The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce
Sweet Gum

Botanical Name: Liquidambar styraciflua

Common Names and Synonyms: American Storax, Gum Tree

Background: Native to the eastern United States, the sweet gum tree can grow up to 140 feet tall.  It has palmate leaves, similar to the maple leaf except the margins are narrower, or more pointed.  The seeds are grouped on a  round spiked-type ball which remains on the tree throughout the winter into spring.  The balsam, which is made into liquid ambar balm, comes from the bark, and is used in medicine and perfumery.  Dried balsam, called Storax, is used to scent perfumes; and  in the food industry Storax is used to flavor gum and candies.
Sweet Gum in the Cayce Readings

  • Edgar Cayce recommended sweet gum for a wide variety of applications including inhalant, massage oil, mouth rinse, and systemic tonic.  The single most common application was as an ingredient in a vaginal douche or sitz bath (fume) for healing the female genitalia.  One reading (5090-1) indicated that for this particular woman a sweet gum sitz bath (fume) could enhance conception.
Cayce Quotes on Sweet Gum

    When there are those preparations for such, do this to insure conception, if this is desired at a special period (and those periods just before the menstrual period are the preferable for conception):  Put into a hot basin of water a sweet gum ball about the size of a small agate, or say the end of the thumb, in hot boiling water.
    Sit over this for some ten minutes, and you needn't fear, there will be conception.

    Use, for the condition in the vagina and womb, the sitz or steam bath, as this:  In a crock, or bucket, containing gallon and a half of very hot water, or boiling (or as hot as body can stand, see?) add Tincture of Myrrh 20 drops, Tincture of Sweet Gum 20 drops.  Remain sitting over this, with the vagina and the puba exposed to this steam, see, for at least fifteen to twenty minutes once each day.
    Every second or third day use a warm douche of Creolin, see? and the off day, or every third day, see, following this, use an antiseptic solution of the Glyco-Thymoline as douche also, see?  This had best be used in Fountain Syringe than in the forced syringe, see, or spray.

    To give the relief necessary to this body, to overcome these conditions, we would give that in the system that would produce with certain vibrations the incentives that would produce elimination, through the system, in proper form.  The body has picked up, or come in contact with that that gives the necessary condition.  Take this:
    To one gallon of rain water (we need the nitrates in this) add:

    Sarsaparilla Root.......6 ounces,
    Burdock Root............2 ounces,
    Prickly Ash Bark........2 ounces,
    Mandrake Root..........15 grains,
    Buchu Leaves...........30 grains.

    This would be simmered, not boiled, until reduced to one quart.  Strain.  While warm, add:

    Grain Alcohol...........4 ounces, with
    Sweet Gum...............3 drams, cut in it.

    The dose would be teaspoonful four times each day for the condition that becomes exaggerated.  Through the pelvic organs, we would take myrrh and balm of Gilead, one-half ounce of each placed in a container, with very warm water, and steam the parts, so the effect arises within the system itself will prevent the secretion becoming so aggravating to the system.  Do that, see.  Those would be taken once every three days, for three weeks, see.  Tincture of myrrh and balm of Gilead, one-half ounce each in two gallons of water, very hot, you see.

    Then, to bring about the normal condition for this body, we would take in the system these properties as an inhalant for the condition in throat, bronchials and larynx:
    To 4 ounces of pure grain alcohol, add:

    Eucalyptol..................................20 minims,
    Benzosol.....................................5 minims,
    Fluid Extract (in solution) of Sweet Gum....20 minims,
    Rectified Oil of Turp........................5 minims,
    Canadian Balsam..............................3 minims.

    Shake solution well together.  Inhale through the mouth whenever that sensation of coughing is bad, taking two to three deep breaths, see?  When this has been used for two to three days, change it, see?  That is, make a new quantity in same manner, same proportion, putting chemicals together in
the way as has been given.  Shake it every time though before it is inhaled, keeping it in container at least twice the size of the quantity of properties.

    Take internally as this:  6 ounces of the inner bark of sweet gum tree.  Add this to 1 quart of distilled water.  Reduce this by simmering to 1/2 the quantity.  Strain off.  Then add 2 pinches of powdered elm bark, see? Then add to this:

    Cinnamon water (20% solution).....4 ounces,
    Oil of Turp......................10 minims.

    Reduce again by simmering to two-thirds the original quantity - that is, after these are all added, see?  Then cut in alcohol Balsam of Tolu 2 drams.  Add to solution.  Then add:

    Elixir Calisaya...................1 ounce,
    Oil of Peppermint.................2 minims,
    Oil of Sassafras.................15 minims.

    Shake this solution well together before the dose is taken, which would be a teaspoonful 4 times each day, before each meal and before retiring.

(Q)  Is case of an operation where should the operation be and for what?
(A)  From the condition existing through the pelvis it is not necessary, if this treatment here be given into the system, it is because the functioning of the organs being in a disturbed condition at the present time, and through the refunctioning of nerve centers too often to give the proper vent for all other organs of the viscera and the pelvis and if we will remove the inflammation we will correct the condition as expressed here in the pelvis, we would take into the system this:

    Sarsaparilla Root..............4 ounces,
    Black Snake Root...............2 ounces,
    Burdock Root...................2 ounces,
    Buchu Leaves...................1 ounce,
    Black Haw Bark.................2 ounces,
    Flower of Elder................4 ounces.

    This would be placed in one gallon of water, rain water, reduced by simmering, not boiling, to one quart, strain, and while still warm, add to this 4 ounces of grain alcohol with 3 drams of Balsam of Tolu and 2 drams of Sweet Gum.
    After this has been taken into the system, tablespoonful 4 times a day, we find we have created a different effect of the blood supplying forces to the system, especially to the hepatics which affect the functioning of the organs of the torso and of the pelvis, especially the effects through these are to change the action of the functioning of all organs of the body, for an operation at present with the condition of the blood force in the system, and with the action of the heart suppressed, would prove very destructive to the physical body.  After this has been taken we would use the vibration with the Ultra Violet Ray along the spine, then across the appendix, especially down the right side, if we
would bring the normal condition more perfectly to this body here.

    At least three to five times - that is, once each day for three to five days after menses period - the body should heat water to the boiling point, pour into a container over which the body may sit with ease, pouring about gallon and a half to two gallons of water, and to this add sweet gum (in the gum) fifteen grains, tincture of myrrh tablespoonful, and let the body - the pubis - be exposed to the fumes as arise from same.  The irritation - as will be seen - will be decreased, and also there will be the more desire for sex relations and the effect as is produced in the body from same; for with this constant aversion (with the individuals as are about the entity), and with this constant drain on the nerve system, the mental forces suffer sympathetically.

    Put a pellet of sweet gum, the size of a buckshot, in hot water and sit over same, with the vagina exposed to same.
    This, - with the mental attitude, - will have an activity upon the body.  We refer to the sweet gum from the sweet gum tree, you see.

    To 4 ounces pure grain alcohol, add:

    Eucalyptol...............20 minims
    Tincture of Sweet Gum (in solution)........30 minims
    Canadian Balsam..........10 minims
    Rectified Oil of Turp.....5 minims
    Benzosol.................10 minims

    Shake solution well together.  Inhale both through the nostrils and into the lungs through the mouth, see?  Not taken internally; inhaled only.  That is, once or twice inhale through nostrils, for the inflammation as is seen

    We would use with the rub, or once a day or twice a day, equal portions of Tincture of Benzoin and Fluid Extract of Sweet Gum or Balsam of Tolu cut with alcohol; equal portions of these combined, especially around and under the knee, not only to the knee but in the locomotory centers of the pelvic portions of the body and to the feet and to the bursa of the feet, and the muscular forces between the under part of the knee and heel.  All of these areas should be massaged with this combination, not too much, but just what the body absorbs.

Take this in the system only when the body feels it is needed to give the balance, so should be kept on hand and only taken occasionally:  Take two ounces of the rag weed in its green state gathered as we would find at the present; this we would put into six ounces of water and steep until reduced to four ounces; to this we would add the same quantity made from the green plant known as hore-hound; add to this four ounces of grain alcohol with two drams of sweet gum dissolved in it. Do that.  Take teaspoonful when necessary for the correction of the condition through the intestinal tract.

(Q)  My mouth has seemed quite dry - what can be done for same?
(A)  Rinse same with a little elm water occasionally; this is helpful; or a little sweet gum (this better fresh).  Any of these as a rinse for the mouth, you see, and then if any of it is swallowed it is all the better for the general condition of the body.
    Watch or be mindful of the kidneys.  Hence either of these rinses is well for the general system.  The proportions would be about a pinch of the elm to a glass of water.  Or if the Balsam is used, this - of course - should be cut, unless fresh is used and then it is prepared much as the elm water.


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