CH. -- Hydrocarbon (volatile oil) obtained by distilling with water; it is a colorless fragrant oily liquid, sp. gr. 0.906, boils at 145 degrees C. (293 degrees F.), and when heated to 200 degrees C. (392 degrees F.) Is converted into solid metacinnamene.

Styracin, Cinnamyl Cinnamate, CH(CH)O. -- This is obtained in faint yellow crystals by alcohol, ether, or hot benzene from the resin after removal of cinnamic acid; with concentrated potassium hydroxide solution yields styrone (cinnamic alcohol), CHO, yellowish oily refractive aromatic liquid.

Phenylpropyl Cinnamate, CH(CH)O. -- This is a thick inodorous liquid.

Storesin, CHO. -- This, the most abundant constituent, is amorphous, readily soluble in benzin, melts near 145 degrees C. (293 degrees F.), or near 165 degrees C. (329 degrees F.); the latter variety gives with potassium hydroxide a compound crystallizing in needles.

Cinnamic Acid, CHO. -- Chiefly in free state, obtained by treating with solution of sodium carbonate, precipitating with hydrochloric acid.


1. Tinctura Benzoini Composita, 8 p.c.

Unoff. Prep.:  Ointment (salve), 50 pc., with lard or olive oil.


Stimulant, expectorant, diuretic, antiseptic, disinfectant.  Acts locallly and remotely like benzoin, copaiba, balsams of Peru and tolu.  Styracin is antiseptic, and should be dissolved in 6-12 parts of oil or water to render it non-irritating as a dressing.


Chronic bronchitis and catarrhea, phthisis, asthma.  Externally in ointment as a detergent for indolent ulcers, frost-bites, as a parasiticide for scabies, phthiriasis (pediculi), etc.

Allied Product

1. Styrax Calamita. -- Resinous exudation from Styrax officina'lis, in agglutinated tears resembling benzoin, wrapped in leaves; a factitious variety consists of the ground, exhausted bark or sawdust mixed with liquid storax, formed into reddish-brown cylindrical cakes, brittle, friable, soft and unctuous to the touch; contains many crystals of styracin, and has storax odor.