Habitat. Asia Minor - Southwestern portion, near coast, forming entire forests
Syn. Liquid Storax, Oriental Sweet Gum, Lordwood; Br. Styrax Praeparatus, Prepared Storax, Balsamum Styracis; Fr. Styrax liquide (purine, depuratus); Ger. Styrax depuratus, Gereinigter Storax.
O-ri-en-ta'lis. L. oriental, pertaining to the Orient, or East - i. e., its habitat.
Sty'rax. L. for storax, Gr. tion - i. e., a tree producing it.
altr. of Ar. assthi'rak, sweet-smelling exudaPlant. - Tree 6-15 M. (20-50°) high, resembling our sweet-gum; bark purplish-gray; leaves palmately 5-divided, each division obscurely 3-lobed, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') long, 10-12.5 Cm. (4-50 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, sticky, opaque mass, depositing on standing 17 a heavy, dark brown stratum; transparent in thin layers; characteristic odor, acrid taste; heavier than water and insoluble in it, but soluble (except accidental impurities) in warm alcohol (1), also in ether, acetone, benzene, carbon disulphide. Tests: 1. When heated - more fluid; now agitate with warm, purified petroleum benzin, decant and cool supernatant liquid - only pale yellow, and deposits white crystals of cinnamic acid and cinnamic esters, which heated with diluted sulphuric acid and potassium permanganate - odor of benzaldehyde; incinerate .5 Gm. - ash 1 p. c. 2. Dissolve 10 Gm. in hot alcohol 20 Ml. (Cc.) - undissolved residue 2.5 p. c; evaporate filtrate - brown, transparent, semi-liquid residue 60 p. c, mostly soluble in ether, only partially soluble in purified petroleum benzin. Solvents: alcohol; ether. Dose, gr. 10-30 (.6-2 Gm.).
Adulterations. - Turpentine, sand, ashes, bark, mineral matter 13-18 p. c, water 10-40 p. c.
Fig. 157. - Liquidambar orientalis.
Commercial. - 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 healing. To obtain 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. The greatest demand comes from India and China, the English-speaking people using little of it. The residual hark when dried (Cortex Thymiamatis) is employed for fumigation.
CONSTITUENTS. - A variable mixture chiefly of volatile oil, resins, cimiamic acid, esters, and water - Styrol, Styraein, Phenylpropyl Cinnamate, Storesin, Cinnamic Acid, 5-15 p. c, benzoic acid, ethyl cinnamate, C9H7(C2H5)O2, ethyl vanillin, water 10-40 p. c.,other impurities, ash 1 p. c.
Styrol, Styrene, Styrolene (cinnamene, phenyl-ethylene), C8H8. - Hydrocarbon (volatile oil) obtained by distilling with water; it is a colorless fragrant oily liquid, sp. gr. 0.906, boils at 145° C. (293° F.), and when heated to 200° C. (392° F.) is converted into solid meta-cinnamene.
Styraein, Cinnamyl Cinnamate, C9H7(C9H9)O2. - This is obtained in faint yellow crystals by alcohol, ether, or hot benzene from the nsin after removal of cinnamic acid; with concentrated potassium hydrate solution yields styrone (cinnamic alcohol), C9H10O, yellowish oily refractive aromatic liquid.
Phenylpropyl Cinnamate, C9H7(C9H17)O2. - This is a thick inodorous liquid.
Storesin, C36H58O3. - This, the most abundant constituent, is amorphous, readily soluble in benzin, melts near 145° C. (293° F.), or near 165° C. (329° F.); the latter variety gives with potassium hydroxide a compound crystallizing in needles.
Cinnamic Acid, C9H8O2 - Chiefly in free state, obtained by treating with solution of sodium carbonate, precipitating with hydrochloric acid.
Preparations. - 1. Tinctura Benzoini Composita, 8 p. c.
Unoff. Prep.: Ointment (salve), 50 p. c, with lard or olive oil.
Properties. - Stimulant, expectorant, diuretic, antiseptic, disinfectant. Acts locally and remotely like benzoin, copaiba, balsams of tolu and Peru. Styraein is antiseptic, and should be dissolved in 6-12 parts of oil or water to render it non-irritating as a dressing.
Uses. - Chronic bronchitis and catarrhs of genito-urinary passages, gonorrhoea, gleet, amenorrhoea, leucorrhoea, phthisis, asthma. Externally in ointment as a detergent for indolent ulcers, frost-bites, as a parasiticide for scabies, phthiriasis (pediculi), etc.